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New Zealand Weather in January

Get a panoramic view of Nelson city in New Zealand in January.
Experience a wonderful time in Nelson as the weather is amazing this time of year.

January is mid-summer and it is the warmest time of the year throughout New Zealand, with average temperatures ranging between 15°C and 21°C. But since there are a lot of climatic variations in the country, the temperature in New Zealand will differ from north to south. The northern part of the country is subtropical, while the south is cool and temperate. Auckland in the north averages between 17°C and 22°C, while Nelson in the south has an average temperature range of 13°C to 22°C.

Weather in New Zealand in January - Rainfall and Temperatures

Avg Daily (°C)
Avg Nightly (°C)15.916.515.31412.310.89.710.110.311.312.714.8
Avg Daily (°F)686867646056555657596266
Avg Nightly (°F)616260575451495051525559
Avg Rainfall (mm)2729.53243.5485952514337.54047

Why Visit New Zealand in January

Visit Hobbiton, Matamata in real life, in New Zealand in January.
If you are a fan of The Lord of the Rings, visit the movie's Hobbiton set in New Zealand.
Hire a car and go on a road trip in New Zealand in January.
January is a great time to go on a road trip in New Zealand.

January is the peak tourist season in New Zealand. Although it can get crowded, there are many good reasons to visit the country during this month.

  • Best time for outdoor activities: Thanks to the warm weather in New Zealand in January, it is a pleasant time to enjoy several outdoor activities. If you are into hiking, conquer the Great Walks of New Zealand. You can also fit in camping between your hikes. But make sure to book the campsites early, since they tend to get booked fast in January. It is also a great idea to explore the spectacular limestone formations of Kura Tawhiti on a scenic hike.
  • Fun festivals: New Zealand's pleasant weather in January makes it the perfect time to enjoy fun outdoor summer festivals. Some festivals worth checking out when you travel to New Zealand in January are the World Buskers Festival in Christchurch and the Blue Lake Multisport Festival in Rotorua.
  • Enjoy the beaches: If you plan on visiting the many beautiful beaches of New Zealand, January is one of the best times for this. Northland and the Coromandel Peninsula have some of the most popular spots for swimming in New Zealand, although they tend to get busy in January. If you want to go scuba diving, visit the Poor Knights Islands in the Northland.
  • Perfect road trip condition: Road conditions are better in summer and the views are more breathtaking in January, perfect for a road trip in New Zealand. One of the best routes is from Nelson to Queenstown, which starts in the city of Nelson off Tasman Bay and passes through the lakeside town of Wanaka before reaching Queenstown. For a thrilling road trip adventure, conquer Aoraki / Mount Cook, New Zealand's highest mountain, easily accessible from Christchurch.

Where to Go and What to Do

Head to Waiheke Island on your trip to New Zealand.
If you want to sip some wine and relax on the beach, Waiheke Island is an amazing place.

Visit Waiheke Island, which you can reach on a 40-min ferry ride from Auckland. The charming island is a haven of scenic vineyards, olive groves, and beaches. Go on a bike or scooter tour and explore the stunning vineyards with swanky restaurants and tasting rooms and then go kayaking on one of its spectacular beaches like Oneroa beach.

If you are into surfing, visit the black-sand surf mecca of Raglan. The coastal town is home to beaches that lure surfers with its world-class breaks. Depending on how long you have in New Zealand, it is worth spending a day or two in Raglan. Aside from surfing, it offers many other activities, such as hiking in Mount Karioi, exploring the Bridal Veil Falls, and paddle-boarding across the picturesque Whaingaroa Harbor.

January is also a perfect time to enjoy city sightseeing and cultural activities in New Zealand. Explore Auckland's museums and galleries, venture into Wellington and visit its picturesque harbor lined with colorful timber houses or explore the botanic gardens of Christchurch.

Given the fair, warm weather conditions all around, New Zealand is an excellent place to visit in January, especially if you want to enjoy a bit of sunshine during your holiday. But remember, January is part of the peak season in New Zealand, so to get the best from your excursion, plan well to pack all the fun outdoor activities and soak up everything the country has to offer.

Need help planning your trip to New Zealand in January? Contact our local travel expert and book a customized trip to New Zealand.

Other articles:
New Zealand in December
New Zealand in February
Summer in New Zealand

New Zealand tours in January
Published by Tim Green, updated on May 19, 2023

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