Welcome to New Zealand
Here are the top things you need to know if you are travelling the first time to New Zealand.
New Zealand’s seasons are opposite to the northern hemisphere: The summer months are from December to March, and winter months from June to August.
On the south island, the high season travel time is generally during the summer months, when temperatures can rise up to 25C. In winter temperatures can fall to -10C (especially across the alpine region on the west side of the island). For a climate chart, click here.
The most popular way to explore New Zealand is by car or motorhome. During the winter months (June- August) I would refrain from driving with a motorhome, since roads can get icy and challenging to drive (for example Arthurs Pass or the road to Milford Sound).
If you are renting a car, an SUV with a four-wheel drive will be handy. Personally, I feel that driving with a car has its advantages as it is less of a hassle to drive to different places (supermarkets, restaurants, vineyards, etc.), finding a parking space, and so on.
If you are travelling in the summer months, I recommend booking your accommodation months in advance so that you still have a decent range of places to choose from. You will find, that in smaller towns (such as Tekapo, Wanaka), there are more holiday homes offered than hotels. This means that there are plenty of choices on AirBnB. Choose your place wisely, because isolation in houses is not always great and in winter it can get freezing cold.