Before planning your trip to New Zealand, it is important to determine the best period to travel in, and what to prepare for in terms of weather conditions. In this article, you will find more information about New Zealand’s climate, the best time to travel there, and how to apply for your New Zealand visa.
Climate in New Zealand
The New Zealand climate is mostly comparable to the Northwestern European climate. There is a moderate sea climate, which means that summers are pleasantly warm, and winters are soft and springlike. On the Northern Island, especially around Auckland, temperatures are relatively higher than on the Southern island, due to its position close to the equator. Climatologically, the bigger differences are found between the east and west side of the Southern island. The west has to deal with significantly more precipitation than the dry east, due to heavy downpours carried by the western wind. It should be mentioned, that in summer (December until February), there is less rainfall than in winter.
New Zealand is located on the Southern Hemisphere. Because of this, the seasons are exactly opposite to those on the Northern Hemisphere. Summer in Europe, means winter in New Zealand, and vice versa. You will notice the temperatures dropping when travelling to the south, contrary to the Northern Hemisphere, where temperatures rise going south.
The best time to travel to New Zealand
Generally, New Zealand can be enjoyed throughout all seasons. As mentioned above, the seasons are opposite to the seasons in the Northern Hemisphere. The ideal travel time for New Zealand is therefore between December and February. Both the Northern and Southern island offer pleasant temperatures in summer. That does mean that in the high season, it is a densely visited area, also due to school summer holidays. Should you prefer to skip the high season, it is better to plan your trip before or after this period, between March and April or between September and November.
Best season for Northern island
There are definitely some differences between the two islands, regarding the ideal time to travel. Lying closer to the equator, the Northern Island’s temperatures are higher, but so is humidity. North of Auckland, there even is a subtropical climate. Especially during the winter, there are high chances of rain, making the summer far more suitable for your trip. If you prefer more moderate temperatures, you should consider travelling around the Northern island in the spring or autumn.
Best season for Southern island
The further south you go, the faster the temperatures will drop. Although the temperatures are on average lower than in the north, summer days here can feel a lot warmer than the tropical summers of the Northern island. Sun lovers should therefore plan their roundtrip to the Southern island. For winter sports fanatics, the winter (June until August) here can be very attractive. The Southern Alps, that split the island in two from north to south, have the best ski slopes this time of year. Not so fond of skiing? Then it is best to travel before or after the winter.
Apply for your New Zealand visa
As soon as you have decided to travel to New Zealand, you can apply for your New Zealand visa. You can easily apply for an electronic travel permit for New Zealand, called an NZeTA, online, which means that you are not required to visit an embassy. Moreover, the costs of the e-visa are much lower than if you were to apply for one at the embassy. The New Zealand visa is generally processed and approved within 1 week, and is valid for two years from the issue date. The visa allows you to stay in New Zealand for 3 consecutive months, which should give you plenty of time to explore both the Northern and Southern island.