New Zealand climate and weather

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Weather in New Zealand can change unexpectedly. Be prepared and understand what you can expect from different seasons below.

While the far north has subtropical weather during summer, and inland alpine areas of the South Island can be as cold as -10°C (14°F) in winter, most of the country lies close to the coast, which means mild temperatures.

The average New Zealand temperature decreases as you travel south. January and February are the warmest months, and July is the coldest month of the year.

You can check on New Zealand weather conditions on the Met Service website.

  • Spring

    September - November
    Average daytime temperature:
    16 - 19˚C (61 - 66˚F)

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  • Summer

    December - February
    Average daytime temperature:
    20 - 25˚C (68 - 77˚F)

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  • Autumn / Fall

    March - April
    Average daytime temperature:
    17 - 21˚C (62 - 70˚F)

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  • Winter

    June - August
    Average daytime temperature:
    12 - 16˚C (53 - 61˚F)

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Regional Temperatures

Climate data from NIWA, the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research

Sunshine

Most places in New Zealand receive over 2,000 hours of sunshine a year, with the sunniest areas - Bay of Plenty, Hawke's Bay and Nelson/Marlborough - receiving over 2,350 hours. As New Zealand observes daylight saving, during summer months daylight can last up until 9.30pm. New Zealand experiences relatively little air pollution compared to many other countries, which makes the UV rays in our sunlight very strong.

The sunlight here can quickly burn skin from September to April, especially between 10am and 4pm, even on cloudy days. Be 'SunSmart' by using these three simple steps when you go outdoors:

  1. Stay in the shade whenever possible.
  2. Wear a shirt, hat and sunglasses.
  3. Use SPF 30+ sunscreen. Reapply every 2 hours.

Rain

New Zealand's average rainfall is high and evenly spread throughout the year. Over the northern and central areas of New Zealand more rain falls in winter than in summer, whereas for much of the southern part of New Zealand, winter is the season of least rainfall. As well as producing areas of stunning native forest, the high rainfall makes New Zealand an ideal place for farming and horticulture.

Snow 

Snow typically appears during the months of June through October, though cold snaps can occur outside these months. Most snow in New Zealand falls in the mountainous areas, like the Central Plateau in the north, and the Southern Alps in the south. It also falls heavily in inland Canterbury and Otago

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Top New Zealand trips →

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Travel Guide →

Driving In New Zealand →