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Bespoke family journeys downunder

Best time to visit New Zealand for families

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What is the best travel time for your family? There are multiple answers to this question. Do you need to travel during the school holidays? Or are your children under five? New Zealand can be explored all year round, giving you the flexibility to choose a season that matches your family's interests and availability.

New Zealand, four seasons in a day

New Zealanders often talk about having four seasons in a day. The weather can be very changeable from the morning to the afternoon, with sunshine, wind and rain, all in the space of a few hours. We recommend wearing layers that can be easily removed, especially during outdoor activities.

September to November- Watch your children fall in love with the newborn animals and bright, blooming flowers of spring. Average daytime temperature: 18 °C.

December to February- The summer months are the busiest time in New Zealand. Locals are exploring their backyard and many visitors are arriving. Average daytime temperature: 23 °C.

March to May- Autumn is a great time for families to travel New Zealand, with fewer crowds, and stable temperatures. Average daytime temperature: 19 °C.

June to August- Winter in New Zealand coincides with the United Kingdom’s summer school holidays, giving you more time to explore the country. Average daytime temperature: 14 °C.

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Spring - September to November

Spring is a perfect time for families to travel, with colourful flowers and cute newborn animals that the kids will simply adore. Waterfalls are at their most spectacular, temperatures are mild and fewer tourists, make for a relaxed atmosphere. It’s a great time to visit the plunging waterfalls of the Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound.

Explore the Bay of Islands | New Zealand holiday
Explore over 140 sub-tropical islands of the Bay of Islands
Horse riding along rugged beaches | New Zealand active holiday
Go horse riding along the rugged beaches of New Zealand

Summer - December to February

You will find the locals at the beach or around lakes during the summer months. The long, sunny days are perfect for kayaking, snorkelling, sailing and swimming with dolphins. The striking red flowers of the Pohutukawa trees are in full bloom. It’s a great time to visit the Franz Josef Glacier.

Summer is also the busiest period with locals and visitors enjoying the sunshine, so you should expect more crowds. We recommend travelling in a different season. If you would prefer to travel in summer, it's vital to book well in advance.

Hidden gems of the Bay of Islands | New Zealand nature
Uncover hidden gems of the Bay of Islands

Autumn - March to May

Autumn is our most recommended season to travel New Zealand. The warm, autumn colours are delightful, the weather is stable and the temperatures are pleasant for outdoor activities such as hiking and cycling. It starts to get a bit colder in April and often the mountains are already covered in snow. The kids will love the snowy peaks!

April is the best time to see the leaves changing and all the vineyards in full bloom. Be sure to try one of New Zealand's many amazing wines."

Ben, Travel specialist
Spotting birds in Kaikoura | New Zealand holiday
Kaikoura is home to an array of birds, whales, dolphins and seals
Hiking through Fiordland National Park | New Zealand active holiday
Fiordland National Park has plenty of family-friendly walking trails

Winter - June to August

If you are travelling with school-aged children, the summer holidays in the United Kingdom are the winter months of New Zealand. The mountains are covered in snow and the rain falls a little more regularly. Benefit from fewer crowds and better accommodation deals.

Are you snowsports enthusiasts? Take your family skiing in the South Island. The North Island has a milder winter than the South Island, making it a great time for hiking and cycling.

Scenic flight South Island | New Zealand holiday
Conquer the mountains of New Zealand - the ski season runs between June & October

"Between mid-March and the end of April is a great shoulder season, where you can visit all highlights without the crowds."

Ben, Travel specialist
Enjoy the views on a scenic flight over Lake Tekapo | New Zealand holiday
Enjoy the views on a scenic flight over Lake Tekapo

We would love to meet you and discuss the best travel time. Contact us to make an appointment at our office or from the comfort of your home.

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