Reds, oranges, yellows and greens – crisp and sunny days, scenery to die for and best yet: no crowds. Autumn (“Fall” in America) is a wonderful time in New Zealand, where a perfect balance of weather, temperature, scenery and celebrations combine to put on quite the show.
In this blog we’ll tell you about the best places to be, things to do and scenery to see this Autumn – and no matter where you are, there’s a Kiwi Holiday Park and its lovely hosts waiting to greet you.
As the leaves begin to change, the weather becomes a bit milder than the heat of summer. While still a pleasant average 18-25 degrees Celsius, humidity is replaced by cool, crisp air. Be prepared for a few sporadic showers, and colder temperatures at night, particularly in mountainous regions like Queenstown and other southern areas such as Christchurch, Dunedin and the Otago region.
What to wear during a New Zealand Autumn
Because of New Zealand’s interesting (and somewhat temperamental!) weather, it pays to be prepared when travelling, particularly in the South Island. Mountainous regions can have unpredictable weather too – so keep this in mind if you’ll be climbing or traversing these areas. It’s best to have:
• Warm clothing such as fleece or polyester
• Layered clothing so you can add or take things off
• A light rain jacket
• Durable shoes
If you’re driving through areas expected to have snow, keep tyre chains for your vehicle too. Hire agencies will show you how to use them
Though much of New Zealand’s natural foliage is evergreen, a few exotic species create a beautiful contrast in among the shades of forest green. Places like Hawkes Bay and Central Otago are the best areas to see this beautiful phenomenon – though the hundreds of botanical or other public gardens dotted around the country are home to a number of deciduous or seasonal trees and flowers. Check out Gardens to Visit for a great list of gardens around the country.
Other beautiful Autumn scenery destinations include Blenheim, Wanaka, Arrowtown, Christchurch, Queenstown, Wellington and Taupo.
Things to do
Whether you prefer inside or out, there are many wonderful things to do during the Autumn months.
Any of New Zealand’s 9 Great Walks is a sure-fire way to really get amongst the colours of Autumn while enjoying the splendour of the scenery around you. These walks require a range of experience, so search carefully beforehand and choose your walk according to your experience and comfort levels.
If walking isn’t your thing but you still wish to take in the beauty of the South Island scenery, what better way to do it than the TranzAlpine train. Running daily from Christchurch to Grreymouth, it’s a great way to see the wondrous sights of Autumn while sitting in comfort and delighting in the delicious food and drink served on board.
During this time of year, fishing is exceptional – a charter or hired boat is an excellent way to spend a day – and catch dinner! May sparks the beginning of trout spawning, and great numbers of them swim upstream to find a special fishy someone. See NZFishing for places to fish and more information about seasons and regulations.
Autumn is also the time when many whales and dolphins are spotted, particularly in Abel Tasman, Kaikoura and even in the Wellington Harbour.
If you prefer a different kind of liquid experience, New Zealand is a world-class destination for winery tours, and for good reason! Our wines regularly win international awards, and their unique growing environment produces a variety of unique flavours and aromas. Premier wine-producing areas include Hawkes Bay, Otago and Marlborough. Check out Tourism.net for a comprehensive list of wine tours around the country.
Autumn in New Zealand is truly a breath-taking sight and experience. If the colours don’t move you, the fresh air and fewer people certainly will! Have you experienced an Autumn in New Zealand? We’d love to hear about it in a comment below.