South Island New Zealand - Weather in November

 

November is a wonderful time to visit the South Island. With spring well and truly sprung and summer knocking on the door, days are getting longer and nice, mild-to-warm temperatures are moving into most parts of the island.

South Island Wilderness

There can still be a few patchy bits of rain and changeable weather about, but overall there’s little to worry about in terms of weather when it comes to planning South Island holidays in November.  

 

Average Temperatures in the South Island in November

November is the last month of spring in the South Island, and by the end of the month it certainly feels like summer has arrived. Colder snaps below 5 °C (41°F) can still come through in parts, particularly further south. Overall, however, November is a time of mild average temperatures and warm days, with parts of the East Coast and northern South Island (such as Christchurch and Nelson) regularly hitting temperatures above 20°C (68°F). 
 

Location

Min °C

Max °C

Average °C

Min °F

Max °F

Average °F

Christchurch

8.9°C

19.3°C

14.1°C

48.0°F

66.7°F

57.4°F

Nelson

9.8°C

18.3°C

14.3°C

49.6°F

64.9°F

57.7°F

Queenstown

6.0°C

17.1°C

11.6°C

42.8°F

62.8°F

52.9°F

Dunedin

8.6°C

16.1°C

12.4°C

47.5°F

61.0°F

54.3°F

Average Sunshine Hours Per day in the South Island in November

The sun is out and days are long across the South Island by the middle of November, providing plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities, al fresco dining, and long summery evenings enjoying a barbecue. These sunshine and daylight hours can change a bit depending on where exactly you are around the South Island, but here’s a brief breakdown of average South Island sunshine hours across the whole of November:

Location

Ave Sunshine Hours per month

Ave Sunshine Hours per day

Median Daylight Length (hours)

Christchurch

223.7

7.46

14.58

Nelson

234.9

7.83

14.38

Queenstown

216.1

7.20

14.77

Dunedin

166.9

5.56

14.82

Average rainfall in the South Island in November

Summer is knocking on the door in November, which brings with it both plentiful sunshine and the occasional pocket of rain. As always, knowing how much rain to expect depends on what you plan to do and where you plan to go – for example, Milford Sound and the West Coast is one of the wettest places on Earth, while Christchurch and the Canterbury Plains, “just over the hills” to the east, are one of the driest regions in New Zealand.

To know what to expect depending where you plan to go, therefore, here’s a rundown on the average wet days, rainfall and humidity across different areas of the South Island in November:

Location

Rainfall (mm)

Rainfall (inch)

Relative Humidity

Wet Days

Christchurch

45.8

1.8

78.1%

6.5

Nelson

78.3

3.1

73.7%

7.9

Queenstown

63.6

2.5

67.5%

7.6

Dunedin

56.4

2.2

70.6%

10.0

Milford Sound

548.0

21.6

80.6%

15.4

Best Things to do in the South Island in November 

See New Zealand’s Awe-inspiring Glaciers 

November is a perfect time to get out in the great outdoors, and there are few things more wild and awe-inspiring to see up close than New Zealand’s famous Franz Josef and Fox Glaciers. For the ultimate experience, take a scenic flight over them to see down into every crevice and take in the stunning 360-degree views around the West Coast and Southern Alps.

Take a Cruise on Milford Sound

With summer knocking on the door and a lot of the lush rainforests and wildlife areas of Fiordland coming to life, November is a great time to visit world-famous Milford Sound. Take a boat cruise over the fjord to see the waterfalls and jaw-dropping landscapes up close, or pack a picnic and get out on the water yourself with a kayak tour exploring the coves and bays.

Get a Hit of Adrenaline in Queenstown

Queenstown is New Zealand’s adventure capital, and November is a time when it really opens up to play. With a smorgasbord of hair-raising thrills on offer from jet boating and bungy jumping to more family-friendly luging, there’s something to suit everyone. Better yet, with temperatures warming up in November, it’s a great time to opt for the famous “water dip” off Kawarau Bridge’s iconic bungy ledge!

Tour South Island Wine Country

As summer starts cranking up, so too do the South Island’s many world-class wineries and restaurants. Head to Renwick and Blenheim, hire a bike or a driver, and enjoy exploring the vineyards and views of the Sauvignon Blanc Capital of the Southern Hemisphere. Pinot Noir lovers will be in heaven in Central Otago – where succulent local lamb is the natural pairing – or visit Waipara for a lovely spring tour of North Canterbury wineries and restaurants showcasing the abundance of premium local farm produce.

Ready to Start Planning?

If you like the idea of a South Island road trip or holiday during November, then have a look at First Light Travel’s different tour packages and holiday options. There are full-time staff of South Island travel experts online, any time, ready to help you plan and book your own personalised trip.

David Mckenzie
By
David Mckenzie
: 20 Dec 2022 (Last updated: 21 Dec 2022)

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