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Milford Sound, New Zealand

New Zealand

Landscapes on a grand scale

When to visit New Zealand

Introduction

New Zealand experiences a moderate, maritime climate, though there are some differences in temperature and rainfall between north and south, east and west.

The South Island experiences a more temperate climate than the North and is generally cooler - summer highs (December to February) reach the low 20s, whilst during the winter months (June to August) temperatures can drop to freezing or below. Snow is as likely to fall in lower regions as it is in the UK - once or twice a year - but the Southern Alps receive a good layer of snow throughout the winter, perfect for winter sports. They also act as a rain barrier to the eastern side of the island as westerly prevailing winds suck up moisture from the Tasman Sea and release it as they rise over the Alps. This means that the West Coast and Fjordland are among the wettest places in the world - Hokitika monthly average rainfall is 240mm, Christchurch by comparison is just 53mm.

By contrast, North Island experiences a more tropical climate. It's warmer than the south, and humid summers slip less noticeably into milder winters. Central North Island still experiences some snowfall in the winter, making it popular with skiers and snowboarders.

As long as you don't mind a little rain, New Zealand is easily visited at any time of year. Most international tourists stick to the shoulder seasons - October, November and April - when attractions are considerably quieter given that most New Zealanders are at work or school during those periods.

Auckland

Average temperature (℃)
Average rainfall (mm)
  • 30
  • 20
  • 10
  • 0
  • 160
  • 120
  • 80
  • 40
  • 0

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Max temp Min temp Rainfall

Daily max temp (Nov)
19.9℃

Monthly rainfall (Nov)
92mm

Queenstown & Wanaka

Average temperature (℃)
Average rainfall (mm)
  • 30
  • 20
  • 10
  • 0
  • -10
  • 90
  • 60
  • 30
  • 0

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Max temp Min temp Rainfall

Daily max temp (Nov)
18.3℃

Monthly rainfall (Nov)
65mm

Rotorua, Taupo & Coromandel

Average temperature (℃)
Average rainfall (mm)
  • 30
  • 20
  • 10
  • 0
  • 200
  • 150
  • 100
  • 50
  • 0

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Max temp Min temp Rainfall

Daily max temp (Nov)
19.1℃

Monthly rainfall (Nov)
115mm

South Island

Average temperature (℃)
Average rainfall (mm)
  • 30
  • 20
  • 10
  • 0
  • 80
  • 60
  • 40
  • 20
  • 0

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Max temp Min temp Rainfall

Daily max temp (Nov)
18.9℃

Monthly rainfall (Nov)
45mm

Milford Sound & Fiordland

Average temperature (℃)
Average rainfall (mm)
  • 30
  • 20
  • 10
  • 0
  • -10
  • 150
  • 100
  • 50
  • 0

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Max temp Min temp Rainfall

Daily max temp (Nov)
17.1℃

Monthly rainfall (Nov)
117mm

North Island

Average temperature (℃)
Average rainfall (mm)
  • 30
  • 20
  • 10
  • 0
  • 160
  • 120
  • 80
  • 40
  • 0

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Max temp Min temp Rainfall

Daily max temp (Nov)
19.9℃

Monthly rainfall (Nov)
92mm

Top of the South

Average temperature (℃)
Average rainfall (mm)
  • 20
  • 10
  • 0
  • 120
  • 90
  • 60
  • 30
  • 0

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Max temp Min temp Rainfall

Daily max temp (Nov)
15.9℃

Monthly rainfall (Nov)
88mm

Northland & Bay of Islands

Average temperature (℃)
Average rainfall (mm)
  • 30
  • 20
  • 10
  • 0
  • 180
  • 120
  • 60
  • 0

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Max temp Min temp Rainfall

Daily max temp (Nov)
20.6℃

Monthly rainfall (Nov)
91mm

West Coast

Average temperature (℃)
Average rainfall (mm)
  • 30
  • 20
  • 10
  • 0
  • 320
  • 240
  • 160
  • 80
  • 0

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Max temp Min temp Rainfall

Daily max temp (Nov)
17.1℃

Monthly rainfall (Nov)
238mm

Christchurch & Canterbury

Average temperature (℃)
Average rainfall (mm)
  • 30
  • 20
  • 10
  • 0
  • 80
  • 60
  • 40
  • 20
  • 0

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Max temp Min temp Rainfall

Daily max temp (Nov)
18.9℃

Monthly rainfall (Nov)
45mm

Dunedin & Otago

Average temperature (℃)
Average rainfall (mm)
  • 20
  • 10
  • 0
  • 80
  • 60
  • 40
  • 20
  • 0

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Max temp Min temp Rainfall

Daily max temp (Nov)
16.4℃

Monthly rainfall (Nov)
64mm

Wellington

Average temperature (℃)
Average rainfall (mm)
  • 30
  • 20
  • 10
  • 0
  • 160
  • 120
  • 80
  • 40
  • 0

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Max temp Min temp Rainfall

Daily max temp (Nov)
17.9℃

Monthly rainfall (Nov)
77mm

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