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willybo Jun 22nd, 2005 06:57 PM

New Zealand in September?
My wife and I are planning to take a trip to New Zealand in September. I realize this will be spring in New Zealand. Does anybody know if this a good time to go or will it be too cold?

Melnq8 Jun 22nd, 2005 07:43 PM

We've been to NZ in September several times. The weather can be a bit iffy, especially on the South Island. We've found that NZ weather can be unpredictible year round anyway, so it's never been a big issue for us.

In September, we've experienced a mix of weather - anything from beautiful crisp days, to rain, sleet and snow at higher elevations.

I'd suggest you plan to dress in layers. We've found that a fleece jacket and a waterproof jacket that fits over the fleece is perfect. That way you can wear each individually or together.

Melnq8 Jun 22nd, 2005 08:09 PM

willybo -

I've just looked at my trip report from 2003 when we spent the entire month of September on the South Island. We had 16 beautiful sunny days (50-60 degree temps), 8 days with some rain (anything from a short shower to a torrential downpour) and 4 really cold days with strong winds and/or snow.

The coldest spots during that particular trip were Lake Tekapo, Te Anau and Milford Sound.

ANUJ Oct 28th, 2005 10:27 PM

I visited NZ last september with my wife and thought it was a reasonable time to go . .we had some rain and it mgiht get cold, but spring is beautiful in NZ.

GBZ Oct 30th, 2005 01:13 PM

Weather and seasons in New Zealand
Weather & Seasons
New Zealand is a temperate climate and generally the further South you go within New Zealand the cooler the average temperature range. However it is a country where you can genuinely enjoy the best the four seasons have to offer. From skiing and hot-springs to autumn leaves and wine the New Zealand experience will fill your need for a total holiday experience. In the South Island destinations such as Queenstown and Canterbury are famous for their four seasons options.

For up to date weather conditions check out the official weather site of New Zealand at or the graphical weather snapshot provide at

June – August
As the temperature cools and the snow arrives on the mountains the Southern Alps of New Zealand show their true untainted beauty and the alpine resorts come alive. For those who love the mountains, skiing or just the apre ski scene this is a magic time of year and a chance to enjoy the pure alpine experience New Zealand has to offer. While New Zealand’s South Island receives good snow on the mountains its temperature range is relatively mild with the highs between 15 and 10 degrees and lows between 1 and –3 degrees. This enables winter holiday makers to not only enjoy skiing but also walks, golf and other activity options available in resorts such as Queenstown.

• Take a close up view of the Southern Alps while travelling in the comfort of the Tranz Alpine train. One of the most spectacular train journeys of the world.
• Take the Inland Scenic Route 72 course between Christchurch and Queenstown for amazing close up views of the mountain ranges and alpine stops.
• Sample the snow and resort experience in the Queenstown, Wanaka and Mt Hutt regions. Some of the best untouched skiing and snowboarding.

September – November
New born lambs, spring bulbs and blossom trees all signal the arrival of natures bloom and a wonderful time to visit the natural paradise of New Zealand. Take a garden tour or wildlife cruise, visit a high country station or explore the Milford Sound and Mt Cook regions. The temperature is warming up so it is also time to grab a picnic, enjoy the blossom trees and sample some of the great food and wine on offer.

• Christchurch is know as the Garden City and with flowers in full bloom and blossoms on the tree be sure to enjoy a punt down through the park on the Avon river.

December – February
The New Zealand summer offers longer sunshine hours with warm temperature. Day light saving means that the days can sometimes last until 8:00-9:00pm. It is therefore a great time of the year to enjoy the fantastic range of golf courses, dry fly fishing and trekking or bush walks. New Zealand Summers are far less humid than those experienced in Japan and provide a great opportunity to try the abundant variety of outdoor activities and attractions.

• Try the Humpback Ridge Track in Southland.
• Go Fishing in the Rakaia or Mataura Rivers
• Go on a Golf Tour to Terrace Downs or Millbrook

March – May
The changing of leaves to red and yellow with the cooler day time temperatures make Autumn a great time of the year to enjoy the beauty of the South Island and in particular central Otago and Canterbury. Take the time to enjoy the change of season by relaxing in the thermal pools of Canterbury, see the wildlife colonies of Dunedin, try some fine wines from Central Otago and sampling the famous Oysters from Southland.

• Bluff Oyster and Southland Seafood Festival is held in May.
• Wanaka, Arrowtown and Hanmer all provide a great environment to see a range of Autumn leaf colours.


walter_h Oct 31st, 2005 09:48 AM

wow GBZ that is a comprehensive response - well done!
Have been in NZ in Sept and I think it's a fine time to go. You can never be too sure about the weather in NZ and as everyone rightly points out, it does depend on where you go. I love spring time in NZ.

flygirl Nov 21st, 2005 05:50 PM

I've only been once, now, but I'm sold on going in Sept and I bet early October would be even better - at least on the north island. we were very lucky to have mostly decent weather on the south island as well, only one cold day, but it was noticeably nippier on the south island.

sunny days, great weather, no crowds. a good time to go IMHO. (again, only one trip there under my belt)

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