With stunning fields filled with pink & purple flowers, travellers & photographers are being drawn to New Zealand’s South Island more than ever. The New Zealand lupin season is one of the most picturesque times to visit the country. During this time of year you’ll see fields filled with thousands pink & purple flowers, it truly is an unbelievable sight to see. An interesting fact about lupins, even though they appear to be gorgeous flowers they are actually considered weeds. The local farmers describe them an invasive species. Even still, lupin season is a must see sight. Are you ready to fall in love with New Zealand? Here is my New Zealand lupin season complete travel guide.
WHERE TO GO
Lupins can be spotted in various places around the South Island, but there is one location in particular that is very popular. It’s likely that most of the beautiful lupin fields you’ve seen in photos are in front of the very picturesque Lake Tekapo. Lake Tekapo makes for the perfect backdrop around the lupins with it’s incredible bright blue colour. However the lupins can actually be spotted in various places around New Zealand’s South Island. Most of the lupins I spotted while in New Zealand are around lakes & rivers. Some other places to see lupins are Lake Pukaki, Mount Cook National Park, Wanaka, & on the way to Milford Sound.
Travel tip: To find my personal favourite lupin field, drive East past Lake Tekapo town (towards Christchurch) for about 2 minutes. There is the most stunning field full of flowers and far less tourists. On Google Maps this area shows as “Lake Tekapo Reserve”.
WHEN TO TRAVEL
Lupins bloom only once per year within a pretty short time frame. These flower fields are around for approximately 1 month. The best time to see the lupins are from mid November to mid December, with the peak bloom at the end of November. It’s definitely still possible to see lupins a little later than this but they may be a bit harder to find. I’ve seen photos of Lupin fields around Lake Tekapo from other people that have travelled in early January. I travelled here at the end of November/ start of December and the lupins were in abundance at that time. In peak bloom there are full fields of lupins nearly everywhere you look around Lake Tekapo & throughout the South Island.
Travel Tip: If you’re wanting to get some beautiful photos around Lake Tekapo, I suggest planning on staying here 3 days. The weather this time of year can be unpredictable so it’s best to have a few extra days here in case the weather isn’t great. Make sure you book you Lake Tekapo accommodation in advance since this is a very busy time of year. Find the best Lake Tekapo accommodation here.
OTHER THINGS TO SEE
Of course, the Lupins aren’t the only thing to see in New Zealand. New Zealand happens to be one of the most naturally beautiful countries in the whole world. The South Island in particular encompasses a nature lovers dream travel destination. Whether you travel to New Zealand during lupin season or any other time of year there are an abundance of beautiful destinations to discover. Some of my favourite South Island destinations are as follows:
MOUNT COOK – Incredible mountain ranges and hiking trails are what you can expect in Mount Cook National Park. This is such an amazing part of the South Island that is a must see. Try to visit Mount Cook in clear weather otherwise it can be difficult to actually see the mountain ranges.
WANAKA – My favourite city in the South Island is Wanaka. This is a place that is easy to stay a few days or even a couple weeks with a lot to see and do. You’ll find a small city vibe with picturesque views of Lake Wanaka and surrounding mountains.
MILFORD SOUND – Milford Sound is an absolute must see in New Zealand. Where the mountains meet the ocean, Milford Sound is a sight to behold. Enjoy a boat cruise here between the mountains while taking in views that are unlike anywhere else in the world.
To discover even more destinations, be sure to check out my South Island Ultimate Travel Guide.
If you have any questions about lupin season in New Zealand leave it in the comments below or message me directly.
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