If you're keen to have a dry and sunny December 25, your best bet is to head to Wellington or Christchurch.

NIWA meterologist Ben Noll has compiled data from the last 30 Christmas Days, and found that the capital and the Garden City average just one wet December 25 every 7.5 years.

A day is deemed wet if more than 1mm of rain falls between 9am that day and 9am the next.

Wellington also has the longest streak without a wet Christmas Day out of the main centres, last experiencing rain in 2002.


In the last 30 years, rain has dampened Christmas Day in Auckland and Hamilton 11 times each, on eight occasions in Tauranga and just six times in Dunedin.

"This might come as a surprise to some people," Mr Noll said.

"There's a perception that Christmas in New Zealand is more often soggy than dry."

Looking further back, Christchurch has the dubious honour of experiencing the wettest December 25 on record for any main centre, when 59.7mm fell in 1909.

Auckland's wettest Christmas Day was in 1987, when 24.4mm of rain fell, while Tauranga had 47mm in 1926, Hamilton 37.8mm in 1968, Wellington 48.6mm in 1973 and Dunedin 33.3mm in 1969.

Noll said history is one thing, but no one can be certain what 2017 will bring.