Climate varies greatly north to south. Remember that range of latitude, then add variability for a narrow island nation. Summer in New Zealand is from November to April. At this time in the north North Island expect temperatures from 17 - 26 degrees with the probability of high humidity, almost tropical, which will make even 22 degrees feel very hot. With all that lush vegetation expect some rain, usually one day in seven. In the south of the North Island expect 14-25 degrees, but with less humidity. Moving down to the South Island we have two distinct climates. East of the Alps expect very low humidity and greater variability in temperature with 13-35 degrees and little chance of rain, about one day per month. West of the Alps it's rain forest country and this means it rains often and when it rains expect cooler weather 14 - 25 degrees. In all mountain areas, especially above 1000m, there's a possibility of cold wet conditions any time of year, even in summer down to freezing, less with wind chill and light snow can fall, even in summer!
Food and Wine
While New Zealand is undoubtedly well know for it's scenery it is now also rapidly gaining a reputation for fine food and wines. The combination great natural growing conditions and an influx of peoples and ideas from all over the world have created what many visitors are now saying is the freshest and tastiest food anywhere. The cities and tourist regions, even small towns now offer a startling variety of dining options. While hearty steaks used to dominate the thrust is now with a variety of international styles, Mediterranean food, salads and seafood, increasingly with a local twist. Match your food with the best white wines in the world and some startlingly good new reds, all at very reasonable prices.
Though there is plenty of fashion chic in the big cities New Zealanders tend to dress casually outside of work and always outdoors, at the beach or in the mountains. Shorts of all lengths are habitually worn in summer. Smart casual is the order in clubs and good restaurants after dusk. Kiwis seldom wear ties outside of the office.
Comfortable outdoor casuals are best.
Generally you will find most goods comparably priced, or even slightly cheaper in NZ, so no need to stock up on film, toiletries etc. The range is generally what you would expect at home.
There are very few dangers in the natural world, no snakes or seriously poisonous sea life. Shark attacks are extremely rare. There is one very rare moderately poisonous spider and the occasional irritating jellyfish. There are of course minor bugs, mosquitoes (non malarial) and sand flies in some areas. A good insect repellent does the job. Physical attacks on tourists are rare, but have occurred. Be aware, especially in the usual urban spots you would be cautious of at home. Theft of bags and from vehicles is however a lot more common. Keep valuables and passports to hand and don't leave tempting items in sight.
New Zealand drivers and roads are not all they could be and there are several points to note.
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