So much to see and do in New Zealand
- No people; it’s empty
Empty beaches, empty mountains, empty tourist sites, it is awesome! There is nothing like perfect solitude while visiting some of the most majestic landscapes in the world – It’s magical.
- White mountains everywhere
New Zealand is home to some big, big BIG mountains, but in summer, there isn’t a lot of snow on them, at least in the parts we can see from towns and on hikes. You can usually spot a glacier or two in the distance, but more often than not, the snowy peaks disappear in the warmest months. As to be expected. But in winter, nope! From June onward the mountains turn white and the snow line drops lower and lower giving the already beautiful mountains a bit of a makeover. Some of New Zealand’s best walks and hikes are still accessible in the winter.
- Snowboarding at Treble Cone in Wanaka
Wanaka is home to Treble Cone, one of the best ski fields in New Zealand. Flying down the slopes for the first time with the sun on your face and while gazing at the most amazing views out to Lake Wanaka below is something to remember for the rest of your life!
- Surprise! It’s cheaper!
This should come as no surprise but New Zealand is actually cheaper in winter because apart from the ski fields, it’s off season. Hotel rates drop, prices go down everywhere. Why pay high season prices if you don’t have to?
- It’s actually not *that* cold
In the South Island, the lakes keep towns like Wanaka warmer in winter, and it rarely snows at ground level around most of the country. You have to go up for snow. In the North Island, especially north of Auckland it actually stays really mild and doesn’t get too cold. You can still go to the beach even!
- Dogsledding at Snow Farm near Wanaka
There are dogsledding tours near Wanaka in Cardrona and there is a big snow park that has cross country skiing, backcountry huts you can overnight in, and yes, you guessed it, DOGSLEDDING! Mush!
- Baby seals in Kaikoura
There is a beautiful waterfall 15 minutes north of Kaikoura on the South Island. And in the winter months, it’s filled with baby seals. It’s right off of the main road that runs along the coast, and in winter, the momma seals come and deposit their babies up the creek in the big pool that’s at the bottom of the waterfall for them to frolic around in and grow nice and big and chubby before making way to the colony on the beach. It’s the most bizarre phenomenon ever, but it’s totally awesome! Only in New Zealand do you get an entire legion of baby seals at a beautiful waterfall. I suppose you can have everything here.
- More opportunities to catch up with the locals
Another benefit of traveling during the off season in New Zealand is that because there are so few tourists around, locals are even friendlier and more open to chatting. It’s such a safe and friendly country; it seems that the negative, scary things that can happen in the rest of the world because they almost never happen here. Meeting people is easy in New Zealand and much easier to talk to people when there aren’t a lot of people around.
- Hot springs at Hanmer Springs
New Zealand sits on a massive fault line and most of the volcanoes that everyone recognizes are on the North Island. Southwest of Kaikoura and north of Christchurch inland there is the famous kiwi holiday town of Hanmer Springs. Built on natural hot pools, it has quickly become the iconic New Zealand holiday spot. People flock here for their vacations, usually coming back annually. It’s like a cult almost. Mostly free from foreign tourists, it’s a beautiful place near the mountains in the woods all off on its own away from the major roads.
- New Zealand has Southern Lights in winter!!
Are you a fan of winter? Have you ever traveled to a place as a winter destination? Would you consider visiting New Zealand in the chilly months?