The temperatures on the North and South Islands of New Zealand are influenced by the country’s location in the South Temperate Zone, between 34 and 47 degrees South latitude. New Zealand experiences four distinct seasons, which are opposite to those in the Northern Hemisphere. The weather varies greatly across the country, ranging from subtropical in the northern part of the North Island to temperate in the rest of the nation. In this article, we will explore the historical average temperatures of the last 10 years for key cities on the North and South Islands of New Zealand. All temperatures are in degrees Celsius, and the data presented in the charts was sourced from metservice.com. The analysis of the data is based on personal experience and knowledge of the weather and living in New Zealand.
Auckland, situated in the northern part of the North Island, is known for its warm climate. When traveling from Wellington to Auckland, the temperature difference is immediately noticeable upon arrival.
In Auckland, temperatures rarely dip below freezing, remaining above zero degrees Celsius. The city also avoids extreme heat, with temperatures staying below 30 degrees Celsius.
However, due to Auckland’s humidity, temperatures above 25 degrees Celsius can feel stifling, and nights may become uncomfortably clammy.
Located northeast of Auckland, Whangarei is slightly warmer than its neighboring city. Nighttime temperatures in Whangarei do not fall below 3 degrees Celsius, and daytime temperatures can reach 28 degrees Celsius during the summer months of January and February. Temperatures in Whangarei have reached 30 degrees Celsius in the past.
Wellington, positioned at the bottom of the North Island, serves as a midpoint between the two islands.
Its location results in windy conditions, with gusts coming from the Cook Strait. The wind and seaside location contribute to Wellington’s mild temperatures, which never become too hot or too cold.
However, the city has experienced warmer temperatures in recent years. Wellington’s temperatures are most similar to those in Westport on the South Island, with Wellington being slightly warmer.
Gisborne, the final city we will discuss on the North Island, is noteworthy for occasionally breaking temperature records.
Situated on the East Coast of the South Island, Gisborne is approximately 527 km from Wellington by road. Gisborne’s temperatures can exceed 30 degrees Celsius in the summer (January) and reach zero degrees Celsius at night during the winter.
If you are seeking a hot destination in New Zealand, consider visiting Gisborne in the summer.
As the largest city on the South Island, Christchurch is located on the eastern side of the Main Divide. The city’s flat terrain and dry, hot weather in the summer are reminiscent of Arizona in the United States.
It is not uncommon for Christchurch’s temperatures to surpass 30 degrees Celsius, reaching highs of 33 degrees Celsius during the day. Conversely, winter nights in Christchurch can be quite cold, with temperatures dropping below zero degrees Celsius.
Queenstown, one of the most popular cities on the South Island, is situated in the lower half of the island.
The temperatures in Queenstown range between -6 and 29 degrees Celsius, making them similar to those in Christchurch. However, Queenstown is cooler than Christchurch and does not experience the same dry heat.
The surrounding mountains influence Queenstown’s weather, but overall, the city is a pleasant destination in the summer, with warm temperatures and less humidity than Auckland. Winter nights can be quite chilly, so be prepared for colder temperatures.
Westport, located on the West Coast of the South Island, north of Greymouth, has temperatures similar to those in Wellington, albeit slightly cooler.
Unlike Wellington, Westport’s temperatures can reach zero degrees Celsius during the winter months of June, July, and August.
The temperature fluctuation remains relatively constant throughout the year, with highs in the mid-20s during the summer.
For those seeking warm temperatures, consider visiting Gisborne on the North Island or Christchurch on the South Island during the summer months. If humidity is your preference, head to Auckland. For a more temperate climate with a guaranteed cool breeze, Wellington is the ideal destination.