Life in New Zealand

New Zealand is a small country, similar in size to Great Britain or Japan. With a population of only four million people it’s also gloriously uncrowded. Geographically, over three-quarters of the population live in the North Island, with one-third of the total population living in Auckland. The other main cities of Wellington, Christchurch and Hamilton are where the majority of the remaining Kiwis dwell. 

You'll find a variety of awesome landscapes in New Zealand, all within easy reach of each other. Spectacular glaciers, picturesque fiords, rugged mountains, vast plains, rolling hillsides, subtropical forest, volcanic plateau, miles of coastline with gorgeous sandy beaches - it’s all here. No wonder New Zealand is becoming so popular as a location for movies.


Conditions vary sharply across regions, from extremely wet on the West Coast of the South Island to dry in Central Otago and 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. Auckland is 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 in mainly Southern regions. 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, mainly in Northern regions.

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 10 minutes, as there is less ozone and polution here to block the UV rays that cause sunburn. The sun is hottest between 11am and 4pm. In mid-summer, there are 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.

New Zealand Cities





For more information about settling in New Zealand go to http://

Key Facts

  • Winter: June – August
  • Spring: September – November
  • Summer: December – February
  • Autumn: March – May