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Six reasons why the best time to visit New Zealand is fall

When traveling to New Zealand there’s really no bad time to visit. And although the obvious choice might be Summer (because, SUN) or winter (yes, our snowy mountains are as epic as they look in the pictures) we think a trip down-under during fall has a lot going for it.

Think shades of gold, crackly trees and crisp mornings melding into still-warm days. The tourist crowds have long dispersed and our most iconic hotspots take on a lazy vibe, perfect for exploring at a slower pace. So read on for six reasons why fall is the best time to visit New Zealand.

  1. The weather. Particularly down South the mornings are brisk and clean, drifting into pleasantly warm days. During fall the weather is at its most consistent, perfect for scheduling time in our great outdoors.
  2. The water. Ok, so we probably wouldn't recommend swimming in one of our alpine lakes, but the beaches of the North are still warm enough for an ocean dip - and best of all, they’ll largely be deserted.
  3. The people. Yes, we realize New Zealand is hardly bursting at the seams! but our main tourist centers more than double in size during the peak months which can make getting around time consuming. In Autumn, peak season is over, which means less people to contend with.
  4. The Leaves. This one’s kind of obvious, but we really did need to take note - because when it comes to seasonal colors, New Zealand steps it up a level. Entire hillsides are burnished in brilliant hues of orange, red and gold. If you’re a keen photographer Queenstown’s historic neighbor - Arrowtown - is the best place to be at this time of the year, but really, anywhere with a botanic garden will boast exceptional colors.
  5. The Hokitika Food Festival. At this renowned food festival, you'll see a quirkier side to the kiwi culture with delicacies such as fried huhu grubs, worms, pigs ears, fish eyes, scorpions and pigs blood casserole. Not for the faint of heart!
  6. The wildlife. Orcas and Dolphins frequent the Wellington Harbor at this time of year so If you're into wildlife up close, this one's for you. Watch from the waterfront as these amazing mammals pass through on their migratory path. Also, for those keen on fishing, March to May is when large schools of fish come closer to the shore due to the warmer waters. Use light tackle and throw a line from the beach or charter a boat and trawl off the coast. Home to some of the freshest seafood in the world, if you're a keen fisherman, there's no better time to visit New Zealand.