Wellington was the brightest big city in the country last month and also had its sunniest February on record.
Niwa's climate summary for the month shows the capital was the sunniest with 281 sunshine hours, but also the wettest - while most of the country was experiencing drier than normal conditions, Wellington got near average rainfall.
It is Wellington's sunniest February since records began in 1928.
Auckland was the warmest centre, Dunedin the coolest, and Christchurch the driest.
The golden summer has been buoyed along by long spells of unbroken highs, which created a super sunny month across the country.
Sunshine totals were way above the norm at 125 per cent of the February average across most of the North Island south of the Bombay Hills, and on the South Island's West Coast, the Southern Alps, as well as north Canterbury and the Kaikoura coast.
The summary also showed ''widespread dryness'' with the scorching sunshine bringing record low rain in parts of Northland, Auckland, and the Bay of Plenty.
Last week the government announced a relief package for farmers when drought was declared in Northland.
Parts of Gisborne, Hawkes Bay and Taupo had under a quarter of normal February rainfall with less than half of normal rainfall in most other regions.
The soil was also parched with extreme moisture deficits in Northland, Auckland, Waikato, the Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, Hawkes Bay, Wairarapa, between Wanganui and Palmerston North, parts of Marlborough, Canterbury, and Central Otago.
February 2013 was characterised by slow-moving highs across the country that kept rain-bearing weather systems away.
In most places afternoon temperatures were typically well above average, but morning temperatures were below due to the clear skies and light winds associated with the highs.
• The highest temperature was 34.6C, recorded at Alexandra on 1 February.
• The lowest temperature was -1.1C, observed at Mount Ruapehu on 6 February.
• The sunniest four centres so far for January and February are New Plymouth (634 hours), Whakatane (608 hours), Lake Tekapo (606 hours) and Tauranga (575 hours).
- © Fairfax NZ News
Do you always wear a helmet while cycling?Related story: Cyclists creative on cycle helmet waivers