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NEW ZEALAND CLIMATE AND WEATHER

From the crisp days of spring to the burnt orange beauty of autumn, New Zealand is a traveler’s paradise. New Zealand’s climate is mild, and ranges from subtropical in the north to temperate in the south. No matter the season, the majority of our main attractions are open year-round.

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.

Seasons in New Zealand

SPRING


Vibrant and uplifting, spring in New Zealand lasts from September to November.

Temperature & weather

Average daytime temperatures during spring range between 19 degrees Celsius (66F) in the north to 16 degrees Celsius (60F) in the south. Expect a mixture of weather – crisp, sunny days can briskly change to cooler temperatures with spring showers.

Spring’s blooming outdoors

Spring is our ‘waterfall season’ – the country’s falls multiply with magnificent effect. It’s the most impressive time of year to take a tour to Hobbiton Film Set; the charming bluebells and Middle‑earth gardens are in full flower. See glorious 360-degree images of Hobbiton here.

Explore world-class vineyards in Hawke’s Bay as well as their prestigious Food and Wine festival, FAWC, or explore the great outdoors on one of New Zealand’s Great Walks or Cycle Trails.

SUMMER

Opposite to that of the northern hemisphere, New Zealand’s balmy summer season runs from December to February.
During summer, New Zealand celebrates. The majority of kiwis take their annual break over the Christmas period and flock to scenic beaches or lakes. Discover our top picks for the ultimate summer vacation in New Zealand.

Temperature & weather

With average high temperatures ranging from 21 degrees Celsius to 25 degrees Celsius (77F), summer in New Zealand is hot without being muggy. Sunshine hours are high, and rain is not overly common in most places.

All things sun, sea & sand

Being an island nation, you’re never far from the sea in New Zealand. Make the most of long, hot summer days with beach picnics, kayaking, snorkelling, sailing or swimming – the list is endless!

During this time of year our native Pohutukawa tree blooms a vibrant red, justifying its name as New Zealand’s ‘Christmas Tree’.

Swim with dolphins, walk coastal trails and feast on delicious seafood – for kiwis, summer is all about indulgence and celebrations.

It’s a great time of year to learn to surf. Places like RaglanTaranaki and Mount Maunganui are surfing meccas.

Rotorua’s world-famous mountain biking trails, dotted with enormous Redwood Trees, are dappled with shade – the perfect way to stay cool!

Heli hiking on ancient Franz Josef Glacier is a great activity for the hotter months, when there are clear skies and little rain.

Stroll the quaint French-colonial streets of Akaroa, the site of New Zealand’s first and only French colony.

AUTUMN

Avoid the crowds, but still enjoy the sunshine – Autumn is a great time to travel in New Zealand.

Temperature & weather

Long, sunny days tend to linger long into New Zealand’s autumn, and with average high temperatures of between 18C and 25C, you’ll hardly notice summer has ‘officially’ ended. Nights begin to get chilly around mid-April. Because it’s no longer high season, you won’t encounter the busy crowds of summer.
Colourful landscapes and settled days One of the most special things about Autumn in New Zealand is the colours – especially in the Hawke’s Bay and Central Otago regions. Deciduous trees turn brilliant hues of yellow, gold and hot orange, and it’s all set against a sky that seems far too blue to be true.

Long, still days lend themselves to the great outdoors – Autumn is the perfect time of year to hike one of our nine Great Walks, explore a cycle trail or try fly fishing.

During March and April it’s still hot enough to swim in most places. Cool down with a dip in the ocean after exploring the coastline.

Celebrate the creative quirkiness of the kiwi culture at the Hokitika Wildfoods Festival, where delicious local delicacies like huhu grubs and whitebait patties are cooked up by colourful locals.

Salt water fishing is exceptional from March to May. Take a local charter boat or dangle a line off the coast.

Orca and dolphins visit Wellington’s coast during the Autumn months. Watch from the city’s waterfront or catch a ferry to Eastbourne or Picton.

WINTER


New Zealand’s mountains come alive with skiers and snowboarders in winter, and the crisp days are perfect for walking, cycling and soaking in hot pools.

Temperature & weather

While our winter months do bring cooler weather and rain to parts of the country, many locations only experience a mild winter. High temperatures range from between 10 to 16 degrees Celsius (50 – 61F), but our ‘winterless North’ hardly experiences colder days at all. In the South Island, frosts and heavy snowfall is common – ski season is world-class.

Crisp sunshine and snowy mountains

The ski areas are in full swing, and the mountains of the Central Plateau, Canterburyand Central Otago are blanketed with fresh snow. Snow enthusiasts should make a point of trying several different ski fields in Queenstown and Wanaka, there are four world-class ski fields within an hour and a half of each other. For a thrill, try heli-skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing or sledging.

In Auckland, temperatures are mild and sunny days are common. It’s the perfect time of year to hike up Rangitoto – chances are you’ll have the dormant volcano all to yourself.

New Zealand is home to some impressive, naturally heated hot pools. There’s nothing like soaking weary bodies at the end of a long day skiing or exploring.

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