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Visiting New Zealand

What time does the sun rise and set in 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.

When are the school holidays in New Zealand?

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


21 December 2022 - 6 February 2023
07 April 2023 - 23 April 2023
01 July 2023 - 16 July 2023
23 September 2023 - 08 October 2023
20 December 2023 - 7 February 2023


21 December 2023 - 7 February 2024
13 April 2024 - 28 April 2024
6 July 2024 - 21 July 2024
28 September 2024 - 13 October 2024
20 December 2024 -  6 February 2025

What dates are the Public Holidays in New Zealand?

It is important to be aware of New Zealand’s public holidays so you can plan ahead for the closures of banks and some businesses, shops, cafes and restaurants. Businesses that do trade on these days may add a 15% surcharge to their services. We have listed the dates below for 2023 and 2024 to make sure you are prepared and get no surprises!

There are four restricted trading days which are Christmas Day, Good Friday, Easter Sunday and before 1 pm on ANZAC Day. Almost all shops are required to be closed. There are some exclusions due to the nature of their trade e.g. petrol stations, cafes, restaurants, fast food outlets and dairies (small convenience stores), however, in smaller towns they will often opt to close as well. Check out in advance what will be open near you on the following days! Small towns and villages are less likely to have places open, so if you are travelling around New Zealand during any of these periods, make sure you plan ahead.

Our New Zealand Travel Specialists can assist you with further information, see our Contact Us page.

2023 New Zealand National Public Holidays

1   Jan: New Year's Day
2   Jan: Day after New Year's Day
3   Jan: New Year Holiday
6   Feb: Waitangi Day
7   Apr: Good Friday
10 Apr: Easter Monday
25 Apr: Anzac Day
5   Jun: King's Birthday
14 Jul: Matariki
23 Oct: Labour Day
25 Dec: Christmas Day
26 Dec: Boxing Day

2023 New Zealand Regional Anniversary Dates (Please note that these holidays are only celebrated within each province, and not nationwide)

23 Jan: Wellington Anniversary Day
30 Jan: Auckland Anniversary Day
30 Jan: Nelson Anniversary Day
13 Mar: Taranaki Anniversary Day
20 Mar: Otago Anniversary Day
11 Apr: Southland Anniversary Day
25 Sep: South Canterbury Anniversary Day
20 Oct: Hawkes' Bay Anniversary Day
30 Oct: Marlborough Anniversary Day
17 Nov: Canterbury Anniversary Day
27 Nov: Chatham Islands Anniversary Day
4 Dec: Westland Anniversary Day

2024 New Zealand National Public Holidays

1 Jan: New Year's Day
2 Jan: Day after New Year's Day
6 Feb: Waitangi Day
29 Mar: Good Friday
1 Apr: Easter Monday
25 Apr: Anzac Day
3 Jun: King's Birthday
28 Jun: Matariki
28 Oct: Labour Day
25 Dec: Christmas Day
26 Dec: Boxing Day

2024 New Zealand Regional Anniversary Dates (Please note that these holidays are only celebrated within each province, and not nationwide)

22 Jan: Wellington Anniversary Day
29 Jan: Auckland Anniversary Day
29 Jan: Nelson Anniversary Day
11 Mar: Taranaki Anniversary Day
25 Mar: Otago Anniversary Day
2 Apr: Southland Anniversary Day
23 Sep: South Canterbury Anniversary Day
25 Oct: Hawkes' Bay Anniversary Day
4 Nov: Marlborough Anniversary Day
15 Nov: Canterbury Anniversary Day
2 Dec: Chatham Islands Anniversary Day
2 Dec: Westland Anniversary Day

Which island should I visit? the North, South or both?

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!

When is the best time to visit New Zealand?

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.

What are the styles of accommodation available in New Zealand?

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.

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.


What do things cost in New Zealand?

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.

What can I expect to pay for food in New Zealand?

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.