April 12, 2021
One thing that we have observed in the 11 years we have spent living in Oamaru is that people, especially visitors from the North Island, often expect our weather to be much worse than it actually is. Yes, Oamaru is in the southern half of the South Island of New Zealand, and is one of the world’s most southerly large population centres (according to Wikipedia, Oamaru is the 44th most southerly settlement with a population greater than 1000 in the world!). However, our proximity to the ocean and the fact that the town is surrounded on three sides by hills, means that we enjoy a microclimate that makes us warmer on average than Christchurch, and often causes us to have the warmest temperatures in New Zealand on many occasions. In all the time we have been here, we have had snow only twice, and it never lasts more than a few hours before melting away.
We often compare the weather here to San Francisco’s (about which Mark Twain never actually said “the coldest winter I ever spent was summer in San Francisco”). We find it’s rarely all that hot, and it’s rarely all that cold, and it’s usually just right. We normally don’t get all that much rain, either (we’re in the rain shadow of the Kakanui Mountains to our west) so until irrigation came along, the region was challenging for agriculture.
A guest once told us, though, that as a retired New Zealand meteorologist, his least favourite part of the country to predict the weather for was here, since the combination of those mountains, the sea and the latitude make the weather extremely changeable.
If you would like to track our weather, we have made it easy through the installation of our own personal weather station which you can observe online. Just click here and you can see our current conditions and the forecast for the coming week. And don’t forget, with insulation and modern central heating throughout the house, air conditioning in all our guest rooms, and fire places in the Dining Room, Drawing Room and Billiards Room, your comfort while staying with us is guaranteed, regardless of what it’s doing outside!