Planning a trip to New Zealand and not sure when to book it for? This is a real dilemma, while different seasons offer different experiences, it really comes down to what you want out of your trip. I personally find New Zealand is a place that, if you want to experience it, you must travel. There's no real 'hub' of where everything is, it's scattered all over the country, so the more 'outdoorsy' you are, the more you'll see and the more I think you'll come to love the place; just as I did.
New Zealand's landscape is ever-changing, one minute you could be driving through glacier-cut valleys and then the next through ancient beech forest. Due to this, the climate is always changing and unpredictable at times. The far north is scattered in golden sandy beaches and turquoise waters, experiencing a sub-tropical climate which consists of higher humidity and heat. While the south, getting hit by winds drawn in from the south is a lot colder, with it's high alpine environments, it's a guessing game as to what the weather is going to do. So if you're venturing outside, be a good outdoors person and check the forecasts, not just the national ones but the local/mountain ones too!
Summer, which is I would say is classed as December - March is the most popular time for tourists to explore. Those long summer days spent at the beach as well as not getting dark until 10pm; summer could be the time for you. Average temperatures vary across the country but you should expect anything between 20-25 degrees Celsius, sounds pretty good right?
A great time to travel! With the change of seasons comes the change of colours and if you're venturing outside with a camera, you'll find some truly magnificent sights while experiencing less crowds. Around the southern lakes is my favourite place to go to during Autumn, with many of them being glacier-fed, it gives a real contrast of colour with the changing colours of the New Zealand Fauna. If you're wanting to partake in tourist experiences, you might just be in luck. Some companies often give 'off-peak' rates for those wanting to join them out of their peak season.. winning!
If you're partial to some fresh mornings and snow-related activities, then NZ winter is for you. If you saw the same landscape both in summer and winter, you probably wouldn't recognise it; the place can change that much! What was an already incredibly photogenic place, times that by 10 and that is winter in NZ for you. Although if you don't enjoy being out in cold temperatures, it might not be the time of year for you.
With the temperatures warming, it's an amazing time of year to visit, with snow still capping off the high peaks. By late October, you can experience summer conditions before the crowds flock in for December, so those bucket list tourist destination are a must-do during this time.
If I had to pick a time for myself, it would be between Mid April and July. Personally I love winter and the feels of the fresh snow with snow-capped mountains as the back drop. I find the destinations and locations much quieter, so for exploring, there is much more appeal.
If you're looking for more information on New Zealand, check out my other blogs!