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Weather in Wellington

They say you can’t beat Wellington on a good day, and we reckon that’s true. We enjoy around 2000 hours of sunshine a year, which is about 30% more than London, a bit more than Auckland, and just a little less than Melbourne.

Being close to the sea keeps temperatures mild. In summer weather our days average around 19°C to 24°C – lovely to be out in, but not so hot you can’t move. Our winter weather gets down to around 6°C to 9°C – cold to be sure, but frosts are rare.

It’s also true that at certain times of year the wind can get a little wild. Having said that, Wellington has an average wind speed of 22kmh — the same as New York’s.

Wellington is perched between the North and South Islands of New Zealand, so as the wind comes in from the west, it squeezes through the gap at Cook Strait, and gets faster. It’s called the venturi effect, for those who like to know the words for things. 

Wellington has the same average wind speed as New York

Wellingtonians embrace the wind when it comes. We build turbines on the hilltops for clean energy, and go sailing or kite surfing on the harbour. We also breathe deeply, because that sea breeze provides us with some of the cleanest air of any city in New Zealand.

Summer weather:  December - February

people on wellington waterfront 216x144

Average daily max:  20°C /68°F              min: 13°C / 55°F

Wellington’s summer weather is extremely pleasant and outdoor activities are very popular. The maritime climate keeps the temperatures from soaring and humidity is in the comfortable range. The hottest time of year is late January, and our sun, like elsewhere in New Zealand, is strong. Good sun protection (sunscreen, shirt, hat and glasses) is well advised.

You'll find the Wellington beaches and bays packed to the brim, particularly Oriental Bay, and people out basking in the sun. Here's a few tips on what to do on a sunny day, we recommend getting some vitamin D in with outdoor dining.

Autumn weather: March – May

pwt botantic garden dusk credit stevebonniface 216x127

Average daily max:  16.5°C/ 61°F          min: 11°C/52°F

In autumn the weather gets cooler, but the skies remain relatively cloud-free. March is, on average, the clearest month of the year in terms of cloud cover.  Once again, having the ocean nearby prevents the temperature from dropping away too quickly, and our summers are often said to have a ‘long tail’.

Nothing beats a stroll through the park on a clear autumn day. The changing colours of the trees, bush-clad valleys and breathtaking views can be found right on Wellington's doorstep. Our picks for local walks include Otari-Wilton’s Bush,  Belmont Regional Park and  Kaitoke Regional Park, but you’ll find lots of parks dotted around the city to take your fancy.

Winter weather: June – August

Solace in the Wind sculpture - Mike Clare - 216x144

Average daily max:  11.5°C / 53°F         min: 6.5°C/44°F

Wellington’s winter tends to be wet rather than frosty, with around a 55% daily chance of rain through the winter months. So a Wellington winter wardrobe is more likely to waterproof than woollen. Only 5% of that rain is classified as heavy, however.

The city is also well-designed for winter with plenty of indoor activities and warm dining options, including the annual Visa Wellington On a Plate culinary festival.

Spring weather: September – November

pwt botanic garden tulips 216x144

Average daily max:  15.5°C/60° F          min: 9°C/48°F

With rising temperatures spring can generate Wellington’s freshest breezes. However this wind is most often from the north, and tends to be warmer and drier than the southerlies of winter. Daylight Savings Time also starts in October, meaning lighter evenings and longer twilights. This also makes it the best time of year to catch a sunrise from one of our lookouts.

The tulips will be in bloom at the Wellington Botanic Garden, and Daylight Saving means so much extra time for activities! Think fish and chips on the beach, taking a stroll around the Wellington Writers Walk or indulging in artisan and gourmet foods at Wellington's many markets.

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