New Zealand’s climate is largely affected by its two main geographical features: the ocean and the mountains. But, although inland alpine areas of the South Island can reach minus 10 degrees Celsius in winter, and the far north has subtropical weather through summer, the majority of the country is located near the coast, which provides a milder climate and plenty of sunshine.
On the whole, New Zealand’s North and South islands enjoy mainly temperate weather with warm temperatures and many hours of sunshine throughout most of the country.
In fact, many areas of New Zealand receive more than two thousand hours of sunshine every year, with the sunniest areas being the Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay, Nelson and Marlborough.
Because New Zealand is in the Southern Hemisphere, it generally gets cooler as you travel south. Typically, the north of New Zealand is subtropical, while the south is more temperate. Summer takes place in December, January and February, and winter during June, July and August.
Although summer is definitely the sunniest season, most areas of New Zealand experience a generous amount of sunshine during the winter months too.
In the summer, days are long and sunny, while the nights are cooler. In summer, the average maximum temperature ranges between 20 and 30ºC
Summer is an ideal time for outdoor activities like bushwalking and water sports. If fact, New Zealand’s stunning beaches are perfect for sunbathing, swimming, surfing and boating during summer.
Because New Zealand has daylight saving, the sun can set as late a 9pm during the summer months.
During winter, New Zealand’s mountain ranges become covered in snow, providing beautiful landscapes and world-class skiing.
Winter is the perfect time to visit the South Island’s scenic glaciers and mountains because, although temperatures are cooler, many parts of the island experience little rainfall.