New Zealand in Autumn is a breathtakingly beautiful sight to behold. As the leaves turn golden, orange, and brown, the country transforms into a wonderland of colours. The crisp air and clear skies create the perfect conditions for exploring the great outdoors.
With temperatures ranging from 7 – 21℃ (45 – 70℉) in March, April and May across the country, there is bound to be a day perfect for basking in the sunshine, getting out on the trails or enjoying the sights. Most regions in New Zealand have about 10 – 12 hours of sunlight during Autumn – the perfect amount of time to experience the best New Zealand has to offer!
Whether you’re looking to take in the beauty of the season or seeking a new adventure, autumn in New Zealand is not to be missed. So pack your bags and experience the magic of this incredible country at its best.
We have put together a few of our favourite places to eat, drink and things to do in Autumn from the top to the bottom of New Zealand – we hope this gives you some great ideas and inspiration about your Autumn in New Zealand.
Only a 3 and a half hour scenic drive north of Auckland is Paihia. In Autumn, the bike trails are surrounded by an array of colours and beauty so why not jump on a bike and join Top Trail on a journey through tunnels, rivers and beautiful rural towns of New Zealand.
After your bike journey in Paihia, we can recommend you visit Terra Restaurant to refill before continuing your adventures. With brunch, long lunches and a delicious degustation menu, you do not want to miss out on New Zealand’s delicious Autumn flavours.
If you are interested in the history of New Zealand and the Māori culture, we highly recommend a visit to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, just over the bridge from Paihia. Get a taste of the historic culture of New Zealand – you can even enjoy a hāngī, a traditional Māori way of cooking using heated rocks in a pit oven – Delicious!
We love Waiheke Island! Get out of the hustle and bustle of the big city by jumping on a quick ferry to take you over to the relaxed ‘Island of Wine’. Wavino Wine Tours offer some great options to get you around Waiheke while sampling some delicious tipples.
One of our favourite restaurants on Waiheke Island is Casita Miro – be sure to book your table in advance for this one! You can read our blog post about this amazing spot here.
Stand out MajorDomo luxury accommodation in Northland
Cove Views is an exclusive property with expansive ocean views & a private spa pool, perfect for 8 guests close to Onetangi Beach.
Spend your days relaxing on sun drenched decks with the family, wander down to the private cove and swim or fish off the rocks. The gorgeous Onetangi Beach is a short stroll down Waiheke Rd where you can enjoy one of the worlds best beach walks.
Indulge in these views whilst melting in the hot tub. There is a covered entertaining deck with dining area, an open-air lounge and an outdoor fire and pizza oven.
This fabulous villa is a true retreat.There is access to two fantastic beaches, (Hauai Bay 3mins walk & Oke bay 5 minutes), both are sheltered bays, great for swimming, fishing and rock hopping!
The house offers expansive indoor and outdoor living and a fabulous kitchen for cooking that freshly caught fish!
Taupo, located on the North Island of New Zealand, is a stunning destination during the Autumn season. With its beautiful landscapes and vibrant fall foliage, it’s the perfect place for a getaway.
Visitors can explore the stunning Lake Taupo, go hiking in the nearby Tongariro National Park, and visit nearby hot springs.
Whether you enjoy fishing or cruising to see the sights, we recommend jumping on board with Cruise Loloma to explore the stunning Lake Taupo, the largest lake by surface area in New Zealand.
For the foodies amongst us, Taupo is full of restaurants, cafes and bars to indulge. We can recommend The Bistro for a European style dining experience. If you enjoy a touch of tapas then we suggest you head over to Vine Eatery and Bar to delight your taste buds with their New Zealand and Mediterranean influenced menu.
Walking the Huka Falls Track in Autumn is a must-do for nature lovers. The trail winds along the Waikato River, offering stunning views of the brilliant autumn colors and the power of Huka Falls. With easy hiking, beautiful scenery and opportunities for birdwatching, it’s a great way to spend a crisp autumn day. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the breathtaking scenery.
Stand out MajorDomo luxury accommodation in Taupo
Alan Pye Cottage takes every advantage of a superb location and sits above lush rolling green lawns and manicured gardens on the banks of the Waikato River, where the powerful and hypnotic turquoise green waters surge downstream on their way to the Huka Falls.
A heated infinity-style swimming pool and a separate private spa pool have been integrated into the outdoor landscape. There is also a fabulous stone outdoor pavilion within a private courtyard garden, featuring a magnificent fireplace.
Autumn in Hawke’s Bay is a feast for the senses. The region is famous for its stunning scenery, with rolling hills blanketed in autumn hues of orange, red and yellow. The vineyards, dotted throughout the landscape, produce some of the country’s finest wines, making this the perfect time of year to visit a winery and sample the latest vintage.
Hawke’s Bay is a wine lover’s paradise, known for its world-class wineries and vineyards. Take a tour with Prinsy’s Tours to taste some of New Zealand’s finest wines. Whether you want to spend a short time at the wineries or take a full day tour, Prinsy’s Tours has something to cater for everyone.
We highly recommend a visit to Mission Estate, New Zealand’s oldest winery! Whether you are after a bite to eat, a delicious wine tasting or to stock your wine supply up, Mission Estate has it all.
Another favourite eatery of ours is Bistronomy in Napier. With 6 or 7 course meals with the option to wine match, this is one that will not disappoint! Bistronomy’s counterpart, Vinotech is a spot to go to enjoy a worldly wine tasting.
Stand out MajorDomo luxury accommodation in Hawke’s Bay
Summerlee is one of New Zealand’s most charming luxury retreats.
The expansive landscape of the home encompasses a tennis court, a large petanque court, a separate swimming pool and pool house area, spa pool, croquet and a highly appointed outdoor room, so you are guaranteed plenty of opportunity to play outdoors and enjoy the warm climate of Hawke’s Bay.
Nelson and Marlborough’s crisp and clear autumn days are ideal for exploring the stunning landscapes, rolling hills, and pristine beaches. Take a scenic drive along the famous Queen Charlotte Drive, or go wine tasting in the world-renowned Marlborough wine region.
With its mild weather and stunning fall colors, this is the perfect time to visit the Abel Tasman National Park, where you can hike the coastal trails, kayak the turquoise water or simply relax on the golden sand beaches.
We can recommend the 3 hour scenic drive south to Kaikōura to jump on a whale watching cruise with Whale Watch, Kaikōura. This spot is on the few places Giant Sperm Whales are seen year-round and close to shore so don’t miss out on the opportunity to see this with your own eyes!
If you enjoy craft beer, then you will love the Nelson Craft Beer Trail! See Nelson from the trails and stop and enjoy some of the best craft beers New Zealand has to offer – a perfect Autumn days plan!
Hopgood’s and Co in Nelson has a fantastic selection of seasonal bistro-style dishes. We suggest you order the tasting menu to try some of Nelson’s great local produce with wines to match.
Gramado’s in Blenheim, offers a Brazilian twist on New Zealand’s Autumn produce. Most menu items can be made vegetarian, gluten and dairy free so this is a great restaurant to cater for everybody.
Stand out MajorDomo luxury accommodation in Nelson/Marlborough
Falcon Brae Villa is perched on a hilltop high above Stonefly Lodge, with spectacular 360 degree views over the surrounding mountains and the majestic Motueka River below.
The large deck space overlooks the mountains and river, featuring a pool & outdoor heated spa, barbeque area for outdoor dining and entertaining with a shaded pergola.
Christchurch, a beautiful city located on the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island, is a stunning destination during the autumn season. As the leaves turn into beautiful shades of red, orange, and yellow, the city transforms into a breathtaking sight.
It’s a great time to go for a walk in Hagley Park, the city’s largest park, or take a stroll along the Avon River and enjoy the serene views of the city from a different perspective.
Maybe you would rather take in the view from the water – we highly recommend hopping in one of the boats for some Punting on the Avon.
Jump on board the Christchurch Tram and experience the combination of history and sightseeing! With 18 stops around the city center, this is the ideal transport to rest your legs and see the beauty of Christchurch.
Barberra have a fresh, modern approach to dining. With an array of sharing plates and scrumptious desserts and cocktails, be sure to book your table for this one.
5th Street is another great dinner spot in Christchurch. With a range of small, medium and large plates, you are sure to walk away from here feeling full!! Before you leave, be sure to pick up some of 5th Street’s homemade pantry essentials!
Stand out MajorDomo luxury accommodation in Christchurch
The central location of this property is perfect for exploring Christchurch, and if you are travelling with family or friends, you could even book out all of the suites to enjoy exclusive use!
With each stay you can enjoy the guest lounge with lots of space, Internet, a 65″ Plasma TV and gas fireplace. There’s also a large, relaxing covered outdoor decking with seating to lounge or dine outside, and included in the rates are snacks and drinks each evening.
Lake Tekapo and Mt. Cook, located in the heart of New Zealand’s South Island, are must-visit destinations during the autumn season. As the leaves turn into warm shades of orange, red, and yellow, the stunning scenery surrounding the lake and mountain come to life.
Tekapo is a picturesque village in the South Island, located just an hours drive from Mt Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak. Tekapo is part of one of two Dark Sky Reserves in New Zealand and is the largest one in the Southern Hemisphere! The perfect spot in Autumn to admire the Dark Sky Reserve is in a hot pool! Tekapo Springs offer a great relaxation spot for stargazing – even if the weather is poor, you can still enjoy a 360֯֯֯֯ virtual reality tour of the night sky!
Jack Rabbit have a delicious all-day menu and yummy cabinet to grab on your road trip. They provide indoor and outdoor seating with amazing scenery to enjoy while you indulge in their scrumptious food.
Also located in Tekapo is Blue Lake Eatery and Bar where you can indulge in contemporary local New Zealand cuisine – try a little of everything with the sharing platter!
Stand out MajorDomo luxury accommodation near Tekapo and Mt Cook
Immerse yourself in the luxurious high country estate & luxury villa set in 66 hectares of pure wilderness, and surrounded by the turquoise blue waters of Lake Pukaki and Ben Ohau ranges. With Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park at your doorstep, what more could you want?
Indulge in an inground outdoor artesian fresh water hot tub.
Queenstown is just delightful in Autumn. Only a 20 minute drive away is Arrowtown, a quaint, historic, old gold-mining village that completely transforms in Autumn! Take a stroll along the main street while admiring the established buildings or wander through the Chinese Village to take a look at how the miners lived while on the hunt for gold.
Autumn is the perfect time to see Queenstown from above so why not join Sunrise Balloons on a scenic balloon flight over the basin. Sunrise Balloons is a family owned and operated company who are complete experts in the area so you are sure to learn some amazing historic facts!
In Arrowtown, there is an Autumn Festival that you do not want to miss! With historic tours, art exhibitions, quiz nights, a scarecrow trail and live performances and displays throughout the week. Our personal favourite event is Pie, Pint and Pinot. Locally made gourmet pies, with craft beers and local wines to match – what more could you want. Book your tickets for this one as it sells out fast!
Ivy and Lola’s is a great kitchen and bar located on the wharf in Queenstown with a fabulous brunch and dinner menu that serves you hearty food with seasonal ingredients. If you enjoy mussels, be sure to try their amazing mussel pots!
Located near the Chinese Village in Arrowtown is a contemporary bistro dining location called The Dishery. They use a Traegar grill for slow cooking their beef and chicken and use an array of seasonal produce that will not disappoint. Those partial to a morning cocktail must try their Bloody Mary – one of the best in Arrowtown!
Stand out MajorDomo luxury accommodation in Queenstown
This home is luxury-lodge-living at its finest but all in the privacy and space of your own villa. It is perfectly positioned in Queenstown with panoramic sweeping views which stretch over the town and mountains and to either end of the lake.
To the rear of the home, a hidden oasis is revealed: the garden has been built into the hill creating a staggered layout with the outdoor entertaining area, a large lake view spa pool, an outdoor 8-seater cedar sauna and finally a lounge terrace, covered by a retractable pergola, at the top of the garden offering the perfect space to soak in the expansive lake views.
Sunny, spacious and superbly styled, Arrowtown Retreat is a very special home in a fantastic location just a few moments’ drive from Arrowtown.
As you enter the home, the art lined entrance way guides you to the rear of the property towards the high vaulted ceilings in the living room and kitchen, both of which are bright and airy spaces that feel equally homely and grand, and have sliding doors that connect to the outdoors for breezy indoor/outdoor flow.