New Zealand Weather

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We’re not called downunder without reason! Our coldest month is July, and our warmest is in January; our seasons are opposite to those in the Northern Hemisphere. Average temperatures are around 15C (60F) in the upper North Island, and around 10C (50F) near the bottom of the South Island. The climate is fairly mild, without the extremes experienced in many other countries. In fact, New Zealand doesn’t tend to have temperatures over 35C (100F) or under -10C (14F). It tends to snow only in the mountains in the North Island, and mainly in the Southern Alps in the South Island, although it has been known to snow on some of the cities on the East Coast of the South Island from time to time.

Maximum & Minimum

City Maximum Minimum
Celsius Farenheit Celsius Farenheit
Kaitaia 24 78 8 46
Whangarei 25 80 7 44
Auckland 23 76 8 46
Tauranga 24 78 5 40
Hamilton 24 78 3 36
Gisborne 25 80 4 38
Napier 24 78 5 40
New Plymouth 21 72 5 40
Palmerston North 22 74 4 38
Wellington 20 70 6 44
Nelson 22 74 1 32
Blenheim 24 78 2 34
Hokitika 19 68 3 36
Mt Cook 19 68 -2 28
Christchurch 22 74 1 32
Timaru 21 72 1 32
Milford Sound 18 66 1 32
Alexandra 23 76 -2 28
Dunedin 19 68 3 36
Invercargill 18 66 1 32

These figures represent average mid-summer and mid-winter temperatures


The sunniest place in New Zealand is Nelson, in fact both Nelson and Blenheim (near the top of the South Island) vie for top sunshine honours! Regionally, Wellington was much sunnier in 1997 than it usually is, recording 2,168 hours of sunshine. Auckland (known for being a little greyer) recorded around its average, 2,053 hours. Christchurch was sunnier than Auckland, getting 2,156 hours of sunshine in 1997, and Dunedin sadly, came last, recording only 1,643 hours of sunshine.

What do I wear?

One of the most common questions asked before planning a trip is, naturally, what should I bring to wear?! We’ve put together this small guide to help your planning:

Region Summer (Dec-Feb) Autumn (Mar-May) Winter (Jun-Aug) Spring (Sep-Nov)
Around Auckland sunscreen, beachwear, sandals, mosquito repellent, light cover Rain jacket, at least one warm jersey/sweater lots of pullovers/sweaters, warm coat, rainwear cardigan/sweater, umbrella
Around Wellington sunscreen, hat, light clothes rainwear, light sweater, light coat rainwear, warm coat, gloves, fairly warm sweaters rainwear (don’t bring an umbrella, the wellington winds will eat it!
Around Christchurch sunscreen, light cover, light clothes lots of warm sweaters, heavy jacket lots of very warm sweaters, thick coat, hat, gloves light jacket, rainwear
Around Dunedin sunscreen, light clothes light coat umbrella, rainwear, sweaters light clothes, umbrella, light sweater

Courtesy of NZ Tourism

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