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Winter holidays, rain, wet weather where to go in New Zealand

  • 4 minutes

@Wellington Jazz festival

Rain provides the perfect reason to linger indoors sampling foodie treats in a local vineyard or spending the day sheltered from the elements in a quirky museum. Indulge in treats as you relax in comfortable armchairs watching a vintage film or plan a trip around a winter or autumn festival. Winter means layers of fun, a waterproof layer and you had always wondered whether you should try your hand at a ski based holiday in New Zealand. Unearth the delights of a train trip through the gorgeous mountain Arthurs Pass to the quiet charm of Greymouth, West Coast.

Vineyard views, Cromwell, South Island, New Zealand
Vineyard views, Cromwell



Who said wine trails are limited to the summer months has not relished the crackling open fire and cosy warmth of an indoors cellar door. Hawkes Bay and Nelson/Marlborough visitors are spoiled for choice for indoors venues. The courtyard warmth, the platters of farm to plate delights, a glass of a local favourite is a classic holiday splurge. Central Otago is a good place to try a variety of reds with Cromwell and the award winning Waitaki region secret places to sample award winning pinot noir.

Nelson’s rockstar Abel Tasman National Park draws the crowds in summer yet its glorious scenery is a year round treat. Combine with a Craft brewery & cider drink Nelson weekend trip – Best Bits and who cares it is raining outside.


  • Watch the scenery roll by as you relax in a comfortable seat
  • The world is a kaleidoscope of activity from rolling farmland to mountain ranges dusted with snow
  • Sustainable travel without you putting your foot on the accelerator once
The TranzAlpine Express Train travels through the Southern Alps, Otago, South Island, New Zealand
The TranzAlpine Express Train

Unmissable train journey – TranzAlpine Christchurch to Greymouth through the beautiful Arthur’s Pass with the pleasure of arriving at the ornate, beautiful Victorian GREYMOUTH RAILWAY STATION. As well as being a lasting reminder of the importance of the railway opening up the West Coast for economic development the charming railway station is now home to the Greymouth Visitor Centre… check out the Greymouth things to do, attractions, places to go and TranzAlpine Train for booking details.

Hamilton Gardens, cafe lunch, Waikato, New Zealand
Hamilton Gardens, cafe lunch


  • Become a hunter gather for the day without the hard work. Visit a favourite Deli, a mouth watering irresistible bakery or two, the local weekend market for the freshest treats and a board game return to residence and indulge.
  • Perfect indulgence escapes curated and crafted by yourself. A great holiday idea to picnic in your own personal space or a break from the routine of meal preparation.


There are several festivals held during the winter and low season throughout New Zealand. From food festivals to arts, fashion and film, indoor entertainment is sorted.

  • The Waiheke Arts Festival is an autumn highlight with stormy weather adding a frisson to the Auckland harbour crossing
  • Wellington Jazz festival, numerous gigs, over 30 venues an October must-go for music lovers
  • Food festivals; Wellington on A Plate, May and August with the promise of gastronomic joy and plenty of museums and fun indoor places to collapse after over indulging. Check out your Wellington travel guide for what to do in one of our favourite cities.
  • Beervana Wellington means August is a hot ticket. From outrageous brewery displays to the best culinary bites, from exciting live music to weird street performance at the Sky Stadium
@Wellington Jazz festival
Wellington Jazz festival @Concrete Playground
@New Zealand International Film Festival
@New Zealand International Film Festival
  • Wellington Wearable Arts Festival, WOW is an extraordinary tribute to the imagination with spring blustery Wellington safely entertaining visitors indoors in September / October
  • Steampunk Festival, Oamaru, who worries about the weather when you are dressed for success in your Victorian best in June
  • Queenstown does winter in style. Cardrona is a blanket of fine powdery snow ready for the ski season and the nearby ski clubs welcome visitors. A highlight for winter visitors is the Queenstown Winterfestival in July.


A leisurely ramble around local art galleries and museums is very restful. There are seats, chairs and benches to contemplate the art in front of you. Interactive displays and exhibits to challenge your knowledge and, almost always a cafe and gift shop attached. Linger and, for families there is a kids programme to keep busy minds entertained.


The sharp blast of warm planted scented air is a promise of an oasis of tropical lushness in contrast to the bare winter branches outside. Visit when the rain is pouring down on the glassed walls and roof in counterpoint to the serenity inside. An abrupt weather contrast making an instagram moment.

Wintergardens, Auckland Domain, New Zealand
Wintergardens, Auckland Domain
@Cardrona Alpine Resort
@Cardrona Alpine Resort


Get outdoors with the gear on and try your hand at winter sports. From the slick sophistication of Queenstown and Wanaka with Cardrona to the boutique family owned / club ski fields of the South Island there are plenty of reasons to get outdoors.

… read more about Skiing and winter sports in New Zealand


There is always a gem catering for rain or shine to attend. The rustle of wet clothing, the bulk of winter layers and the busy market feel cheerful. Hot chocolate, sipping the perfectly brewed coffee complete with a sweet treat creates an instant holiday vibe.

Weekend Farmers Market sign with groups of people sitting around tables relaxing in shade November 13, 2011 in Hastings, New Zealand
Weekend Farmers Market in Hastings


A classic, the cinema  has been reinvented as a cool place to hang out. Boutique cinemas with armchairs, snacks at the ready from freshly prepared pizza to platters and a sense of space and comfort have the makings of a break from the hustle and bustle.

@Matakana Cinemas
@Matakana Cinemas
  • Boutique cinemas offer visitors popcorn. Where else to enjoy a classic treat than the cinema with plenty of space between you and the neighbours.
  • Boutique cinemas are romantic, the sense of sharing space and entertainment is an irresistible combination.
  • The choice of films ranges from blockbusters to art house choices with a number of independent cinemas offering viewers the chance to catch up with black and white historic gems.


Workshops are a great motivation to get out and about. A holiday with a purpose, a connection with people who inspire and challenge you to explore your creative energy. Forward bookings are essential for workshops as well artists request that you do not simply turn up on the doorstep.

Read more about Northland Art Galleries, Workshops and Exhibitions worth a visit and explore sub-tropical north of Auckland in the low season. Check out Waitangi & Bay of Islands attractions, things to do to get started on where to go in New Zealand’s far north.



Best Bits travel guide is published by Owned and managed by PacificJane Ltd.


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