When is the best time to go to New Zealand?

New Zealand is a country that can be visited throughout the entire year, yet despite this, the dry season still coincides with the peak tourist season, which runs from November to April. The largest of crowds are most often observed between the last ten days of December and at the end of January. Simply put, this period corresponds perfectly with the school holidays. In addition, New Zealand features many cultural events such as the Christmas season, "boxing day" and the traditional New Year celebrations. For this reason, it is always advisable to book in advance as hotels and transport companies are often sold out. For resorts, the southern winter is the low tourist season; taking account of the cold and the abundance of rain. However, it is the favorite time of the year for snow sports enthusiasts. This explains the high rate of attendance at ski resorts, which are among the most famous in the southern hemisphere. Choosing the right time to visit New Zealand depends solely on the desires of the traveller.

So, when is the best time to go to New Zealand? Here's some more information to help you in your decision:

  • In New Zealand, the weather is good everywhere in January, February and December
  • The best months to go to Auckland are January, February, March, April, May, November and December
  • On average, the warmest months in Auckland are January, February and March, and the coldest months are June, July, August and September
  • The rainiest months in this city are May, June, July, August, September and December
  • The cities with the best climate are Dargaville, Gisborne, Kaitaia, Kerikeri, Ruakaka, Wairoa and Whangarei, with good weather at least 8 months a year
  • The best months for swimming in Auckland are February and March

For information about the climate and the weather city by city in New Zealand for a specific month, click on the corresponding line below:

January 52°F to 74°F
February 54°F to 74°F
March 50°F to 72°F
April 45°F to 68°F
May 41°F to 65°F
June 38°F to 61°F
July 34°F to 59°F
August 36°F to 59°F
September 38°F to 59°F
October 41°F to 63°F
November 47°F to 67°F
December 50°F to 70°F
* weather varies across the country

Best time to travel to New Zealand by cities


Best time to go to Auckland

The best months to go to Auckland are january, february, march, april, may, november and december.


Best time to go to Christchurch

The best months to go to Christchurch are january, february, march, april, november and december.


Best time to go to Queenstown

The best months to go to Queenstown are january, february and december.


Best time to go to Wellington

The best months to go to Wellington are january, february, march, april and december.


Best time to go to Dunedin

The best months to go to Dunedin are january and february.


Best time to go to Hamilton

The best months to go to Hamilton are january, february, march, april, october, november and december.

Other cities and places in New Zealand

See full list of cities

Climate and Weather in New Zealand

On the Pacific Ocean near Australia, New Zealand is in the southern hemisphere and therefore portrays reversed seasons than those found in the northern hemisphere. The latter is determined by latitude and therefore the weather experiences not only a semi-tropical climate, but also a temperate one. Divided into two main islands, New Zealand experiences a varied weather that is greatly influenced by both the ocean and its neighbor, the Antarctic. The northern parts of the island are thus undoubtedly cooler and wetter than its southern neighbors. However remarkably, almost all of the country has more than 2000 hours of sunshine combined per year!

New Zealand: Bay of Islands, New Zeland

The Climate on the North Island of New Zealand

The northern island, also known as the “smoking island” enjoys a subtropical climate, especially in its farther north. The climate in New Zealand varies widely within the same day, similarly to neighboring Melbourne in Australia, namely due to the influences of the sea and mountains. There is a very large dose of sunshine to the east of the northern island, particularly towards Wellington, the capital of New Zealand.

Around the Auckland area, in the North island, the climate is hot and humid and especially so in summer. Winter in turn enjoys a smooth pleasant climate, despite the general humidity. Overall, the rain falls throughout the most part of the year, just as obliged by a subtropical climate, but they are of a significant importance in the winter.

Climate of the South Island of New Zealand

The south island, also called the “Island of Jade”, has a fairly temperate climate that can become very cold in the extreme south, especially towards the mountains. It is not uncommon to experience all four seasons all in one day in this part of the country. Less humid in this part of New Zealand, it is actually particularly dry in the east, even if there exists a tendency for a little more humidity on the North Island, to the west.

Fresh, this island frequently sees snow falling in the south, with cold winds and high humidity, which make these temperatures even more difficult to bear. In Invercargill in particular, the temperatures reach below freezing very often.

In Christchurch, a tourist attraction on the coast, the climate is in turn quite dry and can benefit from both warm summers and cold winters. Just like on the North Island, rain falls all year long, but more so in the winter.

Temperatures and rainfall in New Zealand

On these 3 graphs, we present the evolution of temperatures of New Zealand and month-by-month rainfall for the cities of Auckland, Christchurch, Queenstown, Wellington and Dunedin, as well as the month-by-month sea temperature for coastal cities.

Where to go in New Zealand?

This table allows you to see the maximum temperature for each city and our opinion on the weather month by month (see colour legend below the table).

Cities jan.feb.mar.apr.mayjun.jul.aug.sep.oct.nov.dec.


perfect weather

good weather

tolerable weather

bad weather

very bad weather

Map of New Zealand

Click over cities for information about the weather.

Chargement en cours
Legend: cities in New Zealand

About New Zealand

What can I do in New Zealand?

Beaches / swimming

Nature and countryside

Culture and heritage


Family travel

Crafts / shopping



Recommended for you:

Is this weather information for New Zealand reliable?

Climate data for New Zealand has been gathered every day since January 2009. The analysis of these meteorological data for New Zealand allows us to determine the average for each month in Auckland, Christchurch, Queenstown, Wellington, Dunedin, Hamilton, Hokitika, Invercargill, and 46 other cities.

So yes: this data is reliable except in cases of temporary climate disruption in the region.

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