Autumn (fall): March, April, May
Autumn is a great time to travel in New Zealand. It’s quieter on the roads and in towns, and the good weather usually stretches to late autumn. The days start to get a little shorter but they stay mild well into the evening. Auckland and further north stay balmy till May. It’s still warm, but not quite so hot, and the days are shorter. Down south, Central Otago, Queenstown and Arrowtown are at their best during Autumn – the golden leaves are a highlight of any trip. Autumn is also the best time for marine wildlife. This is prime swimming with the dolphins and whale spotting season.
Marine environments are generally calmer in autumn, than the other seasons, so an off-shore fishing charter, swimming with dolphins or whale spotting could be the perfect highlight, and the sea should still be warmish.
Inland, temperatures will still be warm enough for a lake or river swim. That is a lovely treat after a day hiking, biking or exploring. Take the opportunity to explore our national parks and cycle ways. All over the country, sunsets and autumn colours have to be seen to be believed. In particular, Central Otago in the South Island, never fails to put on a spectacular show in mid-April.
In Autumn, you will still need your sunhat, sunglasses and swimming togs, but it pays to have an extra layer of clothing, just in case. Temperatures are still averaging a high of 68 ºF (20 ºC), making the great Kiwi outdoors still heaps of fun.