Nz fiordland national park bird barton matthews discoverpage detail best travel time
Nz catlins coastline barton matthews5 discoverpage detail best travel time
Nz mt Seftons glaciers mount cook barton matthews20 discoverpage detail best travel time
nz-south-mount cook- sealy tarns track
Nz fiordland national park bird barton matthews discoverpage detail best travel time
Nz catlins coastline barton matthews5 discoverpage detail best travel time
Nz mt Seftons glaciers mount cook barton matthews20 discoverpage detail best travel time
nz-south-mount cook- sealy tarns track
Best time to travel to

New Zealand

Naturally outstanding, New Zealand is a beautiful destination throughout the year - with each season bringing life to the stunning landscapes in different ways. But which is the best season to visit New Zealand?

Choosing the ideal time to travel to New Zealand is one of the most important things when planning your memorable experience.

By having a team with first-hand experience of living in New Zealand - either by having been born there or by travelling to and living there for many years - and having experienced New Zealand throughout the various seasons, we are in the perfect position to craft the perfect holiday itinerary, tailor-made just for you.

But why do we recommend travelling to New Zealand in shoulder season?

  • By travelling in shoulder season, such as autumn (March to May) and spring (September to November), you can truly immerse yourself in the destination without the noisy crowds around you, allowing you to enjoy a more authentic interaction with local communities and attractions.
  • Flights, accommodation, and attractions are typically more affordable, and they offer better availability, allowing you to stretch your budget further and potentially indulge in unique experiences or longer stays.
  • By visiting in spring, you know you will be greeted with the most stunning display of blooms and cute baby animals, while autumn provides the most spectacular contrast of colours from the surrounding landscape.
  • Shoulder season is also the best time for you to spend more quality time with your hosts and guides - to learn about New Zealand from the friendly locals who love to share their knowledge and insider tips with you.

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Best travel time by season

Understanding the seasonal variations is essential when planning your travel to New Zealand - for one, the seasons in New Zealand are the opposite of those here in the UK and generally speaking, the best time to visit depends on your preferences and which destinations you want to explore.

By working together, we provide you with a holiday itinerary that will be full of unique self-drive routes and awesome things to do, making sure it suits your ideal travel tempo with all the care and attention you need to have the best holiday in New Zealand.

  • Between September and November is spring time, which means alpine flowers, baby lambs, and the first swims in the Pacific Ocean. As temperatures begin to rise and the snow melts, this is a fantastic time for white-water rafting as the rivers are full and fast.
  • Between December and February is summer down under - the long, sunny days of summer make it the busiest period in New Zealand, but also one of the most striking to visit this magical country.
  • Between March and May, it's autumn in New Zealand; all of New Zealand is accessible at this time of the year, and around this time, you can enjoy fewer crowds, mild temperatures, and warm autumn colours in full bloom, making it one of the best seasons to visit.
  • Between June and August, is wintertime down under. However, this can still be a busy season for the areas famous for their winter activities such as ski resorts.

"Even on a rainy day, Fiordland National Park will leave you speechless".

Kieran, Travel specialist

Best travel time by destination

Southern Scenic Route Catlins Neuseeland 5
South Island
Discover the natural beauty of Canterbury, the spectacular Fiordland National Park, the picturesque Lake Wanaka and the mountain ranges of Central Otago.
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Nz bay of islands sailing nature view friends see and do easy going
North Island
Discover the mystical Rotorua, the Art Deco scenery in Napier, New Zealand’s capital city, the golden beaches on the Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland, and much more.
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A woman cycling past a huge mural in a city
Christchurch is the perfect base for South Island exploration.
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Boat in a lake with towering mountain peaks in the background
Milford Sound
Situated within Fiordland National Park, it's a magical place considered one of New Zealand's most spectacular natural attractions.
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Amazing mountain view Queenstown region | New Zealand nature
Queenstown and Wanaka
Queenstown is New Zealand's adventure capital, centred around the crystal waters of Lake Wakatipu and nestled between dramatic mountain ranges.
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People walking over a swing bridge
Rotorua is known for its volcanic wonders and rich Maori culture.
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A woman dressed in black looking over a turquoise blue crater lake
Tongariro National Park
Home to three active volcanic mountains, and iconic and majestic landscapes, Tongariro National Park is the oldest national park in New Zealand.
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View point of green forest and long stretch of beach | New Zealand nature
Surrounded by a mountainous interior, misty forests, pristine beaches, volcanic activity, and adventurous hiking trails, Coromandel is a favourite holiday spot among New Zealanders.
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Nz marlborough sounds

Would you like to find out a little more?

We offer regular online presentations. Get to know New Zealand a little better. And see if you like what we offer and what we can offer you. It’s free, of course, and no obligation. You can find our next online presentations here.

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At TravelEssence, we specialise in crafting custom-made holidays that take you off the beaten path and create memories to last a lifetime. We believe in connecting with the heart and soul of a place, introducing you to the locals who call it home. Engage in conversations with fascinating individuals who will share their stories, traditions, and way of life, leaving an indelible mark on your journey.