2017 was New Zealand’s 5th warmest year on record. The nationwide average temperature for 2017 was 13.2°C, which was 0.5°C above average. 

Yearly rainfall in 2017 was above normal (120-149% of the annual normal) for parts of Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, coastal Canterbury, and north coastal Otago. In contrast, rainfall was below normal (50-79% of the annual normal) in much of Southland and interior Otago. Rainfall was near normal (80 to 119% of the annual normal) for the remainder of New Zealand.

Annual sunshine was mainly near normal (90-109% of the annual normal) or above normal (110-124% of the annual normal) throughout New Zealand. The wider Nelson region experienced New Zealand’s highest annual sunshine total during 2017 (2633 hours)..

Click here for NIWA annual climate summary for 2017.

Central North Island/Waikato

Waikato is sheltered by high country to the south and east and so has less wind than many other parts of New Zealand. Southwesterly winds prevail.

Being largely inland, a wide range of temperatures is experienced. In summer, the region enjoys warm, dry and settled weather. Typical summer daytime temperatures range from 21-26°C and rarely exceed 30°C. In winter, typical daytime temperatures range from 10-14°C with frosts occurring in clear, calm conditions. Sunshine hours average 2,000 to 2,100 in most places.

Average seasonal temperatures for the Waikato:

Average climate and seasonal temperatures for the waikato
Source: fourcorners.co.nz 2014

Click here for NIWA climate overview.

New Zealand

New Zealand is situated in the latitudes of prevailing westerlies and exposed coastal locations often experience strong winds, with generally lighter winds elsewhere. Rainfall is evenly distributed across the year, although late-summer and early-autumn is typically the driest time of the year, whereas the wettest months are typically observed in winter. Parts of the Southern Alps receive more than 10,000 mm of annual rainfall. Central Otago is the driest region of the country, and is sheltered from rain-bearing systems arriving from the west and north. Here, annual rainfall totals of approximately 350 mm are recorded.

Dry spells of more than two weeks are quite common, particularly in eastern and inland locations. Temperatures are relatively mild throughout New Zealand, with the moderating influence of the surrounding sea resulting in a relative lack of extreme high and extreme low temperatures. Temperatures exceeding 30°C aren’t especially common for most locations around the country, although they do occur reasonably frequently during summer at low elevation inland areas and in eastern parts of the country. Frosts are common in the cooler months for most of the country, however they occur rarely north of Waikato. Nelson and Marlborough are typically New Zealand’s sunniest regions, while parts of the Bay of Plenty receive similarly high sunshine hours. For weather forecasts see the AccuweatherMetservice or NIWA websites.

NZ's 2017/18 summer was the hottest summer on record.

NIWA Seasonal Climate Summary - Summer 2017/18

Current Weather

Waikato walks

Welcome to New Zealand’s walking heartland, drawing visitors from around the world keen to soak up the district’s breathtaking scenery, clean air, unique landscapes and clear night skies. New Zealand’s national walkway, Te Araroa (Long Pathway) passes through the Waikato region and the stunning Hakarimata Range (also part of Te Araroa) offers visitors outstanding access to a fine stand of kauri trees. The district offers a wide range of tracks to suit all ages.


Waikato is, quite simply, one of the best cycling and mountain biking destinations in the world. It is the ‘go to’ region for visitors seeking to cycle. The area boasts a huge variety of top quality cycling tracks and mountain biking trails including the iconic Te Awa Cycle Way (The Great New Zealand River Ride). Ultimately, Te Awa will run from Ngāruawāhia south to Lake Karapiro, following the mighty Waikato River and offering stunning river and lake vistas, native bush and rural landscapes.

Surfing, Fishing & Water Sports

Waikato’s west coast beaches and harbours, its range of lakes plus the beautiful Waikato River provide opportunities for water sports and recreation including deep sea fishing, trout fishing, surfing, swimming, scuba diving, sport life-saving, jet and water-skiing, rowing, canoeing, Waka Ama, hang gliding, paragliding and kite surfing.


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