The biggest influence on New Zealand climate is its geographic location and the county’s geological features. Located in the southern hemisphere reverses the seasons, the islands stretching in narrow terrain from north to south brings tropical to moderate climate that is mostly affected by marine climate of the surrounding sea while the highest peaks reach the lowest temperatures and invite lasting snow.
New Zealand, Satellite Image
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Consisting of two large islands, New Zealand stretches around 2000 km from north to south. This fact issues the names North Island and South Island. Spread around are in some distance small islands. The closest inhabited ones are Great Barrier Island in the Hauraki Gulf on the North Island and Stuart Island separated by Foveaux Strait at the very south of South Island.
Located in the southern hemisphere New Zealand seasons reverse. The celebration of Christmas takes place in the midst of summer season and is marked by the blooming New Zealand Christmas tree. The summer is from December to February, autumn from March to May, winter from June to August, and spring from September to November. Naturally the seasons influence the way holidays are spread over the year.
The relation of land to coast boasts a quite long coastline with 15,134km. The farthest distance of the coast to any place in NZ is less than 120km. For this reason the climate of New Zealand is described predominantly a maritime one.
The temperatures during winter days in Auckland range between 8C° and 15C° and in summer between 15C° and 23C°. Average rainfall in winter reaches 135 mm with 15 wet days and in summer 77mm with 8 wet days. The Beauty on wet days in Auckland is it means wet for a short period with sunshine following afterwards.
North Island has up to 2350 sunshine hours per year. Meaning sun time averages to almost six and a half hours, which gives plenty of time to spend outdoors. In and around Auckland a wide selection places invite to enjoy outdoors and outdoor activities. The closest places are the city beaches around the bays. In public transport reach are the east coast beaches to the north whereas the rugged west coast beaches require more planning. Hiring a car or taking part in a guided tour enables to access these areas.
Remember during spring, summer and early autumn months the sun’s UV rays are unforgiving and urge to protect your skin. Find some steps to take here.
In general, weather in New Zealand presents itself sometimes erratic. Within a short time, all four seasons can afflict a day in brief succession where sun, wind, and rain swiftly interchange. While on the go it is advantageous to dress in layers for easy adjustment.
The temperatures reflect generally the subtropical New Zealand climate of the North and the moderate climate of the South. In Northland, 8C° signify a winter low with an average summer high of 24C°. An average winter low in Southland reaches 1C° while a summer high is 18C°. In higher altitudes like Mt. Cook New Zealand’s highest mountain, and the Southern Alps the temperatures can drop lower.
The driest region of South Island is around Canterbury region and Otago. On the North Island it is the region of Hawke’s Bay. The average rainfall reaches its peak on the North Island at Mt. Taranaki/ Egmont. On the South Island Fijordland shows the highest level of rainfall. During the winter months to mid spring, snow covers mountainous areas. On the North Island, the volcano Mt. Taranaki/ Egmont will be white capped. Ski resorts popular for skiing and snowboarding are on Mt.Ruapehu in North Island and Cardrona in South Island. The skiing season runs from mid June to mid October.
Other than that the Canterbury region around Christchurch has some short periods of snow, further south these periods can last longer. At the very north of North Island, it is never snowing. The region with the highest concentration on blasts of wind reaching 60hkm is Wellington the capital of New Zealand, which provoked the nickname "windy Wellington". To sum it up the New Zealand climate shows the privilege of many hours of sunshine spiked with some spontaneous weather surprises.