Gisborne Sunflowers, Eastland  © Felipe Skroski via Flickr

New Zealand Seasons & Climate

New Zealand's weather is extremely variable from season to season and from one end of the country to the other. Below is some information on New Zealand weather and climate so you can work out what to expect during your New Zealand holiday.

New Zealand's Seasons

As a southern hemisphere country, New Zealand’s seasons are the inverse of Europe and North America:

Summer:  December - February Autumn:  March - May
Winter:  June - August Spring:  September - November


Regional Weather and Rainfall Information


Even though New Zealand is located in the South Pacific, at times it is far from tropical!  New Zealand’s weather is actually extremely variable – commonly described as “four seasons in one day”.  When travelling, it is important to carry clothing to suit any condition – from rain to hail to snow. Layering your clothing is a good option – frosty mornings often turn into warm, sunny days. 

Weather conditions also differ depending on which part of the country you are in.  The north of the North Island is sub-tropical – with warm humid weather.  The south of the South Island, on the other hand, is the first port of call for Antarctic blasts. This unique climate makes New Zealand one of the most picturesque and diverse countries in the world – alpine ranges, tropical rainforests and golden beaches, all in one compact place!

New Zealand also has one of the highest UV ratings in the world.  Our clear, clean environment makes the sun extremely harsh.  It is important to wear sunscreen and a hat whenever you are spending extended periods of time outdoors, no matter what time of the year or weather conditions.  New Zealand sun can burn even on a cloudy day.


New Zealand Weather Reports

Weather is an important part of New Zealanders' lives. With many people into the outdoors, boating, farming and other weather-dependant activities, it is no wonder that most people have part-time careers as amateur forecasters.  Of course, they are mostly wrong, so try your luck with some of these sites!

Weather Forecasting Services:
  • MetService – The State-owned weather forecasting service.
Newspaper Weather Reports (online):
Other Weather Sites of Interest:
  • – Wellington's Victoria University has compiled this weather site which includes a good weather radar.
  • Rosies weather – A personal site with all the New Zealand weather links you will ever need.
Tide Forecasts:
  • NIWA Tide Forecaster - Forecast high and low tides anywhere in open coastal and ocean waters around New Zealand.
Snow Reports:

 Cold Water Hut, Nelson Lakes National Park.  Nelson Tasman Tourism

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 Skydiving at Lake Wanaka, New Zealand.  Lake Wanaka Tourism

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