Life in New Zealand
New Zealand has a mild climate with annual temperatures ranging from 10 °C in the south to 16 °C in the north. Conditions vary sharply across regions from extremely wet on the West Coast of the South Island to dry in Central Otago, the Mackenzie Basin of inland Canterbury and subtropical in Northland. Of the seven largest cities, Christchurch is the driest, receiving on average only 640 millimetres (25 in) of rain per year and Auckland the wettest, receiving almost twice that amount.
Winter: June – August
Usually the wettest season. It can also be very cold with frost, snow and ice. Temperatures normally range from 5-15 °C (41-59 °F) during the day. Cold winds can make it feel much colder. In the middle of winter there are only 9 – 10 hours of sunlight a day.
Spring: September – November
The temperatures start getting warmer and the grass starts to grow fast. There is still plenty of rain.
Summer: December – February
It gets warmer – from 20–30 °C (68-86 °F) in the day. It normally rains less. The sun can be very strong and can make your skin burn within l0 minutes. The sun is hottest between 11am and 4pm. In mid summer there is 15 – 16 hours of sunlight in the day.
Autumn: March – May
Temperatures start to get cooler and there is plenty of rain.
Kiwi is the nickname used internationally for people from New Zealand, as well as being a relatively common self-reference. The name derives from the kiwi, a flightless bird, which is native to, and the national symbol of, New Zealand. The usage is not offensive, being treated with pride and endearment as a uniquely recognisable term for the people of New Zealand.
Until the earthquake in Christchurch in February 2011, the last fatal earthquake in New Zealand had been on the West Coast of the South Island in May 1968. Three deaths resulted at that time. 181 people were killed in Christchurch, 115 of them in the collapse of the Canterbury Television building.
Christchurch and the surrounding areas
Distances around New Zealand
There is nowhere else in the world where, within two hours of an international airport, you can ski at a world-class alpine resort, play golf, bungy jump, raft, mountain bike, hot-air balloon, wind surf, whale watch and visit internationally-acclaimed wineries and gardens.
Christchurch is New Zealand's second-largest city and the gateway to the South Island. Bordered by hills and the Pacific Ocean, it is situated on the edge of the Canterbury Plains that stretch to the Southern Alps.
The Central City and some eastern suburbs have suffered earthquake damage but the city as a whole continues to operate. Innovative local business people have created thriving entertainment, education and business hubs on the outskirts of the Central City.
Part of Christchurch's central business district remains cordoned off from public access, including Cathedral Square. This area will re-open in stages during 2012 as remedial work is completed.
Find out all you need to know about Christchurch from the links and information on this site.
Whale Watching in Kaikoura- http://www.whalewatch.co.nz/
Sightseeing and Dolphin Spotting in Akaroa- www.akaroadolphins.co.nz
Trans Alpine Railway- http://www.tranzscenic.co.nz/tranzalpine/
Hotpools and tubing at Lake Tekapo- http://laketekapountouched.co.nz/
Punakeiki (Pancake Rocks) and the West Coast- www.punakaiki.co.nz
For more information about settling in New Zealand go to: