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New Zealand's rugged beauty and varied landscapes make it a spectacular destination to visit at any time of year. The summer months of December to March bring long, bright and sunny days, ideal for visiting some of the country's lovely beaches or enjoying some of the many outdoor activities available, such as hiking and mountain biking. June through to September are likely to bring snow to the South Island as well as some of the North Island's more mountainous areas, attracting skiers from far and wide. The spring and autumn months herald milder weather and fewer visitors while still being very pleasant times to visit, and a fair sprinkling of rain can be expected throughout the year.

Speak to someone who's been there

Audley Travel Specialist Lindsay

Start planning your tailor-made trip by calling one of our New Zealand specialists on 01993 838 820

Month-by-month guide to travelling in New Zealand

Visiting New Zealand in January - February

The warm sunny days of summer make this an ideal time to visit, particularly for snorkelling or outdoor pursuits, but it can be harder to find accommodation. School holidays run into the first two weeks of January, while tourists arrive in large numbers to make the most of the warm climate until the end of February. It's also a great time to spot dolphins and fur seals off the cost of the South Island.

Lake Taupo, New Zealand

Events & Festivals

  • Marlborough Food and Wine Festival (February): This is New Zealand's longest running wine festival, right in the heart of the world-famous wine producing region. Read more »
  • Rugby Sevens in Wellington (January to February): Rugby Sevens lights up Wellington as thousands flock to watch the country's favourite sporting event. Read more »
  • Wellington Fringe Festival (February to March): Wellington Fringe Festival brings masses of entertainment in the form of music, comedy and theatre to venues across the city. Read more »


New Zealand Climate Guide

Place Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
90 Mile Beach & Cape Reinga 24°C 62mm 25°C 68mm 23°C 74mm 21°C 96mm 19°C 93mm 17°C 124mm 16°C 121mm 16°C 116mm 17°C 94mm 19°C 73mm 20°C 72mm 22°C 65mm
Auckland 24°C 68mm 24°C 103mm 23°C 88mm 21°C 114mm 18°C 122mm 16°C 126mm 15°C 131mm 15°C 142mm 17°C 97mm 18°C 91mm 20°C 92mm 22°C 95mm
Blenheim 23°C 54mm 23°C 35mm 21°C 54mm 18°C 62mm 15°C 66mm 13°C 55mm 13°C 70mm 13°C 70mm 15°C 54mm 17°C 60mm 19°C 50mm 21°C 51mm
Christchurch 22°C 43mm 22°C 39mm 20°C 53mm 17°C 56mm 14°C 64mm 11°C 52mm 11°C 68mm 12°C 57mm 14°C 36mm 17°C 44mm 19°C 45mm 21°C 44mm
Dunedin 19°C 80mm 19°C 66mm 17°C 87mm 15°C 72mm 12°C 84mm 9°C 76mm 9°C 81mm 10°C 70mm 13°C 61mm 15°C 72mm 16°C 71mm 18°C 82mm
Punakaiki 20°C 217mm 20°C 155mm 19°C 200mm 17°C 233mm 14°C 254mm 12°C 237mm 11°C 230mm 12°C 220mm 14°C 259mm 15°C 257mm 17°C 256mm 18°C 232mm
Queenstown 22°C 75mm 22°C 51mm 19°C 84mm 15°C 66mm 11°C 78mm 8°C 71mm 7°C 56mm 9°C 59mm 13°C 74mm 15°C 86mm 18°C 62mm 20°C 72mm
Rotorua 23°C 107mm 23°C 113mm 21°C 131mm 18°C 111mm 15°C 119mm 13°C 144mm 12°C 137mm 13°C 160mm 15°C 136mm 17°C 124mm 19°C 116mm 21°C 136mm
Taranaki & New Plymouth 22°C 122mm 22°C 105mm 21°C 125mm 19°C 136mm 16°C 159mm 14°C 167mm 13°C 177mm 14°C 156mm 15°C 136mm 16°C 139mm 18°C 134mm 20°C 130mm
Wellington 20°C 81mm 21°C 63mm 19°C 97mm 17°C 105mm 14°C 127mm 12°C 139mm 11°C 146mm 11°C 136mm 13°C 105mm 15°C 104mm 17°C 96mm 19°C 93mm

Trip ideas and travel guides to exploring New Zealand

Driving in New Zealand
New Zealand

Self-drive holidays in New Zealand

A self-drive holiday in New Zealand is undoubtedly the best way to see this magnificent country. It has wonderful scenery and due to a small population relative to its size, the roads feel largely empty.

Rafting on the Tongariro River near Taupo
New Zealand

Activity holidays in New Zealand

There is such a vast range of activities available on a tailor-made trip to New Zealand. We'll ensure your holiday is exactly what you want it to be by including activities we know you will enjoy.

Sarah visiting Lake Matheson, New Zealand

My favourite month to visit is March when the crowds of summer have departed, leaving quieter walking trails, empty beaches and good availability in many of the small boutique lodges. The temperatures are pleasant and there is plenty of sunshine. Across the South Island, trees gradually start to change colour, providing a dazzling display of red and gold foliage.

Sarah, New Zealand Specialist
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