Top 5 things to do in spring

From an impressive explosion of flowers to frolicking baby lambs and amazing birdlife, here’s a list of most memorable New Zealand spring experiences.

Bloomin' awesome!

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 Spectacular held in November is a dream for horticulture enthusiasts.

Central Otago
Spring blossoms, Central Otago

By David Wall

If you love blossoms, see Central Otago in September. If you love fruit, wait until December.

Birdlife extravaganza

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.

West Coast
A nesting pair of kotuku, West Coast

By White Heron Tours

Whataroa, on the West Coast, has New Zealand's only white heron nesting colony. Take a White Heron Sanctuary guided boat tour to to view it.

Celebrate Hobbit Day

Celebrate Bilbo and Frodo Baggins' birthday (22 September) by visiting their home at Hobbiton Movie Set in Matamata. Charming bluebells and daffodils are in full flower at this time of the year, making the visit even more special.

Hamilton - Waikato
Hobbiton, Hamilton - Waikato

By Sara Orme

From movie sets to soft sweeping countryside, New Zealand truly is Middle‑earth. This image embodies the magic and beauty of New Zealand

Get adventurous

In the South Island the mountain snow melt, fills the rivers with epic rapids, making it a great time of the year for rafting. The Rangitata River in Canterbury is ideal for this adventure.

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.

Waterfall in the Waitakere Ranges, Auckland

By Chris McLennan

Explore canyons and waterfalls in the rainforests of the Waitakere Ranges, west of Auckland City.

Spring events

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) and Toast Martinborough are other delicious spring events.

Hawke's Bay
Food and Wine Classic Hawke's Bay, Hawke's Bay

By Food and Wine Classic Hawke's Bay

F.A.W.C! is a delicious event series of food and wine experiences, set in stunning locations throughout Hawke's Bay.

Find & book flights

You may also be interested in

Weather, climate & seasons →

Things to do →

Recommended Trips →