New Zealand’s climate is for many one of the best climates in the world. Because it’s never too hot nor too cold, the country enjoys mild weather perfect for outdoor activities. But there are still notable differences between the climate of the North Island and South Island and then between various cities on these two islands.
Auckland, as the largest city in New Zealand, is the most common city people move to. Many like its climate, the warmest of the largest cities in the country. But what if you can’t move there or want to move elsewhere but would like to live in a city with a similar climate to Auckland?
Here’s where I come in with this article. First, we’ll define the key characteristics of Auckland’s climate and then see where else in the world we can find a city with similar weather patterns.
Defining Auckland’s Climate to Find Cities With Similar Weather
Most of New Zealand falls into a temperate oceanic climate zone (also known as a marine west coast climate). The main characteristics of that climate include:
- High average rainfall and frequent cloudy conditions. Sunshine hours are limited but may still reach 2,000-2,500 hours a year in the sunniest areas. There are usually over 100 rainy days a year.
- Relatively small variations in temperatures between summer and winter temperatures. Summers are cool while winters are mild. For example, summer temperatures may reach on average 24 °C while winter temperatures may reach 16 °C. The coldest month has a mean temperature above freezing.
- Year round high humidity, often above 80%.
Auckland also features an oceanic climate, though the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research classifies Auckland’s climate as subtropical.
Regardless of the classification, we can take a look at Auckland’s climate data and then start looking for cities with a similar climate. So let’s do that.
Here are our criteria based on Auckland’s averages:
- Summer temperatures around 23-24 °C during the day and 14-16 °C at night. Let’s decide that summer months can’t get hotter than 26 °C in the warmest month and can’t be cooler than 20 °C. Nighttime temperatures are less important so we won’t pay much attention to that.
- Winter temperatures around 15-16 °C during the day and 7-8 °C at night. Let’s decide that winter months can’t be cooler than 12 °C in the coldest month. Again, we won’t be paying that much attention to nighttime temperatures.
- Average sunshine hours in Auckland are 2,003 hours per year. Anything between 1,800-2,200 hours is fine though this piece of data may be missing for all but the largest cities.
- There are on average 136 rainy days in Auckland. Let’s decide that there need to be between 110-160 rainy days a year. We also want consistent rainfall with no months that get very few or no rainy days.
- The average rainfall in Auckland is 1,211 mm. Let’s decide that the range needs to be between 1,000 and 1,400 mm.
These five criteria will help us find cities with a climate most similar to Auckland. But since we’re talking about averages, I may allow some leeway and include cities that may not exactly meet one requirement.
New Zealand Cities That Have a Climate Like Auckland
Climate-wise, the most similar cities to Auckland are in New Zealand. New Zealand’s climate is unique so that’s the only region of the world where you’ll find places with almost exactly the same weather as in Auckland.
If you look at my ranking of the warmest cities in New Zealand, any city that has a similar average temperature to the largest city of New Zealand will feature an almost identical climate.
These are mostly cities on the North Island, located on or near the coast. Out of the larger cities, examples include:
- New Plymouth.
Cities on the South Island, while still featuring the same oceanic climate, have cooler winters that make them differ more from Auckland. The most similar climate-wise cities on the South Island are Motueka, Blenheim, and Nelson as they almost reach 13 °C in the coldest month.
Now, let’s leave New Zealand and see where else in the world we can find cities that share the climate characteristics of Auckland.
Cities in the Southern Hemisphere With a Similar Climate to Auckland
Here are some cities and areas in the Southern Hemisphere that share Auckland’s climate. Note that areas surrounding the cities listed below may also share the same climate characteristics.
Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia
Located a little over an hour south of Sydney, Wollongong has an oceanic climate with humid subtropical influences, making it just like Auckland in terms of its climate zone classification.
Wollongong is slightly warmer in the summer than Auckland but is within our requirements. During the hottest months average daytime temperatures reach 26 °C.
Other than that, the city perfectly fits other criteria, with almost exactly the same number of consistent year round rainy days (137 compared to 136 in Auckland), similar precipitation levels (1,321 mm vs 1,211 mm), and warmer, but still mild winters (17 °C in the coldest month).
Batemans Bay, New South Wales, Australia
Batemans Bay on the South Coast region of New South Wales is a small town of less than 20,000 residents. Like Auckland, it has an oceanic climate.
The city meets all criteria except for one: annual rainfall. It gets 885 mm a year while our minimum is 1,000 mm. It also gets 109 days of rain, 1 day below our cut-off of 110. It’s not that huge of a difference, particularly considering that Batemans Bay still has at least 6 rainy days every month.
Batemans Bay records 26 °C in the hottest month and 17 °C in the coolest which is the same as in Wollongong.
Mallacoota, Victoria, Australia
Mallacoota is a coastal town of a little over 1,000 residents, located in Victoria near the border with New South Wales.
The town has a mild oceanic climate with very similar to Auckland summer and winter temperatures. The only difference is that Mallacoota has two months with temperatures reaching 24 °C during the day while Auckland has one. The average daytime temperature in the coldest month reaches 15 °C.
The only criteria that the town doesn’t meet is annual rainfall. It records 897 mm a year while we set our cut-off at 1,000. It’s within acceptable limits for the purposes of our article, though, particularly considering that Mallacoota has almost the same number of rainy days as Auckland (139 compared to 136 in Auckland). It also has consistent rainfall year round.
Wilsons Promontory, Victoria, Australia
Wilsons Promontory is not a city but a peninsula that forms the southernmost part of the Australian mainland. The closest permanently settled town is Yanakie while the peninsula in itself is a national park.
I decided to include it because the peninsula has similar to Auckland cool summers with average temperatures reaching only 20-21 °C in the warmest month. In the coolest months, Wilsons Promontory records average daytime temperatures of 12 °C which is 3 °C colder than in Auckland but within our range.
Wilsons Promontory records 1,053 mm of rainfall a year and 179 days of consistent year round rain which is above our limit of 160. But otherwise, it meets other requirements and so it’s still similar climate-wise to Auckland.
Burnie, Tasmania, Australia
While it’s often said that in Australia, Tasmania is most similar to New Zealand, I was able to find only one city that has a climate resembling Auckland. That city is Burnie on the north-west coast of Tasmania.
Burnie has the same oceanic climate with mild summers and mild winters. Temperatures in the summer months are cooler than in Auckland, reaching 21 °C in the warmest month. In the coolest month, temperatures reach 13 °C.
Burnie’s rainfall is slightly below our cut-off, with average 947 mm of precipitation a year. The city has 113 days of rain compared to 136 in Auckland but it still rains every month of the year (5 days in the least rainy one). Sunshine hours in Burnie reach 2,158 hours a year which is a little sunnier than Auckland’s 2,003 hours.
While Temuco is located in Chilean’s Mediterranean climate zone, it has an oceanic climate which is similar to Auckland. The key difference is that Temuco has a pronounced drier season (with just 3-4 days of rain a month) which Auckland doesn’t have to the same extent (the least rainy months still get 7-8 days of rain).
Otherwise, the city meets all the requirements. It has mild summers with average temperatures of 25-26 °C in the warmest month. Daytime temperatures during winters reach 12 °C (which is cooler than Auckland).
Average yearly rainfall of 1,114 mm is very similar to Auckland’s 1,211. Temuco records 116 rainy days which is 20 fewer days than in New Zealand’s largest city. Sunshine hours in the Chilean city reach 2,177 hours a year which is a little more than in Auckland.
Cities in the Northern Hemisphere With a Climate Similar to Auckland
Now let’s see which cities in the Northern Hemisphere have a climate that’s similar to Auckland.
A Coruña, Spain
A Coruña in Galicia in Spain is one of the closest alternatives to Auckland in Europe climate-wise.
Summer temperatures reach mild 23 °C in the warmest months while winters are moderate, with temperatures around 14 °C.
The city gets 1,045 mm of rainfall a year which is slightly less than in Auckland. A Coruña has 131 rainy days which is only 5 fewer days than Auckland. A Coruña records 2,197 hours of sunshine which is about 200 more than Auckland but still relatively similar. While the Spanish city gets only 5-6 days of rain per month in the summer, it’s still consistently rainy year round like Auckland is.
The coastal area on the Bay of Biscay between the largest cities in the region of Oviedo, Gijón, and Santander shares a climate similar to Auckland.
Oviedo and Gijón have similar climates but Oviedo, due to its more inland location and higher altitude, has slightly cooler winter temperatures.
Oviedo records on average 24 °C in the warmest month (exactly like Auckland) and 12 °C in the coldest month (3 °C cooler than in Auckland).
The average rainfall in Oviedo is 1,056 mm which is slightly less than in Auckland. The city has 129 rainy days and records 1,815 sunshine hours which is about 200 fewer hours than in the largest city of New Zealand. Oviedo has consistent rainfall year round. Even in the least rainy month, it still gets 8 rainy days which is almost the same as in Auckland (which gets 7 days in the least rainy month).
Gijón records average high temperatures of 23 °C in the warmest month and 14 °C in the coldest month. Winter temperatures are thus closer to Auckland than the ones in Oviedo.
The average rainfall in Gijón is 983 mm which is just below out cut-off of 1,000 mm. The city records 125 rainy days and 2,034 sunshine hours which is almost the same as in Auckland. Like Oviedo, Gijón has consistent rainfall year round though summers are slightly drier, with 6 days of rain in the least rainy month.
Santander has very similar weather patterns to Oviedo and Gijón. Temperatures are very similar: 23 °C in the warmest month and 13 °C in the coolest.
Annual precipitation reaches 1,074 mm while the number of rainy days is around 128, spread almost evenly throughout the year with 8 days of rain in the least rainy month. Santander is one of the least sunny cities of Spain (though not as much as Oviedo), recording 1,900 hours of sun.
Located in the French Basque Country in southwestern France, Biarritz is one of the wettest cities in metropolitan France. It records 25 °C in the hottest summer month and 12 °C in the coolest winter month.
With 141 days of rain a year, it gets only 5 more days of rain than Auckland. Its average rainfall of 1,473 mm is higher than Auckland’s 1,211 mm and slightly above our limit but we’ll make an exception here as otherwise everything else is very similar. Even sunshine hours are in the ballpark, reaching on average 1,921 hours compared to 2,003 in Auckland.
Ponta Delgada, Portugal
Ponta Delgada is one of the largest cities in the Azores, an archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean that’s an autonomous region of Portugal. Ponta Delgada has a climate that’s between a Mediterranean and a humid subtropical but it still resembles Auckland’s oceanic climate.
Ponta Delgada has summers with average temperatures reaching 26 °C. Winters are warmer than in New Zealand’s largest city as they reach 17 °C even in the coldest month (compared to 15 °C in Auckland).
Ponta Delgada gets 124 days of rain and 1,053 mm of rainfall per year. In the least rainy month it still gets 5 days of rain.
With 1,738 hours of sunshine, it’s a little bit cloudier than our criteria (our minimum was 1,800 hours) but the city has microclimates which get more sunshine (for example, the data for the airport shows 2,184 hours of sunshine).
Parts of other islands in the Azores may also have microclimates resembling Auckland but official climate data is missing so Ponta Delgada is the only safe bet in the archipelago.
Frequently Asked Questions
Some aspects of Sydney’s climate are similar to Auckland but generally speaking, these two cities have different weather. Sydney has summers and winters warmer by 3 °C during the day. It’s much more sunny, with sun shining 60% of the time vs 46% in Auckland. It also gets about 40 fewer days of rain.
Auckland has a temperate oceanic climate (also known as a marine west coast climate). Sometimes Auckland’s climate is also classified as a humid subtropical one.
Auckland has a good climate for those who enjoy relatively cool summers and mild winters, with consistent rainfall, humidity and cloudy weather. It doesn’t have a good climate if you like dry, sunny conditions.
With 136 days of rain and 1,211 mm of rainfall a year, it does rain often in Auckland.
Auckland does have four seasons although they’re moderated. Snowfall is extremely rare and frosts are infrequent.
Auckland is much warmer than London. The average temperature in Auckland is 15.2 °C compared to 11.7 °C in London. Particularly winters in Auckland are much warmer.
Auckland is much wetter than London. It gets 136 days of rain and 1,211 mm of rainfall a year compared to 112 days of rain in London and only 615 mm of precipitation.
Auckland is warmer and sunnier than every single place in the UK, offering much better weather year round.
Auckland is a very humid city, with the average relative humidity almost always above 80%.
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