One of the most special things about autumn in New Zealand is the colours. Deciduous trees turn brilliant hues of yellow, gold and hot orange, set against bright blue skies.
This makes it a great time to get outside and make the most of the good weather before winter sets in.
Not sure where to begin? Get started with these!
Explore geothermal phenomena
Geysers, boiling mud pools & huge volcanic craters are in Rotorua, where nature’s forces escape by bubbling, steaming & hissing from the inner earth. Discover the sights and wonders of this city sitting squarely on the Pacific Ring of Fire.
Discover Skyline Queenstown
Enjoy an iconic Queenstown experience and take the Queenstown Gondola up 450 metres up to Bob’s Peak. From the top, enjoy panoramic views of the The Remarkables mountain range and Lake Wakatipu. Try your hand at the Queenstown Luge and zoom down the course of banked corners, tunnels and dippers.
Go Kayaking in Bay of Islands
Just 3.5 hours from Auckland is Paihia, a great base to explore this aquatic playground of 144 beautiful islands. Get out on the water and explore by paddling around in a kayak, or take a cruise to spot dolphins, relax on golden beaches and visit the historic Waitangi Treaty Grounds.
Spot marine wildlife
Orca and dolphins visit Wellington’s coast during the autumn months. Watch from the city’s waterfront or catch a ferry to Eastbourne or Picton.
Say ‘kia ora’ to culture
Soak up Māori culture and hospitality in Rotorua, the cultural heart of New Zealand. Visit an authentic pre-European Māori village for a cultural show. After a delicious ‘hāngī’ feast, the thermal hot pools will be calling.
Bask in Milford Sound’s scale
Depart from Queenstown or Te Anau and enjoy an afternoon cruise around Milford Sound’s dramatic fiords, spectacular waterfalls and snow-capped peaks. You can also see the “Eighth Wonder of the World” by flightseeing, kayaking or taking an overnight boat ride.
Make furry-footed friends
Ever since the first The Lord of the Rings movie was released in 2001, New Zealand has been known as the home of Middle-earth™. Take a guided tour of the Hobbiton Movie Set in Matamata, land of The Shire’s lush pastures.
Heli-hike a glacier
Wild rivers, rainforests, glaciers and rugged beaches invite exploration on the stunning, unspoiled region of the West Coast. Take a helicopter to the top of a glacier for a guided walk onto the Franz Josef or Fox Glacier.
Cruise with whales in Kaikōura
Picturesque Kaikōura is all about sea adventures. Have an upclose encounter with the Giant Sperm Whales and pods of Dusky dolphins on a cruise or go snorkelling with friendly New Zealand fur seals.
Sip wine among the vines
New Zealand is world-famous for Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and Central Otago Pinot Noir. But what’s even better is that New Zealand’s main wine-growing areas are also some of the most spectacularly beautiful parts of the country. Take a road trip and meet local winegrowers along the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail.
Hike ancient lava flows
The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is often described as New Zealand’s best day walk. The 19km hike traverses’ ancient volcanic terrain, winding its way past emerald lakes, old lava flows and even an active crater. Views of Lake Taupo and the Ruapehu region are magnificent and make the hike well worth the effort!
Relax on Cathedral Cove beaches
Pack a picnic, follow the coastal trail and enjoy an idyllic day at The Coromandel’s Cathedral Cove. Go for a swim, snorkel, kayak or just relax in the sand. From beautiful Hahei Beach you can walk to Cathedral Cove, where a naturally formed archway deserves photographic attention.
Discover the Hokitika Gorge Located 33 kilometres from Hokitika on the West Coast, The Hokitika Gorge is one of those places that look as good in photos as in real life. The vivid turquoise water surrounded by lush native bush looks too good to be true and is well worth a visit.
Experience a magical stargazing experience in New Zealand with clear, dark skies and unique celestial features. Mount Cook is home to darkest skies in the world and perfect to enjoy some breathtaking stargazing experiences. Visit Big Sky Stargazing in Mount Cook or join one of Dark Sky Project tours at Tekapo’s Mount John Observatory. See constellations and shooting stars in glittering dark skies; much of New Zealand has no light pollution and is home to some of the most accessible observatories in the world.
An ancient subterranean world in the heart of New Zealand’s central North Island, the Waitomo Cave system is a series of fascinating and dramatic natural wonders. The glow-worm grotto is one of the most popular attractions where visitors travel by boat into the spectacular cave guided by the light of thousands of unique New Zealand glow worms.
No matter how long you’re travelling for, one thing is for certain; you’ll never run out of places to see in New Zealand.