New Zealand Weather and Climate
Weather in New Zealand can be unpredictable and visitors should be prepared to
experience up to four seasons in one day.
New Zealand lies between 37 and 47 degrees south of the Tropic of Capricorn and both North and South Islands of New Zealand essentially enjoy a temperate, maritime climate, weather and temperatures.
While the far north has subtropical weather during summer, and inland alpine areas of the South Island can be as cold as -10 C in winter, most of the country lies close to the coast which means mild temperatures, moderate rainfall and plentiful sunshine.
New Zealand lacks the extremes found in most continental climates and does not have a large temperature range. However, New Zealand weather can change unexpectedly and cold fronts or tropical cyclones can quickly appear. Because of this, you should be prepared for sudden changes in weather and temperature if you’re going hiking or doing other outdoor activities.
Most places in New Zealand receive over 2,000 hours of sunshine a year, with the sunniest areas – Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay, Nelson and Marlborough receiving over 2,350 hours.
As New Zealand observes daylight saving, during summer months daylight can last up until 9pm. In high summer, the sunshine in New Zealand is really strong. You’ll burn more easily here in New Zealand than anywhere in the Mediterranean.
There are three reasons why the sun in the Southern Hemisphere is so strong…
• There is less ozone here to block the UV rays that cause sunburn
• Earth’s orbit takes it closer to the sun during the southern summer than during the northern summer
• There is less pollution in the southern-hemisphere to block the UV rays.
In order to avoid sunburn, visitors should wear sunscreen, sunglasses, and hats when they are in direct summer sunlight, especially in the heat of the day (11am – 4pm). While summer is sunnier than the other seasons, most regions in New Zealand have a relatively high proportion of sunlight during the winter months.
|Sep, Oct, Nov||Dec, Jan, Feb||Mar, Apr, May||Jun, Jul, Aug|
|Bay of Islands||Temp (°C)||19°C/9°C||25°C/14°C||21°C/11°C||16°C/7°C|
New Zealand’s average annual rainfall is high, between 640 millimetres and 1500 millimetres throughout the year. As well as producing areas of stunning native forest, this high rainfall makes New Zealand an ideal place for farming and horticulture.
Because of its position, and because of its mountainous areas New Zealand has an amazing variety of climatic zones for such a small country. Precise, long-term weather forecasting is somewhat difficult and If your stay is longer than 7 days then you will almost certainly experience sun, rain and wind.
The warmest time and usually the driest time is mid to late summer (January and February). Temperatures cool in May but throughout the winter months, many days can be sunny with bright blue skies. With snow in the hills, this is when South Island scenery is at its most stunning. The onset of spring (September to October) brings warmer temperatures but it can be wet, especially on the West Coast. In summer, the average maximum temperature ranges between 20 – 30ºC and in winter between 10 – 15ºC.
Spring: September, October, November
Summer: December, January, February
Autumn: March, April, May
Winter: June, July, August
New Zealand Weather forecasting by rock
|Rock is wet||Rain|
|Rock is dry||No rain|
|Rock has a shadow||Sunny|
|Rock has a white top||Snow|
|Rolling stone (rock)||Windy|
|Rock has gone||Gale force wind|
|Rock is jumping up & down||Earthquake|