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When to Go
Mid-November through mid-April is the best time in central and eastern North Island. The weather is balmy and everything is open. This is also the season for vineyard festivals, so keep an eye on the local calendars. Try to avoid the school holidays (from mid-December to late January), when the roads and hotels get clogged with Kiwi vacationers. To see the gannet colony at Cape Kidnappers, you need to go between October and March, when the birds are nesting and raising their young.
Hawke's Bay and Gisborne can be remarkably mild in winter, but Rotorua and Taupo can get quite cold. If you want to do some skiing, August is the month to hit the slopes of Tongariro National Park.
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