Plan Your Spring Motorhome Adventure In New Zealand


One season brings with it an air of anticipation — spring. It’s the season of new beginnings. The season of frolicking lambs. The season of greener grass. And the season to plan a New Zealand motorhome adventure.


Motorhome amongst cherry blossom trees

In this blog, we cover everything you need to know about motorhoming in spring — from birdlife and farm animals to waterfalls and spring skiing, and even gardens and events.


New Zealand’s spring runs from the start of September to the end of November. The days get longer and daylight saving begins in late September with clocks going an hour forward.


Spring elements

The weather can be changeable at this time of year, so you’ll need to pack both a raincoat and sunscreen — although you’re still likely to encounter mostly good weather.

You won’t have to contend with summer crowds, but check school holiday dates which take place for two weeks during October. Traffic in the main holiday hotspots may be busier during this time.

As for the temperature, expect
a daily average of around 19°C in the North Island and 16°C in the South Island.


Waterfalls of spring

You can expect rivers and waterways to be in full flow after plenty of winter rain and early spring snowmelt. It can be an ideal season to go rafting — but also an interesting time to chase waterfalls such as:

Huka Falls

  • Huka Falls near Taupō — 220,000 litres of water gush over these famous falls every second
  • Bowen Falls in Milford Sound — also known as Lady Bowen Falls
  • Bridal Veil Falls not far from Raglan — a surge of water from 55m above you
  • Purakaunui Falls in The Catlins — one of Otago’s most photographed sites
  • Kitekite Falls in the Waitakere Ranges — just west of Auckland and not far from popular Piha Beach
  • Devil’s Punchbowl in Arthur’s Pass — a spectacular, forceful waterfall
  • Otuihau Whangarei Falls in Whangarei — cascading over a basalt cliff.


Agrodome Rotorua feeding lambs


Spring growth

Become bedazzled by blossom in the fruity regions of Hawkes Bay, Nelson and Central Otago. Known for their thriving orchards, if you stay till midsummer, you’ll be rewarded with the finest fruit.

Spring brings the birth of newborns creating many opportunities to view, touch and interact with young farm and wildlife park animals. Don’t miss the photo opportunities in the Kiwi countryside. You’ll be spoiled for choice with which lamb snaps to share with folks back home.

Experience shearing and sheep shows throughout the country — from
The Wrinkly Rams Sheep Shearing Show in Omarama to the Agrodome Farm Show in Rotorua.

Urban flocks are just as easily found in places like:

Check out other farm animals in the Auckland region.


Skiing in spring

Midwinter may be the time when dedicated snowsports crew rave about getting up the mountain. But for some of us casual skiers or snowboarders, spring snow is the best.

You can still thoroughly enjoy skiing in spring, especially if you take your campervan hire further south to fields with snowmaking machines. You’ll often find discounted lift passes and may not need snow chains as the weather warms — though it’s still important to carry them just in case.

Some of New Zealand’s most popular slopes are still open in spring, including:

Arguably the best skiing is in winter. If carving up the white powder is a key reason for your journey, check out our ten reasons to tour New Zealand by motorhome in winter.


Spring wildlife with wings

You won’t be the only one venturing to New Zealand in springtime. All manner of migratory birds flock here when the weather gets warmer.

The bar-tailed godwit (kuaka) and other Arctic migrants
arrive in September. Having flown over 11,000km, they stay till the end of March.

To have a gander at the godwits, visit:

Gannets (tākapu) begin arriving in August. A wonderfully rowdy colony gather on the rocks off Muriwai Beach, west of Auckland.


Muriwai Gannets

Spring is also hatching season for New Zealand's flightless kiwi. To see them up close, book a tour at:

Migratory birds move on again in autumn. See our blog about exploring New Zealand by motorhome in autumn for ideas at that time of year. 

Lupins at Lake Tekapo


Blooming gorgeous spring

Spring makes it feel like every garden wants to make you smile. Across the country, there are flowers in bloom and there’s activity in the garden. Consider visiting:

  • New Plymouth’s Pukekura Park — to admire the 2,000 varieties of rhododendrons
  • The shores of Lake Tekapo in the Mackenzie Country — which are ablaze with purple lupins from late September
  • Christchurch’s Hagley Park — and its award-winning public gardens
  • The Hamilton Gardens — where the themed gardens push the boundaries of design.

Arboretums are also amazing this time of year and the National Arboretum of New Zealand near Gisborne is a veritable frenzy of fabulousness in spring.


Ideas for an eventful spring

Kiwi springtime is one big festival with a particular focus on food, gardens and fresh air. Here are some key events and dates to mark in your calendar.


Alexandra Blossom Festival

Delighting people since 1957, the Alexandra Blossom Festival takes place at the end of September and features a full weekend of music, parades, pageants, sporting events, garden tours and blossoms.


Toast Martinborough

This beloved annual event is held each November to celebrate fine wine and food. Talented musicians play at the various vineyards of this charming Wairarapa village for Toast Martinborough.


Taranaki Garden Festival

Taking place in the scenic mountain region of Taranaki across ten days in October and November, the Taranaki Garden Festival is a botanical dream come true. With events, workshops and feasts, the region’s best gardeners open their gates to the public.


F.A.W.C! Hawke’s Bay

Head to the Bay’s premier culinary festival F.A.W.C! Hawke’s Bay. Standing for Food and Wine Classic, this ten-day celebration of the region's best food and wine is held every November.


The New Zealand Cider Festival

The New Zealand Cider Festival is a one-day event that pops up each November. It alternates between Hastings in the North Island and Nelson down south — two of New Zealand’s juiciest apple regions.


World of WearableArt

The World of WearableArt (WOW) Awards Show is held annually over September and October — boldly taking art off the wall and displaying it on human bodies. Embracing art, design and fashion, WOW weaves those strands into an unbelievable theatrical spectacular


Flowers at Hobbiton


International Hobbit Day

September 22 is officially International Hobbit Day so why not head to the home of hobbits — Hobbiton in Matamata. In spring you’ll find an abundance of enchanting flowers including bluebells and daffodils in Hobbiton.


“it!” Bay of Islands Food and Wine Festival

Served up over a single spring day in the popular Northland town of Paihia is the “it!” Bay of Islands Food and Wine Festival. It’s all about food, wine and entertainment with competitions that include kina sucking, oyster shucking and pie eating.

Don’t forget the
Bay of Islands Walking Weekend where you can take your pick between 25 guided walks, each one more astonishing than the next, across four days in October.


Westport Whitebait Festival

Westport is a darling West Coast town bursting with character and characters. Each Labour Day weekend the locals celebrate whitebait with fans flocking to the Westport Whitebait Festival to savour this culinary delicacy served up with lively entertainment. 


Southland Cheese Roll Event

The Southland Cheese Roll Event is an annual event held in November in New Zealand’s southernmost settlement, Bluff. Marvel as contestants whizz downhill in ornately decorated cheese-carrying contraptions.

This event is a fundraiser for the New Zealand Red Cross as well as a celebration of the Southland cheese roll — also known as Southland sushi.


Akaroa French Festival

Every second October, the Akaroa French Festival celebrates the culture and heritage of harbourside Akaroa, this country’s only French settlement. Events include re-enactments, competitions, fashion shows and cooking demonstrations — plus markets with food, wine and entertainment.


Auckland Diwali Festival of Light

This family-friendly festival lights up Auckland each October and is a celebration of contemporary and traditional Indian culture. With live performances, incredible vegetarian cuisine and market stalls, there’s also an astonishing fireworks finale. The Auckland Diwali Festival of Light is a must-see.


Cycling near water


Lake Taupō Cycle Challenge

New Zealand’s largest cycling event takes place in late spring with riders navigating around the picturesque shores of Lake Taupō. It’s the ride of a lifetime offering a range of distances, with views as incredible as the trails themselves. Are you up for the Lake Taupō Cycle Challenge?

Many music festivals take place in New Zealand’s hotter months. Take a look at our guide to the best Kiwi summer music festivals.



Looking for iconic Instagram photo ops, stunning walking trails or romantic spots?

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where to go & what to do motorhoming in NZ