Home » The top 5 destinations for travel in November 2020: New Zealand edition

The top 5 destinations for travel in November 2020: New Zealand edition

written by Intrepid Travel September 7, 2020
Queenstown

UPDATED: This article was originally published in September 2017

There’s no denying that the coronavirus has pressed pause on many people’s travel plans so far in 2020. But as restrictions begin to ease in certain parts of the world and people are starting to dream about getting out and exploring again, we thought it was time to start providing you with a little bit of travel inspiration for later in the year.

For the next few months, we’re going to approach our popular month-by-month travel guides a little differently. Normally, we’d help you choose your next destination for an international adventure, without having to trawl through endless travel mags and guidebooks for answers. As soon as it’s safe to travel overseas again, we will resume our usual programming and bring you our ultimate recommendations of places to visit, things to experience, and amazing weather to chase around the world. But for now, we’re celebrating our brand new range of local experiences and encouraging people all around the world to travel a little closer to home right now.

Calling all New Zealanders: here are our recommendations for your close-to-home adventures this November.

1. Queenstown

View of Queenstown

Image by Damien Raggatt.

There’s a reason Queenstown is a favourite destination of ours – it’s known as the ‘adventure capital of the world’, which suits our Intrepid spirit perfectly. Known for a vast range of activities that adrenaline junkies will love (such as bungee jumping, zip-lining or a variety of water sports), what people may not know about Queenstown is how picturesque it is. The Remarkables Mountain Ranges and nearby Lake Wakatipu are both stunning backdrops for this cosmopolitan town. So, if sitting admiring the views with an excellent glass of New Zealand wine in your hand is more your pace than watching the landscape whizz past you as you jump out of a plane, then Queenstown has your back. On that note, you might also like to spend time exploring the surrounding Central Otago wine region.

Or, if you’re up for an overnighter from Queenstown, we’d highly recommend making your way to Piopiotahi (Milford Sound), where you can take a boat cruise to experience the unforgettable sights of the fiords, waterfalls, icy peaks and lush rainforests… and if you’re lucky maybe even a friendly bottlenose dolphin or two!

START AND END YOUR 6-DAY JOURNEY HERE ON OUR QUEENSTOWN SOUTHERN LOOP TRIP

2. The Catlins

The Catlins are some of the wildest terrain that New Zealand has on offer. The perfect stop for nature-lovers (although let’s face it, where in New Zealand isn’t?), thanks to the hidden waterfalls, dense forests and rugged cliffs that are just waiting to be explored. If you’re up for a unique adventure on foot, head to the vast Cathedral Caves, which can only be accessed via a specific beach at low tide. Keep an eye out for sea lions who can often be spotted lazily sunbathing on the sand. Your local leader will be sure to get you in and out at the right time of day, so all you’ll need to do is enjoy the wonders of the caves.

VISIT THE CATLINS ON OUR 10-DAY NEW ZEALAND SOUTH ISLAND DISCOVERY TRIP

3. Rotorua

Marae in Rotorua

Image by Damien Raggatt.

It might sound strange, but Rotorua in New Zealand’s North Island is known for its vibrant colours. Rotorua is a lakes district and two of the biggest, Lake Tikitapu and Lake Rotokakahi, take their names from the bright green and blue colours of their waters. These lakes are the perfect place to stretch your legs on a bike ride, with many routes that show off the natural beauty of the region. Lake Rotokakahi is a sacred site for the local Maori people, with the island of Motutawa serving as a burial ground. In fact, the whole region is rich with Maori culture, with many visitors choosing to spend time at a marae – a communal and sacred meeting ground, where the First Nations people connect with each other and their ancestors, sharing their customs with travellers who pass through.

EXPERIENCE ROTORUA ON OUR 5-DAY NEW ZEALAND NORTH ISLAND: HIKE, BIKE & CANYON TRIP

4. Wanaka

If you’re seeking interesting history, good food and drinks and breathtaking landscapes, it’s pretty hard to go past a trip to Wanaka. Head to Arrowtown, a fascinating village that experienced a gold-rush boom in the 19th century and is now home to heritage listed buildings and relics from the period. We’d also highly recommend you visit the nearby Cardona Valley, home to some of the region’s best food and drinks, including the Cardona whiskey distillery. Given that the landscape in the valley could be mistaken for the Scottish Highlands in parts, it’s not surprising that you can get a quality tipple in the area! If you’re ready to stretch your legs after a whiskey tasting, it would be worth taking a stroll up Mt Iron, where you’ll be treated to 360-degree views of the Pisa range, Upper Clutha Basin, Lake Wanaka and Ka Tiritiri o te Moana (the Southern Alps). Absolute bliss.

RELAX AND UNWIND ON OUR 3-DAY NEW ZEALAND RETREAT: WANAKA

5. The Central Otago Rail Trail

Central Otago Rail Trail Bridge

Image via Shutterstock.

A cycling trip along the famed Central Otago Rail Trail could be just what the doctor ordered after months of staying close to home. 2020 has been a challenging year to say the least, so why not cap it off by challenging yourself to a 4-day bike ride (with plenty of time for eating, drinking and sightseeing thrown in!). Your trip will take you past pretty vineyards, quaint villages, stunning farmlands and even snow-capped mountains. There’ll be lots of opportunities to stop along the way, with visits to unique local attractions like an old engineering works, one of the original mines from the gold rush era and the Hyde Railway Disaster Memorial, which commemorates the fatal 1943 derailment of a passenger train.

GO FOR A SPIN ALONG THE CENTRAL OTAGO RAIL TRAIL ON OUR NEW 4-DAY CYCLING TRIP

Not looking to travel in November? No worries, here’s where to go in December, January and February – or check out our full list of monthly destination guides.

Hero image via Shutterstock.

Feeling inspired?

You might also like

13 comments

Jagghoomiya January 21, 2021 - 7:20 pm

Great places ……great article

Reply
Jagghoomiya January 21, 2021 - 7:18 pm

Beautiful placesand photos…

Reply
Kapil Keralkar January 21, 2021 - 7:15 pm

Beautiful places!! Thank you for sharing and very much for this great information.

Reply
Ari Manurung September 22, 2020 - 2:56 pm

amazing, verry nice

Reply
Said September 10, 2020 - 5:41 am

Hello from Morocco! i like your blog.. it’s very important to have bloger like this and well informed about travelbloger went above and beyond the expectations to show us how to get something very important and exactly the kinds of things we most interested in, and so much more that gave us a really memorable experience that i saw here in this bloger.

Thank you so much for this amazing things.

Reply
Gabrielle U. Jonas October 23, 2019 - 12:43 am

It would be good to include shorter itineraries as well.

Reply
Christopher September 1, 2019 - 1:14 am

I can’t imagine Croatia in November. October yes, but in November Dubrovnik daytime temperatures won’t exceed 15°C, it’s the rainiest month of the year and the sea will be 18°C if lucky. Not really inviting for a swim!

Reply
Nikki August 7, 2019 - 1:41 am

I realise this article is a couple of years old now, but you mention Croatia as a great place to go in November and link to two trips, but neither of them actually list any options for that month. May be worth updating?

Reply
Bonnie July 25, 2019 - 3:59 am

This article is about travel in November. The links for Croatia are not available in November.

Reply
Travel Zoom March 30, 2018 - 5:40 am

Awesome i love it !!

Reply
We Live by the Rules December 6, 2017 - 5:22 pm

I just been to India and it is really amazing. I cannot believe my eyes when I first saw the Taj Mahal!
I will visit some of these countries next year too – hopefully.

Reply
Nancy Graham November 14, 2017 - 7:34 am

For me can’t beat the Trossachs in November the autumn colours arr spectacular.

Reply
Ralph Quito October 11, 2017 - 6:05 pm

I just can’t seem to skip a day without reading your blog . Everything in it just fascinates me, specially that you are able to send the message across very well. Thanks again Miranda!

Reply

Leave a Comment



Back To Top