New Zealand in November: November falls in the middle of the spring season in New Zealand and signifies warm and pleasant weather across the country. With November approaching, spring enters its final month and the warm summer months arrive. November also marks the last month of the shoulder tourist season, and international tourism kicks in as tourists from all over the world seek to escape the winter chill and head to New Zealand’s Summer Christmas.
While there is no question of rainfall on any of New Zealand’s islands, November is particularly dry compared to other months and would be the best time to go for leisurely sightseeing in places before the summer crowds arrive. By the time around November, all ski slopes on both islands would have been closed for the season, so summer is well and truly on its way.
Weather in New Zealand in November
The winter chill has come to a close, glaciers have begun to melt into rivers, and average temperatures have begun to rise from the high teens to early twenties. Summer is on its way and the excitement is almost evident.
- The North Island of New Zealand begins the warm season with daytime highs of 22°C and lows of 8°C.
- While rainfall may be less frequent during November than in other months on the North Island, the high humidity in Northland and the surrounding areas of Auckland ensures that a chance of a rainy day is never out of the question.
- The South Island has a slightly cooler climate with temperatures approaching 20 °C and dropping to as low as 5 °C. The relative lack of moisture also means that the South Island sees far less rainfall than its more northern sibling.
- The weather also makes it great for engaging in more summer-focused adventure sports like white water rafting and bungee jumping. White water rafting becomes especially enjoyable as the rivers fill with meltwater from glaciers over the past two months, producing foamy and exciting water!
- Springtime is also the ideal time to see the famous lavender lupine in bloom.
Where to Go New Zealand in November
Nice weather and rising temperatures across the country make it ideal for indulging in summer activities, even though it’s still technically springtime. The lack of dreaded summer crowds and almost perfect weather make November a great time to visit any part of New Zealand.
- For travelers who are looking for a warm and subtropical climate, Northland in the North Island and the surrounding areas of Auckland make for ideal spring vacation destinations. The waters around the North Island can be cooler than land temperatures even after the long winter months, but especially on hot days, the waters must be perfect for taking a dip in!
- Beaches on the east coast of the country are generally better suited for swimming because the beaches on the west coast have strong currents that make swimming difficult and dangerous.
- The Bay of Islands is also a huge favorite among locals to visit, and for good reason. The stunning golden beaches of the Bay of Islands, with their great restaurant and cafe culture, are the place to go when the weather is great!
- New Zealand’s ‘sunniest city’ Nelson is also a favorite among those who want to take advantage of the good weather. Nelson, along with the rest of the ‘Top of the South regions, makes a great destination for springtime.
- Spectacular beaches, majestic mountains, the stunning Marlborough Sounds, and the diverse landscape comprising Nelson Lakes and Abel Tasman National Park are all within an hour’s drive from Nelson. Low-altitude treks and tramps, including New Zealand’s Great Walk, are the perfect activities to do when the sun is out and the weather is great.
- Despite occasional rain showers, road conditions will be almost ideal for driving. The mountain passes around the South Island will offer spectacular views of the Southern Alps, and November is as good a time as any to go on such trips.
- Lake Tekapo becomes a favorite weekend destination for domestic travelers in the months of November. The region’s famous purple lupine is in full bloom during this time around Lake Tekapo and the Canterbury area and they only bloom for a short time so be sure to check it out to get that perfect Instagrammable moment!
Events in New Zealand in November
With warmer weather comes more festivals across the country and regional festivals that showcase their unique and locally sourced and grown products become a specialty.
- The Toast Martinborough Festival has become the perfect stage to showcase the beautiful wines and food products of Martinborough, the famous wine-producing city on the North Island. November is also notable for being the start of the lambing season in New Zealand, a country with a 10:1 ratio of sheep numbers.
- Agricultural fairs, similar to state fairs in the United States, take place regularly across the country and the Canterbury Agricultural Show in Christchurch is the largest of its kind. Complete with carnival rides, live music shows, and the New Zealand Cup, the country’s oldest breed race, the Canterbury Agricultural Show is one of the region’s most anticipated events.
- Hawke’s Bay also gets drenched in the sun during this time of the year and the region becomes one of the most stunning parts of the country during November. The region also plays host to the Hawke Bay Food and Wine Classic, one of the most important food and wine festivals in the country.
- One of the most anticipated culinary performances of the year, the Hawke’s Bay Food & Wine Classic is a celebration of all things food and wine around the Hawke’s Bay area. Located in various gorgeous locations around Napier, Hastings, and other Hawke’s Bay towns, this biennial event has become a hallmark of the thriving culinary scene in New Zealand.
What to Pack for New Zealand in November
November has some of the best weather of the year and travelers can just relax with T-shirts and summer wear for the duration of their stay. However, knowing how fickle kiwi weather can be, it would be wise to pack some waterproof hoodies or raincoats.
- There’s still a lot of cold weather and cold winds early in the month, so it’s essential to pack warm, waterproof, and protective clothing as an important part of your luggage.
- Woolen beanies, socks, and sweaters will be appreciated, especially during the cold winter nights on the South Island.
- While November receives far less rainfall than the rest of the year, the unpredictable rainfall patterns across the country ensure that carrying a raincoat will always be recommended, no matter what time of year it is.
- The ozone layer above the atmosphere in New Zealand is particularly thin and results in high levels of UV radiation from sunlight, so it is imperative that people use strong (SPF 30+) sunscreen, even on cloudy days. Skin will burn more quickly here than in other parts of the world and New Zealand also has one of the highest rates of skin cancer from sunlight irradiation in the world, so it is important to apply sunscreen liberally!
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Frequently Asked Questions About New Zealand
Q. Is New Zealand friendly to foreigners?
A – Like many other countries, New Zealand bears traces of colonization with a society made up almost entirely of immigrants. However, kiwis do not delve into the past. They are open-minded, friendly, and welcoming to other nationalities and cultures.
Q. Is New Zealand a good place to live?
A – Yes it is! If you are looking for a safe and stable place, New Zealand is the place to go. It is consistently rated as one of the safest countries in the world with a very low crime rate.
Q. Is New Zealand in Europe or Asia?
A – Australia and New Zealand are part of the continent of Oceania and are on separate tectonic plates from Asia. So when people talk about both countries, they might not think of them as part of Asia. But they are an integral part of the Asia-Pacific region, also known as the Apac.
Q. Can I move to New Zealand without a job?
A – Most individuals looking for a long-term stay will need an NZ job offer. Whether to apply for a work visa or a residence visa under the Skilled Migrant Policy, most expatriates are required to obtain an offer of skilled employment in New Zealand.
Q. What is the best time of year to visit New Zealand?
A – The best time to visit New Zealand is during the summer months of December to March. Expect long, bright, sunny days and temperatures between 61°F and 75°F. It is an ideal time to visit the beautiful beaches or enjoy the many outdoor activities available like hiking and mountain biking.
Q. How many days do I need in New Zealand?
A – The short answer is 14 days as the minimum time frame to visit both the North Island and South Island of New Zealand. This is about a week’s travel time to both the islands and is enough for any visitor to experience the best of the country.
Q. What is the cheapest time to go to New Zealand?
A – The low season (June-October) is the cheapest time to visit, although prices tend to be higher in resort towns with ski areas. Some attractions in other areas will be closed, although most major attractions are open year-round.
Q. What is the coldest month in New Zealand?
A – The coldest month is usually July and the warmest month is usually January or February. In New Zealand, there is generally a relatively small variation between summer and winter temperatures, although inland and east of the range the variation is greater (up to 14 °C).
Q. What is the best way to see New Zealand?
A – Driving is by far the easiest way to see New Zealand. Getting around the city by public transport is excellent in some countries (and New Zealand has plenty of buses) but driving allows you to really get off the beaten track and explore at your own pace.
Q. What is the best way to travel in New Zealand?
A – If you are not renting a car, buses are the best and cheapest way to get around New Zealand. Buses stop in every city, and there are frequent departures from smaller towns as well. InterCity, New Zealand’s largest public bus network, is your main option.
Q. Is New Zealand Expensive for Tourists?
A – New Zealand is certainly not cheap. Groceries, transportation, and accommodation are sometimes more expensive than in the Netherlands. In addition, our way of traveling through New Zealand with a campervan is expensive, and we have done some expensive activities.
Q. Is food expensive in New Zealand?
A – Food prices in restaurants in New Zealand will vary greatly, but you can expect to pay anywhere between $NZ12 to $NZ20 for breakfast at a restaurant and around $NZ30-$NZ50 per person for dinner.
Q. What is New Zealand known for?
A – A small island nation of about 4.5 million people located in the Pacific Ocean, New Zealand is famous for its national rugby team, its indigenous Māori culture, and its picturesque landscapes. If you are an international student considering studying abroad, New Zealand can be a far cry from home.