What is the Best Time of Year to Visit New Zealand?


As one of Australia’s closest neighbours, the Kiwi way of life is fairly similar to our own. However, when it comes to the scenery and landscapes, New Zealand is a completely different world. From towering snow-capped mountains and glistening glacier giants to tranquil freshwater lakes and verdant, bountiful forests, Aussies regard New Zealand as one of the most popular holiday destinations.

Throughout the year, the weather varies starkly on the North and South Islands. If you’re trying to figure out the best time of year to visit New Zealand, you must first know what you want to get out of your holiday.



spring lamb grazing on pasture in New Zealand

Bid farewell to those dreary winter days and say hello to longer days full of sunshine that will shift your mood for the better. If you choose to visit New Zealand in the springtime, you can observe the sight of lambs prancing in the meadows.

September may mark the begging of spring, but because the snow will stick around for a few more weeks, you will still have plenty of time to enjoy winter sports. The long October days will bring with them a change in the air, and by November, spring will be in full swing. Get ready to enjoy the outdoors in beautiful weather – right before the peak of high season.


New Zealand in the summertime is an absolute paradise for outdoorsy types. The immaculate beaches, wonderous mountains, and serene lakes are all soaked in sunshine. If you want to lose yourself in nature, grab a surfboard, hop on a bike, or lace up your hiking boots and head outside.

The December air buzzes with excitement in anticipation of the coming holiday season. With the longest days of the year, you will have more than enough time to explore. Enjoy the summer festivals taking place around New Zealand in January, the country’s warmest month. February is the month for racing, so if you enjoy getting your heart rate up, sign up for a run or triathlon.


If you want to avoid high season altogether, consider visiting New Zealand in the autumn months. Not only will the temperatures be cooler after a sweltering summer, but you will also have the hiking trails almost to yourself.

With warm days that cool off in the evening, March combines the best of late summer and early autumn. If you want to catch the changing leaves, April is the perfect month for that. It will be a bit chillier in May, but have no fear, the weather is bound to still be beautiful.


skiers on snowy mountain in New Zealand in winter

The best time to take advantage of New Zealand’s awe-inspiring mountains is the wintertime. If you’re crazy about winter sports, New Zealand is the place to be. Suit up and ski or snowboard across the Tasman Glacier. If you’re after more leisure activity, hit the quiet hiking trails, overlooked by the incredible mountain ranges.

Winter officially starts in June and so does the wait for the ski slopes to open. July is filled with winter sports enthusiasts zipping down the mountainsides, and the winter fun continues through August.

Are you ready to book your cruise holiday to New Zealand? Check out our top selection of New Zealand cruises or ring our Australia-based cruise experts on 1300 857 345 if you have any questions.

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