What is it Like to Travel New Zealand in February?
While the Northern Hemisphere is starting to come out of winter hibernation, New Zealand is basking in the sun. February is the last month of the New Zealand summer, so thanks to the good weather, February is a popular time to explore New Zealand. February is a very happening time in New Zealand with plenty of outdoor festivals and events to enjoy. It’s also quite a busy time to travel New Zealand so be prepared to make a few bookings in advance to avoid disappointment.
In this quick guide to travelling New Zealand in February, we’ll go over the typical weather in February, the events, awesome activities to do in February, as well as some February travel tips.
For more advice on when to travel in New Zealand, take a look at The Best Time to Visit New Zealand.
Travel Tips for New Zealand in February
When travelling in New Zealand in February, here are some things you will need to know.
- Slap on the sunscreen! Sun exposure in New Zealand can burn in less than seven minutes thanks to the hole in the O-zone layer between Australia and New Zealand. Make sure you always wear a high factor of sunscreen even on a cloudy day.
- Book in advance! Because February is a busy season for tourism in New Zealand, avoid disappointment by making your bookings in advance.
- Have an extra layer of clothing with you. Although February is generally a warm month, temperatures can change suddenly so always have an extra layer with you.
- Have insect repellent. Particularly on the West Coast of the South Island, sand flies can bite and leave a nasty itch.
New Zealand Weather in February
As the last official month of summer in New Zealand, February often brings the highest temperatures. The weather is usually consistently warm and clear, however, like in any month in New Zealand, expect the odd rainy day. New Zealand is famous for having “four seasons in a day” even in summer.
North Island Temperatures: Highs of around 25ºC (77ºF) or more, and lows of 10ºC (50ºF).
South Island Temperatures: Highs of around 22ºC (72ºF) and lows of 10ºC (50ºF).
For a packing list to match the weather in February, see Packing List for Summer in New Zealand.
February Events in New Zealand
Like many countries, summertime usually means festival time. There are many festivals and outdoor events to enjoy during February in New Zealand. Waitangi Day (February 6) is a big time in New Zealand which brings along Maori cultural events. While Waitangi Day events happen all over the country, The Waitangi Treaty Grounds in the Bay of Islands and Okains Bay near Christchurch are among some of the biggest celebrations. To learn more, check out What is Waitangi Day?
Summer Festivals in February
- Auckland Lantern Festival to celebrate the Chinese New Year
- Art Deco Weekend in Napier
- Kawhia Kai Festival
- Te Matatini Festival
- Splore Festival, Auckland
- Marlborough Wine Festival
- Festival of Lights, New Plymouth
- Rugby Sevens, Wellington
- Wellington Summer City – New Zealand’s capital city has around 90 free events throughout summer such as free gigs in the Botanical Gardens.
The Activities that are Best Done in February
February is a great time to get outside in New Zealand. The world’s your oyster, unless you want to do winter sports then this is the wrong season for you. Generally, water activities are a great option in February when the warm weather makes jumping into the water more refreshing than freezing.
Popular water activities in New Zealand include surfing, white water rafting, scuba diving, snorkelling, swimming and canyoning. Get inspired by these articles:
Typical Prices in February
Because February is a popular time to travel to New Zealand, prices are usually a bit more expensive than you will find in other seasons. However, if you are desperate to travel New Zealand during summer then February tends to be a cheaper option than travelling in December and January. For an idea of costs, take a look at How Much Does it Cost to Travel New Zealand?
Flights in February
Out of the summer months, February is when you will find the cheapest flights to New Zealand. Follow our tips on how to get a cheap flight to New Zealand so you find the best deal. Plus, wise up on the arrival process in our Airport Arrival Guide.
Vehicle Rental in February
Vehicle rental prices are also at their highest during the summer season, so consider that in your budget. We have more vehicle rental costs to budget for in this article.
Accommodation in February
While most budget accommodations in New Zealand have the same prices year-round, some hostels and holiday parks will have higher prices during summer. Holiday parks can bump their prices up to NZ$50 per night for a powered site, while hostels tend to stay around the NZ$25-$32 price margin for a bed in a dorm.
Activities in February
On the plus side, most activity operators in New Zealand will be open for summer giving you more to choose from. Activity prices often stay the same year-round so this should not affect your budget too much when travelling in February.