Photo credit: Rachel Stewart. Mackenzie Region in Autumn, South Island New Zealand
New Zealand Weather in March
March is the first month of Autumn in New Zealand and is usually a little cooler than the summer months of December, January and February.
The North Island of New Zealand is known to have warmer months allowing you to expect 23° highs in Auckland and the Bay of Islands, even 27°C in central Rotorua.
As Autumn gets into full swing throughout New Zealand you will notice colorful transitions especially in the Central Otago and Hawke's Bay region providing not only a picturesque backdrop for keen photographers but also coincides with the grape harvesting season allowing you to taste some of the countries finest wines.
How cold is New Zealand in March?
The weather is generally warm and sunny throughout New Zealand in March. You can expect temperatures between 18°C - 25°C.
The North Island is warmer than the South Island and towards the end of March you will have a few cooler nights throughout the country.
What Season is it in New Zealand in March?
Due to New Zealand's location in the Southern Hemisphere March is the beginning of the Autumn is the season.
This makes it a popular choice for many travelers as the weather is cooler than the summer months and generally less busy as most locals are back at work and school by then.
Is March and Autumn a Good Time to Visit New Zealand?
Yes its a perfect time to come. Not only is the country illuminated with the colour of Autumn with the trees shedding their leaves but with the cooler climate and quieter crowds makes it a comfortable time to visit.
March is also the grape harvesting month of New Zealand so if your inclined for some good wine and dining then Autumn is another reason to come.
5 Best Places to Visit in Autumn New Zealand
Queenstown & Arrowtown
A highly photographed region with beautiful Autumn scenery.
Queenstown in Autumn
Famous for its lakes and snowy peaks and the lonesome Lake Wanaka Tree.
Lake Tekapo is famous for its starry skies, beautiful colours and mountainous backdrops making it a must see location for visitors while traveling south.
The Church of Good Sheppard is probably the most famous and visited sites in Lake Tekapo. Built on the shores of the lake this small old church makes a gorgeous shot in both day and night.
Twizel is fantastic location to enjoy the Autumn months in New Zealand. Popular spots include the Twizel river and the Ruataniwha Lagoon. Some Autumn must do's include:
Twizel Autumn Festival: Twizel blooms into Autumn colors and even has its own annual Autumn Festival.
Photography: Twizel is a great spot for photographer's being full of colour and with a gorgeous natural backdrop of snow, grass and trees.
Star Gazing & Southern Lights: Twizel is apart of the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve allowing you to get incredible view of the Milky Way Galaxy and stars like you've never seen before. If you're lucky you might see the Southern Lights dancing on display.
Some Christchurch Autumn must do's include:
Botanical Gardens: a visit to the botanical gardens. Located in the central city this vast park has native NZ gardens, rose gardens and much more providing an impressive Autumn leaf display.
Port Hills: Enjoy the longer days while they last with a warm walk, bike or hike up the Christchurch Port Hills.
What should I pack for New Zealand in March?
- 5-7 Pairs underwear
- 2-3 Tank tops or t-shirts
- 1-2 Long sleeve shirts (guys, make one a collared button up, ladies, make one a nice blouse)
- 3 Pair pants or skirts
- 1 Pair of quick Dry Pants (If traveling to the South Island and plan on being outdoors alot)
- 5 Pairs of socks
- 1 Rain jacket
- 1 Pair solid hiking sandals or walking shoes
- 1 Pair nicer shoes (consider swapping these for quality hiking boots if going to South Island)
- 1 Hat
- 1 Light scarf
- 1 Daypack
- 1 Swimming Suit
- 1 Pack Towel
- 1 Water bottle