Story: Irrigation and drainage

New Zealand annual rainfall

New Zealand annual rainfall

New Zealand has a wide range of annual regional rainfalls. Most regions have an annual rainfall of 600–1,600 millimetres per year. Some areas, such as parts of Hawke’s Bay, coastal Canterbury and Central Otago, receive less than this. The south-west coast of the South Island, especially Fiordland, has mountains that trap rainfall from the westerly airstream, and receives 2,000–10,000 millimetres of rain per year. Only the highest mountain areas of the North Island receive a similar amount of rainfall. The highest recorded annual rainfall was over 18,000 millimetres, measured at Cropp River, in the Hokitika catchment on the West Coast.

Using this item

NIWA – National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Terry Heiler, 'Irrigation and drainage - Regional characteristics', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 16 July 2024)

Story by Terry Heiler, published 24 Nov 2008