The climate of Otago is perhaps the most diverse of any region in New Zealand.

The climate of Otago is perhaps the most diverse of any region in New Zealand. 

The region is in the latitudes of prevailing westerlies, and exposed coastal locations often experience strong winds, but the winds are lighter inland. Winter is typically the least windy time of year, as well as for many but not all areas, the driest. 

Annual precipitation in Otago typically decreases with increasing distance from the western ranges and the east coast. Indeed Central Otago is the driest region of New Zealand, receiving less than 400 mm of rainfall annually. Dry spells of more than two weeks occur relatively frequently in Central Otago, but less so elsewhere. Temperatures are on average lower than over the rest of the country with frosts and snowfalls occurring relatively frequently each year. However daily maximum temperatures in summer can exceed 30°C, especially about inland areas of Otago. 

On average, coastal Otago receives less sunshine than many other parts of New Zealand.

Read the report

Read the full report - The climate and weather of Otago - 3rd edition [3.81 MB]

Suggested citation

Macara, G.R. 2015. The climate and weather of Otago. NIWA Science and Technology Series 67, 44 pp.

NIWA's climatologies

A regional climatology is a summary of the typical weather and climate of a region, based on historical data observations made at climate stations located within the region. 

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Read more about NIWA's regional climatologies

Otago's regional climatology - The climate and weather of Otago