Everything You Need to Know About the Samoa Time Zone
What is the time zone in Samoa? Well, if you have somehow missed the top widget in Google which tells you the current time in Samoa, then this guide will at least give you a little more depth into the time zone in Samoa!
All of the islands in Samoa (and that’s independent Samoa; not American Samoa) follow the same time zone, which is West Samoa Time (WST): an offset of UTC +13. There is no daylight savings time in Samoa. What it does have, however, is an interesting history of its time zone where the country “skipped” a day, amongst other things. More on that in the guide below!
When it is 9 am in Samoa, it is…
- 8 or 9 am in Auckland on the same day
- 6 or 7 am in Sydney on the same day
- 5 am in Tokyo on the same day
- 12 or 1 pm in Los Angeles the previous day
- 3 or 4 pm in New York the previous day
- 8 or 9 pm in London the previous day
- 9 or 10 pm in Frankfurt the previous day*
* Note that two possible times are displayed due to whether the destination is currently on daylight savings time or not.
And if you’re interested, check out the flight times between these destinations and Samoa in What are the Flight Times to Samoa?
Time Zone in Samoa
Samoa observes just one time zone, which is the following…
Time zone name: West Samoa Time
Time zone abbreviation: WST
Offset: UTC +13
Example city: Apia
Notes About the Time Zone in Samoa
All islands in Samoa (independent; not American Samoa) follow the same time zone.
There is no daylight saving time in Samoa; they follow West Samoa Time all year round.
Daylight Hours in Samoa
Samoa experiences long days all year round with only about a couple of hours of difference in daylight hours between summer and winter.
Sunrise and Sunset in Samoa
The sunrise in Samoa is usually around 6 am. The earliest the sun rises is in November at around 5:47 am and the latest the sun rises is usually at 6:50 am during July. Check out where to catch the sunrise in the 10 Best Places to Watch the Sunrise in Samoa.
The sunset in Samoa is around 6:30 pm. The earliest sunsets happen in June at around 6:08 pm and the latest sunsets occur in January at about 7:03 pm. Check out where to catch the sunrise in the 10 Best Places to Watch the Sunset in Samoa.
Learn more about the weather and climate in Samoa in our guide, Samoa Weather, Seasons & Climate.
Countries in the Same Time Zone as Samoa
No other countries follow West Samoa Time (WST) exactly. However, a limited few are in the same time zone at UTC +13 (i.e. when it’s 9 am in Samoa it’s 9 am on the same day in Tonga).
Other Countries in UTC +13
Fun Facts About the Samoa Time Zone
Out of all of the countries in the world, Samoa’s history of its time zone has been one of the most colourful.
Samoa: The First Country to See the New Day
Currently, Samoa is the first country to experience the new day thanks to its position closest to the west side of the International Date Line. With that, Samoa is also the first country to celebrate the New Year, which you can learn more about in How to Spend New Year’s Eve in Samoa. In contrast, Samoa’s closest neighbour, American Samoa, is one of the last countries to experience the new day despite being only around 70 km (43.5 mi) away.
Changing Time Zones in 2011
By the end of Thursday 29 December 2011, Samoa shifted time zones from east of the International Date Line to west, skipping Friday 30 December completely! The country went from being one of the last countries to celebrate the New Year to the first. The time zone was changed to bring it in line with its closest trading partners, New Zealand and Australia.
Scrapping Daylight Savings in Samoa
In 2021, the Samoan Government decided to no longer observe Samoa’s daylight savings. As a result, Samoa’s time zone stays the same all year round.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Samoa Time Zone
Finally, let’s take a look at some of the most frequent questions travellers have about the time zone in Samoa.
How Far Behind NZ is Samoa?
During New Zealand‘s daylight savings (late September to early April), New Zealand has the same time on the same day as Samoa. Outside of New Zealand’s daylight savings (early April to late September), New Zealand is one hour behind Samoa.
Why Did Samoa Skip a Day?
Samoa skipped a day in 2011 in order to change its time zone from UTC -11 to UTC +13. In other words, from being east of the International Date Line to the west.
Is Samoa the Earliest Time Zone?
Yes, Samoa and its time zone, WST, is the earliest time zone (or, at least, one of the few). Not only that, but Samoa is the closest country to the western side of the International Date Line making it the first country in the world to see the new day.
More About the Time in Samoa
That’s it for our complete guide on the Samoa time zone. For more time-related advice, check out the following guides:
- The Best Time to Visit Samoa: A Month-by-Month Guide
- Samoa Weather, Seasons & Climate + Samoa Weather by Month
- 10 Reasons to Travel in the Low Season in Samoa
And if you’re planning a trip to Samoa, don’t miss our Samoa Travel Tips: 30 Tips for Travelling in Samoa.