Every season in New Zealand has its own appeal. The summers (December – March) have long and fabulously sunny days – perfect conditions for chilling out on the beach or enjoying the outdoors by hiking, biking or snorkelling. It’s also a wonderful time for scenic drives, visiting wineries and enjoying festivals and sporting events. For wildlife lovers, dolphins and fur seals can be spotted off the South Island coast at the start of the year. As this is peak season, attractions are busier and booking your accommodation early is a must.
During the winter months, June and September, New Zealand becomes a magnet for skiers and snowboarders with snow expected in the South Island, as well as some mountainous regions in the North Island. Although the snowy landscapes are stunning, it can make travelling more difficult especially at higher elevations. In August, the North Island experiences milder weather than the South, drawing visitors to popular regions like Rotorua and the Bay of Islands. That said, those in the South Island can spot migrating humpback whales off the coast of Kaikoura.
For those looking to enjoy milder weather – and fewer crowds – then consider visiting in the spring or autumn. At the start of spring (September) the snow in mountainous regions starts to melt, resulting in full rivers that are ideal for white water rafting. This is also the time to see new born lambs grazing in fields, whilst orcas can be spotted off the coast. Autumn on the other hand (March – May) is perfect for those wishing to see, and photograph, beautiful fall foliage.