Climate and Average Weather Year Round in Wanaka New Zealand
In Wanaka, the summers are comfortable, the winters are very cold, and it is wet and partly cloudy year round. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 34°F to 70°F and is rarely below 27°F or above 77°F.
Based on the tourism score, the best time of year to visit Wanaka for warm-weather activities is from mid January to late February.
Climate in Wanaka
The warm season lasts for 3.3 months, from December 6 to March 17, with an average daily high temperature above 65°F. The hottest month of the year in Wanaka is February, with an average high of 69°F and low of 51°F.
The cool season lasts for 3.0 months, from May 26 to August 25, with an average daily high temperature below 49°F. The coldest month of the year in Wanaka is July, with an average low of 35°F and high of 45°F.
Average High and Low Temperature in Wanaka
The figure below shows you a compact characterization of the entire year of hourly average temperatures. The horizontal axis is the day of the year, the vertical axis is the hour of the day, and the color is the average temperature for that hour and day.
Average Hourly Temperature in Wanaka
frigid 15°F freezing 32°F very cold 45°F cold 55°F cool 65°F comfortable 75°F warm 85°F hot 95°F sweltering
Forks, Washington, United States (7,567 miles away); La Junta, Chile (5,245 miles); and Birmingham, United Kingdom (11,775 miles) are the far-away foreign places with temperatures most similar to Wanaka (view comparison).
In Wanaka, the average percentage of the sky covered by clouds experiences mild seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The clearer part of the year in Wanaka begins around August 30 and lasts for 7.2 months, ending around April 7.
The clearest month of the year in Wanaka is February, during which on average the sky is clear, mostly clear, or partly cloudy 54% of the time.
The cloudier part of the year begins around April 7 and lasts for 4.7 months, ending around August 30.
The cloudiest month of the year in Wanaka is May, during which on average the sky is overcast or mostly cloudy 58% of the time.
Cloud Cover Categories in Wanaka
0% clear 20% mostly clear 40% partly cloudy 60% mostly cloudy 80% overcast 100%
A wet day is one with at least 0.04 inches of liquid or liquid-equivalent precipitation. The chance of wet days in Wanaka varies throughout the year.
The wetter season lasts 9.4 months, from September 14 to June 26, with a greater than 37% chance of a given day being a wet day. The month with the most wet days in Wanaka is October, with an average of 12.9 days with at least 0.04 inches of precipitation.
The drier season lasts 2.6 months, from June 26 to September 14. The month with the fewest wet days in Wanaka is February, with an average of 9.2 days with at least 0.04 inches of precipitation.
Among wet days, we distinguish between those that experience rain alone, snow alone, or a mixture of the two. The month with the most days of rain alone in Wanaka is October, with an average of 12.9 days. Based on this categorization, the most common form of precipitation throughout the year is rain alone, with a peak probability of 44% on October 7.
Daily Chance of Precipitation in Wanaka
To show variation within the months and not just the monthly totals, we show the rainfall accumulated over a sliding 31-day period centered around each day of the year. Wanaka experiences some seasonal variation in monthly rainfall.
Rain falls throughout the year in Wanaka. The month with the most rain in Wanaka is December, with an average rainfall of 5.1 inches.
The month with the least rain in Wanaka is July, with an average rainfall of 3.4 inches.
Average Monthly Rainfall in Wanaka
The length of the day in Wanaka varies significantly over the course of the year. In 2023, the shortest day is June 22, with 8 hours, 48 minutes of daylight; the longest day is December 22, with 15 hours, 35 minutes of daylight.
Hours of Daylight and Twilight in Wanaka
The earliest sunrise is at 5:51 AM on December 11, and the latest sunrise is 2 hours, 30 minutes later at 8:21 AM on June 27. The earliest sunset is at 5:08 PM on June 15, and the latest sunset is 4 hours, 23 minutes later at 9:31 PM on January 2.
Daylight saving time (DST) is observed in Wanaka during 2023, starting in the spring on September 24 and ending in the fall on April 2.
Sunrise & Sunset with Twilight and Daylight Saving Time in Wanaka
The figure below presents a compact representation of the sun's elevation (the angle of the sun above the horizon) and azimuth (its compass bearing) for every hour of every day in the reporting period. The horizontal axis is the day of the year and the vertical axis is the hour of the day. For a given day and hour of that day, the background color indicates the azimuth of the sun at that moment. The black isolines are contours of constant solar elevation.
Solar Elevation and Azimuth in Wanaka
The figure below presents a compact representation of key lunar data for 2023. The horizontal axis is the day, the vertical axis is the hour of the day, and the colored areas indicate when the moon is above the horizon. The vertical gray bars (new Moons) and blue bars (full Moons) indicate key Moon phases.
Moon Rise, Set & Phases in Wanaka
We base the humidity comfort level on the dew point, as it determines whether perspiration will evaporate from the skin, thereby cooling the body. Lower dew points feel drier and higher dew points feel more humid. Unlike temperature, which typically varies significantly between night and day, dew point tends to change more slowly, so while the temperature may drop at night, a muggy day is typically followed by a muggy night.
The perceived humidity level in Wanaka, as measured by the percentage of time in which the humidity comfort level is muggy, oppressive, or miserable, does not vary significantly over the course of the year, remaining a virtually constant 0% throughout.
Humidity Comfort Levels in Wanaka
dry 55°F comfortable 60°F humid 65°F muggy 70°F oppressive 75°F miserable
This section discusses the wide-area hourly average wind vector (speed and direction) at 10 meters above the ground. The wind experienced at any given location is highly dependent on local topography and other factors, and instantaneous wind speed and direction vary more widely than hourly averages.
The average hourly wind speed in Wanaka experiences significant seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The windier part of the year lasts for 6.7 months, from September 5 to March 27, with average wind speeds of more than 7.3 miles per hour. The windiest month of the year in Wanaka is October, with an average hourly wind speed of 8.7 miles per hour.
The calmer time of year lasts for 5.3 months, from March 27 to September 5. The calmest month of the year in Wanaka is July, with an average hourly wind speed of 6.0 miles per hour.
Average Wind Speed in Wanaka
The predominant average hourly wind direction in Wanaka varies throughout the year.
The wind is most often from the west for 1.1 months, from May 13 to June 16 and for 1.5 months, from October 20 to December 3, with a peak percentage of 41% on November 14. The wind is most often from the north for 4.1 months, from June 16 to October 20 and for 5.3 months, from December 3 to May 13, with a peak percentage of 41% on September 16.
Wind Direction in Wanaka
To characterize how pleasant the weather is in Wanaka throughout the year, we compute two travel scores.
The tourism score favors clear, rainless days with perceived temperatures between 65°F and 80°F. Based on this score, the best time of year to visit Wanaka for general outdoor tourist activities is from mid January to late February, with a peak score in the first week of February.
Tourism Score in Wanaka
The beach/pool score favors clear, rainless days with perceived temperatures between 75°F and 90°F. Based on this score, the best time of year to visit Wanaka for hot-weather activities is from mid January to mid February, with a peak score in the first week of February.
Beach/Pool Score in Wanaka
For each hour between 8:00 AM and 9:00 PM of each day in the analysis period (1980 to 2016), independent scores are computed for perceived temperature, cloud cover, and total precipitation. Those scores are combined into a single hourly composite score, which is then aggregated into days, averaged over all the years in the analysis period, and smoothed.
Our cloud cover score is 10 for fully clear skies, falling linearly to 9 for mostly clear skies, and to 1 for fully overcast skies.
Our precipitation score, which is based on the three-hour precipitation centered on the hour in question, is 10 for no precipitation, falling linearly to 9 for trace precipitation, and to 0 for 0.04 inches of precipitation or more.
Our tourism temperature score is 0 for perceived temperatures below 50°F, rising linearly to 9 for 65°F, to 10 for 75°F, falling linearly to 9 for 80°F, and to 1 for 90°F or hotter.
Our beach/pool temperature score is 0 for perceived temperatures below 65°F, rising linearly to 9 for 75°F, to 10 for 82°F, falling linearly to 9 for 90°F, and to 1 for 100°F or hotter.
Definitions of the growing season vary throughout the world, but for the purposes of this report, we define it as the longest continuous period of non-freezing temperatures (≥ 32°F) in the year (the calendar year in the Northern Hemisphere, or from July 1 until June 30 in the Southern Hemisphere).
The growing season in Wanaka typically lasts for 8.7 months (265 days), from around September 10 to around June 1, rarely starting before August 10 or after October 16, and rarely ending before May 1 or after June 28.
Time Spent in Various Temperature Bands and the Growing Season in Wanaka
frigid 15°F freezing 32°F very cold 45°F cold 55°F cool 65°F comfortable 75°F warm 85°F hot 95°F sweltering
Growing degree days are a measure of yearly heat accumulation used to predict plant and animal development, and defined as the integral of warmth above a base temperature, discarding any excess above a maximum temperature. In this report, we use a base of 50°F and a cap of 86°F.
Based on growing degree days alone, the first spring blooms in Wanaka should appear around October 27, only rarely appearing before October 15 or after November 8.
Growing Degree Days in Wanaka
This section discusses the total daily incident shortwave solar energy reaching the surface of the ground over a wide area, taking full account of seasonal variations in the length of the day, the elevation of the Sun above the horizon, and absorption by clouds and other atmospheric constituents. Shortwave radiation includes visible light and ultraviolet radiation.
The average daily incident shortwave solar energy experiences extreme seasonal variation over the course of the year.
The brighter period of the year lasts for 3.6 months, from October 31 to February 16, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter above 6.1 kWh. The brightest month of the year in Wanaka is December, with an average of 7.2 kWh.
The darker period of the year lasts for 3.8 months, from April 26 to August 19, with an average daily incident shortwave energy per square meter below 2.5 kWh. The darkest month of the year in Wanaka is June, with an average of 1.3 kWh.
Average Daily Incident Shortwave Solar Energy in Wanaka
For the purposes of this report, the geographical coordinates of Wanaka are -44.700 deg latitude, 169.150 deg longitude, and 1,066 ft elevation.
The topography within 2 miles of Wanaka contains very significant variations in elevation, with a maximum elevation change of 837 feet and an average elevation above sea level of 1,078 feet. Within 10 miles contains very significant variations in elevation (5,115 feet). Within 50 miles also contains extreme variations in elevation (9,882 feet).
The area within 2 miles of Wanaka is covered by grassland (58%) and trees (19%), within 10 miles by grassland (61%) and trees (17%), and within 50 miles by grassland (63%) and trees (22%).
This report illustrates the typical weather in Wanaka, based on a statistical analysis of historical hourly weather reports and model reconstructions from January 1, 1980 to December 31, 2016.
Wanaka is further than 200 kilometers from the nearest reliable weather station, so the weather-related data on this page were taken entirely from NASA's MERRA-2 satellite-era reanalysis . This reanalysis combines a variety of wide-area measurements in a state-of-the-art global meteorological model to reconstruct the hourly history of weather throughout the world on a 50-kilometer grid.
The temperature and dew point estimates are corrected for the difference between the reference elevation of the MERRA-2 grid cell and the elevation of Wanaka, according to the International Standard Atmosphere .
All data relating to the Sun's position (e.g., sunrise and sunset) are computed using astronomical formulas from the book, Astronomical Algorithms 2nd Edition , by Jean Meeus.
Land Use data comes from the Global Land Cover SHARE database , published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Elevation data comes from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) , published by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Names, locations, and time zones of places and some airports come from the GeoNames Geographical Database .
Time zones for airports and weather stations are provided by AskGeo.com .
Maps are © OpenStreetMap contributors.
The information on this site is provided as is, without any assurances as to its accuracy or suitability for any purpose. Weather data is prone to errors, outages, and other defects. We assume no responsibility for any decisions made on the basis of the content presented on this site.
We draw particular cautious attention to our reliance on the MERRA-2 model-based reconstructions for a number of important data series. While having the tremendous advantages of temporal and spatial completeness, these reconstructions: (1) are based on computer models that may have model-based errors, (2) are coarsely sampled on a 50 km grid and are therefore unable to reconstruct the local variations of many microclimates, and (3) have particular difficulty with the weather in some coastal areas, especially small islands.
We further caution that our travel scores are only as good as the data that underpin them, that weather conditions at any given location and time are unpredictable and variable, and that the definition of the scores reflects a particular set of preferences that may not agree with those of any particular reader.
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