New Zealand Geography and Climate

Geography and Climate

New Zealand lies in the southern part of the Pacific Ocean. Its nearest neighbour is Australia which is around 1,600 Climate and weather in New Zealandkilometres (995 miles) away. Two large islands called the North Island and South Islands are the main islands of New Zealand, but there are many surrounding smaller islands of which the combined land area is 270,534 sq. kilometres (104,454 sq. miles. New Zealand is about the same size as the UK or Japan.

New Zealand’s landscapes are spectacular and include the South Island’s Southern Alps which are bigger in area than the European Alps as well as glaciers, steep fiords and complex sounds. The North Island is volcanic and has every type of volcanic feature including a super volcano. Both islands have majestic lakes, lush rainforests, and high tussock plains.

Highest point: Mount Cook (3,754 m or 12313 ft)
Deepest lake: Lake Hauroko (462 m 1515 ft)
Largest lake: Lake Taupo (606 km or 234 miles)
Longest river: Waikato River (425 km or 264 miles long)
Largest glacier: Tasman Glacier (29 km or 18 miles long)
Deepest cave: Nettlebed, Mount Arthur (889 m or 2916 ft)
Length of coastline: 15,811 km (9824 miles)

Geography and Climate

New Zealand experiences four seasons. Summer starts in December and ends in February, although March is also a warm month. Winter lasts from June to August, but September and October can also be cold. New Zealand has temperate climate and the climate is also maritime meaning that it is affected by the sea. This accounts for less extreme differences in temperature between seasons as you would otherwise find on continents, although there are two areas that are classified as continental which is the centre of each main island. New Zealand also has a large variety of micro-climates which are variations of the temperate climate. These variations are pronounced and the result of mountainous that run up the spine of both islands with westerly winds depositing moisture on the west of both islands leaving drier lands to the east. The north of New Zealand is frost free making it suitable for growing some tropical fruit while on the South Island, there exists large areas of perpetual snow and glaciers within the Southern Alps.

Mean daily
maximum Temp. °C
Mean daily
maximum Temp. °C
Bright Sunshine HoursMean annual Rainfall mm
JanuaryJuly
Auckland23.815.12,0711,106
Wellington20.311.22,0241,269
Christchurch22.611.12,066645
Dunedin18.99.91,595799

Source: Virtual Oceania

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