New Zealand has mild temperatures, moderately high rainfall, and many hours of sunshine throughout most of the country.

The climate is complex, in many cases due to mountains, and varies from warm subtropical in the far north to cool temperate climates in the far south, with severe alpine conditions in the mountainous areas.

Mountain chains extending the length of New Zealand provide a barrier for the prevailing westerly winds that pick up moisture from the Tasman Sea, dividing the country into dramatically different climate regions.

For example the West Coast of the South Island is the wettest area of New Zealand, whereas the area to the east of the mountains, just over 100 km away, is the driest.

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