South Island Weather

Weather on the south island of new zealand!

Find out about South Island specific weather patterns and tips.

When it comes to weather it always tricky to figure out your best action plan. In this article you’ll find out all about South Island Weather (Te Wai Pounamu) and how to plan your trip. 

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West coast and southland

Rain forests are often found in the southern and western regions of New Zealand. This is due to the region Southern Alps which run the length of the South Island acting as a wall. And we all know weather can’t go through a wall so large amounts of rain are dumped. These regions have something I would describe as one-sided weather, it’s either pouring down or sunny. There isn’t a middle ground so when it’s sunny you’ll get some killer days ready for those bush walks through lush forests. Make sure to visit the South Islands Western regions as it’s home to New Zealand’s most spectacular natural sights.

east coast and canterbury

Often known for its hot days when a North Westerly prevails the East coast can as described as the dry part of NZ. However, the reason why Canterbury and the East coast are often dry is that all that rain which was dumped on the West Coast doesn’t make it over the mountains. Leaving us with beautiful weather for a day at the beach. Although do keep an eye out for the pesky Southerly wind which blows up from Antarctica bringing with it cold winds and heavy rain. Apart from Southerly winds, the East Coast is home to mild and predictable weather patterns all year round.

Or these tips

tasman region

An award-winning region in NZ not only for its orchards but also for being the sunniest place in New Zealand! Does an average of 7 hours of sunshine a day sound like you? Then the Tasman region is the place for you. Rarely experiencing rain the Nelson/Tasman region is home to many beaches yet also lush forests almost tropical-like. Home to the fantastic Abel Tasman National Park perched on the waters edge the Tasman region won’t disappoint.

Planning your trip

The most important thing when traveling through NZ is making sure you’ve got a sound understanding of what the weather’s doing. For example, websites such as met service provide daily forecasts but most importantly rain radars which will help you plan your trip. When analyzing the 3 or 5 days rain forecast travel forward in time and check out where the weather is going. Hint more colour means the worst weather and often rain. Look over to your right and you’ll see an excerpt showing you a rain radar image of the South Island. As you can see there is heaving rain (dark green) hitting the West Coast. Whereas over on the East Coast there isn’t any weather to be seen. This weather will continue to move East. I can highly recommend using this tool to plan your trip up to 5 days in advance.


Don't forget!

Make sure to always plan your holiday based on the weather. Check met service on the daily for more info.



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