New Zealand December weather

Learn what the weather is like in New Zealand in December and whether it is worth to plan a holiday to New Zealand in December.

New Zealand in December sees the transition from spring to summer in New Zealand. The weather is overall good with a few periods of rain.

Temperatures in December generally start to climb coming out of spring and reach their peak in January and February.

In December, temperatures in New Zealand are usually above 15 degrees Celsius (59 degrees Fahrenheit) with some areas breaking the 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit) mark.

Places like Wellington generally remain at a pleasant temperature - not getting hot or cold – mainly because of its location near the sea and getting a lot of wind which comes through the Cook Strait. And cities and towns on the Eastern side of the South Island start experiencing warmer and warmer temperatures during December, although temperatures tend to reach their peak in February.

What also increases during December is the amount of daylight hours. At the beginning of December, the sun generally rises at 5:50 a.m. and sets at 8:30 p.m., so you'll have approximately 14 hours of daylight. At the end of December, the sun generally rises at 6:00 a.m. and sets at 8:50 p.m., so you'll have almost 15 hours of daylight.

The 'ozone hole' over Antarctica that manifests itself during spring and summer does not reach New Zealand, but the sun in New Zealand is still very strong. So make sure you cover up or protect your skin against sunburns. And if you're a darker-skinned person who thinks that you won't get sunburned, think again, because I'm living proof that it can and does happen. The UV levels over New Zealand are highest in summer, from 12 to 2 p.m. under cloudless skies, and in the north of the country.

All in all, December is a good time to visit New Zealand if you're looking for good weather that is not too hot or cold. However, if you're looking for some peace and quiet, December is probably not the best time to visit New Zealand. Try to postpone your visit until late February when the weather is still good and the peak tourist season starts to wind down.


Note: This article was accurate when it was published. Please confirm all details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.


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