Travel tips for visiting New Zealand in February
Here are a few tips to make travelling New Zealand in February a breeze!
- Apply and reapply sunscreen! It’s no joke that the UV rays in New Zealand are intense due to the hole in the Ozone layer being between New Zealand and Australia.
- Keep insect repellent handy, those sandflies found near lakes, beaches and rivers can leave an itchy bite.
- Book as far in advance as possible for your accommodation, transport and activities. February is a busy month for New Zealand tourism so book early to avoid disappointment.
- Always have an extra layer with you. When the sun goes behind a cloud you can really feel the change in temperature.
- If you prefer to get away from the crowds, consider adding destinations like Taranaki, Eastland and Southland to your itinerary which experiences fewer crowds yet is packed with awesome things to do!
See more tips for your trip at 10 Essential New Zealand Travel Tips.
Typical Temperatures in February
If you’re looking for a warm month to visit New Zealand then February is a great choice with temperatures reaching as high as 25C on both North and South Islands and only as low as 10C on “cooler” nights. In fact, in the warmest part of New Zealand, Northland, temperatures are known to reach 30C quite regularly.However, because there are slightly different climates experienced throughout New Zealand, here are the average temperatures for each area of New Zealand.Northern New Zealand (Northland, Auckland and Tauranga) 20C / 68FCentral North Island (Hamilton, Taupo and Rotorua) 18C / 64FSouth-West North Island (New Plymouth, Palmerston North and Wellington) 18C / 64FEastern North Island (Gisborne, Napier and Wairarapa) 20C / 68FNorthern South Island (Blenheim and Nelson) 18C / 64FWestern South Island (Westport, Hokitika and Milford Sound) 15C / 59FEastern South Island (Kaikoura, Christchurch and Timaru) 18C / 64FInland South Island (Lake Tekapo, Queenstown and Alexandra) 15-18C / 59-64FSouthern New Zealand (Dunedin and Invercargill) 15C / 59F
Other Weather Patterns in February
The weather in February is usually more predictable and consistent than during autumn. It’s one of the best months to do outdoor activities in warm and dry weather. The daylight hours are long with the sun usually rising around 6.30am and setting around 7.30pm.
Rainfall in February
Although New Zealand experiences rain year-round, February is the “driest” season to visit for most regions (with the exception of Northland and the West Coast of the South Island). Check out this list of average rainfall in each area of New Zealand for more details.Northern New Zealand (Northland, Auckland and Tauranga) 110mmCentral North Island (Hamilton, Taupo and Rotorua) 80mmSouth-West North Island (New Plymouth, Palmerston North and Wellington) 60mmEastern North Island (Gisborne, Napier and Wairarapa) 60mmNorthern South Island (Blenheim and Nelson) 30mmWestern South Island (Westport, Hokitika and Milford Sound) 160-500mmEastern South Island (Kaikoura, Christchurch and Timaru) 40mmInland South Island (Lake Tekapo, Queenstown and Alexandra) 20mmSouthern New Zealand (Dunedin and Invercargill) 60mm
Best Places to visit in February
February is a great time to do pretty much any outdoor activity in New Zealand, especially water activities. Here are a few destinations to add to your February itinerary.Bay of Islands – Snorkelling, sailing, diving, boat trips, fishing… The Bay of Islands in the north of the North Island is a great place to get out on the water and experience the most “summery” weather of the country.Whangarei – Hike Mt Manaia, scuba dive or paddleboard at the Poor Knights Islands and much more in this warm northern city of the North Island.Aoraki Mt Cook National Park – The alpine landscape of the Southern Landscape is where the snow never disappears but days are still warm enough for comfortable hikes, glacier heli-hikes, scenic flights and so much more in this breathtaking landscape.Hawke’s Bay – Not only does the North Island region have loads of sunshine hours, but the city of Napier also hosts the Art Deco Festival which is not to be missed. On top of that, the region is great for mountain biking and wine tasting.Stewart Island – New Zealand’s third-largest populated island is right at the bottom of the South Island with 80% of it being a national park. It’s a great place to hike in the wilderness and see native wildlife like kiwi birds.For events to check out during February, take a look at New Zealand in February.
February Packing list
Here are a few essentials to add to your packing list for visiting New Zealand in February.
- High factor sunscreen
- Insect repellent
- Light clothing
- One warm layer
- Hiking shoes
For more things to add to that list, see 15 Essentials to Pack for New Zealand