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Farewell Spit Water Temperature and Wetsuit Guide

(Nelson – West Coast, New Zealand)

Today's Farewell Spit sea temperature is 21.4 °C.

Statistics for 07 Feb (1981–2005) – mean: 18.6 °C, range: 16.9 °C to 20.1 °C

The water temperature (21 °C) at Farewell Spit is warm and the air temperature should feel similar (windchill forecast 19 °C). If the sun does come out as forecast, it should feel warm enough to surf in a shorty or a summer wetsuit.

New Zealand Sea Water Temperature

Map of current New Zealand
Surface Water Temperatures
based on measurements from oceanographic satellites
New Zealand Water Temperature Anomaly

Map of current New Zealand
Sea Water Temperature Anomalies

(compared with long term averages
at this time of year)

(click thumbnails to expand)

Below is a graph of Historical Sea Surface Temperature for Farewell Spit. This has been derived from analysis of two decades of oceanographic satellite measurements of nearby open water. We have calculated the average water temperature variation around the year as well as the extremes that have been observed on each date.

Farewell Spit Water Temperature Graph

All of the graphs for the surf breaks presented on are on the same scale to enable comparison between locations around the world.

Farewell Spit sea temperatures peak in the range 17 to 20°C (63 to 68°F) on around the 7th of February and are at their coldest on about the 21st of August, in the range 12 to 14°C (54 to 57°F). The highest Farewell Spit sea temperatures in the first part of February require something like a 3/2mm fully sealed wetsuit. The coldest sea temperatures at Farewell Spit in mid to late August are ideally suited to a 4/3mm wetsuit + 3mm boots, although a 5/3mm wetsuit may be preferable for longer sessions and cold windy days.

Actual sea surface water temperatures close to shore at Farewell Spit can vary by several degrees compared with these open water averages. This is especially true after heavy rain, close to river mouths or after long periods of strong offshore winds. Offshore winds cause colder deep water to replace surface water that has been warmed by the sun. Air temperature, wind-chill and sunshine should also be considered before deciding on the kind of wetsuit needed to stay warm when surfing at Farewell Spit. Refer to our detailed weather forecasts for this information.