Where to visit in New Zealand in December

Read about a few of the New Zealand places and attractions you could visit in December when summer in New Zealand begins.

The weather in New Zealand in December is generally the beginning of a 3 – 4 month period of mostly fair to good weather.

And when the sun comes out and New Zealand warms up, it is time to look for places with water, which generally means visiting beaches and lakes.

The West Coast is known for a huge amounts of rain that falls there. That’s why it is also so gorgeously green.

While winter might bring better weather on the West Coast than summer in New Zealand, it is still worthwhile to visit this region in summer.

If you like to drive, you’ll enjoy going for long scenic drives up or down State Highway 6. Some sections skirt the coast, so you’ll get gorgeous views of rocky coastline and beaches.

But what I like most is the nice smell of manuka and wet bush that you get while driving with your car windows slightly open on a sunny day after rain in the early morning hours.

There is lots to see and do on the West Coast ranging from visiting the Pancake Rocks and seal colonies to going for day walks in the bush and visiting waterfalls like Mangatini Falls or doing a glacier walk at either Fox Glacier or Franz Josef Glacier.

And don’t forget to drive through cities such as Greymouth where the Pohutukawa trees will be in bloom displaying tremendously red flowers. But then again, if you’re allergic to pollen like I am, it might be best to avoid them…

You can also head to Central Otago to visit wineries, pick your own fruit, or stop at a fruit stall to get a dosage of vitamin C.


If you’re among the energetic, you can do a strenuous hike like the Mount Roy walk in Wanaka or less strenuous ones such as the Queenstown Hill Time Walk in Queenstown and Mount John Walkway in Tekapo to enjoy gorgeous mountain and lake views from above.

While the Coromandel peninsula and the Bay of Plenty area on the North Island of New Zealand are busy places in summer, I’d still suggest heading there and visiting some of the beaches or going for walks along the beaches and coastline. The Pohutukawa trees will again function as a lovely foreground to the coast and beaches.

And if you’re a city slicker, try Wellington. There are lots of Pokutukawa trees right in the center of the city, and you won’t get bored with all of the shops, restaurants, and cultural activities that you’ll be able to visit and do.

You can also go for a stroll along the waterfront, or if it is sunny, walk up to a lookout over Wellington City to get gorgeous views of the city and harbor. There are many short day walks you can do in Wellington that offer good views of the city.

This is just a small sample of the huge amount of places you could visit in New Zealand in December. Because the weather is good and almost every tourism operator is open for business, you could go virtually anywhere in New Zealand in December.

Just remember that it is not the best time to visit New Zealand if you’re trying to avoid the crowds and that January or February might offer better and much hotter weather.


This article falls under Travel Guide.

Note: This article was accurate when it was published. Please confirm all details
directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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