spring in new zealand3

5 Reasons to Visit New Zealand in Spring

By New Zealand Trails

3 minute read

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Here are 5 reasons why travelling to New Zealand in our spring (your autumn/fall) is a great idea.

Spring in New Zealand officially runs from September to November. Here at New Zealand Trails our guiding season begins in October, so if your dates are flexible, you can take advantage of some of the 'perks' of a spring visit with us.

It can be a great time to visit New Zealand for several reasons. It's kind of a locals' secret – particularly in the South Island – that spring offers some of the best walking and travelling around the country. The weather is not too hot so you won't get overheated exercising outdoors, and there are often remnants of the winter's snow still visible on the mountain peaks which makes for some very pretty scenery.

Check out the infographic below for some weather averages. Spring weather can be fickle though, so you could encounter all sorts on any given day! But that often adds to the drama of the landscape and allows you to see our country in all of its colours. Read on to find out our top 5 reasons why spring is one of our favourite times of the year to explore New Zealand.

New Zealand spring weather infographic

*Weather data is based on Christchurch, half way up the South Island. Expect regional variation.

1. Spring Flowers.

If it’s the plant kingdom which captivates you then New Zealand will be paradise – spring is the time our natives start blooming and many flowers have completely gone by summertime, making October and November the best months. There are literally thousands of types of flowers here in New Zealand, many of which you will have never seen before. My springtime favourites are the Mount Cook Lily, Greenhood Orchids and New Zealand Tree Fuchsia.

2. Wildlife up close and personal.

This is the time of year our friends in the animal kingdom are welcoming their young into the world and they’re there for us to see. On our spring trips we're regularly delighted by the sights of baby fur seals on the Fiordland Coast, penguins returning to their nests after a day’s ‘work’ out fishing in the ocean and sharing our walking tracks with families of native birds.

Fiordland Crested Penguins, basking in the sun

Fiordland Crested Penguins preening themselves in the spring sunlight.

3. Don't go chasing Waterfalls.

New Zealand is a country of waterfalls, from the most intricate and delicate trickles to the raw unleashed power of mother nature. With the snow-melt after winter, spring is 'waterfall season' and you’ll be in awe of the waterfalls in and around the glacial valleys of the Southern Alps. Where is our favourite place for waterfalls? From the towering falls of Milford Sound, the sheer force of Giant’s Gate Falls on the Milford Track to the picture-postcard of Little Homer Falls on the Hollyford Track – Fiordland is waterfall heaven.

Little Homer Falls

Little Homer falls on the Hollyford Track

4. Get a great deal on your airfare.

If you’re coming to New Zealand in October and November, great news! This is the time of year the airlines want you on their planes and will have deals running. High season in New Zealand is from the end of December through to February but the spring months are ‘shoulder season’ and therefore the best time to find a great airfare. Many airlines' websites have a feature where you can save a destination and get alerts when there is a price drop or a special offer. It's worth signing up to take advantage of those great savings.

New Zealand spring airfares infographic

5. Quieter trails and fewer ‘tourist hotspots’.

Again, because Spring is traditionally a 'shoulder season', our world-famous Great Walks, National Parks and all the other great trails around the country have yet to hit their peak visitor numbers. Not that our trails are ever 'crowded', but there are definitely fewer people around in general. So if you're the kind of person that likes a trail to themselves (or at least to feel like that!) then October and November are the perfect months for you.

So there it is, our take on spring hiking in New Zealand. We’ve been guiding hiking trips in New Zealand for a long time now and some of our best memories are from spring trips. Everything is shiny and bursting with life, the whole country is on a high, which is the perfect vibe for your trip. Get in touch today if you'd like to know more about visiting us in October or November.

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  • Sara Kerville, Australia May 2019

    Going in October 2019

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