New Zealand has a mostly temperate climate with a relatively small temperature range. Its large coastline means temperatures are generally kept quite mild but does mean the weather can change rapidly as fronts or tropical cyclones impact the islands.
Broadly speaking the climate of New Zealand is split across its largest north and south islands. The North Island sees a warm temperate climate with mild winters which occasionally turn very cold and summers which see subtropical weather. The city of Auckland lies towards the north of the Island and shows a typical example of the climate:
As you travel further south in New Zealand, temperatures decrease and much of the South Island sees a cold temperate climate with rain fairly consistent throughout the year, though usually at its lowest during the winter months (January - March). Temperatures tend to hang in the low-tens during winter and the low-twenties during summer, as seen in the climate table below for Christchurch:
New Zealand does see snow throughout the months of June to October with most of this falling in mountainous regions such as the North Island's Central Plateau and the South Island's Southern Alps. Areas of the South Island's interior can be very cold in the depths of winter reaching temperatures as low as -10 °C, but in generally, owing to the country's vast coastline, most of the country experiences relatively mild temperatures.
Evidence suggests that the first settlers landed on New Zealand as late as between 1250 and 1300. The country mainly exports products relating to agriculture, forestry, mining and horticulture. Tourism is one of the biggest industries employing one in twenty people.
New Zealand has over 15,000 kilometres of beautiful coastline. To get from A to B there are many modes of transport to consider. Ferries and water taxis are a popular choice. With a wide variety of vehicles to choose from, car hire is favoured by visitors wanting to drive themselves. What about trying out a motor home and taking your comforts with you so you can stop and relax whenever you choose. New Zealand also offers local and international flights to help you get around quickly and easily.
New Zealand holds many festivals but one of the most popular with tourist is the traditional Maori Kai food festivals where visitors have the opportunity to try natural local foods. The Kawhia Kai Festival is one of the most popular festivals of this kind, and allows visitors to experience the indigenous culture of New Zealand.
The country plays host to many sports, with some of the favourites being rugby union, cricket and netball. The country has one of the most successful International Rugby Union teams, having won the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
Basketball is also very popular here as is golf and tennis. With miles of coastline water sports like sailing and surfing are obviously well liked. Eden Park in Auckland is New Zealand's biggest stadium with the capacity to seat 60,000 people.
If you are visiting New Zealand as a family then spending a day at Auckland Zoo, which is home to the largest collection of exotic and native animals in all of New Zealand and is great for all the family. Visit the picturesque coves and beautiful white sand beaches of The Coromandel or go hiking in the Tongariro National Park which is the oldest in New Zealand and is a UNESCO world heritage site. Tongariro has a range of spectacular scenery, from forests to active volcanoes.
Last updated: 20 May 2016
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