Cathedral Cove coastline, Coromandel  Tourism Coromandel

Holiday Hot Spots

New Zealand’s moderate climate means that there is always something to do, no matter what time of the year you choose to visit. Below is a general guide to holiday hot spots and seasonal peak holiday times in New Zealand.

New Zealand Holiday Destinations

Summer: December 1 - February 29

During the summer - particularly the Christmas and New Year period - New Zealand is very busy. The most popular destinations during the New Zealand summer school holiday period (mid December to late January) tend to be lakes and beaches.

During New Zealand's summer holidays:

  • Be prepared for heavy traffic - particularly on the main State Highways
  • Take care whilst driving
  • Book accommodation well in advance

The following places are popular summer holiday destinations in New Zealand:

South Island North Island
Marlborough Sounds Mount Maunganui
The Nelson Region Tauranga
Lakes in Queenstown, Wanaka & Mackenzie Coromandel
Akaroa Bay of Islands
Hanmer Springs  


See our New Zealand regional climate chart for approximate summer temperatures throughout New Zealand.

Autumn: March 1 - May 31

During the New Zealand autumn season most tourist destinations are relatively uncrowded. There are no particularly notable autumn holiday destations, but many holiday makers are out, making the most of the last of the warm weather – particularly around the Easter break.

During Autumn in New Zealand:

  • Be aware of the busy April school holidays
  • Drive carefully on the roads during the busy Easter weekend break
  • Watch for icy roads as winter draws near

See our New Zealand regional climate chart for approximate autumn temperatures throughout New Zealand.

Winter: June 1 - August 31

Winter in New Zealand means an influx of visitors to alpine resort towns up and down the country. All skiing areas and resorts are likely to be busy, particularly during the New Zealand winter school holidays.

During Winter in New Zealand:

  • Book accommodation well in advance
  • Be aware that ski areas will be very crowded during New Zealand winter school holidays
  • Drive carefully - watch for ice, and check for road closures or road weather warnings

Some of the top New Zealand winter holiday destinations are: 

South Island North Island
Queenstown Whakapapa
Wanaka Ohakune
The Mackenzie Country Taupo
Hanmer Springs  


See our regional climate chart for approximate winter temperatures throughout New Zealand.

Spring: September 1 - November 31

Spring in New Zealand is generally warm, and a great time to enjoy the outdoors. It is worth nothing that school holidays occur in late September.

During Spring in New Zealand:

See our regional climate chart  for approximate spring temperatures throughout New Zealand.

 Cold Water Hut, Nelson Lakes National Park.  Nelson Tasman Tourism

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 Skydiving at Lake Wanaka, New Zealand.  Lake Wanaka Tourism

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