January is one of the most popular months for visitors and travellers to explore New Zealand as it tends to be the warmest month of the year. In the North Island, average top temperatures hover around 25°C dropping to lows of 12°C. And in the South Island, it's just slightly cooler with average top temperatures of around 22°C and lows of 10°C. (Do not be surprised by the odd really warm day with temperatures in the high 20s or low 30s on either island – they do happen).
These lovely warm and often hot January days draw locals and visitors alike to the many outdoor festivals, events and activities going on throughout the country including:
- World Buskers Festival, Christchurch – Famous, funny and free!
- Parihaka International Peace Festival, Taranaki – Laid back, friendly musical event.
- Blue Lake Multisport Festival, Rotorua – Swim, sprint or spectate.
- Hiking – Try one of New Zealand's Great Walks, but book early.
- Sailing – Head to the Bay of Islands or the City of Sails (Auckland).
- Surfing – You'll almost always need a wetsuit for great surfing hotspots on both islands.
Staying Safe in the Sun
The most important thing to remember when you are enjoying the Kiwi sunshine during the daylight saving months is adequate sun protection. New Zealand has a high UV index and it can take just 10 minutes to get burned by the sun in peak daytime hours (10-4pm). Follow local advice to "Slip, Slop, Slap and Wrap" and ensure you are sunsafe, even on a cloudy day:
- Slip – Wear long-sleeved tops and head towards the shade. Darker colours give you more protection from the sun as do certain fabrics with a SPF rating.
- Slop – Use plenty of SPF30+ sunscreen applied at least 15 minutes before going outside.
- Slap – Wear a hat with a wide-brim.
- Wrap – Don a pair of wrap-around sunglasses.
- Parasols – Some visitors like to give themselves some additional shade by using a parasol or umbrella. Using an umbrella of course gives you protection come rain or shine!
Weather By Month
Our overview of New Zealand's typical weather by month can help you plan your holiday, unmissable highlights for the month (e.g. events and festivals), sightseeing and activities and even your packing. But do be warned – these are not weather forecasts, so expect some of the unexpected during your stay!
|Spring Weather||Summer Weather||Autumn Weather||Winter Weather|
Weather in the Major Centres
Find out: where to expect 'four seasons in one day', where to find New Zealand's semi-tropical regions, which city is the sunniest, where to experience the most rainfall and discover which city is the country's windiest.
|North Island Weather and Climate||South Island Weather and Climate|
|Bay of Islands||Queenstown|