Travel tips for visiting New Zealand in March.
Here are some handy tips to make travelling in March in New Zealand a breeze.
- March is the month straight after the busy summer season, so we recommend making bookings on accommodation, transport and activities a little bit in advance. For busy tourist areas like Lake Tekapo and Milford Sound with limited accommodation, make sure you book as far in advance as possible
- Speaking of the end of summer, the sun is still intense at this time of year. Make sure to slap on some high-factor sunscreen regularly
- Take a day pack with you when you’re out an about. As the weather starts to get more unpredictable throughout the month, you’ll be happy to have a rainjacket or extra warm layer with you
- On a working holiday visa? March is a good time to start finding fruit picking jobs for the harvest season
- Considering doing a multi-day hiking trail or a Great Walk? March is a great time to do it outside of the busy hiking season but at a comfortable temperature.
For more tips, check out 10 Essential New Zealand Travel Tips.
Typical temperatures in March
With summer only just over, the autumn month of March experiences mild temperatures. Nevertheless, you’re still likely to get a few days of cold blasts from the South Pole letting you know that winter is on its way.Because New Zealand has slightly different climates across the country, here’s a list of average temperatures in March in each area of New Zealand.Northern New Zealand (Northland, Auckland and Tauranga) 18C / 64FCentral North Island (Hamilton, Taupo and Rotorua) 16C / 61FSouth-West North Island (New Plymouth, Palmerston North and Wellington) 15C / 59FEastern North Island (Gisborne, Napier and Wairarapa) 18C / 64FNorthern South Island (Blenheim and Nelson) 16C / 61FWestern South Island (Westport, Hokitika and Milford Sound) 14C / 57FEastern South Island (Kaikoura, Christchurch and Timaru) 15C / 59FInland South Island (Lake Tekapo, Queenstown and Alexandra) 13-16C / 55-61FSouthern New Zealand (Dunedin and Invercargill) 14C / 57F
Other weather patterns in March
While mild and sunny weather usually prevails in March, you’re still likely to experience the odd rainy or colder day as the country gets into the autumn season.
Rainfall in March
March is not considered a particularly “wet” month in comparison to other months of the year with the exception of the West Coast of the South Island that experiences more rain than usual. To cover all the different areas of New Zealand, here’s a list of the average rainfall in March across New Zealand.Northern New Zealand (Northland, Auckland and Tauranga) 140mmCentral North Island (Hamilton, Taupo and Rotorua) 80mmSouth-West North Island (New Plymouth, Palmerston North and Wellington) 90mmEastern North Island (Gisborne, Napier and Wairarapa) 90mmNorthern South Island (Blenheim and Nelson) 80mmWestern South Island (Westport, Hokitika and Milford Sound) 250-650mmEastern South Island (Kaikoura, Christchurch and Timaru) 60mmInland South Island (Lake Tekapo, Queenstown and Alexandra) 50mmSouthern New Zealand (Dunedin and Invercargill) 80mm
Best Places to visit in March
Add these New Zealand destinations to your itinerary for March!Marlborough – with usually good weather in March, Marlborough is a great place to experience hiking in New Zealand on the Queen Charlotte Track.Central Otago – Queenstown, Cromwell, Alexandra… the Central Otago towns are fantastic to visit this time of year with the autumn colours starting to appear, plus, generally good weather for hiking and mountain biking.Hawke’s Bay – the east coast region on the North Island is blessed with a warm climate year-round so even in March it’s a great time to hit the bike trails, check out the art deco architecture of Napier city, and hit the beach trail all the way to the stunning Cape Kidnappers.Abel Tasman National Park – Hit one of the most popular Great Walks in one of the warmest regions on the Abel Tasman Coast Track. The track is uncrowded this time of year.Auckland – Hike on volcanic islands, wildlife sanctuary islands and vineyard islands in the Hauraki Gulf, all accessible from the city centre ferry terminal. Not only that but can enjoy all the city sights and museums on those bad weather days.For events to check out in March, head on over to our New Zealand in March.
March Packing list
Get yourself prepared for March in New Zealand with these items to add to your packing list!
- Warm mid-layers
- Waterproof hiking shoes
- High factor sunscreen (even in March you can still get sunburn)
- Fast-dry hiking pants
- Wool socks
- Casual wear for exploring cities and doing indoor activities
For more things to consider packing, check out 15 Essentials to Pack for New Zealand.