The Best Time of Year to Visit New Zealand
I’m going to give it to you straight. The weather in New Zealand is not always as beautiful as the pictures make it look. When the sun is out and there are huge white puffy clouds speckling the bright blue sky, and the aqua ocean is glistening, and the green rolling hills are dotted with fluffy sheep…yes, it is picture perfect. But, on the days when the land is shadowed with a blanket of thick gray clouds or the heavens have opened and are pouring down rain, it is not picture perfect. It is cold. It is wet. And it can be miserable. What?! You thought New Zealand was a tropical paradise? Nope. Think again. It is a paradise. But not the hot, palm tree, sipping pina coladas in the shade kind of paradise. We don’t want the weather to ruin your holiday plans! So, we’re sharing what we think is the best time of year to visit New Zealand so you can enjoy your stay!
These are the warmest and driest months in the country. If you visit during these months, you will be sure to find warm welcoming beaches. The weather will be hot enough for you to enjoy a dip in the cold water where you can snorkel, paddle board, kayak, surf, or swim.
May, June, October, November
The weather is still unpredictable during these months. You may get a warm day here or there. You may get rain. You may get both. But these transitional months aren’t filled with complete rain like you’ll find in the winter months. You can still enjoy walks on the beach and hikes through the bush, but the water won’t be as inviting. There will be a nip in the air but when the sun is out it will be so welcoming.
Unless you specifically want to visit for snow or cold weather, avoid New Zealand during these months at all costs! This is the rainy, cold, and purely damp months. You cannot guarantee when it will or will not rain. Sure, you may get some bright sunny days mixed in these months. But it is totally unpredictable…even the weather men get it wrong all the time! If it’s not raining, then it will most likely be cold. And cold to the bone because of the humidity. Plus, most homes in New Zealand are poorly insulated and don’t come with heating. So, you’ll be cold outside and inside. There’s no escaping it. But, you could get lucky and find a home that is updated and provides heating. If you’re set on visiting during this time, do your research and pack lots of layers.
What we Recommend
If you love warm weather, then definitely visit during December-April…it’s our favorite time! If you love cooler weather and don’t mind rain here or there, then you’ll enjoy May, June, October, or November. You will find that when the sun is out, everyone comes out of their hiding like a bear waking from hibernation. Everyone loves soaking up the sun. Everyone takes advantage of the nice weather.
December and January are busy touristy times because schools are out for their summer holidays. If you want to beat the crowds, then wait to visit in February-April.
The most important thing to note is to bring sunscreen! And slather it on! The sun in New Zealand is extra powerful because of the big hole in the ozone layer and the lack of pollution to give protection. So, if you don’t want a nice sunburn for your souvenir, then layer it on!
Thorn: Winter in New Zealand is cold, wet, windy, damp!
Rose: Summer in New Zealand is picturesque!