New Zealand in March: Great Weather For Exploration


Although it is already the start of autumn in New Zealand in March, you can still enjoy summer conditions in some parts of the country. While the southern part of the country begins experiencing chilly autumn weather around this time, the North Island is still enjoying the warm summer conditions. So, March can be a great time to visit places like Hawke's Bay on the North Island, which is often full of tourists during summer months. This can be an ideal time to go on day treks through the Te Urewera National Park and enjoy other activities, with fewer tourists around to distract you. Read on to find our what your holiday to New Zealand this month will look like.

New Zealand Weather in March

Enjoy Auckland's skyline in New Zealand in March.
Visit Auckland when the weather is great for sightseeing.

The weather in New Zealand in March will begin to get colder, with temperatures averaging between 15°C and 23°C. But the northern and coastal parts of the country are relatively warmer during this time. On the North Island, weather in cities like Auckland and Rotorua still enjoy warmer conditions, with Auckland having an average temperature of 16°C to 21°C. Meanwhile, Christchurch in the south has an average temperature of 10°C to 19°C. Mountainous and inland areas are generally colder, and it is not unusual to see some specks of snow on the mountains of Queenstown and Wanaka.

For a seasonal overview, please check out our guide on the best time to go to New Zealand.

Weather in New Zealand in March - Rainfall and Temperatures

Avg Daily (°C)
Avg Nightly (°C)15.916.515.31412.310.89.710.110.311.312.714.8
Avg Daily (°F)68.3668.3667.2863.6859.956.4854.6855.5856.6659.1862.0665.84
Avg Nightly (°F)60.6261.759.5457.254.1451.4449.4650.1850.5452.3454.8658.64
Avg Rainfall (mm)2729.53243.5485952514337.54047

Why Visit New Zealand in March

Go hiking in the Great Walks in New Zealand in March.
Hike through the Great Walks trail and get amazing views of the landscape in New Zealand.
Book a flight to New Zealand for your holiday.
Flights to New Zealand are cheaper in March.

New Zealand's landscapes look even more magical in autumn, making it a great time to explore the outdoors. If you need more convincing, here are some reasons why you should visit New Zealand in March.

  • More time for exploring: New Zealand is renowned for its generally cool weather. However, the autumn season offers a comfortable blend of warm and cold temperatures. In addition, the days will be longer, especially in March, when the autumn season is just starting. Longer days can mean more opportunities for outdoor exploration.
  • Outdoor adventures: Comfortable weather and longer days make for an ideal time to go hiking in New Zealand. This is one of the best times to conquer the "Great Walks,” which offer impressive and breathtaking landscapes. Some of the most epic trails in the Great Walks are the Tongariro Northern Circuit and the Lake Waikaremoana trail. The burst of colors that erupt during New Zealand's autumn season transforms the country's landscapes into something that seems out of a postcard.
  • Cheaper rates: Since March is a shoulder season in New Zealand, there are not too many tourists around, and this comes with the benefit of affordable prices, from flights to accommodations and activities. Therefore, you can enjoy great savings when you visit New Zealand in March.
  • Fewer crowds: In March, tourists in New Zealand will start to disperse. Therefore, visiting New Zealand in this month is ideal if you want to maximize your time enjoying the country's famous tourist sites in relative peace and quiet.

Where to Go and What to Do

Relax on the beach and get panoramic views of the ocean in New Zealand.
New Zealand has amazing weather to relax on the beach in March.

It is still possible to have some beach time in New Zealand in March. Enjoy the remaining days of warm weather and visit Gisborne's Wainui Beach, famous for its powdery white sands and great waves. Venture into Tolaga Bay, where you will see the crumbling remains of three massive piers.

Since the weather conditions in March are not too wet and not too hot, it's an ideal time to enjoy camping. Head to Northland's Matauri Bay Holiday Park, a beachfront campground located at the tip of North Island. The campground can get crowded in summer, but campers should start to disperse in March, so take advantage of this.

Exploring Queenstown is a great idea in autumn. Here you can witness the trees around Lake Wakatipu and Queenstown Gardens transform into stunning hues. If you have several days to spend in New Zealand, dedicate most of your days in Queenstown. Rent a car and drive to the Cardrona Range and towards Wanaka, where you will witness the most incredible autumn landscapes.

With the sunny weather still clinging on from summer and the temperature just cooling off a bit, March can be a great time to visit New Zealand. The longer days mean you can make the most of your visit, giving you plenty of time to explore the outdoors. Since the summer crowds have thinned out by this time, you will not have to queue longer to visit the country's famous spots. It also means everything is more affordable compared to summer. Reach out to our local travel experts to plan a customized trip to New Zealand.

Other articles:
New Zealand in February
New Zealand in April

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  • Geoff Venning
    Geoff Venning
    Travel Expert in New Zealand
  • David Tupper
    David Tupper
    Travel Expert in Australia & New Zealand
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