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NZ -Foreign queries about our country

We’ve received a couple of queries recently from overseas readers about our climate and we’re wondering if you could help?

One is quite specific but the other is a little open ended…Feel free to give your comments and there doesn’t really appear to be a right or wrong answer.

The first one comes from Kate in Singapore…
My partner and I are coming to Auckland and Queenstown next year but are wondering what will the weather be like in September/October or will it be a lucky dip?

The other is pointed towards Christchurch…

I’ve been reading about how bad the smog in Christchurch is in the winter, but I’d like to get an idea of just how bad it is. Living in Southern California, I think just about anywhere else would be an improvement.
I’ll be going to Christchurch for a holiday in January next year so I won’t be able to see it for myself.
Is it more of a visual thing, or can you feel it in your lungs? Are certain areas less smoggy than others?
I do a lot of mountain biking, and I’d like to get as much untainted oxygen in me as possible….

We’d like your assistance if possible and feel free to drop one below.




sw on 11/05/2013 4:35am

For singaporians,it be miserable and cold as far as weather is concerned,especially in spring as for Christchurch in january,it probably be quite similar weatherwise as California.

Leighton on 11/05/2013 1:10am

Having lived all my life (24 years) in Christchurch, I can tell you that smog in Christchurch is certainly not an issue. It is not something that I have ever associated with Christchurch. Every blue moon you may get the odd bad day (more so on still low cloud days) however this very rarely happens at all. I know last Winter just been there was one bad day (one of the worst I can remember in recent times) but I didnt consider to wear a mask or anything.

Where did you hear about the smog issue in Chistchurch? I hope it isn’t an international writer getting fog/low cloud mixed up with smog. Here in Christchurch we can have days with low cloud in winter that hides the hills but its certainly nothing to do with pollution.

You choose a good time to come to Christchurch in January. Jan and Feb are often our best and warmest months (Feb esp). Depending on the current weather patterns, it wouldnt be a surprise to have 4-5 days in a row around or over 30 degrees if we have a NW windflow. January often has very little rainfall also by comparison. There will be days a tad cool with the NE freshening of the sea also.

In conclusion, in my opinion you would have no issue with your mountain biking and you wouldnt have to wear a mask or anything. The odd isolated area of Christchurch might be a little higher in pollution levels from time to time but nothing significant.

Mark Darbyshire on 11/05/2013 1:00am

I’ve lived in Christchurch for 5 years and never noticed any smog. Nowadays fires have to be very clean-burning and lots of people use heat pumps, so I don’t think smog is a problem any more. Incidentally, I remember noticing lots of smog in Rotorua 6 or more years ago, so I’m not completely oblivious to this sort of thing.

Connie (Auckland) on 11/05/2013 12:31am

It’ll be a bit wet in spring, getting warmer, though the air will still be crisp in the mornings and a walk then will be lovely amidst spring flowers. The Singaporeans may enjoy that for a change compared to their hot humid weather. Also a drive around Queenstown area in Spring will be beautiful too, I think.

Randy on 10/05/2013 11:28pm

I’m thinking summer would be a better time if you can and Christchurch smog wasn’t bad when I was there. Timaru was worse!

Guest on 10/05/2013 11:25pm


The Singaporeans will miss all the fun if they don’t come to Nelson. Sun, sand and neary surf lol


Guest on 10/05/2013 11:22pm

Hi Guys

Hope you enjoy your time in NZ

Queenstown rocks and is great at that time of the year and make sure you hop in a chopper if you can 🙂

Christchurch is ok but will be better after the rebuild finishes I think.


Guest on 10/05/2013 11:21pm

As far as Sept goes in Auckland it’s wet and not that pleasant in Spring.

Chch is better now since the quakes and no real need to worry for anyone. just a little cool.
Cheers Josh

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