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Visiting New Zealand

The Sunrise and Sunset times in New Zealand vary dramatically across the seasons and from north to south. Click here for a table of sunrise and sunset times.

Dates may vary by a few days from school to school but most New Zealand schools are on holiday on these dates.

2020

  • 10 April 2019 - 27 April 2020
  • 04 July 2020 - 19 July 2020
  • 26 September 2020 - 11 October 2020
  • 18 December 2020 - 08 February 2021

2021

  • 17 April 2021 - 02 May 2021
  • 10 July 2021 - 25 July 2021
  • 02 October 2021 - 17 October 2021

This entirely depends on your travel times. Ideally you would do both! Mutually stunning, each island has unique, individual attractions. However, if you have limited time we recommend choosing one island to thoroughly explore as opposed to trying to rush them both. There's always next time!

New Zealand is beautiful in every season - but the best time to come really depends on what you would like to do.

New Zealand in Spring is a great time to visit as the days are beginning to warm up, but the nights are still crisp and cool. Flowers begin to bloom, and lambs are born all across the country, making for a lively and vibrant atmosphere.

If you're headed here in the Summer expect long warm days perfect for swimming, kayaking, biking, and hiking. You’ll get plenty of time to enjoy the outdoors because it doesn't get dark until 10pm.

Have your camera ready if you're visiting in Autumn, because the changing of the leaves is really something. If you’re into hiking, this is the best time to come for you. Slightly cool but not too cold, the trails will be virtually empty and the days (mostly) clear and crisp. The new season brings spectacular colour to every New Zealand region, but a must-see at this time of year is  Arrowtown, where the hillside is burnished with every shade of red and gold.

If skiing is your thing, Winter is the time for you. Think clear sky, 'bluebird', days and powdery snow followed by mulled wine and a crackling fire. If skiing isn't your thing, hiking is still great at this time of year, and many of the trails have natural hot springs to relax in.

New Zealand has a wide range of accommodation to suit any budget. There are six distinct styles including: Motels, three star hotels, four star hotels, luxury lodges and five star hotels, bed and breakfasts, and premium bed and breakfasts.

Motels
The motels we recommend are of a very high standard and many have facilities on-par with hotels. Costs can also be comparative of hotels, especially in smaller locations such as Kaikoura and the West Coast where other accommodation types are limited. All motels offer self-contained facilities including cooking utensils, a hot plate and microwave, kettle, crockery and cutlery.  Some also offer facilities such as hot-tubs, swimming pools and saunas. Motes usually have bedrooms separate to the living area, making them ideal for families.

Three-star hotels
In New Zealand, the star rating of a hotel applies to the facilities and services on offer, and not necessarily the value or quality of these services. Throughout  the country there are many three star hotels that offer exceptional service and accommodations. All the three star hotels that we book offer restaurant and room service facilities.

Four-star hotels
Four star hotels are prevalent in New Zealand and are generally very high quality. Most have a range or room types including standard, deluxe, superior or lake/mountain view suites etc.  Many also have two and three bedroom suites which are great when travelling in a large group or with family.  Most have swimming pools, gyms, a choice of restaurants and room service and most will occupy premium positions within a town network.

Luxury lodges and hotels
New Zealand is internationally renowned for its luxury lodges and upmarket hotels. From cool cosmopolitan properties to premium lodges in scenic locations these accommodations are five star and provide just about anything you can ask for including private in-house chefs, helicopter tours, fishing and hunting guides and spa treatments.

Bed and Breakfast homestays
Bed and Breakfast homestays are often the highlight of our guest’s tours. Beyond just a bedroom in a house, staying at these properties are like going on holiday to a friends place. Owners and operators are enthusiastic kiwi ambassadors and are situated in scenic or central locations. All the bed and breakfast properties we recommend have en suite bathrooms and comfortable bedrooms.

Premium bed and breakfast homestays
Premium homestays are simply the luxurious end of B&B accommodation. Properties are generally historically listed, contemporary or unique homes converted into high-end guest houses.

 

In New Zealand the cost of things will vary according to the location. In more remote places you should factor in paying a lot more for everyday items such as groceries and petrol. If you have children, tourist attractions usually offer a family rate which will give you the best value for money.

New Zealand food is internationally renowned. A wide range of cuisine and styles are available to suit every budget. Dining out in the larger cities you will have a plethora of options while in the smaller towns you may only have one or two choices.

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Why choose NZ Road Trip?

NZ Road Trip are experts at creating New Zealand Self Drive Holidays & Itineraries. Since 2004 we have been showing visitors around and sharing every corner of the North & South Islands. With a huge rage of accommodation ideas to suit every taste and budget plus activities to capture everyone's attention we can design a package that specifically for you. So start planning your New Zealand Experience with the team at NZ Road Trip.

Check out our NZ Road trip ideas

North Island

New Zealand's North Island is incredibly diverse. Cities buzzing with life, deserted beaches, rainforests, volcanic plateaus and tons of great activities to enjoy. From the cafe quarters of Auckland city to the rugged coast line of the Wairarapa region, the North Island is a great place to explore.
See all North Island NZ Road trips here.

South Island

Home to much of New Zealand's iconic scenery from the golden sands of Abel Tasman National Park to the rugged West Coast and its glaciers to the majestic Southern Alps and the world heritage area of Fiordland National Park
See all South Island NZ Road trips here.