With the chillier months upon us it can be easy to get bogged down by the dreariness, batten down the hatches and hide away from it all. But taking a holiday in autumn or winter can actually be a lot of fun with a bunch of activities firing up as the weather cools down.

Chill out in some hot pools

There’s nothing more satisfying than kicking back in a hot pool on a crisp day and New Zealand has some of the best thermal hot pools in the world to choose from. Plus, if it does rain, well you’re already wet!

The Waiwera Thermal pools just north of Auckland, DeBretts in Taupo, Hanmer Springs  just outside of Christchurch, and Lake Tekapo’s famous Tekapo Springs are just some of the hundreds of hot pools dotted across the country where you can take a nice hot soak for $30 or under per person.

Mosey around a museum

With all the fascinating displays and exhibitions on offer, it’s easy to kill hours in a museum and there are some real goodies right across the country, many of which are free.

For engine buffs, Southwards Car Museum on the Kapiti Coast offers something really special. Just an hour south you can explore everything from Phar Lap, the legendary racehorse, to artwork and all that lies in between, at Wellington’s Te Papa.

Work your brain

For over 45 years Wanaka’s Puzzling World has been messing with people with their mind-boggling buildings, illusion rooms and their world-famous maze. Just remember to pack your thinking cap, you’re going to need it!

Make snow angels

Unless you have all the gear already it can be hard to enjoy a day of skiing or snowboarding for under $30, but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on all the fresh powder fun.

In Canterbury especially, it’s easy to enjoy a day in the snow without hitting a ski field, with places like Castle Hill, Springfield and various picnic spots along West Coast Road offering great places to have a snowball fight or make an angel or two.

Just remember to put your safety first and always drive to the conditions as the roads can get very icy and slippery.

Go to the Zoo

Zoos are fun places all year round, with a lot of animals not minding the cooler weather. Zoos are usually a little quieter in autumn and winter too meaning less crowds to fight for the best views. Wellington Zoo and Auckland Zoo are well known favourites, or check out New Zealand’s only open range zoo, Orana Wildlife Park in Christchurch.

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