The weather in March, the first month of autumn, is usually only slightly cooler than in the summer months of December, January and February. In the North Island, particularly in the so-called 'Winterless North', you can expect temperatures of 25°C in the Bay of Islands, even 27°C in central Rotorua. Both being great all year round destinations for swimming, boating and fishing.
As autumn gets underway in New Zealand, you will see – especially in regions such as Central Otago (South Island) and Hawke's Bay (North Island) – its native evergreen flora give way a little to introduced deciduous trees. As the leaves on these trees change colour, autumn makes New Zealand's landscapes even more picturesque.
March has a lovely warmth to it and as the grapes hang lush and plump, this is a perfect time of year for touring New Zealand's wineries and vineyards. There's hardly a better way to spend an evening than basking in the warmth of the autumn sunlight with a local red or white wine in hand.
- North Island Wine Regions
- Bay of Plenty
- Hawke's Bay
- South Island Wine Regions
- Marlborough (also home to the Havelock Mussel Festival)
- Central Otago
March Weather in Otago
If you're heading to Otago, the region increasingly famous for its Pinot Noir, make sure you take a raincoat and pack an umbrella! March tends to be Queenstown's wettest month of the year.
There are not only wineries in each of the above regions to enjoy, many also play host to annual festivals. These often include food stalls selling locally-grown produce, seasonal specialties and home-baked goods. It's a great month for visiting local farmers' markets too. Look out for:
- New Zealand International Arts Festival – Wellington (North Island)
- Te Houtaewa Challenge Race – 90 Mile Beach, Northland (North Island)
- St Patrick's Day, 17th March – (New Zealand-wide)
- Auckland Festival of Sailing – Auckland (North Island)
- Ellerslie Flower Show – Christchurch (South Island)
- Hokitika Wildfoods Festival – West Coast (South Island)
- Balloons Over Waikato – Hamilton (North Island)
New Zealand Events
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Weather By Month
Our overview of New Zealand's typical weather by month can help you plan your holiday, unmissable highlights for the month (e.g. events and festivals), sightseeing and activities and even your packing. But do be warned – these are not weather forecasts, so expect some of the unexpected during your stay!
|Spring Weather||Summer Weather||Autumn Weather||Winter Weather|
Weather in the Major Centres
Find out: where to expect 'four seasons in one day', where to find New Zealand's semi-tropical regions, which city is the sunniest, where to experience the most rainfall and discover which city is the country's windiest.
|North Island Weather and Climate||South Island Weather and Climate|
|Bay of Islands||Queenstown|