New Zealand in September© Tourism New Zealand
New Zealand in September

New Zealand in September

© Tourism New Zealand
Article Single Pages©
Article Single Pages©
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What is it Like to Travel New Zealand in September?

Welcome to New Zealand spring! September in New Zealand is a great time to experience the best of winter and summer activities. Get away from the tourist crowds during this shoulder season in New Zealand. The weather is still a little cool but the days are getting brighter and longer during this spring season in New Zealand.

In this quick guide to New Zealand in September, we’ll go over the weather in September, September events, activities best done in September, and typical prices. What’s more, we’ll give you some September 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 September

Here are some things to know when travelling New Zealand in September.

  • Hitting the slopes for some spring ski? Make sure you slap on the sunscreen as the sun is particularly intense in New Zealand. High factor is a must!
  • Don’t worry too much about booking activities and accommodation way in advance. September is the low season so there’s not much chance of places being fully booked. However, we do suggest that you book your ferry crossing at least a couple of weeks in advance to get the best deal.
  • Pack some layers. September can still be a little chilly in New Zealand with the chance of it raining so a rain jacket and some wool or polypropylene thermals are recommended.
  • Note that some hikes in New Zealand that cross farmland may be closed for the lambing season. Check on the Department of Conservation website for updates.

New Zealand in September© Paul Abbitt - Tourism New Zealand

New Zealand Weather in September

September experiences a bit of every weather scenario in New Zealand. One day it could be raining, the next it could be beautiful sunshine so be prepared with your clothing choices. Although the days and nights are still a little cool from it being early spring, the days are starting to get longer with sunset usually around 6pm.

North Island Temperatures: Highs of around 17ºC (63ºF) or more, and lows of 7ºC (45ºF).
South Island Temperatures: Highs of around 16ºC (61ºF) and lows of 2ºC (36ºF).

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

Pexels© Pexels

September Events in New Zealand

September is the time when New Zealand finally wakes up again with some outdoor festivals to enjoy. If you enjoy seafood and all things about the ocean, then get down to Whitianga Scallops Festival or the West Coast White Bait Festival. Or celebrate spring at Hastings Spring Festival or the Alexandra Spring Festival.

Don’t miss the World of Wearable Art (WOW) Award Show which is the world’s craziest fashion show full of creative attire. Catwalks usually take place in Wellington throughout September and October.

Finally, the Body Festival in Christchurch is a great time to see dance performances from mid-September to mid-October or learn to dance yourself.

New Zealand in September©

The Activities that are Best Done in September

The world’s your oyster, or New Zealand’s your oyster, in September. You can experience a bit of everything during September in New Zealand. The ski fields are still open to experience some spring ski meaning good weather and good slopes. Learn more about skiing in New Zealand in our guide to the Ski Season in New Zealand.

With the spring melt of the mountainous regions filling the rivers, September is a great time to experience some white water rafting in New Zealand. Here are 7 Places to go White Water Rafting in New Zealand. This also means some pretty exciting jet boat rides too.

Wildlife nuts will love the array of fascinating birds and marine mammals seen in New Zealand. They are at their most active during spring so check out some wildlife sanctuaries and even go swimming with wildlife in their natural environment. Take a look at these articles to get inspired:

Pexels© Pexels

Typical Prices in September

September is considered one of the shoulder seasons in New Zealand meaning the prices and crowds are a little lower than what you expect in summer. Find out more about the benefits of travelling during this time in the 11 Reasons to Travel in the Shoulder and Off-Season in New Zealand. Additionally, budget for your trip using the prices mentioned in How Much Does it Cost to Travel New Zealand?

Flights in September

Generally, September is a reasonably cheap time to fly to New Zealand. However, if you are stopping over in the Northern Hemisphere, you may experience higher flight prices, as this is their peak season during this time. Nevertheless, there are a number of other factors that will influence your flight such as the means you use to make the booking and how far in advance you book. Take a look at How to Book a Cheap Flight to New Zealand for some flight booking hacks. Plus, wise up on the arrival process in our Airport Arrival Guide.

Vehicle Rental in September

Car and campervan rentals tend to be at their lowest during September thanks to the shoulder season. Expect prices to start around NZ$20 per day for a small hatchback. Remember to consider other costs for your budget by looking at How Much Does it Cost to Rent a Car in New Zealand?

Accommodation in September

Accommodation prices are very reasonable in September with hostels being around NZ$21-$32 per dorm bed in a hostel and NZ$15-$25 for a powered site in a holiday park. You will not need to worry too much about booking in advance during this quiet season in New Zealand, with the exception of hot spots with limited accommodation like Milford Sound and Lake Tekapo.

Activities in September

Spring deals are a common thing for activities during September so keep an eye out for what activity providers are offering. You will also not need to worry about booking too far in advance either. Easy.


The information in this guide has been compiled from our extensive research, travel and experiences across New Zealand and the South Pacific, accumulated over more than a decade of numerous visits to each destination. Additional sources for this guide include the following:

Our editorial standards: At NZ Pocket Guide, we uphold strict editorial standards to ensure accurate and quality content.

About The Author

Robin C.

This article has been reviewed and approved by Robin, who is the co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. With more than 15 years of experience in the New Zealand tourism industry, Robin has co-founded three influential tourism businesses and five additional travel guides for South Pacific nations. He is an expert in New Zealand travel and has tested over 600 activities and 300+ accommodations across the country.

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