Travel to New Zealand in Autumn

Travel to New Zealand in autumn

🍁 Why Travel to New Zealand in Autumn?

As summer says bye and the leaves in New Zealand turn fiery, a fantastic display of autumn colors unfolds.

The cool air, golden sights, and the calm feel of the season make Autumn a lovely surprise for travelers seeking a memorable New Zealand adventure.

In this guide, we’ll explore the charming side of traveling to New Zealand in Autumn, where the scenery turns into a lively mix of colors and cultural celebrations.

1. Weather and Climate

Fall in New Zealand spans from March to May, bringing mild weather and a burst of changing colors.

Knowing the weather basics is crucial for planning a trip during this beautiful season.

  • Pleasant Temperatures: Enjoy daytime weather between 10 and 20 degrees Celsius (50 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit)—pack layers to stay comfy during cool mornings and evenings.
  • Colorful Leaves: Watch landscapes transform as trees turn red, orange, and gold shades. Coastal spots like Hawke’s Bay and Central Otago show stunning autumn colors.
  • Rainfall: While there might be occasional rain, it’s usually less than in the wetter winter and spring months.

weather in autumn

2. Autumn Festivals and Events

During Autumn, there are different festivals and events across New Zealand, the most popular ones are:

  • Marlborough Wine and Food Festival (February/March): Even though it’s almost the end of summer, this festival sometimes stretches into early Autumn. Enjoy Marlborough’s top-notch wines and local treats, surrounded by pretty vineyards.
  • Arrowtown Autumn Festival (April): Join the fun in Arrowtown as they celebrate Autumn with week-long parades, markets, and cultural events in this charming town.
  • Wildfoods Festival, Hokitika (March): Dive into the Wildfoods Festival in Hokitika, where you can discover New Zealand’s remarkable culinary wonders, like wild game and native ingredients.

events and festivals in autumn

3. Scenic Autumn Landscapes

Some cool places to visit during this period are the following:

  • Central Otago: Embark on a road trip through the breathtaking Central Otago region, famous for its vineyards, orchards, and beautiful landscapes. Visit the historic gold-mining town of Arrowtown to stroll through charming streets adorned with autumn leaves.
  • Hawke’s Bay: Discover the beauty of Hawke’s Bay wine country, where vineyards and orchards burst into autumnal colors. Take a scenic bike ride along the Hawke’s Bay Trails, winding through orchards and farmlands along the coast.
  • Fiordland National Park: Immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring Milford Sound, surrounded by the vibrant hues of Autumn, providing a unique view of this iconic fjord.

landscapes in autumn

4. Outdoor Activities

There are plenty of activities you can do while you travel in Autumn. The most popular during this time of the year are the following:

🏞 Hiking and Nature Walks

  • Discover the tranquility of Autumn with hikes in national parks such as Fiordland and Tongariro.
  • Explore the Abel Tasman Coast Track, where the season’s changing colors enhance coastal landscapes.

📸 Photography Expeditions

  • Capture the beauty of autumn by doing photography expeditions in regions like Lake Wanaka and the Catlins.
  • Visit Lake Matheson for the famous reflection of Aoraki/Mount Cook amidst vibrant autumn foliage.

🚴‍♀️ Cycling Adventures

  • Ride the Otago Central Rail Trail, surrounded by the golden landscapes of Central Otago.
  • Explore the Great Taste Trail in Nelson, passing through vineyards and coastal scenery adorned in autumn colors.

activities in autumn

5. Culinary Experiences

🍏 Autumn Harvest Delights

  • Participate in farmers’ markets, where you will find diverse offerings, such as apples, pears, pumpkins, and locally crafted autumn-inspired treats.
  • Enjoy farm-to-table dining experiences, savoring the richness of autumn flavors.

🍾 Wine Tasting

  • Visit cellar doors in wine regions like Marlborough and Central Otago, where Autumn adds a layer of beauty to the vineyards.
  • Attend winery events and tastings to sample the region’s best autumnal wines.
  • If you like wine-testing tours and discovering vineyards, you can check the following article: The 12 Best Vineyards & Wineries in New Zealand

food in autumn

6. Practical Tips

  • Booking Accommodations: Plan and book accommodations in advance, especially if attending festivals or visiting popular regions like Central Otago.
  • Layered Clothing: Pack layers for varying temperatures and be prepared for cooler evenings.
  • Driving and Road Trips: Autumn road trips offer spectacular views. Drive through scenic routes like the Southern Scenic Route and the Great Alpine Highway.
  • Seasonal Events Calendar: Check the local calendar for autumn festivals and activities during your visit.

accommodation in autumn


Autumn in New Zealand unveils a captivating symphony of colors and experiences, inviting travelers to witness the transformation of landscapes and partake in seasonal festivities.

Immerse yourself in the enchantment of autumn, where every leaf tells a story of the beauty that blankets the land as it prepares for the cooler embrace of winter.

👉 If you still need to decide the ideal time to visit New Zealand, our comprehensive guide covering all seasonalities has got you covered.

🌏 Check it out here: “The Best Time to Travel to New Zealand

Table of Contents

Most Popular Locations

About Kiwilanders NZ

Kiwilanders is a directory and blog featuring informational and recreational content about New Zealand.