At latitude 47 degrees south (the "Roaring Forties") Stewart Island weather is often unpredictable. In fact, Rakiura/Stewart Island is renowned for experiencing 'four seasons in one day". The climate is temperate with summer temperatures climbing to the mid-20's. Sunshine hours are equal to the national average.
High rainfall and relatively warm weather makes for dense forestation right across the island. Rakiura/Stewart Island has vast diverse forests and they are known as cool temperature rainforests.
Evidence collected from pollen, leaf and seed fossils suggest this type of forest could be at least 100 million years old. The island's vegetation is classed in several zones - conifer/broadleaf forest, coast vegetation, wetlands, alpine shrublands and sand dunes.
Rakiura/Stewart Island is a high rainfall area, between 1,000mm to 3,000mm per annum depending on elevation and aspect, but without rain, there’s no rainforest!