January – Northland
Summer is when Northland really comes into its own as the place to be in New Zealand. It is the hottest region of New Zealand and is best visited in the height of summer when you can spend the whole day swimming and basking in the heat. Find the lighthouse that marks the Northernmost point of the country in Cape Reinga, walk along vast stretches of beach and go dune-boarding. If you’d prefer to be in the water to stave off the heat, the water is perfect for snorkelling, kayaking and boating among 144 islands in the stunning sub-tropic Bay of Islands.
February – Hawkes Bay
The long warm days in the Bay have drawn many a visitor to the area, where you can marvel at wonders both natural and man-made. In the city of Napier, you can find Art Deco buildings, friendly locals and tour the vineyards. Outside the city limits, you can take a bike ride along one of the many trails or head up Te Mata Peak for spectacular views of the region in all directions.
March – Wellington
Visit the country’s capital at the beginning of autumn to take advantage of a good day, where the sun shines on its many amazing features and the ever-present wind is a light northerly rather than strong southerly. Take a trip up Mount Victoria to see the whole city from above, visit Parliament or head outside of the city to one of the other towns in the region such as Lower Hutt, Upper Hutt, Kapiti Coast or the Wairarapa.
April – Milford Sound
Once the summer crowds have thinned out, the Milford Sound experience becomes uncrowded and more appealing to visit. You can enjoy the atmosphere of the incredible natural surrounds in an environment that suits such an incredible area. Unpredictable autumn weather means that you will see the sounds in all their glory, from the misty rain, to sunny clarity and waterfalls in full flow. Take a kayak tour or boat cruise and enjoy a walk through one of Fiordland’s forest areas, watching the leaves change as you go.
May – Rotorua
As autumn ends and winter approaches, stop by the geothermal wonder that is Rotorua to warm-up. Watch as the cooler weather emphasises the steam, bubbles and geysers that Rotorua has in abundance.
June – Dunedin
At the beginning of winter the place to be is Dunedin, where the snow can get as low down as the city centre. This is the place to be for a true winter experience, where you can visit New Zealand’s only castle, enjoy the Midwinter Carnival, enjoy the snow and the nightlife at the Octagon (Dunedin’s town centre).
July – Queenstown/Wanaka
It’s the middle of winter and the best place to be is on the ski slopes! Queenstown and Wanaka are recognised as New Zealand’s premier destinations for skiers or snowboarders, offering a range of commercial mountains that will suit all abilities and ages. Plus, the mountains and scenery in the areas come alive as they are blanketed with snow.
August – Christchurch
Towards the end of winter, more skiing/snowboarding can be done in the nearby mountains that surround the city. The city itself continues to be restored, while its temperatures and South Island location mean you can expect clear, cold nights with negative temperatures. A trip to the famous New Brighton pier or a punt down the Avon river are recommended activities.
September – Hamilton
The first weeks of spring offer you the chance to return to the North Island and visit New Zealand’s famous Hamilton Gardens, where the flowers will be blooming! While in the area you can also visit Hobbiton or the famous Waitomo glow-worm caves.
October – Taupo
This month is a great time to try out the activities around (mountain biking), on (visit the rock carvings), or over (skydive) New Zealand’s largest lake, witness the mighty Huka Falls or bathe in natural hot springs.
November – Auckland
No trip to New Zealand is complete without a stop by its largest city and November is the perfect time to experience it, as the year winds down but holidays have not yet started and as spring makes way for summer. Take the ferry to Waiheke, explore the Hauraki Gulf, take a trip up the Skytower or just travel around Auckland’s many suburbs, the choice is yours. Go north of the Harbour bridge for even more experiences to enjoy.
December – Coromandel
The beginning of summer in New Zealand is always a fantastic time, full of lots of fun in the sun. Holidays are taken and families across the country make trips to the warmer parts of NZ. The further north you go, the warmer it gets, and we love the Coromandel peninsula for its many beaches, warm water and plenty of areas to explore.
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