New Zealand has a relatively short history as the first form of civilisation can be traced back to 1200-1300 AD. The fascinating Māori tribe stumbled upon this exquisite piece of land while exploring the Pacific Ocean and went onto inhabit the island for years to come. Over time, the Europeans found their way to the oasis and made permanent settlements there. With majority of the population being European or Māori, the two have had the biggest impact on the culture and history of the country. As a result, the tiny nation of New Zealand has a lot more to it than meets the eye.
Located in the southern hemisphere, the country experiences climates that run opposite to other parts of the world. As such, the summer season graces the nation from the months of December to February, while the winter season settles in during the months of June, July and August. Similarly, spring and autumn switch places too. It’s no surprise, that tourists flock to Kiwiland during the golden sunshine days.
The archipelago of New Zealand has over 600 unspoiled islands that can be classified into the Northern Islands and the Southern Islands. Apart from a few southern islands that have temperatures below the freezing point, most other islands have incredibly pleasant climates throughout the year, making it an ideal destination to travel to.
If you are pondering over the best time to visit New Zealand, we can confidently say that one can travel to this ethereal and dreamy region all through the year. While summers offer pleasant weather conditions for exploration, winters enable ample opportunities to indulge in winter sports. Keep in mind that New Zealand hosts a number of colourful and unique festivals to celebrate its diverse cultures. One can witness a variety of authentic performances from troops from New Zealand as well as other parts of the world. Planning your trip to coincide with any of these festivals will surely add to your experience!
Apart from the festivals, New Zealand has innumerable natural attractions that you must glimpse. Awe-inspiring beaches, happening harbours, picturesque trekking trails, virgin Islands, magical ski settings and mysterious unexplored caves are some of the many highlights. Milford Sound is famous for its hills, waterfalls and penguins! Waitomo is home to unique glow-worm caves, while the Abel Tasman National Park offers you memorable experiences through its beaches and nature trails. Similarly, you can experience the thrill of visiting hot water beaches, colour-splashed geothermal reserves, huge gardens with blossoming flowers, volcanoes and glaciers. The list just goes on and on, making the decision to visit this country an absolute no-brainer!
The temperature of New Zealand in spring fluctuates between 5°C and 19°C, although the average temperature across the country ranges from 10-12°C. The nation basks in a pleasant, comfortable and alluring atmosphere. It is one of the best seasons to visit New Zealand in because of the blooming flowers and the lush green fields all around. Also, spring season does not receive that much of rainfall, making it an ideal time for you to explore the beaches as well. Due to the gentle climate, it is the perfect time for you to indulge in some amazing treks and hikes through the various national parks and other natural plains.
Victorian Fete is one of the most popular festivals of this season. Locals dress up in traditional Victorian costume to reminisce about the British influence on the culture. Do try riding a Penny Farthing to have a unique experience! Listen In Auckland is a concert of talented musicians belting out their performances at the Mt. Smart Stadium, while Freqs Out Halloween Festival is quite similar but with a fewer number of participants.
Indulge in a few fitness regimes before visiting New Zealand in the spring. You will require stamina to be able to successfully participate in the various outdoor activities on offer. Snorkelling, scuba diving, surfing and trekking are some of the many physically challenging activities that you can be a part of. Carry at least one layer of your woollens during this time of year. Since it is a shoulder season, you can book your hotel rooms upon arrival as well.
New Zealand summer is incredibly great in every aspect and in no way is short of paradise for its tourists! This season is best-suited for travel, with the minimum temperature not dropping below 12°C and the maximum temperature hardly going above 25°C. The long hours of amber sunlight enable one to explore the landscapes and terrains with ease. However, it is the wettest season of the year with respect to rainfall.
Be it the historical monuments, swanky restaurants, scenic beaches or national parks, summer is the best time for everything. It is also an ideal time for you to enjoy your bonding sessions with the locals, from the Europeans to the Māori people, as everyone spends major chunks of the day outdoors. Furthermore, you get to enjoy a summer Christmas, which is unlike the typical Christmas experience anywhere else in the world.
The summer season also sees the maximum number of music festivals, with artists from around the world coming in to perform. Rhythm and Alps and Rhythm and Vines are the best music festivals of the year, without a doubt. Hosted between 28th and 31st of December, attending any of these is also a great way to celebrate the New Year.
Summer is peak season, which means you need to book your tickets and accommodation well in advance. One important thing to note, New Zealand’s ozone protection is weak. Hence, you should always apply sunscreen before going outdoors. Carry summery clothes as it can get really hot during the days. Since it is also rainy season, do carry your umbrella and ponchos with you. Your emergency kit bag should have wet wipes and sanitiser for sure.
New Zealand during the season of autumn experiences temperatures somewhere between 6°C and 25°C. While the month of March remains relatively hot, the climate begins to cool off as the season goes through May. The average temperatures sway between 10°C and 12°C, however it can drop down to 6°C at night. This season experiences slightly more rain in comparison to spring but less in comparison to summer.
Autumn in New Zealand is just like spring, in terms of the aspect of affordability. It is also the best time to visit New Zealand to experience and explore the bold and breath-taking wilderness, with multiple shades of green, brown and red. Individuals can trek through the alpine forests, indulge in rock climbing, camping, biking and other various outdoor activities as the pleasant weather conditions allow you to do so.
Homegrown is the longest running and most popular music festival, celebrated during late March. With more than 7 stages and 40+ bands performing, it is a great time to visit the country. Furthermore, World of Music, Art and Dance is an incredible festival, with artists from various countries performing their local art forms.
Even though it is a shoulder season, it does not mean that there is a huge drop in the number of tourists here. Since it is the period just before the chilling winters and after the summers, a lot of people tend to visit the place to experience weather conditions that are a mix of both. You should carry your umbrella and raincoats with you, especially while trekking or hiking.
New Zealand winters are deliciously frosty, with temperatures hovering from 1°C to 15°C. However, certain southern islands can average 10 to 12°C. This season is pleasantly cold, with not too many blizzards coming in from the ocean. Furthermore, almost all the precipitation during this time of the year comes in the form of snow.
Witness the majestic winter season smack in the middle of the year, a unique experience in itself! This is the best time to visit the country if you are interested in winter sports like skiing, snowboarding, heli-skiing and hiking through snow. For an adventurer and nature-lover, there is no better time to visit the country as you will get an opportunity to connect with nature. With this season seeing the least number of tourists, you can enjoy some tranquillity and serenity. Also, this is the most budget friendly season as all the rates are at their lowest.
If you are not adept at winter sports, do not worry. The Queenstown Winter Festival allows you to enjoy your time outdoors, with amazing music performances, film screenings, food and game stalls.
You need not stress about booking hotel rooms or flight tickets well in advance as this is the low season of the year. The more you travel to the southern islands, the more you’ll see a drop in temperature. Hence, make sure to pack warm winter clothing. When outdoors, do not forget to wear gloves as it can get really chilly. Also, while trekking along the glaciers, make sure to have a trek leader with you.
Now that you’ve befriended New Zealand, check out our travel package and embark on an adventure of a lifetime!