Weather and Climate for Westport

Climate

The Buller/Northern West Coast area enjoys a temperate climate.   The endemic Nikau Palm is commonly seen from Punakaiki northwards, testament to the near sub-tropical botanical conditions.   In the winter, frosts are extremely rare and the sunshine hours average around 2000 per annum – comparing favourably with the main centres of New Zealand and some of the major cities of the world.

Rainfall

It is a well known fact that the West Coast experiences high rainfall due to the influences of the Tasman Sea and the Southern Alps on the climate.   The beautiful, lush rainforest would not exist without it – but don’t be put off!   Waterfalls abound on a wet day and there is a wild and spectacular beauty about the seascapes.   On a sunny day – and there are many more of these than wet ones – the vistas of mountains, rivers, lakes, rainforest and sea are magnificent.

Rainfall is lower (approximately 2000mm per annum) at the northern end of the Coast than areas further south and is most likely to be experienced in spring.   It tends to fall heavily in shorter bursts and it is not uncommon to have many days or even weeks of dry, sunny conditions.   In summer the gardens often need to be watered!

Average Temperature Range 

The temperature changes throughout the year are not extreme.   In summer, light clothing will suffice.   The winter is mild compared to other parts of the country, but be prepared with warm clothing nevertheless.

Summer (Dec-Feb) 12-25

Autumn (Mar-May) 9-17

Winter (Jun-Aug) 5-15

Spring (Sep-Nov) 9-17

(Temperatures in Celsius)