Weather in New Zealand

Research the weather in New Zealand during the initial stages of planning your holiday, even before you book a flight or your annual leave from work. The seasonal weather forecast may be influential in deciding what time of year to go.

Cloudy sunset over the Coromandel Peninsula New Zealand

South Pacific

Situated in the South Pacific between 34° and 47°S, there are two main North and South islands along with some small islands offshore. NZ has a maritime climate, moderately wet but with fine sunny spells occurring at any time of the year. The country has a lot more sunshine and agreeable weather than could be expected in a variable climate, and with the weather in New Zealand being very changeable throughout the year.

North to South

In the north of the country, and on the coasts to the east, more sun is experienced than in the extreme south and the wetter South Island West Coast. Both North and South Islands have mountains and hills and the West Coast of the South Island is backed by the Southern Alps, the highest peak being Mount Cook which rises to over 3,700 m/12,000 ft. In the North Island, with higher mountains at above 2,400 m/8,000 ft, there are several peaks that are also volcanic.

Precipitation on the western side of the South Island and the Southern Alps provide extensive glaciers and snowfields. The Southern Alps are very popular for winter sports as are the snow covered peaks in the North Island.

The very north of the North Island enjoys an almost subtropical climate that provides mild and warm winters and sometimes humid summers. This is the area that provides the warmest climate New Zealand has to offer.

Ocean Influence on New Zealand Weather

The ocean has a dominant influence over the climate and extremes of cold and heat are quite rare. However, some areas such as the west coast in the South Island are much wetter than elsewhere in the country. For example, Christchurch and Dunedin are not as wet as locations on the west coast such as Hokitika. The driest area is the Canterbury Plains on the South Island.

Weather Hazards

The weather in New Zealand includes very few weather hazards on the whole but there are sometimes extremes of weather that can cause problems such as flooding at different times of year depending on the region. This is not something that can be predicted so it's important to keep an eye on weather forecasts while you are touring.

Outdoor Activities

Such a wide variation in climate across the country provides ample opportunity for unlimited outdoor experiences through combined altitude, beautiful scenery, coast and rivers, and varied localised weather. Always check the weather before venturing out into the outdoors, even if you are just going to a short walk in the bush. Remember conditions can change really quickly in mountainous regions, and rivers can swell without warning if it's raining in the mountains, or during the season of snow melt.

Live Weather Forecasts


Auckland Climate

Current Weather in Auckland Central - Metservice


Current Weather in Wellington City - Metservice


Current Weather in Christchurch City - Metservice

Rotorua Weather NZ

Current Weather in Rotorua - Metservice

Southland and Stewart Island Weather

Stewart Island and Southland Regional Weather - Metservice

National Parks Weather in New Zealand

Map of national parks regional weather - Metservice

Rural Weather Forecasts

Map of all regional rural weather in New Zealand - Metservice

Towns and Cities Weather Forecasts

List of all major towns and cities current weather and forecasts - Metservice

Marine Current Weather and Forecasts

Map of weather for marine areas around New Zealand - Metservice

New Zealand Weather Map

Map of national weather - Metservice

Climate and Seasons

More information on the climate and seasons in New Zealand...

New Zealand Climate

New Zealand Seasons

Lewis Pass South Island New Zealand