Must See Destinations In Autumn

Chelsea Cain


Autumn is the season when the temperature begins to drop off and the summer sun shows itself less and less. But as the temperature declines the beauty and colour of New Zealand comes to life for all to see. All you need to do, is to know where to look.

Instead of moping about at home or in the comfort of the cafe down the street, get roaming and check out some of these must see destinations. The photos below show breathtaking autumn colours, but don’t fool yourself:  there’s nothing like seeing them with the naked eye.

If you know of any other spectacular destinations, leave us a comment below. We always love to hear from you.


Central Otago – Drive, Walk or Bike

central otago

Whatever your preferred mode of transport whether it be sightseeing from the warmth of your car, the seat of your bike or by using the power of your own two legs, the beauty of Central Otago in Autumn will not disappoint. The colours of the foliage contrasted against the blue sky in the calm and cool temperatures will leave no doubt in your mind that Autumn is here.

If leaf-peeping is something that you absolutely love to do then starting from Lake Dunston and all the way down to Alexandra and Roxburgh you’ll find beautiful spots of fall coloured foliage. Here’s a bit of insight for all of you who love to sight-see from the car: Drive over to Clyde Dam Lookout on the hill where you can look down upon Clyde and Alexandra.

Whilst you’re down there, why not head over to one of the outstanding wineries and try firsthand the wine that Central Otago is quickly gaining acclaim for. Or make sure to stop into one of the gorgeous cafes and eateries along the way.


Arrowtown – Autumn Festival


This historic town can only be described as glowing while the vibrant life of the town peaks in Autumn. So alive is Arrowtown in Autumn that over the course of 5 days there will be fun and entertainment for all as the annual Arrowtown Autumn Festival is set to take place. This festival brings people in the thousands to view the spectacular scenery and incredible array of colours brought to you by nature itself.

Arrowtown is also known as one of the best places to visit in New Zealand for its fall foliage. So if you do head there don’t forget to take a camera!



Cardrona Valley – Horse Trekking and Quad Biking Tours

cadrona valley

Is there a better way to tour through the Cardrona Valley then on the back of a horse or riding through the valley on a quad bike? No, I didn’t think so either.

On this guided tour along while taking in the incredible scenery, you’ll get see to see and hear about all this amazing country side has to offer from the historical gold mining stories, to the working sheep, the cattle and deer farm and of course, the historically renowned Cardrona Hotel. And there are more activities to enjoy once you’re down there.

Whether you choose to experience the valley on horseback or quadbike, this scenic and informative guided tour is one that you won’t forget anytime soon.

With Wanaka 20 minutes drive away and also well-known for its beauty in Autumn, why not knock out two places at once?



Waitaki Valley – Lake Benmore and Aviemore


Lake Benmore and Lake Aviemore located in Waitaki are surrounded by the beauty of the colours of Autumn. While relaxing at the lake, fishing for Salmon and Trout is an activity you may like to participate in and can be done throughout the year except for September.

Don’t forget to change things up and make the most of the activities. Take a bike around the lake this time if you’re used to walking.


A beautiful place to stay while down there is Glenmac Farmstay. This high country merino sheep and beef cattle farm provides guests with amazing hospitality of which Kiwi’s are known for and your hosts Kaye and Keith know all things Waitaki. Upon request you will be provided with information on activities in the area such as horse trekking, mountain biking, local wineries and much much more.

My personal favourite activity in Waitaki is undoubtedly the private outdoor hot tubs to relax in during the day or under the stars at night. The hot tubs are located right beside the water and just look like a dream come true. Click the link to see more.


Kyoto, Japan – Daigo-ji Temple


Now I know this destination isn’t exactly located in New Zealand, but once you look at the image I’m sure you’ll forgive me for feeling the need to include it in this blog. Daigo-ji Temple in Japan is breathtaking no matter the season, whether it’s covered in snow flakes or inundated with trees exhibiting every colour a tree can possibly produce.

This designated world heritage sight is an important temple of the Shingon sect of Japanese Buddhism. The temple stands south-east of Kyoto and its span includes an entire mountainside.

Daigo-ji temple should definitely be a place on your bucket list to visit one Autumn. Along with a beauty of no equal, this trip will be spiritually and culturally enlightening as you lay your eyes upon the Momoyama architecture and become more acquainted with the rich history of the temple. There are of course the annual events of each season to enjoy as well as many others.




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