Travel to New Zealand in Summer

Travel to New Zealand in summer

Why Travel to New Zealand in Summer?

New Zealand emerges as a premier destination for travelers seeking a perfect blend of natural beauty, outdoor adventures, and vibrant cultural experiences.

From the golden beaches of the Coromandel Peninsula to the snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps, New Zealand in Summer is a paradise waiting to be explored.

We will delve into the reasons and facts to take into account when planning to travel to New Zealand in the Summer.

1. Weather and Climate

New Zealand’s Summer,ย from December to February, offers diverse climates across the North and South Islands.

Understanding the weather patterns is crucial for planning your itinerary and ensuring you make the most of your Summer escapade.

๐Ÿ๏ธ North Island

  • Warm temperatures: Expect daytime temperatures ranging from 20 to 30 degrees Celsius (68 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • Beach weather: Coastal areas, such as the Bay of Islands and the Coromandel, experience balmy temperatures, perfect for beach outings and water activities.
  • Rainfall: While the North Island generally receives less rainfall in summer, occasional showers are not uncommon.

๐Ÿ—ป South Island

  • Varied climates: ย South Island offers diverse climates, from the warm and dry regions of Central Otago to the cooler temperatures of the Southern Alps.
  • Alpine areas: In the Southern Alps, higher elevations may still have patches of snow, providing a unique opportunity for snow sports enthusiasts.

๐ŸŒฆ Overall Tips

  • Sun protection: With the Southern Hemisphere’s intense sun, pack sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses to protect yourself during outdoor activities.
  • Variable weather: While summer is mainly warm, be prepared for sudden weather changes, especially if you plan to explore different regions.

2. Outdoor Activities

New Zealand’s Summer is synonymous with outdoor adventures, offering many activities for thrill-seekers and nature enthusiasts.

๐Ÿ–๏ธ Beach Escapes

  • Coromandel Peninsula: Explore pristine beaches like Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach, where you can dig your own hot pool in the sand.
  • Abel Tasman National Park: Discover golden sandy beaches and clear turquoise waters along the Abel Tasman Coast Track, one of New Zealand’s Great Walks.

๐Ÿšค Water Sports

  • Bay of Islands:ย Embark on a dolphin-watching cruise or sail in the sheltered bays.
  • Queenstown: Experience the thrill of jet boating or take a scenic cruise on Lake Wakatipu, surrounded by the Remarkables mountain range.

๐Ÿฅพ Hiking and Trekking

  • Tongariro Alpine Crossing: Conquer the otherworldly landscapes of this iconic trek, featuring emerald lakes and volcanic craters.
  • Fiordland National Park: Explore the Milford Track, often considered one of the most beautiful hikes globally, surrounded by towering fiords and lush rainforests.

๐Ÿšดโ€โ™‚๏ธ Cycling Adventures

  • Otago Central Rail Trail: Pedal through the heart of Central Otago, passing historic gold mining towns and stunning landscapes.
  • Great Taste Trail: Discover the vineyards and coastline of the Nelson Tasman region by cycling along this scenic trail.

outdoor activities in summer

3. Festivals and Events

Summer in New Zealand is not just about outdoor activities; it’s also a time when the country comes alive with festivals and events celebrating music, arts, and culture.

  • Rhythm and Vines (December 29โ€“31): Held in Gisborne, this is New Zealand’s largest music festival, attracting both local and international artists. Welcome the New Year with a vibrant celebration of music and dance.
  • WOMAD (World of Music, Arts, and Dance) โ€” Taranaki (March): Although technically in autumn, WOMAD in Taranaki is worth mentioning for its international acclaim. Immerse yourself in a global celebration of music, arts, and diverse cultures.
  • Auckland Lantern Festival (February): Witness the Auckland Domain transformed into a mesmerizing display of lanterns celebrating the Chinese New Year. Enjoy traditional performances, delicious food, and cultural activities.
  • Wanaka A&P Show (March): Experience a classic Kiwi agricultural and pastoral show in the stunning setting of Wanaka. Enjoy sheepdog trials, equestrian events, and local produce displays.

โญ More information about festivals and events in New Zealand can be found in the following article: 7 Events and Festivals in New Zealand

Festivals and events during summer

4. Wildlife Encounters

Summer provides unique opportunities to encounter New Zealand’s diverse wildlife, on land and in the ocean.

  • Kaikoura Marine Life: Join a whale-watching tour to witness giant sperm whales and orcas in the deep waters off Kaikoura or just swim with dolphins for a truly immersive marine experience.
  • Yellow-eyed Penguins – Otago Peninsula: Visit the Otago Peninsula to observe the rare and endangered yellow-eyed penguins in their natural habitat.
  • Rotorua’s Buried Village and Kiwi Encounter: Explore the fascinating Buried Village near Rotorua and then visit the Kiwi Encounter facility to learn about New Zealand’s iconic kiwi bird conservation efforts.

๐Ÿฌ Understand New Zealand Wildlife: Animals in New Zealand (Wildlife Explained)

wildlife during summer

5. Culinary Delights

New Zealand’s culinary scene is diverse, and summer brings an abundance of fresh produce and outdoor dining experiences.

  • Farmers’ Markets: Visit local farmers’ markets across the country to savor fresh fruits, artisanal cheeses, and other local delicacies.
  • Wine Tours: Explore New Zealand’s renowned wine regions, including Marlborough and Central Otago. Take vineyard tours and tastings to discover world-class Sauvignon Blancs and Pinot Noirs.
  • Outdoor Dining: Enjoy al fresco dining in cities like Wellington and Auckland, where waterfront restaurants offer stunning views and delicious cuisine.

summer cuisine

6. Practical Tips

  • Booking Accommodations: Summer is a peak tourist season, so book accommodations well in advance, especially in popular destinations.
  • Transportation: Consider renting a car for flexibility, as public transport may have limited coverage in some regions.
  • Sun Safety: Bring high-SPF sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the strong summer sun.
  • Hydration: Stay hydrated, especially if engaging in outdoor activities. Carry a reusable water bottle to refill throughout the day.
  • Insect Repellent: In some regions, particularly in bushy areas, insects can be prevalent. Pack insect repellent to ensure a comfortable experience.

accommodation during summer


New Zealand inย Summer is a symphony of colours, sounds, and experiences.ย 

Whether you’re basking on the beaches of the Bay of Islands, hiking in the shadow of the Southern Alps, or indulging in the vibrant cultural scene,ย New Zealand invites you to create memories that will last a lifetime.

Embrace the warmth, explore the landscapes, andย immerse yourself in the unique charm of New Zealand during the sun-drenched days of Summer.

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

๐ŸŒ Check it out here:ย 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.