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Four Seasons in One Year – the weather in New Zealand


Crowded House famously sang about ‘Four Seasons in One Day’ and it seems like a pretty good time to talk about New Zealand’s weather as we head out of one of the wettest winters on record.

As seasons go, this winter has sucked. Many places throughout New Zealand have reported their wettest winters since records began with Auckland’s currently sitting at fourth on the all-time list of wettest winters.

Still, even through those wet, wet winter days, there were always glimmers of hope. The warming rays of sunshine that would break through, giving us some respite from the wet were always well received.

And that’s why we love New Zealand. Seasons are just great. Sure, we definitely love the summer sun, but where would we be without the autumnal colours? And what about those lovely spring days where the temperatures reach 20 degrees for the first time in months and people are back out in their jandals? And even winter. Yes, it was wet. But spare a thought for the skiers and the snowboarders who have been out having an absolute blast on the slopes.

We may like to complain about the weather, but we think the seasons are what makes New Zealand great.

New Zealand Temperatures

If you’re planning a trip to New Zealand, the most popular time is during the summer months from December to March. On average across New Zealand, the summer temperatures are somewhere between 20-30°C. In winter, that average drops to somewhere between 10-15°C although it does massively depend on where you are in the country.

Here are the average temperatures and rainfall days for some of New Zealand’s main centres:

Sep, Oct, Nov
Dec, Jan, Feb
Mar, Apr, May
Jun, Jul, Aug
Bay of Islands
Temp (C)19925142111167
Temp (F)6748775770526145
Rain Days1171116
Temp (C)181124122013159
Temp (F)6552755468555948
Rain Days1281115
Temp (C)1772412189134
Temp (F)6345755465485539
Rain Days119913
Temp (C)15920131711126
Temp (F)5948685563525443
Rain Days1171013
Temp (C)1772212188123
Temp (F)6345725465465437
Rain Days7777
Temp (C)1652210166101
Temp (F)6141725061435034
Rain Days9887


New Zealand Sunshine

Despite the wet weather, New Zealand is still a super-sunny destination all year round with most places in the country receiving at least 2,000 hours of sunshine a year (which is nearly 5.5 hours every single day!). The sunniest places in New Zealand, including Nelson, Hawke’s Bay, Marlborough and the Bay of Plenty receive over 2,350 hours of sunshine a year on average (which is nearly an hour a day more than the rest of the country).

With very little air pollution in New Zealand, tourists and locals alike have to be very careful of the harmful UV rays and we would advise you to wear factor 50 sunscreen at all times in the summer months and even in the spring and autumn where it can still be deceptively hot.

New Zealand Rainfall

So, the records have been tumbling this winter but how wet is New Zealand? Well, on average the rainfall high is somewhere between 640mm and 1,500mm which tends to be pretty evenly spread throughout the year. Rotorua is another place to see record rainfall this winter and their year to date rainfall (22 Sept) stands at a whopping 1,717mm with three months of the year still remaining!

New Zealand Seasons

If you want to find out more about the seasons in New Zealand and discover the best time to come and visit, check out our recent post which lets you know where you should visit depending on when you visit and what to see and do.

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