Queenstown in November: Your weather and travel guide for 2023

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Wondering whether to visit Queenstown in November? Well, if you’re thinking about planning a trip, get ready for a remarkable spring experience in this beautiful New Zealand destination.

Queenstown in November is a dream come true as the weather gets a bit warmer. Spring is well and truly in swing and the region is starting to transition towards summer. Say goodbye to the snow, and hello to a vibrant landscape as Queenstown emerges as a prime destination for travellers seeking a unique blend of natural beauty and thrilling adventures.

The scenery in Queenstown becomes colourful and lively. You certainly don’t have to worry about a shortage of things to do as the snow melts!

In this comprehensive guide, I’ll delve into why Queenstown is an absolute must-visit in November, and you’ll have all the essential information to make the most of your journey.

Weather in Queenstown in November

Now, let’s talk about the weather in Queenstown in November.

Influenced by its Southern Alps location, Queenstown experiences diverse weather throughout the year. Spring runs from September to November so with November falling at the end of spring, Queenstown is starting to transition into summer. In general, spring in New Zealand is known for being particularly rainy and windy but don’t let that scare you off.

Make sure you pack a warm jacket and other cold-weather essentials so you’re prepared for any cold snaps and protected from the wind. Don’t forget your raincoat either!

Average Temperature in Queenstown in November

queenstown in november

In November, Queenstown experiences an average daytime temperature range of 13°C to 18°C (55°F to 64°F) and a low of 6°C (43°F). Prepare for cool mornings and evenings, with pleasantly warm days. Layer up to stay comfortable amid unpredictable spring weather.

While the warmer spring days may begin to melt the snow in some places, snowfall can actually occur in November, although this can be rare. The mild climate at this time of year provides an ideal environment for exploring the great outdoors.

Can you swim in Queenstown in November?

Well nobody’s going to stop you if you really want to take a dip…but the water in November is still pretty chilly as the summer sun hasn’t had a chance to warm it up yet. If you get a particularly nice day, some adventurous souls do take a dip in Lake Wakatipu.

I’ll leave this one for you to decide!

Does it rain in Queenstown in November?

Is Queenstown in November rainy? Well, it’s a bit of a mixed bag. While November generally sees less rain compared to the wetter months, there are still occasional showers that can catch you off guard.

On average, you can expect around 90mm (3.5 inches) of rainfall during the month which adds up to about 9 rainy days. It’s not a deluge, but having a waterproof jacket and some sturdy shoes on hand is a good idea. Layering your clothing is a smart move, too, so you’re ready for whatever the weather throws your way.

Queenstown in November is a bit like a weather rollercoaster. You might get sunny days perfect for exploring, but it’s also good to have a small raincoat with you, just in case. Be prepared, and even the rain can’t dampen the charm of this beautiful New Zealand destination.

What time does the sun set in Queenstown in November?

sunset queenstown in november

If you’re a fan of sunsets, you’re in for a delightful treat. During November, the sun typically sets at around 8.30 pm, treating you to enchanting sunset vistas, especially when viewed from the shores of Lake Wakatipu.

Consequently, later in the month, you’ll be treated to sunsets that occur closer to 9 pm, providing even more opportunities to savour the evening skies.

Enjoy around 14.5 hours of daylight throughout Queenstown in November, with even more toward the end of the month. Plenty of time for exploring breathtaking landscapes and a plethora of activities at your leisure.

Events and things to do in Queenstown in November

Now let’s delve into some of the events and activities you can enjoy in Queenstown during November:

1. Participate in the Queenstown Marathon

Lace up your running shoes for the Queenstown Marathon, typically held in mid-November. Known as the ‘world’s most beautiful marathon’ the event offers various race options. From a full marathon to a 10K run plus a 3K kids option, all set against the backdrop of Queenstown’s stunning scenery.

2. Take a walk through the Queenstown Gardens

Stroll through the Queenstown Gardens, where the spring blooms add vibrant colours to the landscape. Plus, the air smells fresh and flowery, making it an all-around lovely experience.

Right in the middle of lively Queenstown, these gardens offer a peaceful retreat. It’s like finding a quiet oasis in the middle of the action. The paths wind through lush greenery, and you can even sit by the calm Lake Wakatipu.

There are benches under the trees where you can relax and soak in the calm vibes.

While you can visit these gardens any time, November is a great time to see the gardens in all their glory. The last traces of winter vanish, and the days get warmer and longer. The explosion of colours is a treat for anyone who loves nature or just wants a beautiful backdrop for photos.

3. Skyline Queenstown Gondola

queenstown gondola 2

From the beautiful snow-dusted peaks to the stunning landscape, Queenstown really is a winter wonderland! With Skyline Gondola located just five minutes away from downtown Queenstown, you can ascend 480 metres into the clouds and bask in its majestic beauty.

This accessible activity is one of New Zealand’s best gems that should be enjoyed year-round – don’t miss out on this amazing experience!

4. Get your adrenaline pumping

Queenstown is the adventure capital of the world. Try bungee jumping, skydiving, jet boating, or white-water rafting for an adrenaline rush like no other.

Queenstown’s skydiving experiences offer you a bird’s-eye view of the stunning landscapes that will leave you breathless, in the best way possible. Zooming down narrow canyons is a ton of fun also! Skim the crystal-clear waters of Lake Wakatipu, and spin 360 degrees.

For those who crave a wild aquatic adventure, white-water rafting is where it’s at. Navigate the roaring rivers and tackle those rapids head-on. It’s a team effort that’ll have you paddling, laughing, and occasionally screaming your way through Mother Nature’s thrill ride.

So, whether you’re a thrill-seeker in your element or someone who wants to conquer their fear of heights or speed, Queenstown has the recipe for an adrenaline rush.

5. Savour the flavours of Central Otago

wine tours queenstown new zealand 1

As the weather warms up, it’s the perfect time to embark on a wine-tasting tour in one of the most famous wine regions in New Zealand. Explore the local vineyards and indulge in wine tasting, particularly the renowned Pinot Noir, in the heart of Central Otago.

The easiest way to explore the nearby vineyards is by booking a group tour as then you don’t have to worry about transport – you automatically have a sober driver!

I wrote an entire post on the best wine tours in Queenstown, but to save you time, the best wine tour is the Central Otago Wine Tour from Queenstown because you visit 4 vineyards, lunch is included and it has many excellent reviews.

Sample local flavours and learn about wine-making as you explore stunning scenery nestled amongst rolling hills – it will be an unforgettable experience! You’ll relax in an air-conditioned vehicle as you enjoy the stunning scenery and sample some of New Zealand’s finest wines on this exclusive small group tour limited to just 12 people.

6. Enjoy Lake Wakatipu

Swimming might not be on the cards just yet, but as the weather warms up in November, Lake Wakatipu becomes a playground for a variety of water-based activities that let you fully embrace the changing seasons.

If you’re up for an adventure kayaking on Lake Wakatipu is a fantastic option. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced paddler, the lake provides opportunities for exploration.

Paddle along the shoreline, discovering hidden coves and bays, or venture out to where the breathtaking mountain vistas serve as your backdrop.

If you prefer a more relaxed approach, take advantage of the warmer weather to lounge by Lake Wakatipu’s inviting shores. Spread out a picnic blanket, bask in the sun’s gentle rays, and enjoy a leisurely day amidst the tranquil beauty of the lake.

Bring a good book, some snacks, and simply savour the peaceful ambience.

What to wear in Queenstown in November

When it comes to Queenstown in November, dressing right is the key to a comfortable and enjoyable experience. This picturesque New Zealand destination can throw some weather curveballs your way, so here’s the lowdown on what to wear during your November visit.

In November, Queenstown can go from sunny to a sudden sprinkle. Embrace the “4 seasons in 1 day” mantra. Start with moisture-wicking base layers to keep you dry and comfortable then make sure to bring a waterproof outer layer just in case.

If you’re heading up into the mountains – thermals are also recommended underneath your regular clothing as temperatures can change quickly. You’ll also want to choose shoes with good grip if you plan on navigating the trails or slopes. Any rainfall or melting snow can make things a bit slippery.

So if you’re looking to take in Queenstown’s beauty during the month of November, make sure you’re dressed appropriately and ready for whatever adventures await!

Queenstown in November: FAQ


What is the best time of year in Queenstown?

Wondering when is the best time to visit Queenstown? Well, let me break it down for you. Queenstown has something incredible to offer no matter when you decide to visit. It all depends on what kind of experience you’re looking for.

If you’re a fan of winter wonderlands and thrilling winter activities, then June, July or August is the perfect month for you. The crisp days and snow-covered landscapes will leave you in awe. It’s an unforgettable experience you won’t want to miss!

But if you’re more into sunny, warm days, pick the summer months. Queenstown becomes an outdoor playground with hiking, kayaking, and biking. You’re in for loads of fun!

There’s no limit to what adventure awaits you when visiting Queenstown during the warmer season.

What is the wettest month in Queenstown?

October and March usually bring the most rain to Queenstown, with an average of about 80-90mm (3.5 inches) of precipitation. If your travel falls within these months, make sure you’re well-prepared. Remember New Zealand’s weather, including Queenstown’s, can be quite unpredictable!

What is the driest month in Queenstown?

queenstown lake wakatipu

Although July falls in Queenstown’s winter, it surprises as one of the driest months, recording just 65mm of precipitation. Yet, this is mainly due to snow rather than rain since summer is when sunnier days shine.

With generally moderate temperatures and occasional rain year-round, don’t be discouraged from visiting any month. Queenstown’s allure remains constant, promising a delightful experience whenever you choose to explore.

What is the hottest month in Queenstown?

Queenstown experiences its warmest weather in January, boasting an average high temperature of 22°C (71°F) and sometimes getting days hitting 30°C (86°F). The sun shines generously during this month, making it a perfect paradise for both nature enthusiasts and thrill-seekers, who can revel in abundant sunshine throughout the day!

What is the coldest month in Queenstown?

July typically marks the coldest period in Queenstown, with temperatures averaging between 4°C to 8°C. Since winter here often brings snow, don’t forget to pack those extra layers to stay snug when you visit during this season.

Regardless of the month you select, Queenstown will extend a warm welcome and offer unforgettable adventures. So, go ahead, start planning your journey. Exciting experiences await in this stunning destination!

Queenstown in November: Travel Guide

queenstown in november

Queenstown in November transforms into a kaleidoscope of colours and experiences, making it an ideal time to explore this enchanting destination. The arrival of spring brings a burst of colours and fresh experiences that will captivate every traveller.

During November, Queenstown’s scenery undergoes a remarkable change. The snow that blankets the region in winter begins to melt away, revealing lush green landscapes and blooming flowers. It’s a picture-perfect setting that’s tailor-made for your vacation.

Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie seeking heart-pounding adventures or someone who prefers a more relaxed pace, Queenstown caters to all tastes. You can get your thrill fix with activities like bungee jumping and jet boating, or simply unwind by the tranquil shores of Lake Wakatipu.

Just a quick tip: make sure to pack those extra layers because temperatures can drop unexpectedly during this delightful time of year, ensuring you stay comfy and cosy while enjoying everything Queenstown has to offer!

Is Queenstown worth visiting?

Is Queenstown a worthwhile visit? Absolutely! This extraordinary destination is enticed by its breathtaking landscapes and a wide range of activities available throughout the year.

Whether you’re a fan of skiing on pristine slopes or savouring world-class wines, Queenstown offers an exceptional experience.

The scenery here is truly exquisite, and the list of activities is virtually endless. That’s precisely why Queenstown ranks among my top favourite destinations in New Zealand.

Is Queenstown safe to travel to?

Travelling to Queenstown is typically safe, but, as with any place, staying vigilant is crucial. If you’re venturing out in the town at night, especially alone, it’s a good idea to take some extra precautions.

However, Queenstown’s lively daytime vibe offers plenty of chances for exploration and exciting discoveries.

By implementing some savvy strategies and remaining aware during your stay, you can enjoy an unforgettable trip while ensuring your safety along the way.

Where is Queenstown, New Zealand?

Located on New Zealand’s picturesque South Island, Queenstown welcomes visitors with its awe-inspiring views of Lake Wakatipu and the majestic mountains that circle it. Within this breathtaking natural setting, Queenstown emerges as one of the most enchanting towns in the entire country.

Best place to stay in Queenstown

Kamana Lakehouse Queenstown
Image via Agoda

The best part is that Queenstown caters to all budgets. If you’re seeking an exquisite experience, Kamana Lakehouse or QT Queenstown are top-notch options.

If you’re looking to save some money, Pinewood Lodge and Queenstown Top 10 Holiday Park offer excellent accommodations without breaking the bank.

Best luxury Queenstown accommodation

Best budget Queenstown accommodation

How many days do you need in Queenstown?

If you’re tight on time, a quick three-day visit to Queenstown is doable. However, to fully immerse yourself in the town’s exceptional offerings, it’s advisable to plan a more extended stay of 5-7 days.

This timeframe ensures you have plenty of opportunities to savour the fantastic activities and attractions while also leaving room for memorable skiing or snowboarding adventures.

How to get around Queenstown

There are multiple ways to get around Queenstown. For ultimate flexibility renting a car is the best option. Each time I’ve travelled to Queenstown I’ve rented a car and it’s been worth it every time as it gives you the opportunity to explore Queenstown’s surrounding beauty – hello drive to Glenorchy!

Alternatively, the local bus network offers convenient and affordable transportation for those who prefer not to drive.

Taxis are also readily available, making it easy to get around the town and its outskirts but of course, this is a more expensive option and may not suit everyone’s budget.

When can you see the southern lights in Queenstown?

If you’re hoping to witness the awe-inspiring Southern Lights in Queenstown, plan your trip during winter, between May and August. However, don’t discount the shoulder seasons such as March, April, or September, as you might still have a chance to witness this incredible natural spectacle.

For the best viewing experience, be prepared for a midnight sky watch. Bundle up in warm clothes and venture out of town to escape light pollution. Lake Tekapo is considered a great spot to catch a glimpse of the lights.

Conclusion: Queenstown in November

As you embark on your journey to Queenstown in November, keep in mind the delightful mix of seasons (though technically spring, it brings its share of surprises!), the thrilling adventures, and the captivating landscapes awaiting your exploration.

With thoughtful preparations and a spirit of curiosity, Queenstown in November promises an unforgettable experience. Remember to pack those extra layers for the chilly mornings and nights, and don’t leave your umbrella behind to stay ready for any unexpected weather twists.

Whether you’re an adventure seeker, a nature lover, or a food enthusiast, Queenstown extends a warm welcome to all.

So, gather your essentials and get ready for a month of discovery, adventure, and natural splendour in this enchanting corner of the world.