Luxury Holidays, Accommodation and Experiences

New Zealand Travel Guide

New Zealand is a perfect place for an unforgettable holiday. It is a small country with an incredibly varied landscape: mountains to rival any in the world, magical lakes, gorgeous beaches and rivers, pre-historic forests, thermal hot pools, old gold-mining towns and vineyard-terraced valleys. Beautiful and wild but also relatively safe. You can explore down side lanes and walk along remote beaches, turn up late in a small town and get friendly advice. You might be learning to drive on the “wrong“ side of the road, but there is hardly any traffic! The standard of accommodation, food, wine and adventure is high.

Regions of New Zealand

Map of New Zealand (click on Map View)

When To Go - Seasons

Summer: December – March January and February are the warmest months, temperatures range between 20-32ºC (68-90°F). During summer daylight can last up until 10pm in the south. These months are peak season, so book well in advance.

Autumn/Fall: April – May. Cooler than summer but the weather can be excellent. April especially can be a beautiful month to travel here with autumn colour, ripe vineyards ready for harvest and fewer travellers.

Winter: June – September. June and July are the coldest months, ranging between 1-15ºC (33-60°F) across the country. July and August brings snow in the south and a busy ski season in the towns near Mt Ruapehu in the North Island and Queenstown, Wanaka, Mt Cook and many small and large ski fields throughout the Southern Alps. In the south temperatures can often drop below zero (celsius) at night.

Spring: October – November. Weather of all types – expect everything from cool clear days to storms or sunny and hot. Make sure you are prepared. We especially recommend November as an off-season travel month with a mix of summer and spring.

Being an island country weather in New Zealand can change quickly. Be prepared for hiking or other outdoor activities.

Choose Your Travel Style

So much to see and do! If you are coming from the Northern Hemisphere plan on spending 3-4 weeks to enjoyably see the whole country. With direct connections from the west coast of the USA, Hong Kong or Singapore a shorter two week holiday is possible but don't try to see everything. New Zealand is close enough to Australia to visit for a week or an extended weekend away (look for direct flights to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown). Avoid one night stays, you will spend all your time in your car rather than enjoying the destination. See our Getting Around for further information. You can also explore our Itineraries for sensible touring itineraries. You can customise your own holiday, booking directly, or research your trip then enlist the assistance of a specialist New Zealand travel agent.

Facts & Figures

Population  5.1m

Capital  Wellington (417,000)

Biggest City Auckland (1,600,300)

Area 268,021 km2 (103,483 mi2)

Highest Mountain 3,754m/12,218 ft (Mt Cook)

Deepest Lake 463m/1,519ft deep (Lake Hauroko)

Currency New Zealand Dollar

Time Zone  UTC +12 (UTC +13 September - April)

Useful Links

Our superb official tourism website

Department of Conservation (DoC) manages all the national parks in New Zealand.  For excellent information about recreational activities, hiking maps and conservation visit

See metwervice or metvuw for weather forecasts

New Zealand Experiences

Find out more about our Great Rides and cycle touring routes, check out the trails that are already open and plan your next great riding adventure.

Fish & Game NZ are a not-for-profit organisation, funded through the sale of fishing and hunting licences. They manage and maintain habitats, in the best long-term interests of present and future generations of anglers and hunters.

New Zealand is home to many unique species, check out this  great resource for birders