When Is The Best Time To Travel To New Zealand?

New Zealand is a beautiful place to visit, especially if you love having easy access to rolling hills, beaches, and even snow covered mountains all within a few hours of each other. In addition to the wonderful landscapes, New Zealand is home to the Hobbiton Village movie set and the country has a diverse range of wildlife, such as exotic birds like the kiwi and yellow-eyed penguins.

If you plan on visiting New Zealand, making sure you visit at the right time is very important. Here are a few things that you need to consider when determining when is the best time to travel to New Zealand for your trip:

Understand The Seasons In New ZealandNew Zealand set

Before you start planning you trip, make sure that you are aware of the season in New Zealand. If you are traveling from countries in the Northern Hemisphere such as the United States, United Kingdom, or Canada, the seasons you are used to are the opposite in New Zealand since it is located in the Southern Hemisphere. The seasons in New Zealand are:

  • Spring – September, October, and November
  • Summer – December, January, and February
  • Autumn – March, April, and May
  • Winter – June, July, and August

What Do You Want To Do In New Zealand?

Before you plan the dates of your trip, it is important that you take the time to decide what exactly you want to do in New Zealand. If you want to visit Christchurch and see the snow covered mountaintops, the best time to visit might be in the early spring. That way you are able to see the stunning landscape in bloom but still have a chance of snowfall. A good time for that would probably be in September.

If you are going to New Zealand to visit areas like Mount Hutt on South Island for skiing, you will need to visit during the winter season. Most ski areas start to open in the middle of June which is ideal. If you are planning on having a car hire so you can drive yourself you need to be careful when planning winter trips as road conditions can be difficult in the harsh winter months.

Avoid The Crowds

When you visit New Zealand it is probably best that you avoid any local holidays, especially breaks from school, as this is usually when New Zealanders take their own holiday trips as well which means higher prices for hotels, less accommodation availability, and popular destinations are usually a lot more crowded. Some of the school holidays include:

  • Mid-December until the end of January.
  • The first weeks of April.
  • The first 3 weeks of July.
  • The last week of September to the first week of October.

One of the worst times to travel to New Zealand is probably Christmas and New Year. Even though the weather is great during the summer, many stores are closed for the holiday weeks and locals are all taking their holiday trips so everything is crowded.

So when exactly is the best time to visit New Zealand?

If you plan on visiting during the warmer season, February is ideal. The weather is settled, the temperatures are typically warmer, and school has started back by then. Visiting in February will typically help you avoid a lot of rainy days as well.

If you have special plans for your trip to New Zealand, though, such as skiing you will need to plan your trip based on when those type of activities are open. The same goes for whale watching, visiting the penguins, and other wildlife attractions—make sure to research when the best time to see those events are and plan your trip accordingly to avoid popular local holidays.

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