New Zealand weather information including maximum and minimum temperatures for NZ cities, seasons, and what to wear.

New Zealand Weather Information

We're not called downunder without reason! Our coldest month is July, and our warmest is in January; our seasons opposite to those in the Northern Hemisphere. The climate is fairly mild, without the extremes experienced in many other countries. In fact, New Zealand doesn't tend to have temperatures over 35°C (100°F) or under -5°C (14°F). The South Island has a temperate climate, while the North Island ranges from temperate in the south to sub tropic further up the island.

New Zealand is well known for its ability to have ‘Four Seasons in One Day’, especially in the South Island, with winds coming from the south bringing cold fronts and rain, and from the north west, sweeping over the Canterbury Plains bringing pleasant warm winds, rumoured to give headaches, and to sometimes make people act strangely… Breezes from the tropics herald warm and heavy rainfall for the North Island.

Sun is most common during the months of January and February, but be prepared for a quick change in weather, patchy tropical showers are common in the north Island, and southerly changes can creep up very quickly over the south. The autumn (fall) and winter seasons are over March through to August, and the weather is more changeable than many other countries, the dark cloud and heavy rainfall contrasted often by highs over the country, bringing crisp, fresh frosts in the morning and clear blue skies.

Snow only really occurs in the mountains, mainly in the Southern Alps in the South Island, and those in the mid North Island, although it snows a little in the east of the south Island mid winter. Contradictory to global warming, the East Coast of the South Island has been facing regular mid winter snow falls for the past 5 or so years, with 2006’s storm in June bringing over 30cm of snow to some parts of Canterbury.

Average Temperatures (Main Centers)

Summer (Dec-Feb) Winter (Jun-Aug)
HighLow HighLow
Auckland 2172 1561 1457 846
Rotorua 2373 1151 1254 236
Napier 2374 1356 1457 541
Wellington 1966 1457 1152 745
Summer (Dec-Feb) Winter (Jun-Aug)
HighLow HighLow
Nelson 2373 1253 1355 338
Christchurch 2169 1253 1151 337
Queenstown 2170 1049 948 133
Dunedin 1966 1049 1049 338
Westport 1966 1253 1356 541

More Regional Temperatures

What do I wear?

One of the most common questions asked before planning a trip is, naturally, "what should I bring to wear?" We've put together this small guide to help your planning:

Summer (Dec-Feb) Autumn (Mar-May) Winter (Jun-Aug) Spring (Sep-Nov)
Auckland Mainly sun, patches of tropical rain. Bring sunscreen, beachwear, insect repellant, light cover Bring a rain jacket, at least one warm jersey, varied between mild and cool temperature Lots of warm clothing and bring rainwear A little more warm weather, but bring rainwear and an umbrella
Wellington Sunscreen, hat, light clothes Rainwear, light jersey, light coat Rainwear, warm coat, gloves, warm jerseys Bring rainwear and a jacket. Don't even contemplate bringing an umbrella, the Wellington winds will eat it!
Christchurch Generally sunny here. Bring light clothes, sunscreen, and a light raincoat just in case. Showers aren't uncommon in Dec Cold Autumn here, bring warm jerseys and a heavy jacket Be prepared for frosty mornings with sunny afternoons or heavy rain. Bring a thick coat, gloves and hat Seemingly random mixes of sun and rain. Bring warm jerseys and an umbrella, but also lighter clothing to wear in the sun
Beautiful in Summer, bring light clothes and sunscreen but be prepared for light showers Getting steadily colder, bring warm jerseys and a rain coat Its ski season! So bring a coat, hat and gloves. Weather varies between snow, rain, and crisp, clear skies Still a little snow around, bring lots of warm clothing and rainwear

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