Since New Zealand and Australia are close, some people might think the weather is similar. After all, the weather in France and Germany is often the same. But because there is an ocean between New Zealand and Australia, New Zealand’s weather is generally much nicer and less extreme.
New Zealand’s summers are usually hot and dry, but sometimes it’s muggy in some parts of the country. Think about the wine business in New Zealand and the fact that kiwifruit needs warm weather to grow properly. That’s about how hot a New Zealand summer will be—not too hot, but just right. With normal summer temperatures of 25.5 °C (77.9 °F), Hastings is the town that is always the warmest.
Some places in New Zealand always have great weather, while others never dry out because it rains all the time. Such a small place has a lot of weather!
The weather in New Zealand
New Zealand has a marine climate, meaning the winters are cold but not terrible and the summers are not too hot. The weather in New Zealand is often very strange because the country is very small and mostly coastal. The mountain ranges that run through the country also affect the weather.
The strangeness can be seen by anyone who goes to the West Coast Region of the South Island. This is part of something called a rain shadow effect. The coast gets a lot of rain, but the Southern Alps break up the water, leaving the land on the other side of the range dry, even desert.
Yes, it’s wet. The West Coast Region gets about 2,849 mm of rain annually, about 112 inches. Milford Sound in the southern South Island gets about 6,700 mm (or 264 inches) of rain a year, which is a lot more than this.
Every year, an award is given to the town in New Zealand that gets the most sunshine hours in a year. Tekapo is in South Canterbury on the South Island. It has 2653.2 hours of sunshine a year and a stunningly beautiful lake surrounded by dramatic mountains.
Historically, the North Island has had the most sunshine. In the past, Hastings and the Bay of Plenty often had the most sunshine. Nelson in the north of the South Island is another place that could have the most sunshine each year.
The weather in the summer
New Zealand’s summer lasts from late December to late March, but most people only think of the hotter months, December through February, as summer.
New Zealand’s summer weather is mostly reliable, but sometimes bad weather happens. Australians are used to strong summer storms, but people in New Zealand don’t hear as much about them. In January 2023, heavy rain and widespread floods destroyed Auckland and much of the North Island. Cyclone Gabrielle hit a couple of weeks later and made things even worse.
Large parts of the North Island were flooded very badly. Landslides blocked roads in many places on the Coromandel Peninsula, which is near Auckland and cut them off from the rest of the country. Some of New Zealand’s limited rail lines were also washed away.
Extreme rain that causes flooding and landslides doesn’t happen very often in New Zealand. Other extreme events, like earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, are generally not linked to the weather. It doesn’t happen very often, but neither event is unheard of. Like in fire safety drills, Kiwi kids learn what to do in case of an earthquake.
Even though it’s summer from December to February, this might not be the best time to go. New Zealand’s schools are out for the summer during most of December and January. These are also the busiest months for tourists. If you go in October or November or March or April, there will be fewer people there, but the weather will still be great.
How hot does Auckland get?
You should see as much of New Zealand as you can while you’re there. The land of the long white cloud is a small country that is far from the rest of the world. Enjoy your time there. You’ll probably start in Auckland, though, since that’s the main way to get into the country. How hot does it get in the biggest city in New Zealand?
It can be a little confusing that Auckland’s oceanic temperature is specifically called subtropical. Auckland’s weather isn’t very tropical, except for the heat in the middle of summer. It’s not as humid here as it is in some warmer parts of the southern hemisphere, like Queensland, Australia.
In Auckland, the summer is warm, but not too hot. In fact, if you are from somewhere else in the world, you might think that summer in Auckland is cold. The temperature is 23.7 °C (74.7 °F) on average, which is pretty cool. This is the average for February, which has always been the hottest month.
Keep in mind that daily temperatures can get much higher than this normal, and it’s common for them to be in the high 20s or low 30s.
It was 34.4 °C (93.9 °F) in February 2009, which was the hottest day ever recorded in Auckland. And you might be thinking about winter when you think about how hot it is in the summer.
The normal temperature in the winter is 14.7 °C (58.5 °F), and there is a lot of fog. It doesn’t snow here very often, and in the last hundred years, it has only happened a few times in Auckland in written history.
During the summer, New Zealand’s average temperature
We said that New Zealand’s weather is mostly reliable, but please pay attention to the word “mostly.” Watch the weather report if you’re going to New Zealand, especially if you want to get away from the crowds. Extreme weather doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, “extreme” is nowhere near enough to describe it.
We’ve already talked about what Auckland is like in the summer, but what about the rest of the country? In Wellington, the wind can pick up quickly, making it feel a few degrees colder than it really is. Most of the time, it doesn’t get above 26 °C (79 °F). It only gets 18.7 °C (65.7 °F) on average every day in December. It’s 20.2 °C (68.4 °F) in January and 20.4 °C (68.7 °F) in February.
Even though Christchurch is farther south than Wellington, it is still warmer there. Everything in the area has great weather, except for the dead of winter. It gets 21 °C (69.8 °F) hot every day in Christchurch in December, 22.7 °C (72.9 °F) hot in January, and 22.3 °C (72.1 °F) hot in February. However, big changes are possible. In 1973, the city had a high of just over 40 °C record.
Since Queenstown is not near the ocean, it doesn’t experience the same changes in temperature as other big cities and towns in New Zealand. In December, the average high temperature is 19.8 °C (67.6 °F). In January, it gets to 21.7 °C (71.1 °F), and in February, it gets to 21.5 °C (70.7 °F).