Why Spring is the best time of year to visit New Zealand
Spring in New Zealand is one of the best times of year to visit. Controversial, we know. While the obvious choice is a summer holiday, here at Fine Tours we think spring is the way to go. Here's why:
The weather is settled and mild. Okay, we're not saying it's perfect all the time, but this time of the year predominantly brings bright mornings and warm, calm afternoons. Ideal for exploring the great outdoors.
The flowers are in full bloom. Spring in New Zealand is the ultimate showcase of nature's beauty. Lush fields of daffodils, cherry blossom, wild lupins, and brilliant rhododendrons: the full extent of New Zealand's flora is on magnificent display.
There are less people. Spring being a shoulder season: there are fewer people around; the main centers have smaller crowds; and many of the popular outdoor attractions are quiet. It's the best time to walk the Milford Track, see the West Coast glaciers or explore the Bay of Islands.
It's the best time to explore the hiking trails. If hiking is your thing, spring is the best time take to the hills and explore New Zealand's many hiking trails. The mild weather and fewer people mean you won't get too hot and you're more likely to have the trail to yourself.
You'll have a better chance to see local wildlife and farm animals. Springtime equals prime time for whale watching; many different species can be viewed from both the North and the South Island. And spring is breeding time. All the kiwi chicks hatch during this period of the year, not to mention the millions of lambs and calves born on farms all around the country.
The Ski Fields are still open. Many of the ski fields are still open during spring, offering a chance to enjoy great snow without the extreme cold of winter skiing. Indeed, spring often brings large snow dumps to enjoy and is the perfect time to try a classic New Zealand 'surf in the morning, ski in the afternoon' day experience.
It's warm enough to swim. Ok, so you probably wouldn't want to swim in the deep South just yet, but certainly, in the rest of the country, it's warm enough for a dip. And with fewer people around you'll have many of the beaches to yourself.
It's a splendid time to go fishing. As the water starts to warm and the fish begin to spawn, spring is one of the best times to go fishing. Vast quantities of anchovy, pilchards, whales, kingfish, dolphins and snapper are found in Auckland's Hauraki Gulf. And around the country you'll compete with less locals for your catch.
Spring is New Zealand's ‘waterfall season.' Snow melt from the winter transforms the country's rivers and streams, multiplying the subsequent waterfalls to magnificent effect. The best place to see these is Milford Sound — where thousands of streams cascade down its sheer cliffs.
It's the best time of year to visit Hobbiton. While flowers aren't precisely the common reason for visiting Hobbiton, the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit film set is blooming at this time of year with flowers covering much of its grassy surrounds. You'll feel as if you are really in the ‘Shire' and not just the movies.
You may also be interested in reading:
- 7 Best places to see famous New Zealand wildlife
- Top spots: The best places to see on your New Zealand vacation
- A three minute guide to the Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand
View some of our most popular tours:
- The 9 day Essential South Island
- Classic 22 day Christchurch to Auckland touring route
- 14 day Essential Luxury New Zealand