Swap the British winter for the New Zealand summer!
With the days getting colder and the dark winter drawing in over here in the UK, we don’t blame you if you spend most of your time daydreaming about a great adventure on the other side of the world – we do too!
There’s no better time of the year to visit New Zealand than in the months between January and April, when the country is basked in glorious summer and autumn sunshine. Whether you fancy soaking up some summer sun on one of the many glorious beaches, heading into the mountains or enjoying one of the many wine & food festivals on at this time of year this is one of our favourite seasons in New Zealand. We’ve taken a look at some of the country’s best summer attractions for your holiday.
Everyone knows that New Zealand lays claim to the breathtaking and iconic landscapes that Frodo and Sam trekked across in the Lord Of The Rings, and its epic three-part prequel, The Hobbit premiering now in the country’s capital, Wellington, there really is no better time to discover a slice of Middle Earth for yourself.
In Matamata, nestled in the heart of the North Island’s Waikoto region, you’ll find The Shire, enveloped within the rolling hills and lush emerald grass of a picturesque private sheep farm. The Shire has been permanently rebuilt for the filming of The Hobbit, so you can wander round the hobbit holes, The Green Dragon Inn, Mill, bridge and gardens. Daily tours operate from Rotorua, and last two hours. More information about the tours can be found on.
Nelson/Abel Tasman National Park
Perched at the northwest tip of the South Island, Nelson is New Zealand’s sunniest region, its sun-drenched landscapes ripe with mountains for hiking, forests for exploring, beaches for whiling away the long summer days.
A visit to the country’s smallest and only coastal National Park, Abel Tasman, is a must-do activity during the summer. While in Tasman, why not stay at the luxurious, set mid-way between Nelson & the Abel Tasman National Park. Located on the Kina Peninsula with an unspoilt beach only a minutes walk away & offering world-class accommodation in a spectacular setting, Almyra offers luxuriously appointed suites with private decks so you can relax & enjoy the views. Certainly a retreat not to be missed!
The area is a prime spot for many outdoor activities such as kayaking, walking and sailing, a highlight being the Abel Tasman Coastal Track. The calm clear waters of the Abel Tasman National Park make this an ideal spot for sea kayaking, with the 53km track, taking an easy three to five days to complete. The track passes through lush beach forest, expansive tidal estuaries and golden sandy beaches and is suitable for all levels of fitness. Seals & dolphins also frequent the area, and a highlight is visiting the seal colony on Tonga Island Marine Reserve where seals will often frolic around your kayak (this island is not accessible by walkers). There are also a range of day tours available into the park – including scenic cruises, combination cruise/walk packages, sea kayaking or perhaps an overnight stay in one of the stunning beachfront lodges. This is our Marketing Manager Tui’s favourite destination. You can read more about our team’s favourite destinations on our.
While New Zealand has long been famed for it’s stunning, unspoilt landscape – equal to the international acclaim for it’s beauty is that for it’s fine wine.
A visit to a cellar door is often more than just a wine tasting. Wineries make every effort to provide visitors with a truly memorable experience with staff who have an intense knowledge & passion for wine production & many wineries also offer tasting platters, lunch or dinner or a 5-course degustation menu. The Classic New Zealand Wine Trail is a 240 mile self-drive touring route that takes you through five of New Zealand’s most interesting & scenic regions, including three major viticultural areas that account for more than 70% of the country’s wine production.
In the Hawkes Bay (known for it’s stunning reds, chardonnay & Art Deco architecture) you can spend a day cycling around 9 of the regions wineries all within a 12 km leisurely cycle ride – great for serious wine lovers and no need to worry about who’s going to do the driving!
With 43 cellar doors to choose from in Marleborough, what better way to spend a long summers day then wandering around some of the regions beautiful wineyards sampling the delights of only the very best wines to ever pass your lips! Marlborough can lay claim to introducing Sauvignon Blanc to the world, putting New Zealand well and truly on the map as a wine producer.
Queenstown is also home to over 75 wineries and is famous for its Pinot Noir, so once you’ve had enough of Marlborough’s Sauvignon Blanc, head down here to try the red.
Talking of Queenstown, famously dubbed the ‘Adventure Capital of the World’, apart from its high adrenaline skydiving, bungy jumping, white water rafting, zorbing and host of other activities that’ll get your blood pumping, it’s actually a great place to chill and unwind, and explore some of New Zealand’s most magical terrain.
As we’ve already touched on, Queenstown is famed for its fantastic Pinot Noir (online for details of the winetrail), but once you’ve had your fill of wine, enjoy the region’s spectacular terrain of majestic mountains and astoundingly clear lakes, and sample its delicious cuisines.
Just like no visit to New Zealand is complete without sampling the country’s wineries, you would be mad to miss an overnight Milford Sound cruise, taking you through the magnificent and dramatic landscape. Carved into existence by glaciers during the ice age, there might never be a more spectacular photo opportunity than cruising between the giant cliffs along a silent and pristine lake, the silence disturbed only by cascading waterfalls. Our overnight cruise lets you experience this beauty in darkness – you’ll soon see why Rudyard Kipling described Milford Sound as the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’.
More information about our Milford Sound Cruise can be found
These are just some of the many reasons to swap our cold, dark and gloomy winter for a summer of exploration and majesty in New Zealand –now to discuss your trip.