Christmas in New Zealand is hot and Boxing Day (26th Dec) onwards is the traditional time for Kiwi families to hit the lakes or the beaches.
The busiest locations over the festive period on North Island are Northland, Coromandel Peninsula, the Bay of Plenty, Taupo and Rotorua lake districts. Nelson, Queenstown and Arrowtown on South Island also get busy, but not quite as hectic as NI.
November, December, January, February and March are peak months for tourists so if you’re looking for more affordable prices and more space on hiking paths consider visiting either side of summer.
Mid-March or mid-October are the best times to see migratory birds with Miranda on North Island and Farewell Spit on South Island witnessing thousands of species flocking to their shores.
Out of New Zealand’s nine ‘Great Walks’ only the 80km Heaphy Track is open all year round with peak walking season lasting from October through to April.
April and May are absolutely gorgeous with autumnal colours combining with good weather and off peak prices before the winter kicks in during June, July and August.
May, June and July are also the best times to watch bottlenose dolphins and orcas around the Bay of Islands whereas sperm whales and humpbacks can be spotted off the coast of Kaikoura.
Spring is another great time to visit New Zealand with September and October offering longer, warmer days, comfortably cool nights, tree blossom and snow-capped mountains.