Learn what the temperatures are like in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Queenstown, and a few other key cities on the North Island and South Island.
New Zealand lies in the South Temperate Zone between 34 and 47 degrees South Latitude.
New Zealand goes through four seasons, all of which are opposite to the seasons on the Northern Hemispere.
Because of New Zealand’s location on the map, the weather is variable and ranges from subtropical in the northern part of the North Island of New Zealand to temperate in the rest of the country.
In this article I’ve compiled the historical average temperatures of the last 10 years for a few key cities on the North Island and the South Island of New Zealand.
The temperature data presented in the charts was sourced from metservice.com and are in degrees Celsius. The analysis of the data is based on personal experience and knowledge of the weather and on living in New Zealand for more than a decade.
Auckland is located in the northern part of the North Island, so naturally it is expected to be warm. And indeed, if you fly from Wellington to Auckland, you will feel the temperature difference as soon as you get off the airplane.
In the chart below, you can see that it almost never freezes in Auckland. Temperatures remain above zero degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit). It also never gets extremely hot, since temperatures remain below 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit).
However, because Auckland is known to be humid, warm temperatures above 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit) can quickly feel suffocating, and nights can become “clammy”.
Whangarei is a town that lies to the northeast of Auckland, so it is expected to be slightly warmer than Auckland, and from the chart shown below, you can see that this is indeed the case.
Temperatures in Whangarei do not dip below 3 degrees Celsius (37 degrees Fahrenheit) at night, and daytime temperatures reach 28 degrees Celsius (82 degrees Fahrenheit) in summer (January and February).
And despite not shown on the chart, temperatures in Whangarei can and have reached 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) in the past.
Wellington is located at the bottom of the North Island and can be seen as in-between the two islands. Because of this very location, Wellington tends to be windy with winds coming from the Cook Strait.
The wind and the seaside location of Wellington make temperatures in Wellington very mild.
It never gets too cold or too hot in Wellington, although Wellington has been getting hotter in the last couple of years.
In the chart below you can see that the temperature range in Wellington is the smallest of all the charts.
Only the temperatures in Westport on the South Island of New Zealand come close to those in Wellington with Wellington being slightly warmer than Westport.
This might not be so surprising if you know that Westport lies on the West Coast of the South Island.
Gisborne is the last city I want to mention on the North Island, since the Hawke’s Bay (Napier and Hastings) and Gisborne tend to sometimes break temperature records.
Gisborne is located on the East Coast of the South Island, not too far from the sea and about 527 km from Wellington by road.
In the chart below you can see that temperatures in Gisborne can exceed 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) in summer (January), but also that temperatures can reach zero degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit) at night in winter.
So if you are looking for a hot place in New Zealand, visit Gisborne in summer.
Christchurch is the largest city on the South Island of New Zealand and is located on the eastern side of the Main Divide.
Christchurch is pretty flat and reminds me very much of Arizona in the U.S.A. with its dry and hot weather, especially in summer.
It is not unusual for Christchurch temperatures to exceed 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit), reaching as high as 33 degrees Celsius (91 degrees Fahrenheit) during the day.
The flipside of this is that it can get very chilly at night in Christchurch during winter (June and July) with temperatures dropping below zero degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit).
Queenstown is one of the most popular cities/towns on the South Island of New Zealand and is located in the bottom half of the island.
As indicated in the chart, temperatures in Queenstown fluctuate between -6 and 29 degrees Celsius (21 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit), so they are very similar to those in Christchurch with the exception that Queenstown is a bit cooler than Christchurch and does not experience the dry heat of Christchurch.
The mountains around Queenstown do affect the weather, but all in all, Queenstown is not a bad place to be in summer, since it can get nice and warm and not as humid as for example Auckland. Winter nights can be very chilly, though.
Queenstown can get pleasantly hot at times, but you do need to protect yourself from the sun, since it can be quite strong, especially when walking up a mountain.
Westport is located on the West Coast of the South Island, north of Greymouth.
As mentioned earlier, temperatures in Westport are very similar to those in Wellington with the exception that Westport is slightly cooler than Wellington.
Unlike Wellington, temperatures in Westport tend to reach zero degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit) in winter (June, July, and August), but the temperature fluctuation range is pretty constant throughout the year with highs in the mid-20s in summer.
Conclusion on temperatures in New Zealand
For warm temperatures, head to either Gisborne on the North Island or Christchurch on the South Island in summer.
For humidity, head to Auckland. And for neither warm nor cold temperatures with a guarantee of a cool breeze, head to Wellington.
This article falls under Travel Guide.
Note: This article was accurate when it was published. Please confirm all details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.