January is a great month for the beaches in New Zealand
Image Courtesy of Malene Holm
If you arrive in New Zealand you're going to find it's the busiest month of the year. Not only is it the most popular month for overseas visitors, but it is also the summer break for most New Zealanders. Schools and universities are closed from Christmas until the end of the month or early February (for exact dates see New Zealand School Holiday Dates). Many businesses close too, or maintain a skeleton staff.
Despite this, January is still one of the best months to visit New Zealand. It's more crowded than usual, but never unbearably so and only at a few popular beach spots (such as the Bay of Islands and Mt Maunganui) over New Year and in the early part of the month. Do expect to pay more for accommodation, however, and make sure you book well ahead.
For more about New Zealand in January (and other times of the year) see: