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Climate and Average Weather in New Zealand

For the most part, New Zealand has a wonderful maritime climate, with mild winters and fairly warm summers. The higher elevations - especially those on the South Island - have more characteristics of a continental climate. On the highest peaks there is a high mountain climate. Here the summers and winters are much cooler. On the highest peaks you will even find snow.

Summers are pleasantly warm with maximum temperatures that are often between 22°C and 26°C and minimums that reach anywhere between 12°C and 17°C.

The winter months are in general fairly mild. Think of afternoon temperatures that average between 12°C and 15°C on the North Island and between 10°C and 12°C on the coast of the South Island. As you move further south and/or more inland, temperatures generally drop. Especially during winter and inland it can freeze, on both islands. In the mountain areas moderate to severe frost with -10°C is possible in the central part of the South Island.

New Zealand's average rainfall is between 640 mm and 1500 mm, and evenly spread throughout the year. Most places in New Zealand receive over 2000 hours of sunshine a year, with the sunniest areas receiving over 2350 hours.

The best time to visit New Zealand is in summer from December to March. Because the country is in the southern hemisphere, the seasons are the opposite of Europe. The moment it's winter in Europe it's summer in New Zealand.

Are you interested in more detailed weather and climate information for various cities in New Zealand?
Please select the city you plan to visit, or one closest to your destination. For each selected city, you will see the following graphs:
1. Yearly average minimum and maximum temperatures
2. Monthly averages of precipitation throughout the year (rainfall, snow etc)
3. Monthly average hours of sunshine throughout the year

Additionally, some pages provide historical weather data such as humidity, wind speed, and water temperature.

Popular places in New Zealand

Select a city to see its average temperature, precipitation and hours of sunshine over the year.

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Islands of New Zealand

Regions in New Zealand