New Zealand in October© DunedinNZ - Tourism New Zealand
New Zealand in October

New Zealand in October

© DunedinNZ – Tourism New Zealand

What is it Like to Travel New Zealand in October?

Spring is in full swing in October in New Zealand! October is a good time to see lambs in the fields, gardens in bloom and the weather is generally good for some comfortable travelling. Neither too hot nor too cold, the weather in October allows you to do almost every outdoor activity without issue. Plus, there are a few awesome New Zealand events to hit in October.

In this quick and simple guide to travelling in October in New Zealand, we’ll go over what the weather is like in October, October events, activities best done in October and typical prices. What’s more, we’ll go over some travel tips for October too.

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 October

Here are some things you need to know when travelling New Zealand in October.

  • Although mid-spring, the weather is still unpredictable in October, so pack some thermal layers and a rain jacket.
  • On another note about the weather, for those sunny days make sure you slap on some high-factor sunscreen as the UV rays are pretty intense in New Zealand.
  • Some walking tracks that cross farmland may be closed during October for the lambing season. Updates on this can be found on the Department of Conservation website.
  • As it is the shoulder season in October, you don’t need to worry too much about booking way in advance for activities and accommodation. However, we do recommend booking the ferry crossing at least a couple of weeks in advance to get the best deal.

New Zealand in October© Dean McKenzie - Tourism New Zealand

New Zealand Weather in October

As mid-spring in New Zealand, October brings milder weather – not too hot and not too cold. That being said, you should prepare for all weather scenarios as it is likely to have a few showery days during October. Generally, the weather is brightening up and getting longer days than previous months, so you’re onto a good thing with the weather.

North Island Temperatures: Highs of around 19ºC (66ºF) or more, and lows of 8ºC (46ºF).
South Island Temperatures: Highs of around 19ºC (66ºF) and lows of 4ºC (39ºF).

For a packing list to match the weather in October, see Packing List for Autumn or Spring in New Zealand.

New Zealand in October©

October Events in New Zealand

As the weather is getting better, there are a few events popping up around the country. In particular, Kaikoura Seafest, usually toward the beginning of October, is a huge party of food, fancy dress, music and dancing. It’s a great way to embrace both the Kiwi culture and cuisine.

In the true spring spirit, there are festivals to celebrate the beauty of spring such as Taranaki Garden Spectacular and the Bay of Plenty Garden Art Festival. See wonderful displays of gardens in bloom.

For more events, take a look at Top New Zealand Events in 2021.©

Activities Best Done in October

October is a great time to do anything to do with wildlife in New Zealand. Birds are at their most active during spring, so visit a native bird sanctuary or simply go for a hike in the forest and listen to the unusual array of bird calls. Find out more about wildlife encounters with this list of 8 Wildlife Activities in New Zealand.

As mentioned, October is a wonderful time to see gardens in bloom, so check out the cities’ botanical gardens at this time. It’s a free thing to do and to see the pretty side of New Zealand cities. Christchurch, in particular, is known as The Garden City. Find out more about it in Christchurch City – Guide for Backpackers.

October is also a super time to hit some of the more popular hiking trails, especially if you want to avoid the summer crowds. We recommend hitting the trails after mid-October which is after the school holidays in New Zealand. Try the famous Tongariro Crossing, the many awesome hikes in Aoraki Mt Cook or one of the 10 Great Walks of New Zealand.

Pixabay© Pixabay

Typical Prices in October

October is considered as New Zealand’s shoulder season, meaning it is between the low season of winter and the high (busy) season of summer. It’s usually as tourism in New Zealand is starting to stir, yet it’s still quiet enough to travel freely and make some savings on rentals, accommodation and activities. For more benefits of travelling during this season, check out the 11 Reasons to Travel in the Shoulder and Off-Season in New Zealand. Plus, don’t forget to budget for your trip using the prices mentioned in How Much Does it Cost to Travel New Zealand?

Flights to New Zealand in October

Generally, October is one of the cheaper months to fly to New Zealand. However, you may experience some higher prices if travelling from the Northern Hemisphere which experiences its high season during this time. Nevertheless, there are other factors that are more likely to influence the price of a flight to New Zealand, such as how far in advance you book and what means you use to book your flight. For some tips on getting a cheaper flight to New Zealand, head to this page. Plus, wise up on the arrival process in our Airport Arrival Guide.

Vehicle Rentals in October

Thanks to the shoulder season, you will find that vehicle rentals are at their cheapest if you book enough in advance. Budget car rentals start around NZ$25 per day, for instance. For more costs to include in your rental budget, take a look at How Much Does it Cost to Rent a Car in New Zealand?

Accommodation in October

Prices in hostels tend to stay the same year-round between NZ$21-$32 per dorm bed. However, you may find some shoulder season deals. Holiday Parks are usually around NZ$15-$25 for a powered site during this time.

Activities in October

As it approaches the end of the ski season in the North Island, there are some times some reduced lift pass rates to be had. As for other activities, look out for special promotions offered by activity providers. Always book direct and ask to price match if you find a better deal elsewhere. Otherwise, other activity prices will remain the same year-round.


Robin C.

This article was reviewed and published by Robin, the co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. He has lived, worked and travelled across 16 different countries before calling New Zealand home. He has now spent over a decade in the New Zealand tourism industry, clocking in more than 600 activities across the country. He is passionate about sharing those experiences and advice on NZ Pocket Guide and its YouTube channel. Robin is also the co-founder of several other South Pacific travel guides.

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