Spring in New Zealand is a great time to see the sights before the rush of the summer crowds and to enjoy some fantastic festivals and events around the country. Here’s what you need to know about visiting New Zealand in spring.
The season of spring is September to November in New Zealand. The weather is starting to warm up, so you can expect average daily temperatures of around 19°C in the north and 16°C in the south, but it can be changeable, so pack for unexpected rain showers and cooler days. Daylight Saving starts in late September (when clocks go forward one hour) so the early mornings are darker, but you’ll enjoy lighter spring evenings.
New Zealand has school holidays from late September to mid-October (28 September-13 October), so it pays to book well in advance if you’re planning on travelling over this period, or you can wait until school has started again for quieter roads, more availability in campgrounds and holiday parks, and shorter queues for attractions.
Spring means new growth – from the blossoms to the baby animals! Spring blossom provides great photo opportunities around the country, just stop in at any large park or botanic garden. Fruit-growing regions such as Hawke’s Bay in the North Island and Central Otago in the South Island are known for their orchards and are particularly beautiful in mid to late spring.
If you’re keen for the ultimate Kiwi photo of ‘lambs in spring’ then this is the time. You’ll see many as you drive through the New Zealand countryside, and even in some larger public parks that run sheep. In Auckland, head to Cornwall Park, or one of the city’s many regional parks with animals. Ambury Park (just a short drive from Wilderness Motorhomes’ Auckland base) has sheep and even offers lamb feeding at certain times of the year. There’s a guide to Auckland parks with farm animals here.
Or you can go all out and visit the Farm Nursery at Agrodome in Rotorua, where you can cuddle the lambs, baby goats and calves.
For the ultimate Middle Earth experience, stop in at the Hobbiton Movie Set in Matamata (around two hours south of Auckland). This is the spot where Hobbiton came to life in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and has become even more famous for the spring-time displays of bluebells and other flowers that make the village setting even more charming. In fact, September 22 is International Hobbit Day, when The Shire at Hobbiton comes alive with a festival evening (bookings essential).
Some of New Zealand’s ski fields offer spring skiing through to late October if the snow is still good and you can often get discounted passes at this time. The major ski slopes in New Zealand are:
- Mt Ruapehu (four hours from Auckland)
- Mt Hutt (two hours from Christchurch)
- The Remarkables (45 minutes from Queenstown)
- Coronet Peak (20 minutes from Queenstown)
- Cardrona Alpine Resort (45 minutes from Queenstown)
There’s a host of events on around the country over spring – particularly if you’re a lover of all things gastronomic! Here are some dates to mark on your planning calendar.
Whitianga Scallop Festival - 21 September 2019
Just under three hours from Auckland on the beautiful Coromandel Peninsula. This quintessentially Kiwi festival is dedicated to local seafood, wine and beer, with a focus on delectable scallops.
Hobbit Day - 22 September 2019
See The Shire come to life before your eyes with a festival evening at The Hobbiton Movie Set in Matamata. Enjoy a guided set tour, meal, entertainment and market stalls. Bookings essential.
Oktoberfest - 19-20 October 2019
Germany’s iconic Oktoberfest comes to Wellington for two days in a celebration of beers, bands and bratwurst. Hang out with the locals in the capital and try some new brews.
Taste of Auckland - 31 October to 3 November 2019
A sophisticated culinary festival held on Auckland’s city waterfront with a range of boutique beverage producers, leading Auckland restaurants and cooking demonstrations by top local chefs.
F.A.W.C - early November 2019
The Food and Wine Classic is a gourmet event held twice a year in Hawke’s Bay, during winter and again in spring. A schedule of dining experiences, classes, tastings and more with some of New Zealand’s leading culinary personalities.
Toast Martinborough - 17 November 2019
One of New Zealand’s most popular food and wine festivals. Toast Martinborough is a day of exploring the top vineyards around the popular Martinborough wine region north of Wellington.
Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge - 30 November 2019
New Zealand’s largest cycling event is held around the picturesque shores of Lake Taupo in the central North Island. Open to a wide range of skill levels. Entry registration required.
Get in touch
So what are you waiting for? Give yourself something to look forward to and start planning your spring trip around New Zealand. Our friendly reservations team at Wilderness Motorhomes is happy to answer any questions you might have. You can give us a call, send us an email or live chat on this website.