Spring in New Zealand: 12 Best Places to Visit for Spring Flowers

12 Best Places to Visit in New Zealand During Spring

If you’re visiting NZ in spring, don’t miss these must-see spots!

New Zealand — the Land of the Long White Cloud — is a top travel destination, particularly as spring approaches. From the sprawling New Zealand flower fields to the adorable lambs that dominate in numbers during this period, it’s no wonder tourists from all over are itching to visit. Truly, the refreshing natural beauty of spring in New Zealand makes this country especially busy in the months of September and October.

If you’re looking to visit the very best the country has to offer in spring, the sheer number of things to see and do in New Zealand might intimidate you. But have no fear! We’ve created this handy list of the best places to visit in New Zealand in spring so that you can have a fulfilling vacation when you’re there. 

Also read: 12 Best Cities & Towns to Live in New Zealand

Must-see places during spring in New Zealand

1. Eden Garden

Ah, there’s something about the vibrant blossoming of tulips that instantly lift your mood! The freshly bloomed bulbs at the Eden Garden in Auckland are a sight to behold. Located in Mount Eden, the garden promises cool and crisp air that will refresh the weary. It also hosts an annual Tulip Festival, which promises rows and rows of eye-catching tulip displays. 

You can also enjoy the sweet-smelling flowers at the Eden Garden Cafe, where they serve high tea from Tuesday to Sunday, along with a fine selection of drinks and food. A sumptuous tea and an amazing floral view? Sign us up!

Best time to visit: September

2. Auckland Botanic Gardens

Despite being a year-round garden, the Auckland Botanic Gardens is definitely one of the best places to visit in New Zealand in spring! The stars of the season here are the Camellia Garden, Magnolia Garden, and Spring Blossom Valley. The Camellia Garden and Magnolia Garden both boast some of New Zealand’s largest collections of camellias and magnolia, making for incredibly fascinating and eye-catching paths to explore.

Meanwhile, the Spring Blossom features jaw-dropping cherry blossoms that truly embody the coming of spring. Let your eyes feast on the pink-coloured clusters all around you —from the trees and the shrubs, to even on the ground. Keep a lookout for a tūī (a native bird species) or two as it feasts on the sweet nectar of the blossoming flowers!

Best time to visit: Late August to early October

Also read: 18 Best Places to See Cherry Blossoms Outside Japan & South Korea

3. Cornwall Park

This famed Auckland park has a rich history dating over 67,000 years, capturing New Zealand’s wonderful horticulture. Cornwall Park proudly has over 8,000 trees across the sprawling park and more than 25,000 annual plants in their garden beds. Their cherry blossoms stand out in particular, as the park features several varieties of these — creating a dreamy scene of flower clusters in different pink hues! Head over to Pōhutukawa Drive and around the main gates at Greenlane West, where the cherry blooms are most abundant. 

Apart from the jaw-dropping spring flowers, you can also catch the adorable animals of Cornwall Park’s working farm. This area is open to the public in the latter part of spring, usually from mid-September onwards. You’ll be able to see cows, sheep, and herd dogs — how exciting is that? Undeniably, Cornwall Park is one of the best places to visit in New Zealand in spring. 

Best time to visit: September to October

4. Clandon Daffodils

Daffodils are among the highly sought-after spring flowers in New Zealand. And we totally understand why; their smile-inducing, yellow or white petals make them the perfect flower to symbolise the end of winter! Wouldn’t you love to take a bunch of these flowers to brighten up your accommodation? Well, you’ll certainly be able to do that at Clandon Daffodils. Located in Gordonton —New Zealand’s daffodil central— this family-run farm grows the country’s largest range of daffodil varieties making it one of the best places to visit in New Zealand in spring! 

So, go ahead and get yourself some of their freshly-cut daffodils! Or if you’re really interested in learning about how daffodils are harvested, you’ll learn all about that and more on their grouped tours. 

Best time to visit: August to October

5. Hollard Gardens

Located in Taranaki —New Zealand’s fertile dairying location — Hollard Gardens is a lush land of horticulture, hosting various plants and flowers of national importance, such as rhododendrons and azaleas.  Plus, entry to this garden is absolutely free! When visiting this lively spot in spring, make your way to The Swamp, where the excitement is almost palpable as insects and birds float around the freshly bloomed flowers.

Another spot that should not be missed is Bernie’s Home Garden, where you’ll see vegetable beds, bee and worm farms, and even a food forest. The latter is an agricultural garden of edible plants that mimics a natural forest ecosystem. At this section of the gardens, public workshops and demonstrations on sustainable farming practices are held. Who knows? Maybe you’ll be inspired to grow your own farm when you head back home. 

Best time to visit: September to October

6. Taniwha Daffodils Central Hawkes Bay

A spot as beautiful as Taniwha Daffodils Central Hawkes Bay deserves a spot on our list of places to see spring flowers in New Zealand. This spot is also a highly sought-after venue for special events — such as weddings and birthday parties — given its unique rustic setting with towering trees, garden beds, and clear ponds.

 However, it’s also a popular place for daffodil picking! When the daffodils are at peak bloom, visitors will be able to pick as many of these as they like (for a certain fee). If you ask us, picking daffodils in a field as magical as this will definitely be an unforgettable experience. As the daffodil-picking season each year is subject to change, make sure to check their website for their flower-picking dates before making your way to the farm.

Best time to visit: September 

7. NZ Cherry Blossom Festival

If you’re looking for a flower-focused field that is exclusively open during spring in New Zealand, then the NZ Cherry Blossom Festival in Waikato needs to be on your itinerary! This is a large, well-curated space consisting of several New Zealand flower fields, as well as a main street lined with numerous cherry blossom trees. Numerous themed events are run when the spring flowers are in full bloom. So, expect various performances, treasure hunts, pony rides, and face painting in September and October!

Make sure to book your tickets for the NZ Cherry Blossom Festival for a day of fun and laughter! Don’t forget to snap a shot of the blooming cherry blossom trees as the pink petals cover the pathways; it’s a magical site not to be missed. 

Best time to visit: Late September to early October

8. Christchurch Botanic Gardens

Christchurch Botanic Gardens is a must-visit during spring in New Zealand, with its well-maintained gardens filled with superbly curated flowers! Come springtime, the cherry blossoms at the Rock Garden boast billowing clouds of deep pink and pale pink. Freshly bloomed magnolias can also be found all over the park, from the entrance to the exit. Additionally, the hundreds of vibrant tulips are certainly adding pops of colour all around the park. Taking a stroll or having an afternoon picnic in the gardens will lift your spirits, as you admire the sights and sounds of nature all around you. 

Best time to visit: Late September to early October

9. Rotorua Government Gardens

The Rotorua Gardens serves as an important place of heritage for its museum and several exhibitions that commemorate the history and culture of the Māori people. As such, it is a popular tourist spot in the Rotorua area. However, the garden is especially crowded in spring as the local flowers bloom, breathing new life into the museum! Stroll through the gardens after visiting the exhibitions and admire the perfectly groomed garden beds and thriving trees that decorate the Māori-inspired sculptures and ancient geothermal pools. 

Best time to visit: Late September to early October

Also read: 15 Useful Māori Phrases & Basic Greetings for Your Future Trip to New Zealand + Fun Facts!

10. Omana Regional Park

Apart from the beautiful flowers, spring in New Zealand also ushers in the lambing season! Lambs thrive and roam the fields, particularly between August and October. And while you’ll be able to find adorable lambs all over New Zealand, Omana Regional Park is the perfect place to spot these adorable creatures in their natural habitat! Situated between Beachlands and Maraetai Beach, the park boasts top-notch beach views, rock pools, and open farmlands. Clearly, there’s just so much to do there! 

Other than lambs, the 40-hectare open farm has sheep and goats that you can feed. You might also catch a park ranger herding the sheep with a farm dog. Whether it’s camping overnight, having a midday barbeque, or simply feeding the animals, you’ll be able to do it all amid the refreshing air. This is definitely one of the best places to visit in New Zealand in spring. 

Best time to visit: August to October 

11. Hamilton Gardens

This next recommendation might just have the prettiest garden design in New Zealand! Aside from the well-curated flowers, Hamilton Gardens showcases its horticulture amongst top-notch architecture, particularly in its themed gardens like the Italian Renaissance Garden, Ancient Eygptian Garden, and Chinese Scholars’ Garden

When it’s spring in New Zealand, the flowers in the Rhododendron Lawn bloom and the air is perfumed with a pleasant yet light floral scent. Additionally, the thousands of flower bulbs in the Victorian Flower Garden glasshouses finally open and a vibrant explosion of colour ensues. It is truly a sight you shouldn’t miss out on!

Best time to visit: September to October

12. Aston Norwood Gardens

I know, we’ve already introduced several cherry blossom gardens to visit during spring in New Zealand. But this place seriously deserves a mention! Aston Norwood Garden is known as Wellington’s best-kept secret, as it is still not on most tourists’ radar yet, despite housing New Zealand’s highest number of mature cherry blossoms. You’ll find these at the Blossom Valley. Think rows of cherry blossom trees in full bloom and pretty pink petals falling atop your head as if it’s snowing! 

If you think you’ve seen enough cherry blossoms for one trip, think again! Blossom Valley’s After Dark event — where the pathways to the garden are lit up in various colours — will make you fall in love with cherry blossoms again as you see them in this new light. There are also food and drink stores, where you can have your own picnic under the blossoms and the stars! 

Best time to visit: Mid-September to early October

Also read: 10 Famous Movies Filmed in New Zealand & Their Breathtaking Locations

And there you have it, your guide to the best places to visit in New Zealand in spring! Given this country’s reputation for out-of-this-world nature, we’re positive the spring flowers in New Zealand will not disappoint. 

Whether you’re watching the cherry blossoms open or maple leaves transforming into various shades of red, orange and yellow, the changes in season are all sights that must be shared! So, don’t be shy and share your travel experiences and photos with us on our official Facebook and Instagram pages!

About Author

Beautrice Oh
Beautrice Oh

Beautrice enjoys exploring new places and jumps at any chance to try something new. She loves learning about different cultures through their food, landmarks, and hidden local spots (if she can find them)! Always enthusiastic for an adventure, she plans itineraries that fully immerse herself in the destination’s culture, and will never forget to bring along her camera to capture the memories.