Discovering Autumn in New Zealand: Unveiling a Hidden Gem for Every Travel Enthusiast

I’m sure I speak for the masses when I say this: We all love to travel. Whether you travel for relaxation, to escape the Singaporean madness, or to explore what the world has to offer, travel is a big attraction. As a freshly graduated Polytechnic student, all I’ve heard for the past month has been the endless debates and dilemmas discussing, “Where should our next holiday destination be?” 

Well, allow me to enter a new and rather underrated contender into the ring: New Zealand. With its green pastures, gorgeous landmarks and diverse culture, I can’t think of a reason why not to travel to New Zealand! So, follow me as we learn more about what New Zealand has to offer, especially around the upcoming autumn period! I’m ready when you are!

Autumn Essentials

Discovering Autumn in New Zealand: Unveiling a Hidden Gem for Every Travel Enthusiast: Autumn Essentials
Looking for a cool holiday destination? New Zealand has you covered!

Recently, the Singapore weather has been extra crazy. With pouring rain one minute and the sun beating down on us the next, it’s no wonder people have been travelling to escape the unpredictable weather here. In New Zealand, however, Autumn is gracing the country with cold temperatures from now until May! 

To illustrate just how cold it gets, Northern New Zealand sees a temperature range between 10°C to 20°C while Southern New Zealand experiences even cooler temperatures –  anywhere from 5°C to 15°C! Compare that to Singapore’s 27°C to 32°C; we have a clear winner.

That said, since many of us may not have had the chance to travel to countries with colder climates, let me list three of the most essential items you should have in your suitcase if you’re considering travelling to New Zealand.

  • Layered Clothing: Before you scroll past this portion, let me just say that this is not as common as you might think! Thinking to pack layers of clothing might slip past our minds because we tend to forget that bigger countries experience different climates in specific regions – New Zealand being among the many! If you’re thinking of seeing the whole of New Zealand, remember to pack some lightweight clothing like sweaters or cardigans so that you can comfortably experience the whole country in all its beautiful glory!
  • Outdoor Gear: New Zealand is known for its majestic natural landscapes that span as far as the eye can see. You wouldn’t want to travel all the way to New Zealand and miss out on the nature there, right? Consider packing comfortable footwear like waterproof shoes, hiking clothes and a day backpack.
  • Sun Protection: Don’t let the cold temperatures fool you! Even though it’s much cooler in New Zealand, you absolutely cannot forget to pack sunscreen in your luggage. It wouldn’t hurt to pack extra protection like sunglasses or a big sun hat to protect yourself from those UV rays!

Unmissable Experiences

Now that we have the basics out of the way, let’s start planning that itinerary. It’s important to remember that every traveller is different. Personally, I love to sightsee and experience a country like a local does. But my family, with whom I travel most, enjoys doing different things. My mother likes to relax, while my sister and father like to explore. And I know, that sounds like a headache to plan, but New Zealand has something for all! 

Would you believe me if I said that New Zealand has a world of options to choose from, no matter what your travel style is? If it sounds too good to be true, allow me to back up my statement with tons of evidence!

Exploring Nature

For all of you who enjoy soaking in the beautiful nature of New Zealand, I have some fantastic news for you! Travellers visiting the country in Autumn will have the chance to enjoy the fall foliage, which will paint the country in warm colours. 

Everything from national parks to forest trails, the season will offer you an opportunity to bathe in the ethereal beauty of New Zealand! Here are just some of the many (and trust me when I say many…) places you can visit to see these beautiful sights:

Arrowtown, Central Otago

Discovering Autumn in New Zealand: Unveiling a Hidden Gem for Every Travel Enthusiast: Exploring Nature
The forests near glow with a gorgeous orange hue in Autumn

Arrowtown, Central Otago, is a town full of rich history and heritage – for all my history buffs, this is a town you can’t miss! Arrowtown was once a gold mining town but has now transformed into an enchanting and charming place open for all to see. 

The quaint town is like one out of the movies as they host events to celebrate the autumn harvest; how cute is that! Here, you can walk along the lakes and bask in the scenic beauty and peaceful ambience. With gorgeous views, it wouldn’t hurt to trek one of their many walking trails, which you can find here.

Wānaka, Otago

Discovering Autumn in New Zealand: Unveiling a Hidden Gem for Every Travel Enthusiast: Exploring Nature
Check out ‘That Wānaka Tree’ at Lake Wānaka

Wānaka, Otago: Keeping to the Otago region, we have Wānaka – a serene town located right by Lake Wānaka and nestled between gigantic mountains. 

Autumn is the best time for you to put on your sports shoes and start hiking, riding or biking through this town’s natural splendour. If I’ve piqued your interest, you can visit this website for the best five short trails in the Wānaka region. Apart from the trails, with fewer visitors this time of year, you can experience the charm of Wānaka all by yourself as you partake in local events! 

Lake Tekapo/Takapō, Canterbury

Discovering Autumn in New Zealand: Unveiling a Hidden Gem for Every Travel Enthusiast: Exploring Nature
Lake Tekapo provides a spectacular view alongside your outdoor activities!

Lake Tekapo/Takapō, Canterbury, offers a breathtaking contrast to the autumn colours that will take over New Zealand in the upcoming season. 

With crystal clear waters and a view of the Southern Alps in the distance, the majestic view at Lake Tekapo will steal your breath away! Just like the previous two locations, you can visit this website to take your pick of the trails that you’d like to trek at Lake Tekapo.

Visiting Vineyards 

Discovering Autumn in New Zealand: Unveiling a Hidden Gem for Every Travel Enthusiast: Visiting Vineyards
Enjoy a glass of wine as you take in the majestic nature.

If you enjoy relaxing when you’re in holiday mode, this might just do the trick. Nothing screams “relaxation” more than sipping on a nice, chilled glass of wine against the backdrop of New Zealand’s notoriously bewitching scenery. If your schedule allows, you could even consider planning an overnight stay in a vineyard – could you think of anything more relaxing?

Cloudy Bay Vineyard

Cloudy Bay Vineyard, Central Otago: Even if you’ve never been to New Zealand before, I’m sure some of you may have heard of Cloudy Bay – their world-class Pinot Noir wines have earned them global recognition. Shake off your troubles and indulge in a fanciful world full of fine wine and gourmet cuisines! Find out more about this relaxing experience here!

Biking Wine Tours

Discovering Autumn in New Zealand: Unveiling a Hidden Gem for Every Travel Enthusiast: Biking Wine Tours
Biking AND wine? Sign me up!

Biking Wine Tours, Marlborough, this one’s fun! Combine relaxing and exploring, and you’ll get the Biking Wine Tours! Marlborough is home to many types of wine, but they are most known for Sauvignon Blanc. 

In Marlborough, you can join a guided tour or hop onto a bike and head on a journey through vineyards and wineries. For more information about the Biking Wine Tours in Marlborough, check out this website. Happy exploring!

Church Road Winery

Church Road Winery, Hawke’s Bay, is where history and tranquillity intersect. Church Road is one of New Zealand’s oldest wine-growing regions, so you already know this will be good. 

They are renowned for being the first in New Zealand to produce decadent Bordeaux-style red wine, and now, travellers can take a peek behind the curtains. With tours of their barrel halls, caves and even their underground museum – where you can even sample some of their wines before they’ve been released – I say you’re in for a real treat! Head over to this website if you’re interested in finding out more about securing your place on this amazing journey!

Delicious Food

I’ve always felt that a surefire way to learn more about a culture is through their food and local cuisines. And nothing is better than swapping stories over a hearty meal! Bonus points if you’re pulling up your sleeves and foraging for the food with the locals – what a way to build a connection with the land!

Not to mention, if you are an avid enjoyer of seafood, Autumn is the perfect time to fly over to New Zealand, where fresh seafood awaits you! Plates of succulent seafood like mussels, oysters, and fish await you in New Zealand. Allow me to put you onto some of the best places in New Zealand for unique gastronomic experiences and delectable cuisines: 

Hapuku Kitchen

Discovering Autumn in New Zealand: Unveiling a Hidden Gem for Every Travel Enthusiast: Delicious Foods
Hapuku Kitchen brings a different experience to eating out

Hapuku Kitchen, Kaikōura, get ready to elevate your dining experience! Hapuku Kitchen is known for its farm-to-table cuisines; you can join in the fun. Take part in cooking classes where you will forage and cook with the freshest ingredients from their very own garden. 

Later, you literally reap what you sow as you enjoy the feast you just created paired with local wines and beers! You really wouldn’t want to miss out on this opportunity, so head over to the Hapuku Kitchen website to learn more about what they have to offer!

Shuckleferry Oysters

Discovering Autumn in New Zealand: Unveiling a Hidden Gem for Every Travel Enthusiast: Shuckleferry Oysters
Could you imagine enjoying oysters with this view!

Shuckleferry Oysters, Mahurangi, located in the waters of the Mahurangi harbour, you can expect to feast on some of the finest and freshest oysters you’ve ever tasted. You can also be rest assured that you’re supporting an oyster farm with sustainable practices, so it’s a win-win! At Shuckleferry Oysters, you’re in for a delicious educational experience. Learn more about this amazing farm here!

Urban Forage Tour

Discovering Autumn in New Zealand: Unveiling a Hidden Gem for Every Travel Enthusiast: Urban Forage
Be a wilderness expert in an urban landscape!

Urban Forage Tour, Auckland: Don’t be fooled by Auckland’s urban landscape! The Urban Forage Tour – hosted by the New Zealand School of Food and Wine – will take you on an expedition through Auckland, highlighting the seasonal abundance of wild foods. 

After the tour, you’ll be able to identify and harvest seasonal fruits, nuts, and edible plants! To learn more about how you can be a wilderness expert in an urban landscape, check out their official website for all the details.

Unique Local Events in 2024

With everything I’ve presented so far, if New Zealand isn’t on the top of your travel list, then this might cement it. Autumn will see the arrival of an eventful season in New Zealand! With everything from culture to more food, here are some wildly exciting events you could participate in!

Hokitika Wildfoods Festival

Discovering Autumn in New Zealand: Unveiling a Hidden Gem for Every Travel Enthusiast: Unique Events
Experience culture, food, and more all at Hokitika Wildfoods Festival!

Hokitika Wildfoods Festival, Hokitika, happening on 9 March 2024, is a celebration of New Zealand’s wild and unconventional culinary offerings! You can enjoy an array of local and exotic foods, with huhu grubs for the more adventurous lot of you or whitebait fritters for those who’d rather play it safe. 

Beyond just food, the festival is also a vibrant show of New Zealand’s culture. Through live entertainment and music performances, you can busk in the neverending culture of New Zealand! For more information on this festival, check out their official website!

Māoriland Film Festival

Discovering Autumn in New Zealand: Unveiling a Hidden Gem for Every Travel Enthusiast: Maori FIlm Festival
If you’re a fan of foreign films, you have to check this out!

Māoriland Film Festival, Ōtaki, from 20 March to 24 March 2024, travellers can enjoy the largest Indigenous film festival that Southern New Zealand offers. Held in the seaside town of Ōtaki, this cultural and arts festival sends a warm, open invitation to anyone who wishes to celebrate Indigenous voices through screen storytelling. If you’re someone who enjoys foreign films, I would recommend checking this festival out through their official website!

Arrowtown Autumn Festival

Discovering Autumn in New Zealand: Unveiling a Hidden Gem for Every Travel Enthusiast: Unique Events
Amidst the beautiful landscape in Autumn, be enthralled by the performance at the festival

Arrowtown Autumn Festival, Arrowtown, will be happening from 25 April to 28 April 2024! Held in Arrowtown, this annual festival is a celebration of the town’s rich heritage. 

Let me paint a picture for you. You’re surrounded by some of the world’s most beautiful natural landscapes; the little town comes alive with vibrant activities and events. You soak in the natural beauty and the warm colours, all as you sway to live entertainment. Why you would deny yourself that kind of relaxation is beyond me, but if you want to make this a reality, head over to the official website for more information!


If you’ve made it this far into the article, I’m sure I’ve convinced you to add New Zealand as one of your holiday destinations. Since we’ve covered the essentials and the itinerary, all that’s left to do is settle your accommodation! Let me put you on some fantastic accommodation options, allowing you to soak up all that autumn beauty!

Hidden Springs Hotel

Discovering Autumn in New Zealand: Unveiling a Hidden Gem for Every Travel Enthusiast: Accommodation
Relax with the view of the outdoors at Hidden Springs

Hidden Springs, Waikino, nestled amidst the most beautiful gardens and serene nature, is Hidden Springs. Each cottage and lodge was designed to provide comfort and privacy as you quietly experience the Waikino countryside. 

With private outdoor hot tubs filled with natural mineral springs, relieve yourself of any pressure and stress and soak in the majestic views! Check out what Hidden Springs has to offer on their official website!

Puketui Forest Escape

Puketui Forest Escape, Taupō, hidden in the depths of the Puketui Forest, escape from the noise of the city and indulge in the peace of the forest. 

Given that this sanctuary is tucked away in the Puketui Forest, you can rest assured that all of its accommodation options have been designed to minimise its environmental impact. When you’ve checked into the Puketui Forest Escape, you become one with the forest surroundings. For more information, head on over to their official website.

Millbrook Resort

Discovering Autumn in New Zealand: Unveiling a Hidden Gem for Every Travel Enthusiast: Millbrook Resort
This isn’t just any old accommodation. A stay at Millbrook Resorts, is an experience!

Millbrook Resort, Arrowtown, is a little different from the previous two accommodation options. Millbrook Resort is a luxurious and serene retreat boasting a world-class golf course, cottages and villas that offer a view of the landscapes surrounding you. 

With activities like an award-winning spa treatment, leisurely walks and even bike rides along the most picturesque trails, Millbrook Resort is not just accommodation; it’s an experience in itself – to learn more about this sanctuary, make sure to visit their official website.

Who knew New Zealand had so much to offer? I always knew New Zealand was a great holiday destination, but after all this, the country is in a league of its own! If you’re still on the fence about whether or not to book your plane tickets for the next flight out to New Zealand, let me remind you that you’re only given one chance to live; you might as well have filled your days with wonderful new experiences! 

See you on the next flight out!

Image of Wanaka and Arrowtown by Inspire Media Works and Nik Shuliahin via Pexels and Unsplash. Additional visuals courtesy of Tourism New Zealand.

Jillian Metta Lau

Bookworm by day, concert maven by night, and an avid dreamer longing to trade pages for passports and explore the globe's symphony of cultures.

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