Home Blog

Weather-Wise: What Should You Pack for Your New Zealand Holiday

Don’t let second-hand stories sway you, the best weather in New Zealand isn’t restricted to a specific season, as the ever-changing climate shakes out once-in-a-lifetime activities as well as point-and-shoot sights with each mercurial variation. Something for everyone is the unofficial watch-word of Aotearoa, appealing to a broad range of travel styles, plans and itineraries. But what should you pack? How do you prepare for fall season in New Zealand or a summer on the shores of Lake Wakitipu? Is it mild all-year-round or will thermals come in handy once winter appears?

Gelato in Oneroa, Waiheke Island

All About Summer

When: December to February.

Average Temperatures: 20 to 25 degrees Celsius.

What to Pack: Sunscreen, tees, shorts, jeans, swimwear, good walking shoes or hiking boots.

Things You Won’t Need: Rain ponchos and sweats bands. Say hello to warm days without the humidity of somewhere like Australia.

Seasonal Tip: Book ahead – the summer season is extremely popular. Hotels, deals and attraction spots disappear in a snap.

Hump Ridge Track, Southland – Photo: Tareen Ellis

Autumn Leaves, Please

When: March to May.

Average Temperatures: 10 to 22 degrees Celsius – be on the look out for chilly evening weather, particularly from mid-April onward.

What to Pack: Layers, jeans, a good wind and rain resistant jacket, thermals, tees, walking shoes or hiking boots and insect repellent.

Things You Won’t Need: Swimwear.

Seasonal Tip: Are you planning a self-drive tour? Be aware some mountain passes are gearing up for winter, with both snow and ice already present. It may be worth leaving the car behind for the day and booking a guided tour, instead of wrestling with snow chains and unknown roads.

Family walking in Ohakune, Ruapehu

Ski into Winter

When: June to August.

Average Temperatures: 0-15 degrees Celsius. Parts of New Zealand do experience truly chilly temperatures, as snow season picks up on the South island and slices of the North. Check general conditions a week before you leave and plan accordingly.

What to Pack: Thermals, gloves, thick socks, good shoes, something nice for your apres ski sessions, dense jeans, sunscreen, lip balm.

Things You Won’t Need: Tee shirts and insect repellent.

Seasonal Tip: Keen on non-ski attractions and off-mountain adventures? Winter is the perfect time to indulge your spontaneous side – no crowds, small groups and off-season prices.

Cherry Blossoms, Christchurch

It’s a Spring Thing

When: September to November.

Average Temperatures: 15- 20 degrees Celsius, with the occasional burst of rain.

What to Pack: Waterproof jacket or raincoat (it’s waterfall season, after all), tees, shirts, shorts, jeans and layers – things you can put on or take off to suit the changeable nature of this time of year. Don’t forget decent footwear for all the exploration you’ll be doing.

Things You Won’t Need: Ski or winter gear. Leave the super heavy clothes at home.

Seasonal Tip: The ideal time for self-drive tours, take advantage of the glorious weather and see New Zealand on your own terms and time.

Explore the Land of the Long White Cloud in the rain, sunshine or snow! Get in touch with New Zealand Holidays today and count down the hours until your next adventure.


to top