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Thread: Best time to visit New Zealand for weather?

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Best time to visit New Zealand for weather?

    I am often asked what the best time of year in New Zealand is for weather from friends and relatives. I generally tell them to come between the end of January and April when the weather usually “settles down” (as my farmer neighbor tells me). I have lived on the southwest coast of the North Island for nearly 22 years, having previously lived in Italy, and RI, NYC, and Minneapolis in the US for the first half of my life.

    The island summers here in the southern “roaring 40’s” are often cooler, cloudier and windier than the same latitudes in the northern continental temperate zones - particularly through the first part of January. But the summers here are also generally free of the stifling 30-40 C heat that exists most of these areas from time to time in summer. That said, "summer" begins and ends 3 weeks earlier in NZ than the rest of the world (with the exception of Australia and South Africa), 3 weeks before the solstice and equinox. (Does anyone know why?) But for me summer-like weather begins late January And ends late March (equal to August - September up over). It is almost always calm sunny and warm at that time. It may differ slightly from region to region of NZ - the East Coast is often hotter and drier, and the West Coast windier, wetter and cooler)? Any thoughts?
    Last edited by JBrit; 15th January 2017 at 01:58 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default

    I think 'the best' will depend on who is asking the question - where they come from, and therefore what they like and are used to.

  3. #3
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    Yes, you are right. If one were from the British Isles, any time of year would be pretty great. Winters are warmer (albeit without central heating). Summers are a bit sunnier and warmer, particularly in the north and east. Most Kiwis families originate from the British Isles.

    Late summer-autumn here is perfect for anyone anywhere, in my opinion.

    Those from warm or tropical regions would find it cool and very windy. We are among the windiest of nations http://www.answers.com/Q/What_is_the...untry_on_earth. In the tropics, below 22 degrees is considered cold.

    Those from the continental temperate zones would consider winters quite warm. (through not inside– in North America most people keep their homes at 20 - 23 C degrees, 68 - 72 F – under law for tenants in most northern cities http://metcouncilonhousing.org/help_..._and_hot_water. Whereas 16 C, 61 F will suffice under most conditions, with 1/3 of all homes unheated, according to the Herald http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/ar...ectid=11442343 .

    Summers are mild and often very windy by continental standards, until February. That said, I’d trade a cooler, windier summer over the stultifying hot summer days of the continental zones of North America, Asia or Europe…albeit with perhaps less wind (I’m in the windiest part of NZ –the coast stretching from New Plymouth to Wellington.) https://www.windytv.com/?-40.218,175.540,6
    Last edited by JBrit; 16th January 2017 at 12:02 PM.

  4. #4
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    I just looked up the question of the season dates. I always wondered why the temperate zone seasons officially begin 3 weeks earlier than North America, Latin America and continental Europe (other than apparently Russia, Sweden and Finland). Apparently this tradition, like many traditions here, originates from the UK where the British often (but not always) honour the "meteorological calendar" instead of the "astronomical calendar". http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-29014886

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