With the New Zealand government reopening the borders to international visitors from July 2022 onwards, many prospective Silver Fern travellers are now seriously considering holidays to New Zealand in 2024 and 2025.

So many plans have been disrupted by the changing nature of the pandemic and the restrictions that were placed on travel. So much so that holidays which were booked in 2020 have taken place in 2023 and 2024.

Since we have already considered some of the highlights for travel to New Zealand in 2023, here we’ll look even further ahead to the Summer, Autumn and Spring months of 2024, and beyond to 2025.

The stand-out event for 2024 in New Zealand has to be the World Choir Games, which are to be held in Auckland from 10-20 July. It’s the world’s largest choir competition, so for those of you who are avid followers of the BBC Choir of the Year programme hosted by Gareth Malone, this is your opportunity to hear choirs from around the world “singing it out” in pursuit of the trophy.

January to March 2024

If you’re planning to head off on your 2024 New Zealand holiday in the Pacific summer months, it’s the perfect time to escape the icy blasts of a northern hemisphere winter. You’ll be pleased to hear there’s plenty going on in many towns and cities on both the North and South Islands.

Food & Drink

There’s a food and drink festival to be found nearly everywhere you go in New Zealand during the summer months.

The one’s we’d pick out to attend are The Marlborough Food and Wine Festival which usually takes place on the second Saturday in February. Like many events, the festival has been cancelled for the past two years, but organisers are promising a return to form in 2024 with the best seasonal fare and new wines on display.

The other foodie event which always catches the eye is the Hokitika Wild Foods Festival on the west coast of South Island. Held in March, the festival is unlike any other. One minute you could be feasting on succulent New Zealand lamb and venison, the next you’re trying crocodile bites, possum pies, and deep-fried pig’s ears! You’ll definitely need to be adventurous to sample the local culinary creations!

Arts & Culture

Heading for the beach? The Coromandel is probably your best bet to catch some organised action. Hot Water Beach hosts an annual Light Festival as well as the Beach Hop Nostalgia Fair, which celebrates the best of the 50’s and 60’s with classic cars, hot rods and local bands playing the music of the era. 

Further down the coast at the Waihi Beach Summer Fair, there’s shopping in the sun, happy vibes and good times in January. Tauranga City Airport also hosts Classics of the Sky, with jet fighter displays and sky diving demonstrations taking place.

Mount Maunganui also has a range of events planned at the Soper Reserve on their open-air stage. 

If you’re planning to visit New Zealand in March, Wellington plays host to the annual CubaDupa Street Festival – where the restaurants, bars, shops and cafes offer a kaleidoscope of colour, music and theatre to both delight and totally wear you out! 

Also in the capital, we highly recommend checking out performances at the Opera House and the Michael Fowler Centre.

Not to be outdone, on South Island the aptly nicknamed Garden City is the venue for the World Buskers Festival, where the streets of Christchurch are a buzz of activity with busker shows showcasing the talents of musicians from around the globe.

April & May 2024

April and May are the months when many sporting events take place throughout New Zealand. From iron man triathlons, to marathons and walking competitions in various parts of the country. 

Sports & Recreation

In Tongariro National Park there is the T42 Event, which features a 24km adventure run and a 48km mountain bike trail through the heart of Ruapehu.

Rotorua is the venue for the Highlander Geyser to Lake mountain bike event, with trails covering either 63km, 40km and 23km and taking place in the otherworldly geothermal grounds of Te Puia.

The Nelson Tasman also gets in on the mountain biking  action with the Aorere Enduro – a world renowned mountain biking event that’s a must for the adrenalin junkies among us. But of course if you’d like to enjoy the softer side of pedalling, we’d always recommend a gentle cycle on the Nelson Tasman cycle trail.

June to September 2024        

As we head into New Zealand’s winter months, the attention invariably turns to the ski slopes of Queenstown and Wanaka on South Island.

Queenstown hosts the annual Queenstown Winter Festival in August, when – apart from snowboarding, skiing and icy spills and thrills – you can be sure of a lively apres-ski scene.

October to December 2024

Spring is one of our favourite times of the year in New Zealand and the months of October and November offer a fantastic rolling programme of garden, harvest and flower festivals on both the North and South Island. 

Nature & Horticulture

Many of these events are combined with art and sculpture displays, typical of which is the Art in the Garden Showcase held at the Flaxmere Garden in North Canterbury, where 60 of New Zealand’s most talented sculptors, painters and potters exhibit their wares.

With its position in the far south of New Zealand, the climate in Dunedin is ideal for the growing of rhododendrons, and the Dunedin Rhododendron Festival features both private and public gardens with fantastic displays of this flowering gem.

If you time it right, the Ellerslie Flower Show in Auckland is the largest flower show in the southern hemisphere and is certainly worth a visit. With the aim to reflect the best in New Zealand garden design, horticulture and garden art there’s an incredible array of talent on display, and you may even come away with some ideas for your own garden!

If spending Christmas in New Zealand is something you fancy, then the Santa Parade in Auckland should definitely be on your list of things to do. With traditional Christmas festivities mixed with a mardi gras vibe, the Santa Parade is normally held at the end of November but may be in early December depending on the weather.

It’s always worth checking the websites of individual regions before you travel, because events and festivals are added on a regular basis. The pandemic has also led to many re-arrangements, with many events pegged to be rescheduled for 2023 and 2024… so there’s bound to be lots of different things to get involved in on a 2024 New Zealand holiday!

Of course, if you have a particular interest and would like to include it in your tailor-made holiday – be it gardens, sports, fishing, drama or dance – do let us know and we’ll be happy to help you find out when and where you’ll be able to watch or participate during your trip to New Zealand.

Alternatively, we’ve created a fantastic selection of escorted small group tours, with a dedicated tour guide who’s on hand to show you all the sights and sounds of this beautiful country.