NZ Lake Tekapo Lupins
Nz north bayofplenty matakanaisland
Stewart Island Southland
Newzealand north tongarironp mangawherofalls
NZ Lake Tekapo Lupins
Nz north bayofplenty matakanaisland
Stewart Island Southland
Newzealand north tongarironp mangawherofalls
The four seasons of

New Zealand

Located in the Southern Hemisphere, New Zealand's seasons are the opposite of those here in the UK - with the hottest months being January and February, and the coldest months July and August. But if you're wondering which season is best to visit, you've come to the right place!

New Zealand's weather

New Zealand's weather is similar to that of the UK, where you can experience all four seasons in just one day - however, in terms of temperature, North Island, being closer to the Equator, has a subtropical climate, so it is warmer and sunnier, as for South Island, being closer to the Antarctic, it is naturally slightly cooler.

Still, some parts of New Zealand can receive up to 2,000 hours of sunshine per year - an upgrade from the mere 1,400 hours here in the UK - with a few of the sunniest places being Nelson, Blenheim, and Christchurch in the South Island, and Bay of Plenty, Tauranga, Auckland, and Wellington in the North Island.

Yet, we can't talk about the sun without mentioning the rain - although rain can happen all year round, it is most likely to occur during autumn and winter.

But we're Brits, and the rain doesn't really bother us after all - besides, after the rain comes the fun, as one of the most iconic natural phenomena occurs in Fiordland National Park, with the formation of endless natural waterfalls - a truly incredible sight that must be witnessed!

Spring

We've said it before, and we'll say it again: spring is one of the best times of the year to visit New Zealand. The vibrant and colourful lupins in bloom are a sight to behold, as are the cute baby animals that have only just been born across the country.

And having lived in New Zealand for so long means that we know - and can tell you - that it is waterfall season - one of the most breathtaking natural phenomena that occurs across New Zealand at this time of the year. A result of the snow melting and filling the falls with rushing, cascading waters!

All of New Zealand is best seen in spring, as both islands are at their most stunning and welcoming as they begin waking from their wintertime rest - making spring attractive to outdoor enthusiasts and leisure aficionados alike.

One of our favourite places to visit in spring is the Fiordland National Park, especially Milford and Doubtful Sound - one of nature's most jaw-dropping places, to be visited at a time when there are hardly any tourists around, meaning you can truly take in the breathtaking surrounding scenery, without interruptions.

Best destinations in spring

Two people walking on a trail through the mountain
Aoraki/Mount Cook
Explore Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park, New Zealand's most dramatic natural beauty. It has the highest mountains, longest glaciers, and permanent snow.
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A person in a red t-shirt and black shorts standing near a stream surrounded by mountains
Fiordland National Park
The Fiordland National Park is 1.2 million hectares of unparalleled natural paradise and is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
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View point of green forest and long stretch of beach | New Zealand nature
Coromandel
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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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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Summer

There is something about New Zealand in summer that is just special and magical. The long days and carefree nights, the sun shinning upon the most striking and rugged of landscapes, and the slow-paced celebratory feeling in the air just make New Zealand even more appealing and welcoming.

While all of New Zealand can be visited in summer, if it's the crystal clear lakes and the stunning beaches that call out to you, then there are plenty of water activities to engage in.

Now, if you're a feet firmly on the ground kind of traveller, then New Zealand in summer has so much to offer, such as hikes, bush walks, cultural experiences, wine tastings - you name it, it's all possible.

But can we let you in on a secret? While it is peak season down under, and most places tend to be crowded at this time of the year - if you're looking to visit New Zealand in summer, we know just where to send you so you can enjoy the country as if you were travelling in shoulder season.

Best destinations in summer

Two people paddling in a kayak on turquoise water towards a forested rock formation
Abel Tasman National Park
Abel Tasman National Park is one of New Zealand's most popular national parks and an outdoor adventurer’s dream.
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mountain head on small peninsula surrounded by blue ocean
Bay of Plenty
Experience stretches of white sand coastline, an abundance of lakes, waterfalls, lush native forests, and geothermal wonders in one of New Zealand's most unique regions.
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Aerial view of a green mountain peak with a river winding around the bottom of it
Queenstown
Discover one of New Zealand's most thrilling destinations.
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Jetboat in an amazing scenery | New Zealand active holiday
Mount Aspiring National Park
Due to its location on the South Island, Mount Aspiring National Park is one of the least developed national parks in New Zealand. It, therefore, has a large area of untouched wilderness, which is attractive to the more adventurous spirits.
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Autumn

Alongside spring, autumn is one of our favourite and best times of the year to visit New Zealand.

A spectacle of natural colours from the north all the way to the south, it's places like Arrowtown that provide some of the most striking autumn displays, with stunning trees bursting with every shade of yellow, orange, and red.

In terms of weather, this is one of the most amenable times of the year to visit, with temperatures averaging between seven and 21 degrees.

One of the best places to visit in autumn is Marlborough Sounds. This intricate maze of remote inlets, forests, golden sand beaches and bays - is one of the best spots for outdoor enthusiasts and wine lovers alike, offering both exciting activities such as kayaking and mountain biking, as well as leisurely walks among the vineyards and wine tasting sessions.

Best destinations in autmun

Explore the outskirts of Wellington | New Zealand holiday
Wellington
Wellington is a vibrant and compact city, bursting with things to see and do. I
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A woman cycling past a huge mural in a city
Christchurch
Christchurch is the perfect base for South Island exploration.
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Kayak, sail or hike in the Marlborough Sounds | New Zealand active holiday
Marlborough Sounds
The majestic Marlborough Sounds are an intricate maze of remote inlets, forests, golden sand beaches and bays.
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Winter

New Zealand in winter is something else altogether - with snow-capped mountains, sunshine, and bright blue skies - it’s an endless array of breathtaking natural sights and outdoor playgrounds.

With the awe-inspiring scenery and friendly local hosts and guides keen to share their slice of heaven with you, the slow-paced tempo, and so few people around, you may feel like you have the whole country to yourself - unless you are in a ski resort, of course!

On the North Island, temperatures are a lot higher, between ten and 16 degrees; at the same time, on the South Island, it can snow and freeze during winter, making it ideal for winter activities in places such as the Central Plateau, Canterbury, and Central Otago regions.

If you're dreaming of visiting New Zealand we know the places where you can find the sun and pleasant temperatures even during wintertime. Come and talk to us when it's convenient for you; we're available every day - and let TravelEssence make your dream holiday a reality.

Best destinations in winter

Aerial view of a green mountain peak with a river winding around the bottom of it
Queenstown
Discover one of New Zealand's most thrilling destinations.
Discover more
A person in a red t-shirt and black shorts standing near a stream surrounded by mountains
Fiordland National Park
The Fiordland National Park is 1.2 million hectares of unparalleled natural paradise and is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Discover more
Two people walking on a trail through the mountain
Aoraki/Mount Cook
Explore Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park, New Zealand's most dramatic natural beauty. It has the highest mountains, longest glaciers, and permanent snow.
Discover more
A view looking from inside out of hole in a glacier
Franz Josef Glacier
Franz Josef Glacier is surrounded by untamed rainforest, is at the height of nearly 10,000 feet above sea level and stretches over nearly eight kilometres.
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