Adapting to the climate in New Zealand

Hello everyone,

Adjusting to new climatic conditions is key in any expatriation process. Moving to New Zealand is no exception.

What are the climate characteristics of New Zealand?

How does the local weather impact your daily life, mood or health?

What are the pros and cons of the climate in New Zealand?

Share you advice and help people adapt quickly to their new weather environment.

Thanks in advance,


What my RND says is that NZ is an extremely beautiful country comprises of all the weathers which is indeed amazing. Weather adaption is one of the major stuff an expat should consider.

Unlike Canada and related countries, its not white all over the year. NZ has rains, snow, sun, clouds and everything. Though haven;t practically experienced yet, however Im sure someone here in the forum would certainly shed a bit more light onto it.

Depending on where you are, the climate can be quite cold during the winter (and even the spring and fall) primarily owing to the humidity. While sub-zero temperatures are fairly rare near the shores, most housing in New Zealand is not insulated, so even temperatures between zero and +10 can be uncomfortable indoors and when out of the sun.  Such cold weather is probably uncommon up near Auckland, but a regular affair in the far south between April and November. (When the sun is shining, however, it is almost always a nice time to be outside for a stroll.)

One option when it is cold is to keep the electric heat running the entire time you are inside (some heating solutions are more cost effective than others -- if given the option, choose a flat with a heat pump).  However, this can be costly, and it is worth investing in two things: wool lined duvets and different layers of merino wool garments.  Even if your skin is sensitive to regular wool (mine is), you'll find that the high quality merino wool sold in the main treking/camping/sports stores are soft and comfortable with zero itch factor.  You can find thick pullovers right down to thin-layered undergarments.  Merino costs more, but is worth every cent in this climate (look for the sales racks). With the right layering, it will keep you both warm, dry and (when necessary) cool depending on whether you are sitting still or working up a bit of sweat outdoors on a cool day.


NZ has climates from the far north with no real winter right down to the far south that has snow ever winter. The summers seem to be warm all over. The closer to the coast that you live, it's noticeably warmer than inland.
Snow is very rare in the North Island. In the last ten years, it has snowed 3 or 4 times with it being melted the next morning. Only once did it last for several days.
I was very surprised that houses have little insulation and no central heating. I had to adjust to winters with only the lounge being warmed--usually be a fireplace. We use electric heaters for any other room, but only as needed.
This winter has been amazingly warm all over. It has seemed more like spring than autumn and winter!

Depending on where you are immigrating from, the adaption is pretty easy. We immigrated from Cape Town and found that it was pretty much the same as there. The summers don't get as hot as Cape Town though, where we were used to temps getting around 28 degrees celcius there, it only gets up to about 24 or 25 here but due to the proximity to the hole in the ozone layer that can be pretty warm. I hope this is helpful

I live on the North Island just North of Auckland so winters are rainy but mild temperatures. It rarely gets down to freezing. It can be quite cool at times with the rain and humidity but nothing like winters in the USA where I came from. Houses aren't well insulated but a couple of electric heaters is generally enough to keep things comfortable. A lot of people here don't like to run heaters and prefer to wear coats and layers of clothing while inside. I am not sure why they prefer this. I run a dehumidifier in the winter which helps to keep the house comfortable. Electricity bills can get very high running heaters but not that much more than it would cost in the USA. (I often compare bills with my mother via Skype. She is in the midwestern part of the USA.) The rainy winters are kind of a let down so I try to take my holiday in June or July and go somewhere sunny for awhile. Summers are perfect. Lots of sun. It rarely gets what I would call "hot" November thru April is really lovely here and perfect for outdoor activities. The climate here in NZ is one of the many reasons I have not returned to the USA.

I don't have a big problem with the climate. In the winter months we take a long weekend and go to the snow either Queenstown, Ohakune or Hanmer Springs. In the winter we take our long holiday and go where it is warmer, America, Europe Australia.

Hi It depends on the climate you currently live in at the moment. If you live in a cold place NZ will be easy to adapt to . Just bring a very good rain jacket. ANd it helps to layer your clothing. Good warm shoes are a must too, Houses are cold and not well heated so be aware of this.

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