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New Zealand Seasons & Climate

New Zealand is an island in the South Pacific, with over 500 miles of ocean in every direction, resulting in a maritime climate with warm summer months (Dec-March) and mild winters (Jun-Aug). Weather patterns are strongly affected by the prevailing westerlies, which bring moisture from the Tasman Sea dropping it on the Western side of both Islands. Regional variations are considerable, with the North being subtropical and the South temperate. Mountain ranges running north to south, cast long rain shadows over the country, making the eastern side considerably drier than the wetter west coast.