Winter is over, the days are getting longer, and soon adorable ducklings will be waddling around New Zealand. Spring in New Zealand is the perfect time to break away from the cold clutches of winter and begin the cure for “cabin fever.” It’s still cold, but the last school holiday break, September 30 to October 15, is an opportune time to get away and explore home and abroad before it’s too late.
When it comes to flora and fauna, the spring season in New Zealand is the most beautiful. If you wait for the weather to warm up, you’ll miss much of our short-lived, extreme and unusual plant life found nowhere else in the world. Head to the gardens in the South Island, where blossom grows strongest. Christchurch’s Botanic Gardens is host to the much-loved cherry blossom all through September, a good place to stop by before returning your camper! But if you wait until the end of September to drink in the delicious odour and gorgeous array of the cherry orchards, it will all be gone with the wind! Celebrate the arrival of spring in New Zealand at this year’s Alexandra Blossom Festival September 22-25. This year marks 61 years of New Zealand’s longest-running festival. In addition to blossom on the North Island in Auckland, Cornwall Park has lambs, chickens and calves roaming around the farm. Nothing says, “Welcome, Spring,” like baby animals. This is a great place to pass through while you’re making your way out of the big smoke.
Snow? In the spring? Yes! There’s still time to pack your skis or snowboards and shush some snow, Powderhounds! Although it’s spring in New Zealand, snow is still falling down south. Snow season isn’t over until late September/early October, so you may just be able to squeeze some skiing in if you’re quick! Many of the peaks in Wanaka and Queenstown, such as Cardrona, Coronet Peak and Treble Cone, are open until early October and won’t be as crowded in the spring as they are during peak season in July and August. There’s always Mt Ruapehu/Tongariro for your North Islanders’ as well!
Trekking is best in the spring in New Zealand. The Able Tasman track is open year-round, but spring is the low season, so tracks are less crowded. And if you like to camp, you can stay longer at the campsites in the spring, too.
The water in New Zealand doesn’t get that warm, but spring is the best time to combine our warming waters with great visibility for diving on White Island. Plankton hasn’t started moving much yet so visibility can reach up to 30 metres. If you prefer warmer sea temperatures, go north. Poor Knights Island in Northland off the coast of Tutukaka has the warmest water. Or dive to see moray eels, stingray and giant packhorse crayfish below a volcano on White Island.
If fishing is your thing, the best time for a big catch is in October, just as the season opens. Fish are feeding furiously to bulk up at winter’s end. The greatest catch rates are early in the spring from October to November. Check out great Fishing spots around the country here.
These are just a few things to do now that Spring is here! Make the most of this season, pick up a camper with Mighway from Auckland or Christchurch and make a start on your next adventure!