New Zealand Self Drive Adventures

Climate and Environment

Seasons: During the months between October and April, New Zealand has mild temperatures that seldom get above 30 degrees Celsius during the day or drop below 10 degrees at night. January and February are mid-summer and during this time it can remain very warm in the evenings. In summer; the sun rises early and it can stay light until 9pm or later. Although temperature’s do not climb to extreme highs, New Zealand has relatively strong UV levels in peak summer, so sunscreen is a must.

In Spring and Fall it is warm during the day but can still be chilly at night and the likelihood of rain or wind is higher than in summer. During winter it rains quite often and there can be frosts overnight with snowfalls at elevation, particularly in the South Island. Below are NZ’s average daytime temperatures.

Spring (Sept - Nov) 16 - 19 degrees celcius or 61 - 66 degrees farenheit

Summer (Dec - Feb) 20 - 25 degrees celcius or 68 -77 degrees farenheit

Autumn (Mar-May) 17- 21 degrees celcius or 62 - 70 degrees farenheit

Winter ( June - Aug) 12- 16 degrees celcius or 53 - 61 degrees farenheit

Wildlife: There are no predators, snakes, crocodiles or anything else that can harm you assuming you use your common sense. Like all countries there are biting insects in the bush, but none that are poisonous (except one rarely seen spider that is only found in one very localised small region). Mosquitos are less common than midges and sand flies. In most circumstances this is easily managed by minimising exposed skin or using a bit of bug spray when walking in wilderness areas.

Plant Life: Because of the climate and rich soil, everything grows fast in New Zealand. Plant life is lush and varied ranging from; palm trees and ferns to tussock and lichen. Flowers are abundant both in the wild and in suburbia. In some places the bush can be dense and almost jungle-like but there are also mature Evergreen forests with large trees and minimal undergrowth. Walking, hiking and cycling tracks are everywhere and can provide some spectacular scenery.

Coasts: NZ coastal waters are very safe compared to most South pacific coasts. You are more likely to get in trouble with a rip current than a marine animal when swimming or surfing in New Zealand. If you plan to swim at beaches that have surf, it is probably wise to swim where others are in the water or where there are lifeguard flags to avoid rip currents. Tidal beaches that do not have surf are generally safe for swimming but it always pays to swim where you see others or seek local advice if you are not sure.

Local People: are friendly and welcoming if you are polite and respectful. Country locations are particularly safe, and the major cities have very low levels of serious crime. In most cases you could leave your vehicle unlocked and valuables unattended and everything would be there on your return. However; we recommend you do not tempt fate.

New Zealand is one of the safest, friendliest and cleanest places to holiday so start planning your trip now!