Think of New Zealand and you probably picture gorgeous national parks teeming with wildflowers, lush green mountains perfect for hiking and remarkably calm lakes begging you to grab a kayak and row across. But this is just one small part of New Zealand’s alluring charm. In winter, the country takes on a whole new persona and becomes a real life winter wonderland. If the idea of snow-capped mountains, bubbling hot springs and world-class skiing sounds like a dream to you, you’ll love spending the chilly season in the youngest country in the world. Just in case you need any more persuading, here’s why you should have a New Zealand Winter Vacation.
Top 5 Reasons to Have a New Zealand Winter Vacation
Amazing winter sports
New Zealand boasts the longest skiing and snowboarding seasons in Australasia, lasting from July until the end of September. There’s a huge variety of terrains where you can practise winter sports and the reliably top quality of the snow means everyone can give it a shot – from professional expert snowboarders to newbie skiers hitting the slopes for the first time. The largest ski field in New Zealand is set on the active volcano Mt Ruapehu on North Island – and who wouldn’t want to tell everyone they’ve skied on an active volcano?
Geothermal hot springs
What’s better than sliding into a hot bath after a long day on the slopes? Slipping into a bubbling geothermal hot spring. North and South island are brimming with these natural hot tubs, giving you loads to choose from. Head for the remote hot springs at Copland River, South Island for complete tranquillity and breathtaking views. Or for a unique experience, head to Coromandel, North Island where you can dig a hot spring yourself while enjoying your New Zealand Winter Vacation.
Prime whale watching time
June and July are the best times to spot whales in New Zealand. These months fall within the middle of the migration season, so you’re pretty much guaranteed to see a fair few of the marine mammals if you keep an eye out. Kaikoura is one of the best places to jump on a boat and snap away at mesmerising scenes of giant sperm whales, orcas and humpback whales gracefully gliding through the clear waters.
Queenstown Winter Festival
Held annually at the end of June, this buzzing festival is perfect for anyone who loves a energetic party vibe brimming with live music, firework displays, comedy shows and winter sports. It goes on for around 4 days and includes loads of stuff for visitors of every age to enjoy, plus a dedicated Festival Village where you can indulge in all the delicious hot eats, freshly brewed coffee and soul-warming hot chocolate you can handle during your New Zealand Winter Vacation.
The sibling to the Northern Lights in the Arctic Circle, the Southern Lights are in the Antarctic Circle. And in the right conditions, this stunning natural light show can be seen from New Zealand. Although the mesmerising lights can appear at any time of year, the best months to see them in New Zealand are March-September. Check out this post for more tips on how to see the Southern Lights from New Zealand.