Seasons in the Abel Tasman
Quite simply, any time of the year is a good time to visit the Abel Tasman National Park.
The Nelson-Tasman region enjoys a moderate, maritime climate and among the highest annual sunshine hours in the entire country, every year.
September, October, November
While early Spring can bring rain, average daytime temperatures are mild ranging from 16 – 19°C (61 – 66°F).
The traditional Labour Weekend national holiday, which falls in the third weekend of October each year, is the unofficial start to the peak visitor season. This is when there is a palpable lift in cosmic energy, due largely to the influx of seasonal workers for the kayak and water taxi companies, cafes and other visitor-based services. There is a strong sense of anticipation for the summer season ahead as daylight saving kicks in and the days lengthen.
The DOC campsites and huts are not generally booked out during this time, and all of the commercial operators are open for business, making spring a great time to visit.
December, January, February
Ah, the great Kiwi summer. With average daytime temperatures ranging from 20 – 25°C (68 – 77°F), the Abel Tasman becomes a subtropical paradise.
During the day, you will struggle to find any local wearing closed shoes, and often footwear of any kind. With long warm days and mild evenings this is the ideal season to visit from a weather point of view.
From Christmas through to the second week of January is the peak of the peak in terms of visitors to the Park. You will need to book your activities and accommodation within the Park in advance as many services and campsites will be full.
Even during this peak period, it is still possible to find your own little slice of paradise in the form of a deserted bay or section of bush. You just have to try a bit harder to seek out a secluded spot.
March, April, May
With average daytime temperatures ranging from 17 – 21°C (62 – 70°F), the weather in early autumn is still mild enough for swimming and other water sports.
Easter is the unofficial end of the peak visitor season. Daylight saving does not end until early April so the days are still long. There are less visitors in the Park so the full range of campsites are generally available.
March often brings the most stable weather patterns of the entire year. This is the season when Kiwis will typically go on longer hikes because it’s not usually as hot as it can be in summer, the rain generally stays away and it’s doesn’t generally get cold. This weather pattern can push out into the rest of autumn too.
June, July, August
With average daytime temperatures ranging from 12 – 16°C (53 – 61°F), our winter is mild by anybody’s standards, unless of course you live within walking distance of the equator.
Mid-winter often provides the most stable weather of the entire year with cool crisp mornings and then sunny, windless days. This is considered by many New Zealanders as the very best time of the year to visit the park. There are no crowds, even at the most popular beaches, yet the full range of Abel Tasman activities and attractions are still there to be enjoyed. Winter evenings also provide the perfect excuse to light an outdoor fire and sit around it recounting the day’s adventures in the Park.
The huts dotted along the length of the Inland Track have wood fires so are perfect for winter. There is nothing quite like hiking during a clear, crisp day and then bunking down at night in a classic backcountry hut in front of a warm fire!