5 spots to celebrate Spring in New Zealand
You could say Spring in New Zealand is one of those awkward in-between seasons. Too warm to hit the slopes, too chilly for lounging on the beach. But it also happens to be one of the nicest times to explore New Zealand. Pack your raincoat, and your sandals, and explore your own backyard amongst fresh blooms, baby lambs and pleasant weather. If you’re seeing glimpses of life beyond winter and wondering where to make the most of Spring in our little country, here are our top spots.
A sheep farm
If you have kids in tow (or even if you don’t), Spring is the ideal time to visit some sort of farm set up – because who doesn’t love baby lambs? You don’t have to leave the big smoke to experience these cute, wooly creatures. In Auckland try Ambury Farm, Tawharanui, or Duder Regional Park, Shakespear Park, Cornwall Park. Further afield, take a farm tour of Rotorua’s Heritage Farm, get up close and personal with the animals at Lilliput Farm near Taupo, or book a Real Country Farm Show not far from Queenstown.
One of New Zealand’s many walks
If there’s one thing New Zealand’s good for, it’s experiencing nature. Spring’s mild temperatures and lesser crowds make it the ideal time to get out there for a good wholesome walk. Dig out your hiking boots and check out Pouakai Crossing in New Plymouth, or see what all the fuss is about on the Tongariro Crossing. If you’re not ready for an all day hike yet, try Mount Maunganui Summit, Cathedral Cove or The Blue Lakes. If you’re in the South Island and up for an adventure, don’t miss Mount Alfred or Rocky Mountain.
If you know where to look, our Kiwi Spring blossoms can put on quite the show. Add some sunshine and an azure blue lake backdrop and you won’t need to visit Japan this year. The striking lupins of all shades are most likely found at Mt Cook, Lake Tekapo, Lindis Pass, Twizel, Ahuriri River, Lake Hawea and Wakatipu, Lake Wanaka. Spring is also a blooming great time to visit one of our many Botanical Gardens. Ayrlies Garden and Wetlands in Auckland, Hamilton Gardens, Pukekura Park, Ohinetahi near Christchurch, Trott’s Garden in Ashburton, and Christchurch Botanic Gardens.
Matamata might not be top of the Kiwi bucket list, but a visit to Hobbiton will make you see why Peter Jackson chose this exact spot. If there’s a time for Kiwis to visit The Shire, it’s Spring, with its blooming bluebells and daffodils. If you’re a diehard fan you might even visit on September 22nd, which is International Hobbit Day. While you’re there, take a soak in the Opal Hot Pools, or get tasting at Kaimai Cheese in Waharoa.
Lanarch Castle & Gardens
You might not be jetting off to South of France anytime soon. But you can visit New Zealand’s only castle, Lanarch Castle, near Dunedin. Admire antiques and 19th century architecture and peruse the manicured gardens. There’s plenty more to do in Dunedin. Check out their impressive Botanic Garden, the Orokonui Ecosanctuary or the Butterfly rainforest at Otago Museum.