Auckland sits in the northern half of New Zealand's North Island, sandwiched between the Hauraki Gulf to the east and the Tasman Sea to the west. As such, the city has an oceanic climate, with warm, humid summers and mild, damp winters. Annual precipitation is pretty high, with Auckland recording an average of more than 120 rainy days each year. Snowfall, however, is rare, even though the wettest months of the year occur during Auckland's winter, in June and July. Winter temperatures hover in the mid-40s to low 50s. Shoulder seasons fall in April and November, though deals and availability in April can be hit or miss depending on the timing of annual Easter school vacations.
Things warm up a bit in the summer, but it never gets all that hot in Auckland. In the height of New Zealand's summer season, in January, average highs hit the 70s. Summertime is also the country's high tourist season, which generally spans from about late November to early April. Nicknamed the “City of Sails,” Auckland’s proximity to pristine beaches, outlying islands, and coastal rainforests makes it an ideal summer gateway.
As a sports-mad nation, Auckland hosts plenty of primo sporting events throughout the year, from summer sailing regattas to horse racing’s Auckland Cup in March to seasonal cricket and rugby games at the city’s famous Eden Park stadium. Cultural events that celebrate New Zealand’s Maori and Polynesian heritage include February’s huge Te Matatini Maori Performing Arts Festival, a gathering of more than 1,000 performers competing for prizes in events like the haka, a traditional Maori war dance.