Find out whether September is a good month to visit New Zealand, what to do, where to go, and what New Zealand’s weather is like in September.
September marks the beginning of spring in New Zealand.
The school holidays start toward the end of September, so places like parks and recreational areas tend to get busy with people who have children.
But all in all, September is not a very busy month to visit New Zealand.
Because September marks the arrival of spring, a good activity to do would be walking and visiting gardens and parks to see flowers.
And because ski fields are still open in September, you can also visit New Zealand for winter activities such as skiing and snowboarding.
Low-elevation activities such as cross-country skiing may not be possible in September, since there might not be enough snow on the ground – generally only high on the mountains.
For example, Snow Farm, a popular cross-country skiing area near Cardrona on the South Island of New Zealand, closed on September 19 in 2015.
But closing dates of ski fields vary every year, because they are very dependent on the weather and the amount of snowfall.
Cherry blossoms in Christchurch in September
Because September is the first month after winter, the demand for activities you would do in summer is low and business is slow for tour operators, so do not expect everywhere to be open for business.
However, you can always look for and find similar activities you would otherwise do in summer, ranging from mountain biking and climbing to sailing and kayaking. The water might be a bit too cold to go for a swim, though.
Because September is a month to see flowers, you can head to places that display spring blossoms or spring flowers. Gardens are your best bet for this.
I highly recommend taking a stroll in the Christchurch Botanic Gardens and Hagley Park or visiting the Wellington Botanic Garden toward the end of September to see the impressive and colorful floral displays when the Wellington Spring Festival is taking place.
There are also several other places with spring blossoms on the South Island that you can visit.
For skiing you can head to the usual ski fields on the North Island or ski fields on the South Island, although ski fields in Central North Island – generally Whakapapa – are typically the last ski fields to close for the snow season.
Just check the snow conditions in New Zealand before you come over.
September brings a variety of weather. There are days when the temperature shoots up in the high teens or low twenties with the sun feeling nice and warm.
There are also days when polar air hits New Zealand, snow falls on the mountain tops, and it feels like winter all over again.
Because September lies on the border of two seasons, the weather tends to need to adjust itself for warmer things to come, which is why you get a bit of everything, ranging from sun to hail.
Temperatures on the South Island tend to fluctuate between -3 and 22 degrees Celsius (27 – 72 degrees Fahrenheit). The lower temperatures generally take place a night.
Generally, you can feel the difference in temperature when going from August to September. Daytime temperatures tend to be mild in the mid to high teens.
Floral dislays in Wellington in September
But apart from a few exceptions, the amount of rainfall in September is close to the amount you would get in summer.
However, less rain tends to fall in September than in winter in New Zealand, except for a place like Queenstown, which tends to get more rain in spring than in winter.
Coming out of winter, the days continue to get longer in September.
The sun rises between 6:45 a.m. and 7:15 a.m. at the beginning of September and between 6:55 a.m. and 7:20 a.m. at the end of September. The sun sets between 5:55 p.m. and 6:15 p.m. at the beginning of September and between 7:25 p.m. and 7:55 p.m. at the end of September.
So you have approximately 11 to 12.5 hours of daylight in September.
Note: This article was accurate when it was published. Please confirm all details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.
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