Learn what to expect of autumn in New Zealand and get information on planning and spending a holiday during autumn in New Zealand


General information about autumn in New Zealand


The autumn months in New Zealand are March, April, and May. Autumn can not only be one of the most gorgeous times to visit New Zealand, but also one of the quietest times. Most of the summer tourists have come and gone by the time March arrives, but the weather is still good enough to be out and about.


Where to go to see autumn colours in New Zealand?


While trees are not abundant in New Zealand, you can still enjoy the changing of the colors of leaves on trees in several parks and gardens throughout the country, as well as in people’s yards, densely populated cities such as Christchurch, and in selected locations outdoors such as Arrowtown, Wanaka, and further down into Central Otago.


Autumn in Arrowtown on the South Island of New ZealandAutumn in Arrowtown on the South Island of New Zealand



There are locations on both the North Island and South Island where you can enjoy colorful fall foliage, but the fall colors on the South Island tend to be more abundant than on the North Island.


You can read more about the best places to see autumn colours in New Zealand.


In addition, one of New Zealand Travel Insider’s readers has reported back with a fantastic report on fall colors in Christchurch. From that fall foliage report we now know that Hagley Park is a definite must-see in autumn.


You can stay in any motel near Hagley Park in Christchurch during autumn not to miss out on the autumn colours.


When to go to see autumn colours in New Zealand?


This is probably the most important question to ask and have an answer for before planning an autumn trip to New Zealand.


While autumn colours are and remain difficult to predict, because they depend on so many factors that have to do with the weather during the entire year preceding the fall season, there are a few guidelines you can follow and that can help you decide on the dates for your New Zealand autumn trip:


    • March is too early to see fall colors in New Zealand. The trees are generally still green by the end of March.


    • Anytime starting from the second to the last week of April should allow you to see fall colors in New Zealand.


    • Peak fall color tends to arrive between 12 and 18 April.


    • May is generally too late to see autumn colours. The trees generally start to turn brown by the end of April.


What to wear during autumn in New Zealand?


The weather is very changeable and unpredictable in autumn and especially when you are in mountainous regions.


While the temperatures are not as high as they are during summer – they range between 6 and 20 degrees Celsius depending on where you are in the country – you won’t require a thick winter jacket in autumn.


However, it is always good to walk with warm clothing such as a fleece sweater or jacket, just in case it suddenly gets cold. Rain is very common in autumn, so also carry a rain jacket.


And if you intend to do a walk – one I highly recommend during autumn in New Zealand is Mount Roy in Wanaka – wear a pair of good waterproof hiking boots or trail running shoes.