How to dress according to the weather in New Zealand

I've been living in New Zealand for about 8 years now. It's important to know what the monthly temperature and weather is like in New Zealand, which has completely different seasons than Korea. Knowing the weather in New Zealand is important so that you know how to dress accordingly.



New Zealand weather

When traveling to New Zealand, I think the weather is one of the first things to consider. Depending on what month you plan to travel, the type of clothing you bring will vary. I think this is true no matter what country you're traveling to.

First of all, New Zealand is located in the Southern Hemisphere, unlike Korea, so you can expect the seasons to be the opposite of ours.What we call the summer months, June through August, is winter in New Zealand.


1) My country vs New Zealand seasons

SeasonsMy country New Zealand
SpringMarch to MaySeptember through November
SummerJune through AugustDecember through February
FallSeptember through NovemberMarch to May
WinterDecember through FebruaryJune through August

Nowadays, due to global warming and climate change, there are a few seasonal anomalies, but in general, the monthly seasons in Korea and New Zealand are as shown above.

The New Zealand winter period is also the rainiest time of year in New Zealand.


2) A quick rundown of how to dress for New Zealand weather

  • Spring in New Zealand (September through November): Cardigans, thick warm jumpers, hoodies, and long pants.
  • New Zealand summer (December to February): short pants, long pants, cardigans, hoodies, thin jumpers
  • New Zealand fall (March to May): hoodies, sweaters, chunky jumpers or puffers, long pants
  • New Zealand winter (June-August): fully padded, long pants, beanie, scarf, sweater

New Zealand homes and lodgings don't have the double glazing and boilers that we have in the UK, so it's often draughty and cold indoors, depending on the season.

So while you can dress comfortably when you're indoors, we think it would be a great idea to bring some warmer clothes or slippers for your stay.

The winter months are also the rainiest time of year in New Zealand, so it's a good idea to bring an umbrella or simple raincoat.

We'll go into more detail about dressing for each season below, so be sure to read through to the end.


3) Weather differences in different regions of New Zealand


New Zealand is an island country made up of two large islands, the North Island and the South Island. New Zealand is elongated from north to south as you can see in the Google map above, so the weather varies greatly between the North and South Islands and between cities depending on their coastal and inland locations.

In general, the North Island has a warmer climate than the South Island, with cities on the South Island feeling colder. The following cities are representative of the North and South Islands of New Zealand.

  • North Island: Auckland (largest city), Tauranga (coastal), Rotorua (hot springs), Wellington (capital)
  • South Island: Christchurch (South Island's largest city), Queenstown (main tourist city)

I'd like to introduce you to a website that allows you to check the weather in New Zealand instantly, called MetService, which you can find at the link below.


New Zealand seasonal weather

1) Spring weather in New Zealand

Spring cherry blossoms in Auckland, New Zealand

Spring in New Zealand runs from September through November, and after a relatively cold winter, the weather has remained warm. We'll use Auckland on the North Island and Queenstown on the South Island as examples of commonly traveled destinations.

If you're in Auckland, New Zealand in September or October, you can see cherry blossoms in a place called Cornwall Park. It's not like Jinhae or Yeouido in South Korea, it's a small cherry blossom.


Auckland vs Queenstown Temperature (Spring)

New Zealand SpringSeptemberOctoberNovember
Highest Average15.6 degrees vs 7.4 degrees16.9 degrees vs 9.6 degrees18.6 degrees vs 12.5 degrees
Lowest Average10.7 degrees vs -0.2 degrees11.8 degrees vs 1.7 degrees13.4 degrees vs 4.3 degrees
Average temperature12.8 degrees vs 2.8 degrees14.1 degrees vs 5.1 degrees15.7 degrees vs 8.2 degrees

Even within the same spring, between September and November, there are huge regional variations - think normal spring weather in Auckland and chilly fall weather in Queenstown.

In terms of how to dress for spring in New Zealand, in Auckland, a hoodie and pants would be fine, and if you're a little chilly, a thin jumper or cardigan would be a good idea.

In New Zealand, it's better to layer than to wear one thick piece of clothing, and we'll explain why later.

In Queenstown spring, you should always wear a thick jumper. It doesn't have to be as much as a scarf or beanie hat, but it's still a good idea to keep warm. I often wear a thick jumper with jeans, and that's all I need to make sure I don't feel too cold.


2) New Zealand Summer Weather

Auckland, New Zealand Summer Weather (December - February)

Summer in New Zealand is from December through February. You've probably heard of a midsummer Christmas, and in New Zealand you can have a midsummer Christmas because Christmas falls in the summer.

This is a photo I took in Auckland in December during Christmas. December in New Zealand is the beginning of summer. Everyone is wearing shorts, short t-shirts, and maybe a cardigan on top. Many of the photos were taken in the evening, or people brought a thin layer for the night.


Auckland vs Queenstown Temperature (Summer)

New Zealand SummerDecemberJanuaryFebruary
Highest Average20.7 degrees vs 15.6 degrees22.5 degrees vs 16.7 degrees22.9 degrees vs 16.5 degrees
Lowest Average15.6 degrees vs 7.3 degrees17 degrees vs 8.5 degrees17.5 degrees vs 8.6 degrees
Average temperature17.9 degrees vs 11.1degree19.5 degrees vs 12.5 degrees20 degrees vs 12.4 degrees

New Zealand weather in December, January, and February can be hot. Auckland is definitely on the hot side, but Queenstown is warmer.

Also, New Zealand summers don't have the sweltering heat of Korea, they just have a lot of sun. It's strong enough to make you feel hot and a little sick after being in the sun for 10 to 15 minutes. Sunscreen is a must, and if you have delicate skin, a long, thin t-shirt is probably more appropriate.

However, because the weather in New Zealand can change so much in a day, we recommend bringing a thin jumper, cardigan, or hoodie with you wherever you go. It's amazing how quickly you can feel hot in the sun and cold in the shade.

Even though it's summer, it can still be quite chilly in the early morning and at night, so if you're sensitive to the cold, be prepared as mentioned above. Queenstown is less hot than Auckland, so in my opinion, you can get away with springtime clothes.


3) New Zealand Fall Weather

Fall weather in New Zealand

March through May is fall in New Zealand. When we think of autumn in Korea, we think of red maple leaves and beautiful mountains that turn red and yellow. New Zealand is no different.

Unlike Auckland, which doesn't have many mountains, you can see a lot of New Zealand mountains in Queenstown, and the photo above was taken when I was in the Arrowtown area of Queenstown.

Autumn trees in Queenstown, New Zealand

If you're visiting New Zealand in the fall, make sure you come to Queenstown. The foliage is absolutely stunning here. In addition to the fall foliage, Queenstown is also home to Multiple activitiesof New Zealand's most popular tourist cities, I think it's worth a visit.


Auckland vs Queenstown Temperature (Autumn)

New Zealand AutumnMarchAprilMay
Highest Average21.7 degrees vs 14.6 degrees19.4 degrees vs 11.3 degrees17.1 degrees vs 7.6 degrees
Lowest Average16.4 degrees vs 7 degrees14.5 degrees vs 4.2 degrees12.6 degrees vs 1.4 degrees
Average temperature18.8 degrees vs 10.7 degrees16.7 degrees vs 7.3 degrees14.6 degrees vs 3.8 degrees

As we move from March to May, temperatures drop in both Auckland and Queenstown. Fall weather in New Zealand is similar to the fall season in your home country. However, it can get a little chilly in Queenstown, so a jumper or jacket is recommended.

I tend to get cold a lot, so I tend to wear a little bit thinner padding in the fall than a full-on mid-winter jumper, and I tend to wear a lot of hoodies underneath, so I can just take the padding off as soon as I get hot, so that's what I wear a lot.


4) New Zealand Winter Weather

Winter weather in July in Queenstown, New Zealand

In contrast to Korea, June through August is winter in New Zealand. At the time of this writing, it's winter. The photo above shows the This photo was taken in July in Queenstown.

Queenstown gets a lot of snow between June and August, so many skiers and snowboarders come to enjoy winter sports.

Winter weather in New Zealand is very different in Auckland and Queenstown. In Auckland, I've never worn a fully padded jacket in the winter - it's just not cold enough to warrant it.

However, winters in Queenstown can be quite cold. For reference, July is the coldest month of the year in New Zealand, regardless of location.


Auckland vs Queenstown Temperature (Winter)

Winter in New ZealandJuneJulyAugust
Highest Average14.9 degrees vs 4.6 degrees14 degrees vs 3.7 degrees14.4 degrees vs 5.3 degrees
Lowest Average10.7 degrees vs -1.8 degrees9.5 degrees vs -2.7 degrees9.6 degrees vs -1.8 degrees
Average temperature12.6 degrees vs 0.4 degrees11.5 degrees vs -0.6 degrees11.7 degrees vs 0.5 degrees
New Zealand weather Queenstown Winter

The photo above was taken in July in Queenstown, New Zealand. You'll notice that everyone is wearing super chunky jumpers or puffers. Beanie hats and scarves are also a must-have here.

Auckland is also cold, but not as cold as Queenstown, but it's still really cold without padding or a thick jumper, so keep that in mind when packing in Korea. Local New Zealand jumpers and padding are very expensive compared to Korean ones, so I wouldn't recommend buying them.


Finalize

Today we've been talking about the weather in New Zealand and how to dress accordingly. The short version is that if you're only visiting Auckland in any season, you don't need a full bundle.

However, if you're planning to visit Queenstown in the winter, make sure to pack at least one of the thickest layers of clothing you own.

Cardigans, hoodies, and jumpers are sufficient for spring, summer, and fall in New Zealand. However, if you're visiting Queenstown in the fall, you'll need a thicker jacket or jumper.

The weather in New Zealand can change dramatically, even within a day, so we highly recommend packing a small bag and at least one change of clothes when you head out.

No matter what time of year you visit, New Zealand seems to have something for everyone. We'll leave you with the hope that you've seen more of the stunning scenery of this pristine country, and thank you for reading.

I should also note that the above thoughts on New Zealand weather and how to dress are highly subjective and may vary from person to person in terms of heat and cold tolerance.

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