Whakatane has done it again.

The town has easily retained its title as New Zealand's sunniest spot, recording close to 2800 hours of sunshine in 2013.

Eastern Bay of Plenty's 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,"Whakatane Mayor Tony Bonne said.

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"With all due respect to the other centres vying for top spot, that means Whakatane 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 said the message is clear for anyone seeking a great outdoor lifestyle, or to enjoy some sunbathing on their holidays.

"Come to Whakatane -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 Ohope Beach - voted New Zealand's best in an online poll last year."

Sunshine hour totals are derived from the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research database, which placed Whakatane first with 2792 hours, followed by New Plymouth (2668 hours), Gisborne (2483 hours), Lake Tekapo (2482 hours) and Nelson (2411 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 Whakatane at the end of November (247 and 380 hours behind respectively).