overlooking routeburn valley new zealand2

Why You’ll Love Spring Hiking in New Zealand

By New Zealand Trails

3 minute read

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There’s nothing like spring hiking in New Zealand, particularly in the months of October and November.

Spring is our favourite season! It’s an incredibly uplifting time of year having said goodbye to winter. New life abounds and the promise of warm days and great weather to have some outdoor adventures is now a reality. For our guides, it’s a really exciting time as they’re fresh from their winter hibernation and are raring to go for the new season! 

group at hooker lake mt cook

Rain or shine, warm or cool, Hooker Lake at the base of Mt Cook is a sight worth celebrating.

When is spring in New Zealand?

Our spring is in the months of September, October and November, but, just like where you live, the seasons don’t always stick to the rules. To us Kiwis, a clear sign that spring has arrived is the sight of tiny lambs frolicking in the fields, a sight which even warms the hearts of grizzled old farmers (and hiking guides!).

What’s the weather like in spring?

Anyone who’s visited us down here in New Zealand will know that the weather doesn’t pay attention to any rules either – so the trick is to be prepared.

It tends to be pretty comfortable in the daytime; you’ll need a long-sleeved jacket or sweater but usually nothing more. Mornings may be a little chillier, perfect for that New Zealand made merino wool sweater you’ve just picked up! Layering is always a good idea and hopefully by midday you might feel like stripping down to a t-shirt.

New Zealand Penguins Fiordland

There are plenty of Fiordland Crested Penguins to see during spring!

What’s to love about spring hiking in New Zealand?

Wildlife up close and personal

This is the time of year our friends in the animal kingdom are welcoming their young into the world. We’re lucky that there are so many little creatures to see on and off our shores. On our spring trips, our guests are regularly delighted by the sights of baby fur seals on the Fiordland coast and penguins returning to their nests after a tough day’s work out fishing in the ocean. Further inland, we’re fortunate to share our walking tracks with families of native birds.

Spring flowers

If it’s the plant kingdom that captivates you then New Zealand will be paradise – spring is the time our native flora start blooming and many flowers are at their peak in October and November. There are thousands of different types of flowers here in New Zealand, many of which you will have never seen before. Some of our springtime favourites are the Mount Cook Buttercup, Greenhood Orchids and the New Zealand Tree Fuchsia.


New Zealand is a country of waterfalls, ranging from the most intricate and delicate trickles to the raw unleashed power of mother nature. With the snow-melt after winter, spring is undoubtedly 'waterfall season' and it’s hard not to be in awe of the waterfalls in and around the glacial valleys of the Southern Alps. We can’t pick our favourite waterfall – there’re just too many to choose from! There’s the towering falls of Milford Sound, the sheer force of Giant’s Gate Falls on the Milford Track and the picture-postcard of Little Homer Falls on the Hollyford Track – New Zealand is waterfall heaven.

devils punchbowl waterfall

One of the many gorgeous waterfalls you'll encounter during your trip.

Get a great deal on your airfare

If you’re coming to New Zealand in October and November, we’ve more great news for you! This is the time of year the airlines want you on their planes and are likely to have deals running. High season in New Zealand is from the end of December through to February but the spring months are the shoulder season and therefore the best time to find a great airfare.

Spring hiking season

Our season kicks off every spring and our five, fully-guided small-group tours set off around this beautiful country again. So whether you are looking for the comfort and restaurant dining offered on our 13 day World Heritage Walking Tour, or the Masterpiece's mix of activity and relaxation, the more challenging Kiwi Classic, the Pure South for those that only have 8 days or the taste of the North Island offered by the Sweet North – we're sure to have something perfect for you. And if you're not sure you can check out our which trip is right for me page or, of course, you can just ask us any time.









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