When is the best time to visit?
The best times to visit New Zealand are the spring months from September until October and the Autumn months from March until April.
December until February marks the main school vacation period when caravan parks, beaches and tourist hotspots are the busiest.
The winter months from June to August are best for skiing and snow sports, but the cold weather and rain make it a tricky time for other outdoor activities.
- 6 International Airports
- 107 Domestic Airports
- Motorcycles and mopeds
- Public transport: Trains, buses, ferries
- Ports and harbours
New Zealand has a mild climate with sharp regional variations. Mean annual temperatures on the south island are around 10 degrees and around 16 degrees on the north island.
Winters in the south island can be quite chilly and there is usually lots of snow between June and October.
Be prepared that rain is quite common for most of the year, with the far south receiving the most rain, and the north island the least.
Average Annual Temperature
Average Annual Rainfall
World Heritage Sites
- New Zealand Sub-Antarctic Islands: Five islands groups that is famous for its biodiversity and wildlife. The islands have huge numbers and varieties of birds, plants and invertebrates that are not found anywhere else in the world. They are particularly notable for the large number and range of seabirds and penguins nesting there.
- Te Wahipounamu: This area in southwest New Zealand became a World Heritage Site in 1990 and incorporates Fiordland, Westland, Mount Aspiring and Mount Cook National Parks. It is a spectacular landscape of fjords, rocky coastlines, towering cliffs, lakes and waterfalls. It is also home to the kea, the only alpine parrot in the world.
- Tongariro National Park: The scenery in this national park ranges from fields to forests, tranquil lakes to desert-like plateaux and active volcanic mountain ranges. Tongariro is a location of cultural and religious significance to the Maori, symbolising the spiritual links between the human community and its natural environment.
- January 1 - New Year's Day
- January 2 - Day after New Year's Day
- February 6 - Waitangi Day
- March/April - Good Friday
- March/April - Easter Monday
- April 25 - Anzac Day
- June 1 - Queen's Birthday
- October 26 - Labor Day
- December 25 - Christmas Day
- December 26 - Boxing Day
Why Visit New Zealand?
- One of the best adventure holiday destinations in the world
- Lots of outdoor and adrenaline activities for intrepid travellers
- A favourite destination for backpackers due to its reasonable pricing
Things To Do
- Go hiking in one of New Zealand's spectacular national parks
- Have a traditional Mãori feast
- Visit Rotorua volcanic springs
- Enjoy a relaxing day shopping in Wellington
- Go bungee jumping, quad biking or sky diving
- Ski or snowboard in Wanaka or Queenstown
- Walk through the glacier at Milford Sound
- Visit the homes of the Hobbits from Lord of the Rings in Mata Mata
- The bus system in New Zealand is very good, making travelling between locations easy.
- Pavlova, a baked meringue cake, is an iconic dessert here and a point of contention between Australia and New Zealand.
- Traditional Mãori food is also available and noteworthy for using earth ovens for cooking, which take hours but make for some delicious food.
- For something different try whitebait which are the fingerlings of a freshwater fish served in a fried patty.
- Generally New Zealand is very safe for travellers but ensure you have travel insurance before starting your journey.
About New Zealand
With endless, unspoilt landscapes consisting of glaciers, volcanoes, sprawling valleys, lakes, amazing mountains, endless beaches and a huge amount of wildlife, New Zealand is the place to go if you’re looking for an outdoor adventure holiday.
There’s a good reason why so many international film crews come here every year, and it’s high time you discover it too. Sort out travel insurance for New Zealand before starting your trip, get your passport ready, and go visit the land of the kiwis.
Arriving in New Zealand you are immediately faced with a tough choice: explore the North Island or head to the South Island. Both offer amazing things to see and many different activities, and the two are also quite different from each other, making for a very diverse travelling experience.
'The City of Sails' as Auckland is known, is the largest city in New Zealand, and also the place where most travellers will arrive.
To have a look at the local art scene, head to the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tãmaki, which has an excellent selection of local and international art.
For history buffs, the Auckland War Memorial Museum was built in the 1920s and contains a lot of information on New Zealand's military history as well as an excellent selection of Mãori and other Polynesian art.
While you’re in the area, make sure to check out the famous winter gardens –they’re well worth a stroll.
Rotorura is probably one of New Zealand's busiest tourist centers, home to beautiful hot springs and a great spot to experience the world famous mãori culture.
Probably one of the best places to go to is Waimangu Volcanic Valley. It’s a stunning geo-thermal ecosystem with unique bush, rare botany and beautiful geysers and hot springs. The area has several different hikes and walks ranging from a quick 45 minute walk to a more committing 4 hour walk - whichever one you choose, it will be stunning! Before setting off on any hikes, take out travel insurance for New Zealand.
There are also several beautiful lakes and waterfalls in this area. Rotorua is also a great place to try a traditional mãori feast with its unique cooking technique, the earth oven. Many restaurants around the area offer this (known as Hangi), and you will be delighted by the smoky and earthy flavor.
Wellington is the most southern city on the north island and offers lots of arts and culture, as well as being the stepping-stone to the South Island. On a rainy day head to Te Papa, which is the national museum.
Wellington is nice to explore on foot, and the city center is actually quite compact - be aware though that it is built at slightly odd angles making it all too easy to lose orientation.
The South Island is where most adventure travellers head, and here you find everything from stunning beaches and great hikes to glaciers and world class skiing.
Christchurch is the biggest city here and definitely fun to explore, but the most famous town on the island is probably Queenstown. Set between dramatic mountains and a beautiful lake, this tiny town boasts to be the adventure and adrenaline capital of New Zealand.
The amount of activities on offer here is staggering: bungee jumping, kayaking, white water rafting and hiking, and these are just the first few to come to mind.
Queenstown is also the place to come if you want to party with other travellers, as this small town is quite the travellers heaven. Before setting off on any big adventures though, make sure you have appropriate New Zealand travel insurance.
If Queenstown is just too busy for you, the place to go to is Wanaka. Famous for not having any chain stores at all (apart from one supermarket), this city is very quiet and laid back for most of the year, until the world famous skiing festival starts - which is a blast even if the town gets a little bit busy.
The main thing to do in Wanaka is skiing, with many great mountains close by. You can walk to the valley where 'The Lord of the Rings' was filmed, or you can enjoy a big night out by visiting all four pubs in town.
New Zealand is truly a spectacular nature and adventure destination, brimming with natural beauty and an alluring outdoors lifestyle.
For more information on New Zealand, visit the New Zealand Tourism Website.