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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.

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Audley Travel Specialist Jessie

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

Month-by-month guide to traveling in New Zealand

Lake Taupo, New Zealand

Visiting New Zealand in January - February

The warm sunny days of summer make this an ideal time to visit, particularly for snorkeling or outdoor pursuits, but it can be harder to find accommodation. School vacations 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.

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 favorite 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 »
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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"

Trip ideas and travel guides to exploring New Zealand

Rafting on the Tongariro River near Taupo
New Zealand
Road to Glenorchy, Queenstown
New Zealand
Sarah meeting a traditional Maori lady, Rotorua, New Zealand

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.

Sarah, Concierge Service