When is the best time to travel to New Zealand?

Summary of content of this post

You’re thinking about going to New Zealand but you don’t know when to do it? Calm down! Because in this post we want to talk about the best time to travel to New Zealand, about the weather in New Zealand and about all those other things that influence choosing one time or another to travel to New Zealand: seasons, interesting events, low and high seasons, prices, etc… What is the best time to travel to New Zealand? Let’s start!

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If you want to read more information about our route through New Zealand you can find it here: complete guide of New Zealand, how to organize a trip to New Zealand in camper, how to pack for New Zealand, travel from Spain: flights, stops, prices, duration of the trip…

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How do you choose the best time to travel to New Zealand? What you need to know

We always tell you in this kind of posts that the best time to travel to New Zealand is the one you choose, because there is no bad time.

There are only better times for one type of traveler or worse times for another. But don’t worry, because at the end of this post we will give you our opinion.

In any case, in this post we want to make a general analysis focused mainly on the most important aspects for first time travelers, not only on the climate.

The seasons in New Zealand

One of the most important things to consider when deciding which time of year to travel to New Zealand is that the country is in the southern hemisphere.

I suppose you know that, but the fact that New Zealand is in the southern hemisphere means that its seasons are distributed throughout the year completely the opposite of how they are in Spain, for example.

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This means that when summer starts in Spain in June, winter starts in New Zealand. And that when in Spain we start to put the Christmas tree, in New Zealand they are in swimsuit giving everything on the beach (although they also put the Christmas trees 😝 ).

The climate is not the same all over the country

Another thing you should keep in mind when preparing your route through New Zealand is that it is a rather long country with many mountains. And we are not telling you this because we like the obvious, but because the climate is not the same in the whole country in all times. Mount Cook and Cape Reinga are like comparing the Aragonese Pyrenees with the Canary Islands. Do you know where I’m going?

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So, since you’ll most likely be taking a route across the country, the smart thing to do, no matter what time of year you go, is to pack so that you can dress like onions: in layers.

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The weather or the season is not the only thing you have to take into account when choosing your moment

For example, we also think it is essential that you know that in high season the price of accommodation or camper will rise a lot.

You will also need to book everything (hotels and accommodation) in advance to ensure availability. The same goes for any activities or excursions you want to do once you are there, such as visiting Hobbiton, the Waitomo Caves or the Milford Sound cruise.

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In general, in your summer (December to February) everything will be more crowded: campsites, beaches, trekking, rest areas, tourist attractions…

The weather in New Zealand month by month

Focusing only on the weather at the moment, if you live in Spain, you should know that the weather in New Zealand is similar to ours, except that as islands, in general the temperatures are much milder (it is not usual for them to go up more than 24 or 25 degrees or go down 4 or 5 degrees) all year round and it is much more humid.

In New Zealand it rains a lot more than in Spain, especially on the west coast of the South Island and in the Wellington area (slightly less in the Christchurch area). The green had to come from somewhere, don’t you think? 😉

Guía de Nueva Zelanda: Wellington - ¿Cuál es la mejor época para viajar a Nueva Zelanda?Guía de Nueva Zelanda: Wellington - ¿Cuál es la mejor época para viajar a Nueva Zelanda?When is the best time to travel to New Zealand?

After this short summary about how the weather is in general in New Zealand, we will analyze the temperatures and humidity month by month, so that you have a little more idea of which are the best/worst months (taking into account only the weather).

In this simple climogram you have the most important meteorological events of each month, the temperatures (blue for fresh and green for mild and temperate) and also the color on top of each month indicates the season (blue for winter, green for spring, yellow for autumn and orange for summer).

It is important for you to know that in New Zealand it rains quite a lot ALL year round, but in general in most regions of the country it rains a little more in the central months of the year.

Also, you have to take into account that the weather in New Zealand is quite changeable and in one day it can go from sun to rain and vice versa 10 times. 100% real.

Weather and prices in New Zealand by season

New Zealand in spring: September, October and November

Spring is the time we choose to travel to New Zealand. Specifically, we were in the country from October 18 to November 10. And the truth is that we would definitely travel to the country at this time.

Ruta por Nueva Zelanda | Etapa 1: Hamilton Gardens - ¿Cuál es la mejor época para viajar a Nueva Zelanda?Ruta por Nueva Zelanda | Etapa 1: Hamilton Gardens - ¿Cuál es la mejor época para viajar a Nueva Zelanda?When is the best time to travel to New Zealand?

At this time of the year it is still cool, with minimum temperatures of 8 degrees and maximum of 18 degrees, but it is a super nice time to do some sightseeing around the country (except when you get a water lick). In any case, keep in mind that at night the temperatures drop quite a bit and that if you are going to sleep in a camper you are going to need some warm pyjamas 😉

As it is not the high season, there are far fewer people everywhere and it is easier to find affordable accommodation or rent a camper or caravan at a reasonable price.

New Zealand in summer: December, January and February

December, January and February are the three high season months in New Zealand. Temperatures are warm throughout the country (with minimums of about 12 degrees and maximums of about 25 degrees) and although it also rains, it is usually the driest months of the year (in New Zealand the term dry does not exist in terms of climate) or less humid.

In addition, the days are longer and you will enjoy many more hours of light.

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The beaches get crowded, there are many more festivals and outdoor events, New Zealanders go trekking and hiking in the mountains and in general all the tourist places get up to the flag (without becoming overcrowded), including the campsites (especially if they are free or cost little money), of course.

It is important to know that if you travel to New Zealand at this time of year everything will be much more expensive and you will have to book much earlier.

New Zealand in autumn: March, April and May

This is one of the best times to travel to New Zealand because it is no longer high season, the temperatures are very mild (minimum of about 10 degrees and maximum of 20 degrees), there are fewer people everywhere, less traffic and you can enjoy the autumn colors.

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However, keep in mind that this is Easter time, so that will also influence prices and occupancy.

If we hadn’t travelled in October and November we would surely have chosen April or May.

New Zealand in winter: June, July and August

In the central months of the year it is cold (although it is not usual for temperatures to drop below 4 or 5 degrees, except in some areas) and snowfalls are common in mountain areas.

It’s a time when travel to New Zealand is very cheap. If you want to save on your trip, it could be an interesting time for you. However, keep in mind that you will have few hours of light (between 9 and 10 hours) and that maybe it is not the best time to travel in camper (because of the cold).

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This is the best time for snow sports lovers because in New Zealand there are many areas where you can practice skiing and snowboarding in all its forms. So for this type of tourism, it is indeed high season.

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When is the best time to travel to New Zealand? Important events in New Zealand

And now that we’ve talked about the weather and the seasons, let’s talk about something that’s also very important when you’re deciding which season is best to travel to New Zealand.

Because in addition to the climate and the seasons of the year, in New Zealand the seasons and the cultural and leisure events that go with them are very important. Very attentive!

Guía de Nueva Zelanda: Kaikoura - ¿Cuál es la mejor época para viajar a Nueva Zelanda?Guía de Nueva Zelanda: Kaikoura - ¿Cuál es la mejor época para viajar a Nueva Zelanda?When is the best time to travel to New Zealand?

So, what’s the best time to travel to New Zealand?

If we stick to everything we’ve been telling you throughout this post, the worst times to travel to New Zealand would be: July and August (because of the winter cold and snow in some areas) and December, January and February (because they are the most touristic months and the country is full of tourists).

But we assume that in our opinion the best time to travel to New Zealand is any time, because every time has something that makes it special. And besides, it depends a lot on your tastes and the kind of traveler you are. New Zealand is always cool, any time, so it doesn’t matter when you have your holidays, if you feel like travelling to New Zealand, go for it!

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But you came here to be told the best time to travel to New Zealand, so that’s what we’re going to do.

For us, the best time to travel to New Zealand is between mid-October and early December. Why? Mainly because of two things: mild temperatures, fewer people at all, more affordable prices and an exultant spring that shows the green meadows and parks full of flowers.

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You know we try to escape the crowds (although New Zealand is not really a country of crowds), so we would not travel to New Zealand in its summer or at Easter. This doesn’t mean that you should do the same or that the rest of the seasons are not cool, just that we are called less, although we think that the end of March and April can also be a great option (you know we are passionate about autumn).

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Do you want to organize a trip to New Zealand like this?

Find cheap flights to New Zealand here.

The best accommodation in New Zealand here.

Get 25 euros for your apartment with Airbnb here.

Book your New Zealand caravan/camper here.

The best excursions and tours in New Zealand here and here.

What are the best travel cards?

Change money at the best price here.

Take out your travel insurance with a 5% discount here.

The best New Zealand guides here.

Other content that you are probably interested in:

If this post about what is the best time to travel to New Zealand has known you little by little, you should know that we have a group about trips to New Zealand on Facebook in which travelers from all over the world participate with their questions and answers related to their trips to this wonderful country. So if you have any questions that we haven’t answered in this post, don’t hesitate to stop by and ask your questions, we’ll be happy to help!

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