Best Time to Visit New Zealand

One of the most common questions we are asked here at HQ is ‘When is the best time to visit New Zealand?’ It’s a very valid question, and whether you’ll be taking time off work, or are already retired, it’s a big deal – you’ll want to be certain you’re travelling at the best time of the year.

When we answer this question for our guests, we’ll often ask what their priority is, and from there we can give them an idea of the best time of year to visit New Zealand, in order to maximise their experience. We’ve detailed some of the most popular things to see and do in each season in New Zealand, and also thrown in some information about average weather conditions and what to expect. Head over to our blog post ‘Best Time to Visit New Zealand’ for more information. Remember, the seasons in New Zealand are opposite to the northern hemisphere – which can be handy if you want to travel and avoid weather at a certain time of year.


  • Months: September – November.
  • North Island averages – 16-20⁰C (60-68⁰F), 90-120mm rainfall.
  • South Island averages – 13-19⁰C (55-66⁰F), 60-100mm rainfall.
  • Something you’ll see: Newborn lambs.
  • What you could do: Spring skiing.


  • Months: March – May.
  • North Island averages – 17-22⁰C (62-71⁰F), 90-130mm rainfall.
  • South Island averages – 13-19⁰C (55-66⁰F), 60-100mm rainfall.
  • Something you’ll see: Beautiful autumn colours.
  • What you could do: Enjoy having the walking trails all to yourself.


  • Months: December – February.
  • North Island averages – 20-24⁰C (68-75⁰F), 60-100mm rainfall.
  • South Island averages – 19-23⁰C (66-73⁰F), 35-60mm rainfall.
  • Something you’ll see: Cobalt blue lakes.
  • What you could do: Snorkel with seals.


  • Months: June – August.
  • North Island averages – 11-15⁰C (51-59⁰F), 120-150mm rainfall.
  • South Island averages – 7-12⁰C (44-53⁰F), 70-130mm rainfall.
  • Something you’ll see: natural hot pools.
  • What you could do: Make a snow angel in a UNESCO World Heritage site.

More Information About New Zealand

These pages are a great place to find more information about New Zealand. Whether you’re a keen hiker, a foodie, a wine-lover, a photographer, or all of the above, these pages are full of useful information.

About New Zealand

If you’re not sure where to start in planning your trip to New Zealand, head to this page – it’s the best place to find all sorts of information about New Zealand.

Walking and Hiking

This page is full of information about the Great Walks we’ll experience on our trips, as well as the other beautiful day walks we’ve chosen to include.


New Zealand is a popular destination for photographers. Here we’re talking about where and when you’ll find some of the most popular photo subjects.

Wine Regions

New Zealand’s reputation as a producer of some of the world’s best wine is always growing. Here we’ll tell you about the regions you can visit on trips with us.

Milford Sound

Milford Sound is one of the most famous destinations in New Zealand. Here we’re talking about the gem of the Fiordland National Park, and why it’s so special.

Local Fare

New Zealand produces a lot of its own delicious fresh produce. On this page we’re talking about Kiwi delicacies, and the the best place, and time of year, to try them in.

Our Trips

Elegant South

A walking experience that takes in the best of the South Island from top to bottom. From the picture perfect inlets and hidden coves of the Marlborough Sounds, pristine golden sands and lush forest of Abel Tasman, to whale-watching in Kaikoura, the wine country of Queenstown, remote Martins Bay and the grandeur of Milford Sound.

US$7999 + TAX11 Days

Timeless North

When it comes to variety, the North Island delivers superbly. Walk on New Zealand’s ‘wine island’ of Waiheke and the incredible landscapes of Waiotapu Thermal Wonderland, take in the volcanic central plateau and Rotorua, take afternoon tea at Chateau Tongariro, and visit Sanctuary Mountain, a remarkable species protection project.

US$3999 + TAX6 Days

Beautiful South

The far south of New Zealand is defined by dramatic and beautiful mountain landscapes waiting to be experienced on foot, in the air, and from the water. Relaxing, adventurous and comfortable in a location like no other on the planet – the Wakatipu basin, Fiordland and the Great Walks of New Zealand are all on show in this incredible trip.

US$5999 + TAX10 Days

Pristine New Zealand

Experience both islands in all their grandeur. Geothermal landscapes of the North Island, New Zealand’s ‘wine island’ of Waiheke, and more. Then it’s on to the South Island to explore Queenstown, walk the ‘Great Walks’ of Milford, Routeburn and Kepler, cruise on Milford Sound, jetboat the Dart River, and stay in stunning Glenorchy.

US$8499 + TAX13 Days

Why Travel With Us?

There are plenty of options out there, but being in the game for over 21 years teaches you a thing or two about being the perfect host. We’ve got it down to a fine art.

Unbeatable Local Knowledge

We’ve spent a long time getting to know and exploring the best and hidden treasures of our beautiful country, and weaving them into exquisite trips.

First-Class New Zealand Guides

To us, first class leader is so much more than a knowledgeable and capable guide – they’re a humble, responsive host, dedicated to making sure it all comes together seamlessly.

Superb Food & Wine

So much more than lush forest, mountains and isolated beaches – we’ve made sure the finer things in life are part of your New Zealand experience.

Unique experiences in stunning locations

There are plenty of incredible places to experience in New Zealand. But it’s the timing, elegance and added extras that make unforgettable and unique to your vacation.

Adventure at a leisurely pace

There’s no need to rush. We make sure we take the time to really soak in our surroundings with great walks at your pace and the chance to kick back and relax as you see fit.

20+ Years Experience

Experience counts. It has given us the judgement, foresight and ability to create beautifully crafted walking adventures in New Zealand, ensuring our clients have a first class trip of a lifetime.

New Zealand Walking Tours is proudly presented by Active Adventures, global leaders in delivering adventure trips of a lifetime.

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