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What is the Weather Like in New Zealand?

Tourism NZ

A month-by-month guide to the weather in NEw Zealand.

Trying to decide when would be the best time to travel to New Zealand? For some, the weather is a game changer. What’s more, things can get a little confusing when you throw in the seasons of the Southern Hemisphere. To clear the confusion, here’s our month-by-month guide to what is the weather like in New Zealand.

Below, we give you a quick idea of what the weather is like in New Zealand month-by-month. However, New Zealand is notorious for having “four seasons in a day” meaning that weather can change throughout the day. When packing for New Zealand, prepare for all weather scenarios. You’ll get a good idea on what to pack in our The Ultimate Packing List for an Extended Trip in New Zealand.

Another quick power tip to mention about the weather in New Zealand is wear at least SPF30 sunscreen. Just seven minutes of sun exposure can burn due to the hole in the Ozone layer between New Zealand and Australia.

Seasons in NEw Zealand

Haven’t worked out the seasons in New Zealand yet? In short:

  • Summer – December, January and February
  • Autumn – March, April and May
  • Winter – June, July and August
  • Spring – September, October and November

For a more in-depth look at the seasons in New Zealand, check out The New Zealand Seasons and Climate.

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January

January is in the middle of summer in New Zealand and an extremely popular time to travel New Zealand. The weather is usually warm with long days during January.

North Island Temperatures: Highs of around 25°C  and lows of 12°C.

South Island Temperatures: Highs of around 22°C and lows of 10°C.

January is also a popular time for summer festivals in New Zealand.

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February

The last month of summer in New Zealand is February and when the country often receives its highest temperatures.

North Island Temperatures: Highs of around 25°C or more  and lows of 10°C.

South Island Temperatures: Highs of around 22°C and lows of 10°C.

February is a great time to do water activities, such as canyoning, white water rafting, sailing and more. Browse the water activities available in New Zealand in our Water Activities section.

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March

March is the start of autumn in New Zealand but still experiences summer-like weather.

North Island Temperatures: Highs of around 23°C or more  and lows of 10°C.

South Island Temperatures: Highs of around 22°C and lows of 8°C.

March is usually a good time to take on some of New Zealand’s multi-day hikes when the tracks are less crowded but the weather is still mild. Why not try one the 9 Great Walks of New Zealand?

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April

In the midst of autumn, the temperatures start to cool in April in New Zealand. The weather also tends to be more changeable in April where it can be raining one minute and clear skies the next, so be prepared.

North Island Temperatures: Highs of around 20°C or more  and lows of 9°C.

South Island Temperatures: Highs of around 18°C and lows of 6°C.

Autumn colours also will start to emerge in April. See some of the best examples in 5 Places to Visit in Autumn in New Zealand.

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May

Temperatures start to cool as New Zealand comes to the end of autumn. Jackets are a must!

North Island Temperatures: Highs of around 18°C or more  and lows of 6°C.

South Island Temperatures: Highs of around 16°C and lows of 2°C.

Outdoors activities still have great appeal in May (as long as you wrap up warm), such as hunting, fishing, bungy jumping, mountain biking and more! Get inspired in our Outdoors Activities section!

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June

It’s the start of winter in New Zealand! Needless to say you will need to wrap up warm and be prepared for rain or snow in the more mountainous regions.

North Island Temperatures: Highs of around 15°C or more  and lows of 3°C.

South Island Temperatures: Highs of around 13°C and lows of -2°C.

Celebrate the start of winter in New Zealand at one of these 5 Winter Festivals in New Zealand.

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July

In the middle of winter, New Zealand’s weather is very changeable. Expect a lot of rainfall in Auckland, a lot of wind in Wellington, cold temperatures in Taupo, colder temperatures in the South Island yet fairly dry in the central South Island.

North Island Temperatures: Highs of around 14°C or more  and lows of 2°C.

South Island Temperatures: Highs of around 13°C and lows of -3°C.

With snow-capped mountains, these are the best places to see in July: 5 Places to Visit in Winter in New Zealand.

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August

The weather remains cold throughout most of New Zealand during August, with the exception of the northern North Island where temperatures are milder.

North Island Temperatures: Highs of around 15°C or more  and lows of 5°C.

South Island Temperatures: Highs of around 13°C and lows of -1°C.

With most of the snowfall out of the way, August is generally the best month for winter sports in New Zealand. Find out more in Ski Season in New Zealand.

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September

September is the beginning of spring where the days start to get longer with the sun having a bit more heat. There’s still a fair amount of water, whether it’s snowmelt or rainfall, so be prepared with a rain jacket.

North Island Temperatures: Highs of around 17°C or more  and lows of 7°C.

South Island Temperatures: Highs of around 16°C and lows of 2°C.

With the snowmelt, September is a great time to go white water rafting. Check out these 7 Places to go White Water Rafting in New Zealand.

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October

Milder days, more consistent and reliable weather: you’re onto a good thing travelling New Zealand in October.

North Island Temperatures: Highs of around 19°C or more  and lows of 8°C.

South Island Temperatures: Highs of around 19°C and lows of 4°C.

The middle of spring is a good time to spot some extremely active wildlife. Learn more in 20 Animals and Birds Unique to New Zealand.

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November

Is it spring or summer? By November it’s hard to tell the difference with the weather generally being milder and clearer. It’s a good idea to have an extra layer with you for those odd chilly moments.

North Island Temperatures: Highs of around 21°C or more  and lows of 8°C.

South Island Temperatures: Highs of around 20°C and lows of 5°C.

If you are looking for the perfect “shoulder season” month to travel New Zealand before the influx of tourists arrive, then November is a top contender. Find out why in 11 Reasons to Travel in the Shoulder and Off-Season in New Zealand.

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December

Summer is here! December is a booming season in New Zealand with generally warm and clear weather, and the holiday season.

North Island Temperatures: Highs of around 23°C or more  and lows of 12°C.

South Island Temperatures: Highs of around 23°C and lows of 7°C.

Celebrate the holiday season in New Zealand by following our What to do for Christmas in New Zealand and Where to Spend New Year’s Eve in New Zealand.

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