New Zealand in September: Weather, Tips & Adventure Sports


September is the start of spring in New Zealand and a good time to visit this scenic country if you want to make the most out of fewer crowds and pleasant weather. In September, the country sees melting snow, warmer temperatures, and flowers blooming, while the natural beauty of the country remains stunning year-round. From exploring the untouched wilderness of the Fiordland National Park to late-season skiing adventures in Queenstown, you’ll find there are many things to do on your trip to New Zealand in September.

New Zealand Weather in September

The roads will be wet as the weather in New Zealand in September is rainy.
September is a rainy month in New Zealand so make sure to pack a raincoat and umbrella.

September is spring, and while not cold, it is a wet month in most areas of the country, so you can likely expect some rain. Rainfall differs by location; for example, the rain in the north tends to slow down in September while the South Island usually becomes wetter throughout the spring season.

In the capital city of Wellington, the average high temperature in September is around 14°C, while the average lows hover around 8°C. Queenstown's average high and low temperatures are 13°C and 2°C, respectively. In the Northland region and Auckland, temperatures range from 17°C to 10°C in September.

For a seasonal overview, check out our article on the best time to visit New Zealand.

Weather in New Zealand in September - 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 September

September is ski season in New Zealand.
Head to Cardona which hosts New Zealand's Snowboxx in September.
Go rafting with your friends in the Kaituna River.
Go rafting in the Kaituna River as there is more water due to the melted snow in September.

New Zealand is known for its beaches, landscapes, and vibrant culture, all of which you can experience year-round. But here's why you should visit the country in September:

  • Festivities and events: In September, New Zealand hosts the World of Wearable Art festival in Wellington, an internationally recognized design competition that draws thousands of visitors. Another event for those who like to play hard and party hard is Snowboxx, the famous European skiing, raving, and partying festival which has opened a New Zealand chapter in Cordona, one of the country’s most popular ski areas.
  • Adventure sports: The ski season in New Zealand ends in mid-October so it's still a good time to hit the slopes. Also, spring means higher water volume due to the melting snow, which makes rafting in New Zealand on the Kaituna River or Wairoa River a wild activity.
  • Better prices: September is shoulder season, which means that the prices for flights and accommodation are likely to be lower than usual.
  • Lesser crowds: For those who want to avoid the thickest crowds, September is a good time to visit New Zealand. You'll enjoy having most of the countryside and the tourist destinations to yourself.

Where to go and what to do

A humpback whale breaching off the coast in New Zealand
See humpback whales rise from the water in New Zealand.

Although winter has ended, you can still go skiing in North Island, because many ski fields near the Tongariro National Park are open throughout September. If you’re going skiing in South Island, it’s best to go in the early days of September because the resorts close by the end of the month. But for some late-season skiing, Queenstown and Wanaka are ideal destinations.

Adventure sports are a huge thing in New Zealand, and if you’re into that, then you should certainly visit Queenstown and Wanaka, the Mecca of adventure sports in New Zealand. Jet boating, bungy jumping, and skiing are among the most enjoyable activities here.

For beachgoers, the Abel Tasman National Park is the go-to place on the South Island since it is famous for its golden sand beaches with forest backdrops. While you’re there, you should also visit the Tonga Island Marine Reserve, a mating ground for humpback whales.

You'll find some of the most beautiful alpine lakes in all of New Zealand in Nelson Lakes National Park. Consider extending your stay in Nelson during your New Zealand trip if you want to experience a diverse range of sights and activities from exploring the wilderness and viewing local art in the city. It is also a great spot to visit or base yourself in September, as it is usually sunny!

A visit to New Zealand in September is as good as an incomplete trip if you don’t get to admire the endemic wildlife. Visiting any of New Zealand’s wildlife sanctuaries would be a rewarding experience, but we highly recommend visiting the Pukaha National Wildlife Centre on North Island or, for a likely drier experience, Otago Peninsula or Banks Peninsula on the South Island.

What to bring

Head to the beaches in New Zealand for some warmth under the sun.
Bask under the sun on the beaches in New Zealand.

Although September marks the beginning of the spring season in New Zealand, you'll still face cold weather and breezes during the early days of the month, and likely some rain. Therefore, packing waterproof and protective clothing is highly essential.

It's an excellent time to visit New Zealand in September because you get to experience both winter and summer activities while the crowds are lesser. The pristine beaches, crystal clear waters, beautiful landscapes, and lively culture make New Zealand one of the best countries to visit. You can reach out to our travel experts, who can help you choose a perfectly customized trip to New Zealand according to your preferences, time, and budget.

Other articles:
New Zealand in August
New Zealand in October

Create your custom-made trip to New Zealand

Traveling to New Zealand? Chat with a local travel specialist in New Zealand who can help organize your trip.

  • Geoff Venning
    Geoff Venning
    Travel Expert in New Zealand
  • David Tupper
    David Tupper
    Travel Expert in Australia & New Zealand
Our travel experts are recommended by
  • BBC
  • Independent
  • Herald Sun
0 Comments We welcome your questions or comments to this article. Our travel experts will respond within 48 hours.
Travel Expert in New Zealand
Geoff Venning Travel Expert in New Zealand
5.0 - Excellent
Travel Expert in Australia & New Zealand
David Tupper Travel Expert in Australia & New Zealand
  1. Add Comment

Sign-in to unlock instant trip discounts. Create wish lists and save up to USD 1,500.

More login options here.