Whakatāne – sunnier and (still) sunniest
Whakatāne has easily retained its title as New Zealand’s sunniest spot, recording close to 2,800 hours of sunshine in 2013.
The Eastern Bay of Plenty suntrap was 190 hours ahead of its 2012 total and has now been the national ‘sunshine capital’ in three of the last four years. “That’s an average of more than 7.5 hours of sunshine a day,” says Whakatāne Mayor Tony Bonne. “With all due respect to the other centres vying for top spot, that means Whakatāne was more than an average sunshine fortnight ahead of the next sunniest location, New Plymouth, and more than a month ahead of Tauranga, Gisborne and Nelson.”
Mr Bonne says the message is clear for anyone seeking a great outdoor lifestyle, or to enjoy some sunbathing on their holidays. “Come to Whakatāne – we’ll make you welcome and the chances are the sun will be shining. While you’re here, take a trip to White Island, the country’s only continually active volcano, or just relax on Ōhope Beach – voted New Zealand’s best in an on-line poll last year.”
Sunshine hour totals are derived from the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research database, which placed Whakatāne first with 2,792 hours, followed by New Plymouth (2,668 hours), Gisborne (2,483 hours), Lake Tekapo (2,482 hours) and Nelson (2,411 hours). Tauranga and Napier may yet make it into the top five – both centres’ December readings have yet to be included in the NIWA database, but both were well behind Whakatāne at the end of November (247 and 380 hours behind respectively).