Autumn is a stunning season in New Zealand, with vibrant tones of red, orange, and gold adorning the trees, and a variety of outdoor activities to enjoy around the country. Discover some of the best places to see the colours of autumn, and fun activities to experience during this season.
Best Places to See the Colours of Autumn in New Zealand
- Arrowtown. Located near Queenstown in the South Island, Arrowtown is a charming historic gold-mining town that is known for its stunning autumn foliage. The town is surrounded by hillsides of trees that turn a range of colours including golden yellows, oranges, and reds during autumn. It’s the perfect place to take a leisurely stroll or bike ride along the Arrow River, or take a scenic drive to admire the foliage.
- Wanaka. Wanaka is a picturesque town located on the shores of Lake Wanaka in the South Island. During autumn, the town is surrounded by mountains and forests that turn golden during this time of year. Take a scenic drive up to the Crown Range or Cardrona Valley, or hike up Mount Iron for panoramic views of the autumn colours.
- Christchurch Botanic Gardens. Located in the heart of Christchurch in the South Island, the Botanic Gardens are a beautiful park filled with a wide variety of trees that turn brilliant shades of red, orange, and gold in the fall. Take a stroll through the gardens and enjoy the vibrant colours, or relax with a picnic and take in the peaceful surroundings.
- Mount Victoria Lookout, Wellington. Mount Victoria Lookout is a must-visit spot in Wellington during autumn. Located just a short drive from the city centre, this scenic viewpoint offers panoramic views of Wellington city and harbour. During autumn, the surrounding trees turn a range of colours, making for a stunning backdrop.
- Tongariro National Park. Located in the central North Island, Tongariro National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its stunning volcanic landscapes and hiking trails. During autumn, the forests surrounding the mountains turn shades of gold and red, making for a beautiful contrast with the volcanic landscapes. Take a scenic drive or go hiking to enjoy the stunning autumn scenery.
Outdoor Activities to Enjoy During Autumn in New Zealand
These are just a few of the many outdoor activities to enjoy during autumn in New Zealand. With so much natural beauty to explore, you’re sure to find the perfect adventure for you.
- Hiking. New Zealand is known for its stunning hiking trails, and autumn is the perfect time to enjoy them. The cooler temperatures and colourful foliage make for a beautiful and comfortable hiking experience. Some of the best autumn hikes include the Hooker Valley Track in Mount Cook National Park, the Taranaki Falls Track in Tongariro National Park, and the Mount Iron Track in Wanaka.
- Cycling. Cycling is a great way to explore New Zealand’s landscapes during autumn. The country has a variety of cycling trails that range from easy to challenging, with beautiful scenery along the way. Some of the best cycling trails for autumn include the Otago Central Rail Trail, the Hawke’s Bay Trails, and the Great Taste Trail in Nelson.
- Wine Tasting. Autumn is a great time to explore New Zealand’s famous wine regions. The cooler temperatures and autumn foliage make for a beautiful backdrop as you taste some of the country’s best wines. Some of the best wine regions to visit during autumn include Marlborough, Hawke’s Bay, and Central Otago.
- Hot Air Ballooning. Hot air ballooning is a unique and exhilarating way to experience the beauty of New Zealand’s landscapes during autumn. Soaring above the colourful trees and valleys, you’ll get a bird’s eye view of the stunning autumn scenery. Hot air balloon rides are available in many regions of New Zealand, including Canterbury, Waikato, and Queenstown.
- Kayaking. Kayaking is a great way to explore New Zealand’s rivers and lakes during autumn. With the changing colours of the trees reflected in the water, it’s a stunning and peaceful way to enjoy the scenery. Some of the best places to go kayaking during autumn include the Marlborough Sounds, Lake Wanaka, and the Abel Tasman National Park.