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There’s not one best time to visit New Zealand – the country’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 the lovely beaches or enjoying the many outdoor activities available, such as hiking and mountain biking.

June through to September is 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, but are still very pleasant times to visit. A fair sprinkling of rain can be expected throughout the year.

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Audley Travel Specialist Mary

Start planning your tailor-made trip by calling one of our New Zealand specialists at 1-844-250-3440

My favorite 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 color, providing a dazzling display of red and gold foliage.

Christopher, Australia, New Zealand & South Pacific Specialist

New Zealand Climate Guide

Destination Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Auckland 75°F 3" 75°F 4" 73°F 3" 70°F 4" 64°F 5" 61°F 5" 59°F 5" 59°F 6" 63°F 4" 64°F 4" 68°F 4" 72°F 4"
Blenheim 73°F 2" 73°F 1" 70°F 2" 64°F 2" 59°F 3" 55°F 2" 55°F 3" 55°F 3" 59°F 2" 63°F 2" 66°F 2" 70°F 2"
Christchurch 72°F 2" 72°F 2" 68°F 2" 63°F 2" 57°F 3" 52°F 2" 52°F 3" 54°F 2" 57°F 1" 63°F 2" 66°F 2" 70°F 2"
Dunedin 66°F 3" 66°F 3" 63°F 3" 59°F 3" 54°F 3" 48°F 3" 48°F 3" 50°F 3" 55°F 2" 59°F 3" 61°F 3" 64°F 3"
Kaikoura 70°F 2" 70°F 2" 68°F 4" 63°F 3" 59°F 3" 54°F 3" 54°F 4" 54°F 4" 57°F 2" 61°F 3" 64°F 3" 68°F 2"
Marlborough Sounds 70°F 4" 70°F 3" 66°F 4" 63°F 5" 57°F 6" 52°F 6" 52°F 6" 52°F 6" 55°F 5" 59°F 5" 63°F 5" 66°F 4"
Milford Sound 64°F 12" 66°F 8" 61°F 13" 55°F 11" 50°F 11" 43°F 9" 43°F 9" 46°F 9" 50°F 12" 55°F 13" 57°F 11" 61°F 12"
Queenstown 72°F 3" 72°F 2" 66°F 3" 59°F 3" 52°F 3" 46°F 3" 45°F 2" 48°F 2" 55°F 3" 59°F 3" 64°F 2" 68°F 3"
Rotorua 73°F 4" 73°F 4" 70°F 5" 64°F 4" 59°F 5" 55°F 6" 54°F 5" 55°F 6" 59°F 5" 63°F 5" 66°F 5" 70°F 5"
Wellington 68°F 3" 70°F 2" 66°F 4" 63°F 4" 57°F 5" 54°F 5" 52°F 6" 52°F 5" 55°F 4" 59°F 4" 63°F 4" 66°F 4"

Month-by-month guide to traveling in New Zealand

Glenorchy, New Zealand

Visiting New Zealand in September - October

Temperatures begin to rise and snow on the mountains starts melting, making this a fantastic time for white water rafting as the rivers are full and fast. The weather is changeable, but as most tourists are yet to arrive the roads are quiet and accommodation is easier to secure. September is also a brilliant time to see newborn lambs gamboling in the fields and orcas gracing the coastline with their presence.

Why travel with Audley?

Trip ideas and travel guides to exploring New Zealand

Trip ideas for exploring New Zealand