From an impressive explosion of flowers to frolicking baby lambs and amazing birdlife, here’s a list of most memorable New Zealand spring experiences.
One spring's most spectacular displays is the flowering purple lupins on the shores of turquoise Lake Tekapo. Further south, the mountain-fringed fruit bowl of Central Otago covers itself in a chaos of pink and white blossoms.
In the North Island, the themed Hamilton Gardens are in full bloom come September. New Plymouth’s central Pukekura Park and Pukeiti are iconic for their rhododendron displays, the latter featuring more than 2,000 varieties. The Powerco Taranaki Garden(opens in new window) Spectacular held in November is a dream for horticulture enthusiasts.
Spring is a great time to experience New Zealand’s birdlife. A short drive from Auckland, The Coromandel peninsula is an iconic birding destination with godwits (kuaka) arriving from as far afield as Siberia and Alaska to the Miranda Shorebird Centre.
It’s also hatching season for New Zealand's flightless icon, with the first kiwis emerging from mid-September. Book a tour at Rainbow Springs in Rotorua to marvel at how humans help hatch and raise these precious chicks.
In Auckland, visit the west coast beach of Muriwai to see the impressive gannet colony that nests in the region from August to March each year.
Spring is also a great time to explore New Zealand’s pristine wilderness areas. There are plenty of hiking or kayaking options. It’s ‘waterfall season’; enjoy the best of them with a hike in Auckland’s Waitakere Ranges or kayaking trip in Milford Sound.
Celebrate life by the sea at the annual Seafest in Kaikoura, New Zealand’s marine wonderland. Don’t be surprised if you come across festival-goers dressed as fish! Food & Wine Hawke’s Bay (F.A.W.C)(opens in new window) and Toast Martinborough(opens in new window) are other delicious spring events.