by SmarterTravel Staff

For many travelers, New Zealand is both a dream destination and a once-in-a-lifetime place to visit. Use this New Zealand travel guide to learn where to go in New Zealand, when to visit New Zealand, what to eat in New Zealand, and more. Hobbit enthusiasts and adventure travelers, we've got you covered, too.
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When to Visit New Zealand

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  • high season: December to February
  • low season: May to September
  • shoulder season: October to November, March to April

New Zealand offers an enjoyable vacation climate any time of the year. The busiest time to visit is during the summer months of December through February, when students are on vacation from school. Avoid the rush of local crowds by traveling in the spring (October through November) or fall (March through April). Hiking in the mountains attracts a large number of sightseers, primarily during the summer since many trails close due to adverse conditions in the winter.

Weather Information

Average temperatures throughout New Zealand range from 40 to 90 degrees. In the mountains, temperatures drop during the colder months of June through August. Away from the mountains, the winter climate remains mild with very few instances of temperatures falling below freezing. The highest temperatures occur during the summer months of December through February.

Crowd Information

Summer months tend to be crowded with families traveling with children. Easter is also a very busy time for New Zealand tourism.

Closure Information

Hotels, restaurants, and shops are open year-round. Hiking trails may close due to severe weather. It can snow at any time of the year, even during the summer.

Other Information

With the sudden weather changes, it is advisable to wear layers while sightseeing.

When to Save

December through February is generally more expensive as it is peak travel season. A less expensive time to travel is April through October.

When to Book

Discount prices for airfare and accommodations are commonly offered from April through October.

Information provided by Tourism New Zealand.

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