New Zealand Climate Simplified and Explained

The New Zealand Weather

The weather in New Zealand varies, so much that is difficult to describe it in just a few words. New Zealand's weather is one of the main attractions that draws tourists all year round. The sharp contrasts between the seasons are unique and different to any other country in the world. Both the South and North Island enjoy mild temperatures, moderately high rainfall and many hours of sunshine. However, you should always be prepared for sudden climate changes, as cold fronts and tropical cyclones can quickly blow in.

Weather is at times unpredictable wherever you go. Below is a basic breakdown of what you should generally expect during each New Zealand season. This will help you plan your campervan holiday and ensure that you can enjoy the weather you are seeking.


New Zealand generally enjoys a temperate climate, with the average temperature decreasing as you travel further south. In general, the warmest months of the year are December, January and February, with the coldest weather occurring in June, July and August.

The North Island benefits from more of a subtropical climate, with more noticeable subtropical weather in the summer. The South Island mainly enjoys a temperate climate, with the inland alpine areas of the far south getting as cold as -10 degrees Celcius in the winter months. These sharp contrasts of temperature allow visitors to experience the best of both worlds in the one country, which is essentially what makes New Zealand's climate so unique.

New Zealand Seasons


Summer in New Zealand occurs over the months of December, January and February. During the summer months the temperatures are high and there are more hours of sunshine then in the other seasons. The days are generally long and sunny and the nights mild and pleasant. Summer in New Zealand is perfect beach weather, with tourists flocking to the many stunning beaches to soak up the rays of sunshine and enjoy the pleasant heat.


March, April and May bring about cooler weather and form the season of autumn. This is one of the best times of year to visit New Zealand as the excellent weather and colourful changing leaves create a pleasant atmosphere of colour and vibrancy. Autumn is the ideal time to visit the Central Otago and Hawke's Bay regions as this is when they come to life and shine. The sharp autumn colours make New Zealand a magnificent sight that is essentially beautiful from every angle.


Winter begins in June and continues through the months of July and August. This is when the mountain ranges become snow covered and the locals and the tourists take out the skis and snowboards and experience the joy and fun of the white blanketed landscape. The weather is generally very cold so it is advisable that you pack your warm clothes and be prepared to spend countless nights snuggled up in from of the heater or fireplace.

Winter in New Zealand also brings about more rain, which can at times put a damper on your outdoor adventures. When it is not raining, winter is the perfect time to discover stunning glaciers and solid lakes. New Zealand becomes a true winter wonderland over these months and the beauty is simply breath taking.


The buds and blossoms emerge in spring in the months of September, October and November. The weather can change from cold and frosty to warm and hot, with many of the mountains remaining snow capped, well into September and October. The season of spring is celebrated in Central Otago and Hastings with a blossom festival, which highlights the emerging colours and wildlife that spring brings forth. Spring is the perfect time to visit New Zealand if you are seeking pleasant weather that is not too hot and not too cold, but just right!