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.

NZ TERM 1

School Term Dates 11 Weeks
Start: Between 1st – 9th February 2021 End: 16th April 2021
Autumn School Holidays 2 Weeks
Start: 17th April 2021 End: 2nd May 2021

Autumn School Holiday Ideas

North Island Road Trip: We may only be a quarter of the way through the year, but if you’re itching to get on the road after a long first term why not travel the North Island? Spend five days on the road with the family from Wellington to Taupo, visiting family-friendly destinations along the way. Kids will love visiting the Waitomo Glow Worm caves, the National Aquarium of New Zealand and Skyline gondola ride.

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!

NZ TERM 2

School Term Dates 9 Weeks
Start: 3rd May 2021 End: 9th July 2021
Winter School Holidays 2 Weeks
Start: 10th July 2021 End: 25th July 2021

Winter School Holiday Ideas

Wellington: As New Zealand cools down, what better time to explore the city. Head to Wellington for fun, creative learning activities for the whole family. Make your way through our Top 10 Wellington Must Dos, such as riding the historic cable car and learning about our universe at Carter Observatory.

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. 

NZ TERM 3

School Term Dates 10 Weeks
Start: 26th July 2021 End: 1st October 2021
Spring School Holidays 2 Weeks
Start: 2nd October 2021 End: 17th October 2021

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.

NZ TERM 4

School Term Dates 9 Weeks
Start: 18th October 2021 End: No later than 20th December 2021
Summer School Holidays 7 Weeks
Start: No later than 21st December 2021 End: Between 31st January – 8th February 2022

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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