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When is the best time to visit New Zealand?

Find out when the best time is to visit New Zealand based on price, peak season and what you want to do.

Updated

Fact checked

Got your eye on a trip to New Zealand? We’ve figured out the ideal time to go based on your holiday needs.

Best times to visit New Zealand

  • December–February for outdoor activities and sightseeing
  • June–August for snow sports

Why?

New Zealand offers a little bit of something for everybody. During summer you can tramp its network of trails, clink glasses in a lauded winery, or test your wits against all manner of extreme sports, from canyon swinging to zorbing.

During the winter months the place to be is on a snow-capped mountain, barrelling down on skis or a snowboard, at one of the country’s best ski resorts.


Overview

New Zealand enjoys all four seasons. Summers are mild with highs of 30℃ while winters are chilly with lows of 0℃.

The islands are a popular holiday destination for Australians due to the short flight time, and the availability of low-cost flights. Steer clear of school holiday periods, as well as the peak snow season, to cash in on cheaper flights and accommodation.


Weather and prices

To enjoy warm weather and clear skies, the best time to travel weather-wise is December to February.

The most economic period to search for flights and hotels is during the shoulder seasons, from March to May, and September to November. During the wintery low-season, between June and October, you can also find heavy discounts if you head to destinations that are outside the ski resort towns.


Best time to visit New Zealand for...

  • Extreme sports: Most extreme sports operate year round but for the best experience visit during summer between December and February.
  • Snow sports: New Zealand’s ski season isJune to August.
  • Hiking: As summers are mild, tramping during the Christmas holidays is still a possibility. For cooler weather, tramp during autumn or spring.
  • Wine breaks: Visiting wineries between November to February offers you the chance to see the vineyards prior to harvest, which is typically the busiest time of the year for workers.
  • Glacier hikes: Franz Josef and Fox glaciers are located in mountainous areas where the weather can vary greatly and is extremely unpredictable. Helicopter companies can decide whether or not to fly to the glaciers just minutes before flights are scheduled, so it’s advisable to keep an eye on the weather on a daily basis before booking a visit. You can keep on top of the weather forecast here.

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