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A vineyard leads to a mountain backdrop in Marlborough, New Zealand
30 November, 20203 minute read

When are the best times to travel to New Zealand and Australia

You've finally made up your mind. After much deliberation you've decided that you are ready to embark on an adventure of a lifetime and travel to the other side of the world to experience the staggering brilliance and epic lands of Australasia - be it New Zealand or Australia or even both in our Grand Antipodean Odyssey.

But before you start planning exactly which Australia and New Zealand tours you would like to choose, perhaps you’re wondering when exactly are the best times to travel to New Zealand and Australia?  Well, look no further as we’ve put together this handy little guide to let you know exactly what you can expect from each month that we have departures to both Antipodean destinations. From sunshine and summer festivals at the beginning of the year to cooler, milder temperatures in September and October, here is a round-up of when to go when on our Australia and New Zealand holidays. 

When is the best time to visit NZ?

New Zealand is a destination that can be enjoyed in all seasons. From long balmy summers to perfect skiing conditions and everything else in between, there really isn’t technically a wrong time to visit. However, we think that our holidays to New Zealand are best enjoyed in the months of March, October and November.

In March, you can experience great weather in New Zealand, and it is often considered one of the best months to travel. The start of autumn, temperatures are still warm, but much cooler than the previous summer heat and much less humid. So, while there is no need to pack extra layers, you may want to take a light raincoat, as rain showers can become more prevalent. This is also a good time to enjoy the lively atmosphere as there are lots of festivals celebrating music, art, food, and culture taking place on both in the North and South Islands throughout the month.

Pink and purple lupins bloom on the shores of Lake Tekapo in South Island, New Zealand

In October expect comfortable temperatures and plenty of clear blue skies – particularly in Wellington where the weather tends to be best. Spring is in full swing, not too hot and not too cold, but our advice would be to pack for all weathers and bring layers, as the wind can pick and up, and there is also a chance of sudden showers. You’re looking at highs of around 19°c in both the South and North Islands. Gardens are in full bloom at this time of the year, so expect to see wonderful vibrant colours, as well as an abundance of wildlife. Birds are at their most active and there are less crowds.

Even though November is still shoulder season and the last month of Spring, you’ll find that temperatures are beginning to climb, but while it is summery during the day, expect evenings to still be a little cooler – so make sure you bring some layers to wrap up after the sun goes down. It is also a great time to visit wineries – as the colours are so vibrant at this time of the year. And on our New Zealand guided tours we visit Church Road, one of New Zealand’s oldest wineries.

When is the best time to visit Australia?

Our group tours of Australia take in this wonderfully diverse country and its natural wonders, iconic sites, cosmopolitan cities, and gorgeous beaches, as well as its stunning marine and wildlife. The further south you travel in Australia, the colder it gets, but that said, we think that any time between the month of September to January are fantastic times to travel to Australia.

A kangaroo warning sign on the roadside near Uluru in Australia's Northern Territory

September signals spring, which brings warmer temperatures to the Southern parts of the country and continue to slowly creepy up in October, too. These are ideal months to visit, as it’s still warm enough to hit the beach in the south but not too hot to explore Uluru in the north. In Sydney and Perth, you can expect comfortable temperatures of around 20°c, perfect for sightseeing, while Melbourne and Adelaide are slightly cooler. However, in the desert, temperatures are close to balmy 27°c with cooler nights. So, we would suggest packing layers. It is also relatively dry at this time of the year.

In November, it is still comfortably warm as spring begins to end – although the rainy season begins in the tropical north. Temperatures in the Outback are now hot and around 33°c so make sure you have plenty of sunscreen and hats to protect your heads. November is still not peak season so you can still expect less crowds at this time of the year.

From December onwards it is Australia’s summer – perfect beach weather, hot, tropical temperatures and the chance to see baby kangaroos. In the North, however, it is now very hot. You can also now expect more crowds during the summer months with school holidays and peak season beginning. However, you will find these lessen in January, as people return to work and kids go back to school.

For more on our Australia and New Zealand escorted tours, do check out our Worldwide brochure or speak to our travel advisors


Ting has a serious case of wanderlust. Having travelled to over 40 countries, it’s her mission in life to make her way through her ever-growing list. Her two young sons have also caught the travel bug, and recent trips have seen them making snow angels in Iceland while watching the Northern Lights, as well as walking alongside elephants in South Africa.

Ting | About the author

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