We’ve listed the major School holidays in New Zealand and term dates to help your family pre-plan short trips and weekend getaways. For every term, explore different regional locations in New Zealand. Make sure you book your stay at ChoiceHotels.com to get the best value.


School Term Dates: Starts 29th January 2024 – Ends 12th April 2024

Autumn School Holidays: Starts 13th April 2024 – Ends 25th April 2024

Autumn School Holiday Ideas

Invercargill: If you’d prefer to head south, Invercargill is the place to be. You won’t be disappointed by the picturesque streets and exciting activities for the family to enjoy. Marvel at the variety of gardens at Queens Park, showcasing exquisite colours for Autumn visitors. Then take a ferry to Stewart Island at night for a rare glimpse of the famous Southern Lights, which you’re most likely to see between March and September. If you or your kids love cars, don’t miss Transport World, one of the world’s largest private automotive museums with 300 classic vehicles and engaging exhibits!


School Term Dates: Starts 29th April 2024 – Ends 5th July 2024

Winter School Holidays: Starts 6th July 2024 – Ends 21st July 2024

Winter School Holiday Ideas

Palmerston North: Explore another one of New Zealand’s understated yet gorgeous North Island towns this Winter. Palmerston North offers all the delights of a country town with a side of adventure. Take a bike ride through the ancient bush of the Manawatu River and visit the six-meter sculptor of the Maori warrior on the Manawatu Gorge Loop Walk, while sports buffs can discover the world’s first rugby museum and immerse themselves in the history of rugby in New Zealand. 


School Term Dates: Starts 22nd July 2024 – Ends 27th September 2024

Spring School Holidays: Starts 28th September 2024 – Ends 13th October 2024

Spring School Holiday Ideas

Nelson: The small city at the top of South Island, Nelson is also known as New Zealand’s creative arts capital. And Spring is a perfect time to visit, with Nelson Arts Festival running for two weeks during October each year. Bring the family for a weekend of great food, live music and performing arts. Then explore in and out of the city to see Nelson’s historic landmarks, artistic buildings and beautiful landscapes. If you’re an adventure-seeker, don’t miss the world’s longest flying fox at Happy Valley Adventures!

Hobbiton: Are you or your kids Lord of the Rings fans? If you haven’t been before, or even if you have, visiting the iconic Hobbiton set in Waikato is sure to make for an unforgettable school holiday activity for the whole family. Take a tour and visit the famous Bag End, surrounded by the beautiful landscape which comes to life in Spring. Don’t forget to stop by the Green Dragon Inn for a mouth-watering Hobbit feast before you leave the shire.


School Term Dates: Starts 14th October 2024 – Ends 20th December 2024

Summer School Holidays: Starts 21st December 2024 – TBC

Summer School Holiday Ideas

Christchurch: December is the perfect time to take a trip to Christchurch. With fantastic Summer weather, visitors can make the most of outdoor experiences such as the Christchurch Gondola and the heritage Tram Tour.  Spend a day in the sun at Sumner Beach or New Brighton Pier, then dine outdoors at one of Christchurch’s trendy eateries. Planning to stay in Christchurch for an extended break? Take a day trip to Hanmer Springs natural hot pools, or the exquisitely beautiful Lake Tekapo. 

Auckland: If you’re in need of a long (or short) Summer getaway in the new year, look no further than Auckland for never-ending activities and fun for the family. Picnic at Auckland Zoo in the company of 135 different animal species, and tour the galaxies at Stardome Observatory. Thrill-seekers will have endless opportunities for adventure, such as jetboating on the city’s beautiful Waitemata Harbour and the daring Sky Jump experience. Don’t forget to find a spot on the waterfront to watch a spectacular New Years fireworks show above Sky Tower.

Source: New Zealand Government

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