When is the Best Time to Visit New Zealand? | About New Zealand

When is the Best Time to Visit New Zealand?

Queenstown South Island Best time to travel New Zealand

When is the Best Time to Go to New Zealand?

The best time to visit New Zealand is based on a number factors including where you’re planning on going, what interests you, your budget and what you think is the best weather for you personally when traveling. Being New Zealand travel experts since 1999, we have collected data that helps our customers make the decision about when the best time to travel to New Zealand is for them. If you want to be inspired as you travel, check out a few of our New Zealand vacation packages or contact us if you have more questions. We would be more than happy to help you start planning your trip. Here are a few things you should consider when planning a trip to New Zealand.

1. New Zealand’s Weather & Climate

When will the New Zealand climate be the most comfortable for you based on what you plan on doing in New Zealand? Here are useful charts on Climate Highs & Lows and Average Rainfall.

Seasons in New Zealand


September – November (Chilly at night, high 50s to 60s)


December – February (Lovely, high 60s to 70s)


March – May (Cool, temperatures average in the 50s)


June – August (Cold, averaging in the 40s. Does get colder in mountain ranges.)

Temperatures in New Zealand

The hottest temperatures in New Zealand are really never that hot. The hottest temperature on record is over 110 degrees Fahrenheit but thankfully, the weather in New Zealand usually warms up to only about 75-80 degrees.  It can get hotter in the North Island than the South Island, opposite to the US.

The coldest temperature on record for New Zealand is -7F but again that’s the extreme, usually a warm coat and umbrella will keep you cozy in the average 30-40F weather. New Zealand is known for having four seasons in one day in certain areas. Our best tip is to wear layers and be prepared for a chill or rainy weather!

Average High and Low Temperatures for New Zealand Cities in Degrees Fahrenheit

Average temperatures of New Zealand for the best time to visit.

New Zealand Rainfall

New Zealand does not have a wet season. Over the northern and central areas of New Zealand more rain falls in winter than in summer, whereas for much of the southern part of New Zealand, winter is the season of least rainfall. In areas where rainforest make up the landscape like Milford and Doubtful Sounds, rain can be heavy anytime of year – but that’s what makes the area so amazing! New Zealand is also known to have all four seasons in one day, so rain should be planned for throughout the year, just in case.

Average Rainfall for New Zealand Cities in Inches

Rainfall in New Zealand for the best time to visit nz

For more information, visit whatstheweatherlike.org, NIWA and MetService. They have detailed information for New Zealand cities.


2. School Terms & Holidays

Seat availability, tours and accommodations could be limited or priced higher during New Zealand’s holiday season. New Zealanders typically travel around school holidays and you may find that the months of December – February are harder to book or more expensive.


3. Seasons for Flight Prices

Airfare pricing to New Zealand is affected by the dates you choose to travel ranging from Basic Seasons (low prices) to Peak seasons (expensive). Choosing a travel by date within these seasons will determine the cost of your flight.

Airline Seasonality:

Basic (Low Prices) May 1st to June 8th and Jul 24th to September 21st.

Shoulder (Mid-range): February 1st – April 30th, June 9th to July 23rd, September 27th to December 8th.

Peak (Expensive): December 9th – January 31st  

4. Seasonal Activities

There are some activities in New Zealand that only apply during certain seasons. For example, if you’re a skier, obviously you’ll want to travel during New Zealand’s Winter months (June-August) and the above factors don’t apply. Whale watching season is also best in June-August.

Diving can be done year-round, but the best diving experiences are January to June. This falls toward the end of summer and all through fall where water temperatures range from 45-70F depending on where you diving.

However, being aware of all conditions even if you’re planning around a special event or activity is essential for traveling in New Zealand. Because the weather can fluctuate in a day, it never hurts to be prepared for everything.


5. The Best time to Go to New Zealand

Weather wise, there is never bad time to travel to New Zealand. It is a coastal country, so the weather is pretty mild year round. This means traveling to New Zealand never requires more than a coat and an umbrella (unless you’re skiing of course.)

Based on all factors above, the best time to visit New Zealand would be Spring (September – November) or Fall (March – May). This travel period provides inexpensive flights, comfortable weather and because they’re not high seasons there are fewer travelers you’ll bump into.

Hopefully, you’ve found this information useful. If you have questions, want advice, or just need help planning your trip, don’t hesitate to call us Toll Free at 888-359-2877 (M-F, 8:30am – 5pm CT USA). We would LOVE to help you plan your dream vacation to New Zealand!

Traveling to New Zealand? Need help planning your trip? We’d love to help you!

We’re Experts at custom vacations to Australia, New Zealand & the South Pacific. Tell us your interests, preferred travel dates and we’ll custom build your itinerary and send you a Quote (no obligation).

Contact Us toll free on 888-359-2877 (8.30am-5pm, M-F, CT USA)

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