Discovering Aotearoa in the Autumn
Dawn, our Head of Sales & Operations, tells us why she simply loves New Zealand in the autumn – particularly after recent trip to Central Otago…
I love autumn. And there’s nowhere I love autumn more, than New Zealand! If I ever need to take myself to my happy place, I think of Central Otago in April.
Primarily, I love this time of year because of the colour. Imagine the most outrageous oranges, the most ridiculous reds and the most gorgeous golds – then double it! Driving through Otago in autumn means driving through landscapes ablaze with colour. A sea of colour surrounds your every glance whilst in the backdrop, the sun hangs low highlighting the prismatic colours of every leaf.
In Central Otago you have numerous wineries, so you’ll also see the vineyards lit up in the same way. How lovely the vines look all dressed up in their bright colours. Don’t just drive through – stop at a winery and experience the liquid gold. And because it’s autumn, it’s quiet – so you get to experience a little bit of it all to yourself!
My favourite winery of the drive was the Wooing Tree Vineyard, and all for its lovely story. In the middle of the vineyard is an imposing tree which the winery owners wanted to cut down when they bought the land. The locals were in an uproar and argued that this was a place that they went to ‘woo’ their lovers and subsequently, some of the locals were conceived there… and so it became a major part in community life. A campaign was started and so strong was the locals’ case, the winery gave in and so the tree was saved! And such was the story, the owners decided to name the vineyard after the tree so today you have the ‘Wooing Tree Vineyard’. So maybe pick up a bottle whilst you’re there and try to woo your partner (again!).
Dawn’s Top Tips
To make the most of the autumn colours in New Zealand you need to be there in April – the leaves would have disappeared by May. The weather is more stable in March/April so this is another reason to travel at this time. I have been to New Zealand twice in April – North and South Island and I had the same experience each time – fabulous weather, the roads are quieter and the crowds are far fewer. So you get the chance to fully appreciate Aotearoa in all her vibrant glory, without the hustle and bustle you would normally experience in the summer months.