September means spring has arrived in New Zealand and its bright, fresh weather is perfect for many spring-themed festivals and events. Blossom festivals, seafood and rafting activities are all unmissable highlights and September weather means packing away most of those winter woollies.

September Weather

It's not that New Zealand hibernates in its winter months (far from it), but in September, the first month of spring, there is so much activity in terms of festivals and events, that you may find it hard to choose the most appealing.

The weather in September is typical of spring – the days start to get longer, the sun has a bit more heat and there's still a reasonable amount of water around (rain and snowmelt). So what can you expect? On the North Island, temperatures between 7 to 17°C and on the South Island, anything from 5 to 17°C. Pack for 'four seasons' in a day and you won't go far wrong!

September Means Springtime and Seafood

Image Source: Tourism New Zealand. Christchurch Gardens, Christchurch, New Zealand
Christchurch Gardens
New Zealand
Photographer: Hiroshi Nameda
(hnamechan@hotmail.com)
  • Hastings Spring Festival – Arrive in plenty of time for the annual Blossom Parade, which first took place in 1950. Eagerly awaited by the entire community with lots of fun, music and festivities and very much a part of the region's identity.
  • Alexandra Spring Festival – A country fair in a modern age that for over 50 years has marked the start of spring with a parade, Mardi Gras, open gardens and family-orientated entertainment.
  • Spring Nelson Beer Fete – One of New Zealand's sunniest towns plays host to an event celebrating boutique beer and cider. (Followed by the Nelson Arts Festival).
  • West Coast Whitebait Season Festival – This is an ideal time to sample whitebait (fish fry), a much-prized seafood specialty in New Zealand. The whitebait fishing season is very short and fish are caught by hand-held nets lending to its cachet. In New Zealand it is commonly cooked in a fritter or omelette.
  • Kaikoura Seafest – At the end of the month, the bounty of the sea is celebrated with seafood, song and dance in this two day festival on the north-east coast of the South Island.

Wet Wet and Wild

White Water Rafting – If you want to enjoy the most exciting river levels, then September's weather makes this the best month to go rafting. Melting spring snow makes for the most challenging whitewater rafting as the rivers run fast and furiously. (Don't worry! Whitewater rafting in New Zealand is led by some of the best, most experienced and safety-conscious rafting guides in the world).

View some of your rafting options.

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 WeatherSummer WeatherAutumn WeatherWinter Weather
SeptemberDecemberMarchJune
OctoberJanuaryAprilJuly
NovemberFebruaryMayAugust

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 ClimateSouth Island Weather and Climate
AucklandChristchurch
Bay of IslandsQueenstown
Rotorua 
Wellington 

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