Inspiring ideas for vacation planning during COVID19 - New Zealand in November. Springtime.

Thanks to Covid-19, there will be no springtime visitors to New Zealand this year. So we'll use this blog to take a look forward, to discuss the opportunities for visiting in November 2021. There's much to be recommended by a visit in springtime, but it does come with some caveats that we'll discuss. It's also the time to see cute little lambs and we've got some great photos to share with you.

The Weather in November, New Zealand's Springtime.

In 1991 the New Zealand group 'Crowded House' released their chart topping song '4 Seasons in One Day'

Even though Neil Finn wrote the song while sitting on a park bench in Melbourne Australia, the song has subsequently become something of an anthem for describing how New Zealand's springtime weather can be. Like 4 seasons in one day. 

As you'll see in the video, the backdrop to their song is the South Island of New Zealand, so in all probability, Kiwi Neil Finn was thinking about New Zealand springtime weather on that day in Melbourne.

So the keyword to keep in mind for the weather when traveling in November is 'changeable'. 

Winter is over, so it's getting warmer. But there's also a chance of a cold southern front sweeping through the country, especially in the South Island where freezing temperatures are even a possibility. Or a storm front from the Tasman Sea bringing rain.

The good news is that these events normally have a very short life span of between 2 and 3 days. It also helps that New Zealand is very good at mopping up after a storm and returning everything to normal in super quick time.


Let's take a look at an example of how this can actually play out, by looking at November last year, 2019. In this weather report by New Zealand newspaper 'Stuff' you'll see that they actually experienced a short lived heatwave, with temperatures around 85 fahrenheit for a few days, but like the colder fronts, it only hung around for a few days.

In years past we have had a few clients caught out by rainy weather in November. But with some clever re-routing, our team on the ground down there has always managed to have them back on track with a minimum of interruption to their travels.

Therefore, when packing your bags, prepare for mainly warm weather throughout your stay, keeping in mind the possibility of cold front arriving where warm clothes will be the order of the day- and a raincoat. 

The Benefits of travelling to New Zealand in November.

After winter the countryside looks fresh and green. There's still snow on the higher mountains chains and peaks. 

It's quieter than the summer months, without the crowds that can be an issue in the more popular locations in the middle of summer.

Springtime flowers are at their very best.

Prices for rental cars, accommodation and tours are still at a reasonable level.

It's lambing time!

New Zealand and Sheep. Lots of Sheep.

In 1982 New Zealand had a total of 70 million sheep on farmlands in the North and South Islands. 

That's an incredible 22 sheep for every person in the country.

Because wool prices have been falling since then, sheep numbers have gradually declined, but there are still an estimated 6 sheep for every person living in New Zealand!

And starting from around August it's the lambing season, which means that as you travel around the country, especially in the South Island, you will see cute little lambs. Lot's of them! 


Hanging out with a friend!


A break for freedom?


Are you looking at me?


A Swiss Valais Blacknose lamb. Read about this breed HERE.

Springtime is also a time of year when sheep are moving between their winter and summer pastures. 

Farmers move their flock at off-peak times, so it's unlikely, but you might just come across a flock of them like this - 


Heading to their annual appointment with the sheep shearer.


When driving towards a flock of sheep, you are not expected to stop. Proceed very slowly, at a speed that won't disturb them, and the stockmen will show their appreciation with a friendly wave.

The driving protocol when passing in these situations is to drive at a pace that's slightly faster than that of the sheep, once again at a speed that won't disturb them.


A North Island sheep farm with Mt Ruapehu in the background.


Freshly shorn sheep grazing in the shadow of Aoraki Mt Cook in the South Island.

The Wildflowers of Spring.

This is the time of year when the South Island wild lupin displays are at their very best. 


Lake Tekapo, South Island.


The McKenzie region, South Island.


On a backcountry road near Queenstown, South Island.

The Botanic Gardens of New Zealand.

The pride of the cities and many of the small towns in New Zealand are their botanic gardens and the team at New Zealand Vacations will help you locate the best of these during your springtime stay.


Botanic Gardens, Timaru, South Island.


Botanic Gardens, Wellington, North Island.


Cherry Blossoms, Cornwall Park, Auckland.

Do we recommend a visit to New Zealand in November? Definitely. Temperatures range from 40 to 65 Fahrenheit, flowers are in full bloom, lambs are a delight to see and waterfalls are bursting with springs rains. This fresh and happy atmosphere makes this an inspiring time of year to visit. 

Lindsay Barron

Lindsay Barron • Jul 07, 2020