Australasia & Pacific
About New Zealand
Sara and John say...
Where to start when describing the climate of New Zealand?! It’s got almost everything!
And, stretching from near the tropics to half way to Antarctica, it’s hardly surprising. Across the Northland, summers are hot and steamy. Temperatures regularly climb into the 30s Celsius, although with high humidity, scattered thundery showers do also crop up. But across much of the North Island summertime is reliably warm, with plenty of sunshine.
Auckland lies well and truly in the comfort zone, with daytime highs in the mid-20s, coupled with warm and balmy nights.
Regular rainfall keeps the landscape green and lush, with wintertime providing most of the wet weather. But even in mid-winter, the North Island never gets extremely cold. That said, the high plateaus of the interior do see winter snows, allowing skiing on the slopes of Mt Ruapehu.
The South Island is generally cooler and wetter. Westerly winds bring frequent rains to the western coasts and mountains. In fact, Fiordland, in the southwest of the South Island, has amongst the highest rainfall of anywhere on Earth! But east of the snow-covered Alps, a ‘rain-shadow' enables drier and sunnier skies to routinely bathe Christchurch and the wider east coast. Summer temperatures regularly climb into the mid to high 20s, making this one of the world’s top playgrounds for enjoying the magnificent and dramatic scenery.
Winters get cold though, with frosts and even snow down to sea level, especially across the deep south.
So from sub-tropical heat to frigid cold, this country provides an invigorating overload of weather. But remember - from north to south and from summer to winter - one common factor is the strength of the sun. New Zealanders suffer more skin cancer than anyone else the world. So have fun but stay safe!