While a New Zealand summer is really quite something, we welcome the crisp mornings and cosy evenings that herald a seasonal change. And although the air is noticeably sharper in the early hours - the days are long and warm, and the weather is settled.
But the best part of Autumn down under is the colours. Yellow, red and bronze hues blanket the country making our diverse landscapes all the more spectacular (and popular with photographers). While both islands have dramatic leaf displays, the foliage down south is by the far the most vibrant - you’ll see entire hillsides burnished bronze.
So if Autumn’s your thing, read on for the top spots to see in New Zealand’s shoulder season.
- Hawkes Bay - Ordinarily one of New Zealand's most well known wine regions, Hawkes Bay sheds its cloak of green come harvest time - turning the rows and rows of grape vines into a golden sensation.
- Taranaki - Nestled at the foot of its namesake - Mt Taranaki - this region is known for its plentiful gardens and volcanic soil, so come fall the countryside lights up.
- Auckland botanical gardens - Most botanical gardens around the country put on a show in Autumn but the Auckland Botanic Gardens is one of our favourites to visit, with its 64 hectares of forest and flowers on brilliant display.
- Cambridge - Cambridge (in the farming region of Waikato) offers wide tree-lined avenues that see out this season in style.
- Arrowtown - Arrowtown (in our opinion) is the best place in the entire country to visit in fall. Tucked into the base of the southern Alps, this historical town is straight out of a postcard with every shade of orange, red, yellow, gold and bronze on display.
- Wanaka - Our hometown is another special place to visit at this time of year (obviously, we’re a little biased) with its many lakeside tracks lined with yellowing poplars. We recommend a scenic flight to make the most of the view.
- Greater Central Otago - With a backdrop of stone fruit, wineries, and Lord of the Rings scenery Central Otago is another stunning Autumnal area. Places of particular note include lake Dunstan, Clyde. Ophir and Naseby.
- Christchurch - Renowned as ‘The Garden City’ Christchurch is dotted with oak, sycamore, ash and lime trees as well as extensive parks and gardens that really turn it on.
Whether you're traveling through our cities or the countryside, New Zealand’s Autumn colours are spectacular. Come see for yourself!