Fall for the top of the world is springtime in the bottom half. This is why now is one of the best times to take a long trip to New Zealand. Instead of pulling out those jackets and welcoming the cold weather, you can go somewhere where the air is warming and you can stretch the shorts-wearing for a little bit longer.
While summers in New Zealand are amazing, and there are a lot of great adventures to be had, springtime has just as much to offer, if not more so. If you go soon enough in the New Zealand spring, you may still be able to enjoy some skiing while at the same time being able to bicycle through the lovely countryside.
So prepare your trip ahead of time. Plan your trip out to take advantage of the changing season; make sure you have both warm clothes and cool clothes for the different activities you can do, have a good set of boots and a strong backpack to carry your essentials, and bring your supercharged Fire Stick and Nook for some relaxing evenings after a day of activities.
Explore the Glaciers
New Zealand has some amazing glaciers. You can hire a helicopter tour to fly you over the white, icy surface of Fox Glacier. You can cover the expanse by air, or if you would prefer, you can hike across the glacier. If you are a truly adventurous person, you may have an itch to do some ice climbing in the area. If you do, know what you are doing and prepare accordingly.
The surrounding mountain region can provide you with some outstanding views of the natural world. Only New Zealand can provide such variety in landscapes, and regardless of the season, the glaciers are always open for exploration.
The Franz Josef Glacier is another of the New Zealand spectacles of slow-moving ice. Not only can you hike around and along the glacier, you can actually go inside the massive slab of ice. Natural tunnels have formed in the glacier, creating an ice-cave system. To walk through a glacier is not something everyone can say they have done, but in New Zealand you can do it.
Exploring the Caves
If you prefer the rock and stalactite type of cave, New Zealand has them as well. The local Spring is a good time to explore these tunnels in the earth. If you do not mind climbing and squeezing through crevasses, crawling along your belly, and repelling through the maze of tunnels, then the caves of the West Coast are for you.
You can do everything mentioned above in the Te Tahi cave system. This is what is known as adventure caving; you will feel like a real life Lara Croft exploring an ancient site to find the mystical treasure at the end. Trekking through this system of tunnels is very reminiscent of the original Tomb Raider games.
The Charleston Glow Worm Cave is a completely different experience. Within the Nile River Canyon Rainforest, the moss-covered passages will lead you deep into the earth where the sunlight cannot reach. There is another form of light, however, in the form of the creatures that inhabit the dark.
Glow worms in the millions live in this area, and they provide a spectacle like no other. So numerous are they throughout the cave that the glow worms along the ceiling and walls of the cavern resemble the night sky. Bioluminescent stars illuminate your journey through the cave. Truly amazing!
Explore the North Island
While both of the main islands of New Zealand offer some terrific places for adventuring and sightseeing, the North Island has an advantage over the South Island. Temperatures here are a little higher than to the south, making it ideal for cycling, kayaking, and other outdoor activities.
While spring may still be a little cool to take a dip in the ocean or Hang 10 on the waves, you can still enjoy walks along the beaches and shoreline. The scenery alone is worth getting your shoes filled with damp sand.
One place to discover is the Hobbiton Movie Set. With tourism not yet in full swing for New Zealand at this time of year (remember – Autumn in the Northern Hemisphere), visitors to this famous site are fewer than if you were to visit in the Summer. Located east in Matamata, the filming location for The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies is still standing, and you can explore the Shire for yourself.
Between the smaller number of tourists during the New Zealand springtime, the shifting temperatures giving you the best of both seasons prior and following, and the locations accessible at this time, you can see why Fall is the best time for those living in the Northern Hemisphere to visit. Plan your trip to maximize the amount of time you have in the country, but plan on seeing some amazing sites that will make you fall in love with the country!