New Zealand

What is the sunniest town in New Zealand?


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2010-01-07 03:23:11
2010-01-07 03:23:11

Based on the number of hours of sun recorded, in more recent years the title of "New Zealand's Sunniest Town" has gone to both Blenheim and Nelson. Historically, Nelson has more often been the "Sunniest". (The distance between the two towns is about 72 miles by road, East-West, over hilly terrain, but only about 45 miles "as the crow flies").

And for 2009 Nelson is again considered the sunniest by NIWA ("National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research") which is New Zealand's "Crown owned research and consultancy company".

Regarding 2009, according to the New Zealand Herald, "The city clocked up 2571 hours, 31 hours ahead of Tauranga's 2540, according to Niwa's provisional figures. 2008 winner Blenheim came in third with 2466 hours, but the figure for September 21 was missing because of an instrument problem."


For the 2008 calender year, NIWA states at their official website:

"The sunniest centre in 2008 was Blenheim, recording 2505 hours, followed by Nelson with 2472 hours, then Lake Tekapo with 2444 hours"


For the 2007 year, NIWA reports:

"Blenheim was the sunniest centre in 2007, recording 2567 hours, followed by Lake Tekapo with 2554 hours, and then Whakatane with 2551 hours." (Nelson is not mentioned however).


Regarding 2008, according to, which ranks the sunniest places in New Zealand, the sunniest was Blenheim, followed closely by Nelson. Both are at the Northern tip of South Island, in the Marlborough region. Napier, a larger city on the coast of North Island southeast of Taupo, was ranked fourth, after Tauranga, third, which is further north, also on the East coast of North Island.

Note, NIWA reported for 2006 that "Nelson was the sunniest centre in 2006, recording 2580 hours, followed by Blenheim with 2528 hours, and Tauranga with 2507 hours."


And for 2005? "Nelson was the sunniest centre in 2005, recording 2571 hours, followed by Tauranga with 2495 hours, then Blenheim with 2466 hours." A substantial difference between Nelson and Blenheim of 105 hours! (2004 had a difference of 64 hours).



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