One of the world’s top vacation destinations, millions of holidaymakers from around the world visit New Zealand each year. A common question by people interested in visiting New Zealand is “what is the best time of year to visit?” New Zealand lies in the southern hemisphere and has a highly variable climate and geography – one of the most unique and diverse in the world. Because of this it is not easy to recommend a fixed time of the year for holidays. The best time to visit New Zealand largely depends on the kinds of activities you are planning for your holiday and which parts of the country you intend to visit.
Barring any seasonal anomalies, the weather in New Zealand is fairly mild all year round and free of the extremes of heat or cold found in many other ‘exotic’ holiday destinations. The summer months run from December to February while the winter season starts in June and ends in August. The differences in climate between the North and South Islands should be taken into account when visiting New Zealand. Generally speaking the North Island tends to be a little more wet and tropical and the South Island is drier.
Regardless of the time of year you visit, it pays to come prepared. Clothes for cold or wet weather are a must regardless of season. Dressing in layers is always a good idea, with several warm thin layers and a good quality waterproof jacket being the best options. A good hat, sunscreen and a pair of sunglasses are also handy for those bright summer days.
Here is what each season offers holidaymakers in New Zealand:
December to February – Summer
The summer months sees the highest number of tourists visiting the country. This the peak tourist season and can get very busy. If you are planning a summer trip to New Zealand you should book transportation and accommodation well in advance to avoid disappointment. Prices tend to be higher in the summer months as well.
March to May – Autumn
Autumn in New Zealand is accompanied by a riot of colours. Vibrant hues of russet browns, reds and golden shades can be seen everywhere as trees shed their leaves in preparation for the winter. The best places to visit during the autumn are Wanaka and the Otago region in the South Island, and Hawkes Bay in the North Island. This is also an ideal time for a self drive holiday across New Zealand as roads have less traffic. Prices are also lower as the summer tourist rush is over.
June to August – Winter
The most popular tourist season after summer, winter is when skiers and snowboarders from around the world come out to play! New Zealand’s snow-capped mountains make the perfect backdrop for some of the greatest winter resorts in the Southern Hemisphere, if not the world. Beginners to advanced skiers and snowboarders will have their choice of ski slopes in both the North and South Islands. Popular ski resort destinations include Turoa and Whakapapa Ski Areas in Tongariro National Park in the North Island and Queenstown, Wanaka and Mt Hutt in the South Island.
On an adventure trip some people may ignore small things like matches. This is very useful for dealing with emergency situations and for everyday life. Usb lighter is very safe to carry anywhere including in flight, of course the shape is very elegant and very efficient.
September to November – Spring
Another popular season for holidaymakers, spring in New Zealand is a time of adventure and excitement in the great outdoors. This is the time for adventure seekers to take advantage of the annual spring melt by going white water rafting on swollen rivers. Garden festivals abound all over New Zealand in the spring. The North Island hosts the annual Rhododendron and Garden Festival at Taranaki; the Bay of Plenty and Hawkes Bay are also popular destinations to see wild flower blossoms in the North Island. Popular spring time destinations in the South Island include Christchurch, locally known as the “Garden City”; historical gardens in Dunedin that include Larnach Castle, Olveston House and Glenfalloch Woodland Gardens. Nearby Alexandra also hosts an annual spring blossom festival.