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


Editor’s note: This blog post was last updated on by

New Zealand is one of Australia’s closest neighbours, and although the way of life over there is not too different from our own, the scenery and landscapes are almost otherworldly. Soaring snow-capped mountains with awe-inspiring glaciers, serene and tranquil freshwater lakes and lush green forests make New Zealand one of the most popular holiday destinations from Australia. But the climate and weather varies greatly on the islands throughout the year. Depending on what you want to get out of your trip, find out the best time of year to visit New Zealand.


A spring lamb grazing on a pasture in New Zealand

Say goodbye to dreary winter weather and enjoy longer days and the shift in mood that extra sunshine brings. In New Zealand this is the time of year to enjoy the sight of lambs frolicking in the fields.

If you’re visiting in September there’s still plenty of time to make the most of winter sports, as the snow will still be around. October will see a change in the air and longer days, and November is when spring truly steps in to force, bringing beautiful weather to enjoy the outdoor scenery before the height of the tourist season.


A New Zealand beach in the summer

New Zealand is an outdoor lover’s paradise in summer. The beaches, mountains and lakes are basked in sunshine, perfect for surfing, cycling, hiking and getting back to nature.

December has a buzz in the air in anticipation of the holiday season, and as the days reach their longest there’s plenty of time to explore your surroundings. January is New Zealand’s warmest month, so there’s plenty of summer festivals taking place. February is when most sporting races take place, with runs and triathlons held across the country.


A scenic landscape in New Zealand, autumn

If you want to visit New Zealand outside the peak tourism season, the fall months are undoubtedly the best. You’ll get the hiking trails almost to yourselves, and the weather will be thankfully cooler after the hot summer.

March makes the best of late summer, with warm breezes and cooler evenings. April catches the brilliance of the changing leaves, and May sees the temperature drop further but still with undoubtedly beautiful weather.


Skiers on a snowy mountain in New Zealand in winter

Make the most of the incredible mountains with winter sports like skiing and snowboarding across the Tasman. New Zealand is the go-to destination for Australian snow sport enthusiasts. Winter is also a great time to take to the hiking trails, as they’re quiet and surrounded by incredible snow-topped mountains.

June is officially the start of winter, and the wait for the ski fields to open begins. July is all go on the mountainsides, and the fun continues in to August.

Book your cruise to New Zealand with, with Princess, P&O Australia, Carnival and many other cruise lines to choose from.

Images sourced via Flickr Creative Commons. Credit: Alex Schwab, Andrea Schaffer, Robert S

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Cruise1st Australia Team

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