Climate of New Zealand

New Zealand has a complex climate which is either warm subtropical to the north or cool temperature in the south. In the mountain region, the climate is severe alpine and this means you’ll experience a different climate every time you change your location in New Zealand. 

There are extensive mountain chains that act as a barrier against the strong westerly wind and also divide the state into different climatic regions. The West Coast region, which is in the South Island, has the wettest weather and when you head to the eastern side of the mountains, you’ll experience the driest weather. 


For most parts of New Zealand, the average rainfall between 600mm and 1600mm all year round except during summer. When you head to the north and central parts of the country, you’ll experience more rainfall during winter compared to summer. As you head to the south and the north, the rainfall is very minimal during winter.

Average Temperature 

The average annual temperature in the southern part of New Zealand is 10 degrees and 16 degrees towards the northern part of the country. July is the coolest month and the warmest are January and February. The temperature does not change too much as seasons changes except in the eastern side where the variation can be up to 14 degrees and as low as 0.7 degrees.

Most parts of New Zealand experiences about 2000 hours of sunshine annually with the highest UVI being in autumn and spring seasons. Though New Zealand is not in the Cyclone’s path, there are times when the North Island and the upper part of the South Island will experience some weakened cyclones. The Cyclones will bring rain, storm surges and some not very strong wind. 

Visiting New Zealand

If you intend to visit New Zealand, the best time is during summer which is between December and March when the weather is warm in the North Island and cooler in the South Island. If you love visiting during winter, you can get to New Zealand in August and move to the North Island where the winter is milder. You can take part in skiing which will make your stay in New Zealand more exciting and adventurous. 

It is important to carry appropriate clothing when visiting New Zealand based on the time of the year you’ll be there. If it is during winter, you need to get some warm clothes that will offer adequate protection from the intense cold. During summer, you’ll need some warm clothes during the day and a raincoat and an umbrella to shelter you from the rain in the evening. You can liaise with the local people to provide you with accurate information about the current weather condition. However, you need to remember that the weather in New Zealand is complex and what you’ll experience depends on your destination.

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