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Golden Bay New Zealand- Takaka

Paines Ford Station




Golden Bay weather and climate

Golden Bay's weather is best described as moderate. The Bay is a valley at the top end of the South Island's Alpine range. Its hilly landscape and mountainous surroundings make for many micro climates to exist within the Bay. Every month the weekly local newspaper the GB Weekly produces the rainfall figures for the month and the differences throughout the Bay region are quite amazing. The Paines Ford area, about 3 kms from the Takaka township, is mostly somewhere in the middle of the extremes of the weather data in Golden Bay.

Temperatures range from low 30's degrC in summer to minus 2-3 degrC in winter at night. But mostly temperatures will be between 20-30 degrC in summer, just right for a swim in the sea or closer by in the Paines Ford swimming hole (Takaka river, number #2 hole, aka Willie's hole) and cold nights in winter normally bring lovely clear and crisp winter days with temperatures of 11-15 degrC and sometimes even higher.

There aren't many extended periods of gloomy/overcast days, in general it will be mostly clear/clear or it will be raining. Rainfall is typically more than say in the Motueka/Nelson region, not so much because it rains for longer periods of time, but more so due to heavier rain rates. It can really bucket down in the Bay, especially in the winter and spring period, but normally not for more than 2 or 3 days at the most.

Because of the north-south orientation of the valley, winds are predominantly from the north or from the south at Paines Ford. The northerlies are generally warmer and more humid and always carry the potential for rain, especially outside the summer months. This happens most with a low pressure area to the west of Golden Bay. The alternative scenario is a high pressure area to the west of the South Island causing a southerly from the antarctic regions (sometimes enforced by a low, east of the Island). These winds are much drier and can bring cold weather especially at nights in the winter.

The Bay's coastal position causes sea breezes, especially noticeable in summer with a wind shift from north to south later in the afternoon. This gives a cool down effect in the evenings, on the whole there aren't a lot of real hot balmy summer evenings in the Bay, cooling down as soon as the sun sets. In winter watch how the southerly will turn into a northerly breeze when the sun gets higher and back to a southerly again by the end of the afternoon.

Overall the weather in Golden Bay/Paines Ford is very pleasant, for people who live here or come here for their holidays. The most settled months are February and March, however summery weather may start at the beginning of December and will become more frequent in January, which can be hot. April and May can still have lots of lovely days, but in May winter around the corner can be felt. Winter months are generally not too wild apart from some northerly rain storms and some cold nights. The mountain ranges will carry some snow at the tops and the only access road into the Bay on the Takaka Hill sometimes gets closed for short periods due to snow. Unsettled and windy weather with periods of heavy rain start in September and can last to late December, but on a clear day summer temperatures will be reached quickly at that time of the year also. In this period UV radiation normally starts to intensify dramatically, so take care when out in the sun for too long (which isn't really all that long for fair skinned people), especially people from overseas may not always realise that the cleaner New Zealand air also allows a lot more UV radiation to pass through.



©2021 -  René van Sint Annaland



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