New Zealand Highway Travel Itinerary: Information for 1st-Time Guests

A large number of you may have identified via now how I adore New Zealand — and that’s now not simply because it’s the set for ‘Center-earth’. (New Zealand Highway Travel Itinerary)

Regrettably, my first go back and forth to this nation felt extremely quick; in the end, I slightly scratched the skin of the wonders held throughout the North Island, and I didn’t even organize to drop via the South Island. So when Wild Kiwi invited me to move on a 21-day excursion to either one of the islands, you wager that I stated ‘sure‘ in a heartbeat.

Having a look again, it has indubitably grew to become out to be one of the vital epic highway journeys that I’ve ever executed in my existence. With that, I’m hoping that the remainder of this publish will display you why a excursion with Wild Kiwi can be value your whilst, if now not come up with concepts in your personal New Zealand journey!

In finding out extra about Wild Kiwi and why I’ve selected to move with them (in spite of the selection of different New Zealand excursion corporations who’ve prolonged their invites to me) via studying the publish underneath…
: My Giant Journey to New Zealand with Wild Kiwi

New Zealand Commute Information

» Fast Commute Making plans

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IMPORTANT: New Zealand has STRICT quarantine rules for undeclared meals and different biohazards. Because of this you will have to now not herald any more or less recent meals similar to bananas, apples, honey, and many others. as you just be sure you do away with them ahead of going during the luggage declare house. Processed or packaged meals can also be accredited however you are meant to claim them in your arrival card. Should you’re ever unsure, ask for rationalization — another way, you’ll be charged with a hefty nice.

Should you’ve were given outside apparatus like diving equipment, mountain climbing boots, and many others. you should blank them ahead of you go back and forth to New Zealand to ensure that the inspection procedure to move extra temporarily for you. Be recommended that New Zealand is company about this given how they have got sniffer canines and bio-sensitive X-ray machines to discover any undesirable pieces.

» Easiest Time to Consult with

Technically, there’s NEVER a nasty time to move particularly if it’s for a New Zealand highway go back and forth itinerary; but in fact, since each the North and South Islands are lengthy and slim, the elements isn’t uniform. In order an summary, underneath are New Zealand’s seasons:

  • Summer season: That is the most well liked time; therefore, the busiest — however the seashores are super all over this time of the yr. Remember via the way in which that January would be the warmest month. Interested by this, New Zealand is a brilliant break out for those months of the yr if you wish to escape from harsh winters.
  • Autumn: This time is beautiful because the leaves alternate colours and it’s additionally one of the most highest occasions to plot a getaway or a mountain climbing spree because the summer season crowds are most commonly long gone. So as to add, charges are on an ‘off top’ degree.
  • Wintry weather: Queenstown for example can be your wintry weather wonderland, however there indubitably are numerous ski spaces across the nation. Should you are available June you’ll benefit from the Queenstown Wintry weather Pageant.
  • Spring: This is likely one of the ‘off top’ seasons as you get to experience hotter days and longer sunlight hours.

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» New Zealand Forex

New Zealand Greenback (NZD) during which about NZD 1.70 is the same as about USD $1~ / €0.85~ (that is as of August 2022). Within the match that you wish to have to replace your cash for NZD, I extremely advise that you just do NOT change your cash on the airport because the charges there don’t seem to be aggressive.

  • highest change your forex? Both change it at a financial institution or at a cash exchanger in your house nation or within the town heart. Higher but, simply withdraw from an ATM along with your debit/bank card — alternatively, you should do one giant withdrawal to reduce charges along with your financial institution. Talking of playing cards, numerous the institutions settle for bank cards however it’s all the time recommended to have money available as a result of numerous smaller stores do now not settle for world bank cards.

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» Value of Commute in New Zealand

To come up with an concept, you will have to be expecting to go back and forth in New Zealand with a median day-to-day price of about USD $40~ in step with individual on the cheap, or no less than $70~ if you wish to revel in extra convenience in actions, excursions, resorts, and extra. (Values underneath display low-budget to medium-budget levels).

  • Inns: $20 to $35 USD / day
  • Meals: $10 to $16 USD / day
  • Amusing: $10 to $20 USD / day
  • Shipping: No less than $10 for native transportation

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» Visa for New Zealand

You’ll test this listing of nations to look who does NOT want vacationer visas to go into New Zealand. Naturally, when you’re NOT a citizen of any of the indexed nations, you’ll then want to observe for a vacationer visa within the New Zealand embassy that’s close to you.

Should you’re a Philippine citizen like me, you’ll learn my information on ‘ Follow for a New Zealand Visa‘.

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» The place to Keep (New Zealand Lodging)

There’s in fact a spread of lodging in New Zealand for you to choose between. To seek for the most productive lodging at the most productive costs, I recommend testing Agoda and However when you’re relatively excited about renting comfy homes, test AirBnB.

Anyways, when you’re coming with Wild Kiwi, your lodging can be sorted all over the excursion (a mixture of resorts and hostels); however it’s extremely really helpful that you just guide your personal lodging for no less than 1 evening ahead of and after your Wild Kiwi highway go back and forth adventure to allot a while of rest ahead of and after your flights. For a listing of the highest lodging, see my posts underneath…

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» Wild Kiwi Routes

Thus far, Wild Kiwi has over 7 varieties of routes and combos that you’ll make a choice from:

  • North Island: 7-day Northern Voyager
    • Stops: Auckland > Raglan > Taupo > Napier > Rotorua > Coromandel > Auckland
    • Worth: NZD $1,199 (matter to switch)
  • South Island: 7-day Southern Voyager
    • Stops: Christchurch > Franz Josef > Queenstown > Mt. Prepare dinner > Christchurch
    • Worth: NZD $1,199 (matter to switch)
  • South Island:7-day Southern Loop
    • Stops: Christchurch > Kaikoura > Picton > Abel Tasman > Punakaiki > Hokitika > Christchurch
    • Worth: NZD $1,099 (matter to switch)
  • North & South Island:14-day NZ Explorer
    • Aggregate of 7-day Northern Voyager + 7-day Southern Voyager
    • Stops: Auckland > Raglan > Taupo > Napier > Rotorua > Coromandel > Auckland > (Fly to Christchurch) > Christchurch > Franz Josef > Queenstown > Mt. Prepare dinner > Christchurch
    • Worth: NZD $2,499 (matter to switch)
  • South Island: 14-day Giant South
    • Aggregate of 7-day Southern Voyager + 7-day Southern Loop
    • Stops: Christchurch > Franz Josef > Queenstown > Mt. Prepare dinner > Christchurch > Kaikoura > Picton > Abel Tasman > Punakaiki > Hokitika > Christchurch
    • Worth: NZD $2,499 (matter to switch)
  • North & South Island: 14-day NZ Adventurer
    • Aggregate of 7-day Northern Voyager + 7-day Southern Loop
    • Stops: Auckland > Raglan > Taupo > Napier > Rotorua > Coromandel > Auckland > (Fly to Christchurch) > Christchurch > Kaikoura > Picton > Abel Tasman > Punakaiki > Hokitika > Christchurch
    • Worth: NZD $2,499 (matter to switch)
  • ★ North & South Island: 21-day NZ Discovery
    • Aggregate of 7-day Northern Voyager + 7-day Southern Loop + 7-day Southern Voyager
    • Stops: Auckland > Raglan > Taupo > Napier > Rotorua > Coromandel > Auckland > (Fly to Christchurch) > Christchurch > Kaikoura > Picton > Abel Tasman > Punakaiki > Hokitika > Christchurch > Franz Josef > Queenstown > Mt. Prepare dinner > Christchurch
    • Worth: NZD $3,599 (matter to switch)

The next are the fundamental inclusions for all of the excursions of the New Zealand highway go back and forth itinerary…

  • Skilled native information/motive force
  • Day-to-day highway transportation and prevents
  • Limitless WiFi
  • Lodging
  • Day-to-day breakfast
  • Native flight (as appropriate to the direction)

If you’re at the 21-day NZ Discovery excursion like I did, you get some extra extras similar to the next…

  • Surf lesson in Raglan
  • Wai O Tapu geothermal park admittance
  • 3 unfastened dinners

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» Packing Information

In fact, this is determined by what month and what places you’ll be visiting as in step with the street go back and forth circuit you select — however for a get started:

  • Carry comfy strolling footwear (for the ones town strolls + mountain climbing sprees) and a rain jacket (simply in case).
  • In summer season, convey a towel, swimming wear, gentle summer season garments, flip-flops, and a mild jacket.
  • In wintry weather, remember to pack a heat jacket and a lot of layers because the South Island can get in reality cold.
  • Don’t concern about bringing fancy clothes as a result of New Zealand has an excessively informal get dressed code.
  • It’s highest to convey an afternoon bag that may grasp a few of your necessities since it is going to be essential for the stops you’ll be making.
  • Get a refillable bottle too. Finally, New Zealand faucet water tastes higher than bottled stuff (to not point out, it’s unfastened, which saves you the price of purchasing pricey bottled water).
  • Have in mind to pack sunscreen or a hat for the reason that solar can also be slightly sturdy in some puts.
  • Be happy to convey your personal snacks or alcoholic drinks all over the street go back and forth.
  • Bringing insect repellant is a good suggestion as smartly as a result of there are little pests referred to as ‘sand flies’.
  • Finally, you should purchase go back and forth insurance coverage, particularly because you’ll be doing numerous adrenaline-pumping actions. For this, I extremely suggest purchasing from Global Nomads. I’ve been purchasing my go back and forth insurance coverage with them for years they usually’re wonderful. They have got extensive protection, they provider international and they have got a quick and simple acquire procedure on-line. Most significantly, they quilt journey actions (which every other go back and forth insurance coverage don’t).

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» Useful Māori Words

English is the dominant language spoken via maximum Kiwis (New Zealanders) however the nation’s de jure legit languages are Māori and New Zealand Signal Language (NZSL). Leisure confident, Māori persons are bilingual and will discuss English too, however they’ll be at liberty to listen to you attempt to discuss the Māori language.

If you wish to be told a couple of useful words, just be sure you pronounce the next correctly!

Hi (to one individual, formal): Tēnā koe (Te-na koy)
Hi (to one individual, casual): Kia ora (Key-oar-rah)
Thanks: Kia ora (Key-oar-rah) ~ pronounced with a emerging intonation
Sure: Āe (I)
No: Kāore (Kao-re)
Good-bye (stated via the individual leaving): E noho rā (E-noho ra)
Good-bye (stated via the individual staying): Haere rā (Hayre ra)
I’m sorry: Aroha mai (Ar-ro-ha-mai)
Lend a hand!: Āwhina! (Af-fin-nuh!)
Cheers!: Kia ora! (Key-oar-rah!)

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New Zealand Highway Travel Itinerary

NOTE: The next sections are in a tabbed structure; so, as a way to see the next day to come’s contents, simply click on the headings.

» Northern Voyager «

From Auckland to Raglan

Picture via: Shutterstock

Our first day began off gray and wet — however not anything dampened our temper as we spark off on our New Zealand highway go back and forth itinerary to our first prevent within the North Island: Raglan.

This small coastal the town is known for its general surf tradition and its black sands in Ngarunui Seaside — that being stated, we did some browsing right here and it used to be a whole lot of amusing (regardless that the water used to be chilly for a tropical woman like now).

Now, one amusing minutiae about this seashore is that it’s it appears one of the most international’s longest left-hand surf breaks; that being stated, it used to be slightly a novel position in itself!

After our time right here, we huddled again to the town to discover the fascinating cafes and stores ahead of creating a prevent over to the breathtaking Bridal Veil “Waireinga” Falls in Waikato which used to be on find out how to our lodging for the evening. This primary day used to be slightly one thing and all over dinner, we were given to understand the remainder of the fantastic those who we have been going to spend the following days with.

TIP: Like I’ve in the past discussed, it’s recommended to allot some days in Auckland ahead of beginning Day #1 as a result of there are some super spots that you just should see on this largest town of New Zealand! For a listing of superior FREE issues to do in Auckland, see my detailed publish right here.

Waitomo & Taupō

Pictures via: Shutterstock

The joys continues on this New Zealand highway go back and forth itinerary as we were given to find the next cities stuffed with distinctive actions!

  • Waitomo is a village this is widely known for its intensive underground cave programs, and as a customer, you’ll both do the next…
    • Consult with Waitomo Glowworm Cave(NZ$50~) Do you wish to have to look stars up shut — or higher but, see a galaxy of ‘tiny dwelling lighting fixtures’? With this excursion, you’ll be gliding silently on a ship thru Waitomo River as you move during the “starry” wonderland of the Glowworm Grotto which has hundreds of tiny glowworms (Arachnocampa luminosa) that radiate a luminescent bluish gentle at midnight. Thoughts you, those creatures are distinctive to New Zealand most effective!
    • Consult with Ruakuri Cave(NZ$70~) Just like the principle Waitomo Glowworm Cave, Ruakuri Cave gives the paranormal revel in of sighting glowworms up shut; however greater than this, you’ll be winding your means thru impressive limestone formations and crystal tapestries.
    • Cross black water rafting thru glowworm caves = (NZ$140~) If you wish to have a extra adventurous revel in, that is your only option for you as you abseil, weave, soar, climb and waft during the surprising underworld of Ruakuri Cave and a couple of waterfalls too.
  • Taupo is a the town that’s relatively outstanding via its lakefront atmosphere in addition to the next…
    • Do jet boating = (NZ$115~) That is an adrenaline-pumping process that used to be invented via New Zealand. So when you like pace, spins, and thrills mixed with marvelous water surroundings, happening a jet boating process can be value your whilst! I’ve long gone thru this revel in myself and it used to be a whole lot of amusing!
    • Sail on Lake Taupo = (NZ$50~) A large number of crusing corporations now not most effective take you to the improbable waters of Lake Taupo, however it additionally takes you to the ‘Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings’ which is regularly known as one of the most nation’s maximum abnormal artistic endeavors that towers 14 meters above deep water. It appears, this has been sculpted over the route of four years and depicts the face of Ngatoroirangi, a ‘visionary Māori navigator who guided the Tūwharetoa and Te Arawa tribes to the Taupō house over one thousand years in the past’.
    • Huka Falls = (FREE admittance) This robust but astonishing set of bluish waterfalls at the Waikato River drains onwards to Lake Taupo. It’s stated that in step with 2d, the amount of water flowing thru it regularly approaches 220,000 liters!

Napier & Hawke’s Bay

Picture via: Shutterstock

Ahead of leaving Taupo, we had the selection to move skydiving over Lake Taupo (NZ$270) — alternatively, I used to be hell-bent on doing mine in Queenstown as an alternative (climate allowing, arms crossed). However both means, doing a skydive right here can be one for the books for the reason that perspectives prime up overlooking the lake can be memorable!

I’m in fact extraordinarily terrified of heights. Mix that with my concern of flying airplanes, then indubitably, doing skydiving is a terrible concept for me, proper? Haha. However I’ve since determined to overcome my fears!

As soon as everybody used to be in a position, we hit the street once more to talk over with the charismatic town of Napier which is well-liked for its beautifully-preserved Thirties structure of art-deco structures. It indubitably made me really feel like I used to be transported to the filming set of Nice Gatsby!

Whilst we have been nonetheless basked within the afterglow of Napier all over this New Zealand highway go back and forth itinerary, we proceeded to talk over with some vineyards to do a little wine tastings (prices round NZ$10~). And to cap our time without work, we stopped via Te Mata Height in Hawke’s Bay area to sight the sweeping summits that stand up to 399m. This position is especially super for riding, mountain climbing, and mountain cycling because you’re positive to be showered with impressive perspectives in each and every course!

Rotorua’s Journey & Herbal Attractions

Backside footage via: Shutterstock

From the instant that we stepped into the geothermal the town of Rotorua, I become nostalgic for my first talk over with right here again in 2016 as I smelled the all-too-familiar smell of the sulfur-rich air. It is a hotspot within the North Island of New Zealand and there are lots to do right here:

  • Geothermal Parks: Naturally, Rotorua is full of a number of geothermal parks; but when I would possibly recommend, make a choice from any of those best 3 puts (after which metal your sense of scent!)
    • Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland = (NZ$32~ / FREE with Wild Kiwi Excursions) This showcases New Zealand’s maximum colourful and distinctive lively geothermal parts which were sculpted via hundreds of years of volcanic process.
    • Te Puia = (NZ$54~) Instead of being a Maori cultural village, Te Puia is known for its geothermal process, particularly that of its Pōhutu Geyser which is alleged to be the biggest geyser within the southern hemisphere. It additionally erupts a few times each and every hour at heights that would succeed in 30 meters!
    • Hell’s Gate Geothermal Park and Dust Spa = (Begins at NZ$20~) Instead of witnessing boiling swimming pools and erupting waters, it is advisable to additionally experience their sizzling spring products and services which can be coupled with a healing dust and sulfur spa.
  • Redwood Wooded area: (FREE admittance) Spend the day away mountain climbing or cycling thru this towering woodland that’s simply at the fringe of Rotorua. Leisure confident, there’s an array of trails that you’ll make a choice from, regardless of your degree of health or revel in.
  • Luge: (Begins at NZ$45~) Quite of a mixture between a go-kart (with out the engine) and a toboggan (with out the snow), Rotorua’s “Luge” is a amusing and fast moving journey process this is super for folks of every age! I loved this such a lot and numerous folks even say that this position is healthier than the Luge process present in South Island’s Queenstown, so move and provides this a take a look at!
  • Zorb: (Begins at NZ$39) Also referred to as ‘globe driving’, this comes to a ‘ball of amusing’ the place you roll down a hill within an enormous inflatable ball. Invented in 1994 in New Zealand, this has develop into one of the most ‘must-do’ actions when within the nation and it regularly provides you with the risk to select the type of path that you just’ll undergo — would possibly it’s zigzag or immediately!
  • White Water Rafting: It is a great point to do along with your circle of relatives or pals in Rotorua! This is likely one of the issues I did along with my better half and it used to be an abnormal revel in! We went thru steep local bush canyons and over 14 rapids and three waterfalls, together with the world-renowned 7-meter Tutea Falls which is the ‘Very best Commercially Rafted Waterfall within the Global’! Fact learn, this used to be my first white water rafting process of all time and it used to be completely a really perfect first.

Rotorua’s Film & Cultural Attractions

For this present day, there are 2 issues that we made positive we did NOT pass over:

  • Consult with the Hobbiton Film Set: (NZ$114~) For the ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit‘ film fanatics like me, that is your once-in-a-lifetime likelihood to mission off into your personal Center-earth journey! Finally, that is the noted 12-acre film set of the long-lasting village of the Shire. As a customer, you’ll be guided thru a two-hour strolling excursion to the other hobbit hollow homes (e.g. Sam and Frodo’s space) and different quintessential landmarks just like the Mill and the Inexperienced Dragon Inn (the place you’ll additionally grasp a complimentary drink this is brewed most effective in Hobbiton!).
    • TIP: Some other position to believe for LOTR fanatics is a talk over with to the noted Weta Workshop!
  • Consult with a Maori Cultural Village: (Round NZ$100~) Rotorua and its surrounding cities arguably have the easiest focus of Māori villages. With that during thoughts, this is a should to talk over with no less than one as a way to immerse your self within the historical past and customs of the Maori folks in New Zealand — a tradition that the rustic is very happy with. We went to one of the most highest villages, Tamaki Maori Village, and one of the most many wonderful issues that you just’ll revel in and which I in my opinion beloved have been witnessing the robust haka (conventional conflict cry), studying in regards to the Maori historical past, engaging in a hangi (conventional Maori ceremonial dinner), and extra.


Picture via: Shutterstock

We bid farewell to the wonders of Rotorua and stated hi to the beautiful Coromandel Peninsula whilst making stops and quick walks to scenic landscapes alongside the way in which.

After we arrived at Hahei, we donned our swimming wear and headed to the preferred Sizzling Water Seaside. It could sound atypical for a seashore’s waters to be associated with the rest ‘sizzling‘ however it’s true as a result of this bay has underground sizzling springs which everybody can experience via digging during the sand all over low tide. With this, you’ll simply exchange between cold and hot swimming pools straight away!

So armed with our shovels, we looked for a great place via the seashore and lounged as we watched the sundown at the horizon. Remember the fact that, this used to be in point of fact one in every of a type!

From Coromandel to Auckland

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To mark our remaining day at the North Island for our New Zealand highway go back and forth itinerary, we first went on a hike to Cathedral Cove (Te Whanganui-A-Hei) Marine Reserve which is but some other spotlight of our talk over with to the Coromandel Peninsula.

With its stunning white sand, turquoise waters, and towering rock formations, this position used to be slightly a sight! To not point out, there’s a pathway right here this is well known for being the outlet scene from the film Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.

After we had our fill of the paranormal surroundings, we went to pack our baggage and journeyed again to Auckland in preparation for our flight to Christchurch to be able to mark the beginning of our South Island journey.

NOTE: If you wish to keep again within the North Island, it’s recommended to fly over to Wellington, the capital of New Zealand.

» Southern Loop «

From Christchurch to Kaikoura

After an evening’s relaxation in Christchurch, we began our South Island adventure via creating a prevent first within the seashore the town of Kaikoura that’s stuffed with rugged cliffs and ambitious marine existence. For an array of items to do right here all over your New Zealand highway go back and forth itinerary, they’re as follows…

  • Whale staring at: (NZ$150~) It is a year-round revel in the place you’ll get in reality on the subject of whales of other forms similar to sperm whales which can be the biggest toothed predators. The most productive factor about this excursion is that there’s a 95% charge of sighting good fortune and that is principally as a result of all of the locals cooperate in sharing data when sighting those giant creatures within the water. If if you happen to don’t see any whales (which is very not going) they’ll gladly factor an 80% refund.
    • Fly possibility = (NZ$180~) Should you’re now not just right with boat rides or when you merely need a chook’s eye view to in point of fact see the magnitude of the area’s greatest mammals, a flight revel in above Kaikoura’s waters is a brilliant selection! Now don’t concern as a result of everyone seems to be assured a window seat for unobstructed perspectives.
  • Watch or Swim with Dolphins: (Begins at NZ$95~) Come face-to-face with a lot of dolphins of their herbal surroundings via swimming and taking part in with them — you’ll by no means get a greater likelihood than this! Should you’re now not keen on swimming, it is advisable to additionally choose to stick dry and move at the dolphin-watching excursion.
  • Fishing Travel: (NZ$120~) Cross with an area and revel in an immersive fishing go back and forth as you catch lobsters and crayfish within the waters — noted cuisine in Kaikoura! Whether or not you’re a first-time fisher or now not, you’re positive to have such a lot amusing on this. On the finish of the go back and forth, you’ll make a selection to liberate your catch or have it cooked. My partners and I had numerous amusing playing our catch so this is a amusing process for you too!
  • Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway: (FREE) It is a 3-hour scenic hike filled with clifftop perspectives and wild animals (in truth, you’ll sight seabirds and seals up shut!). as you pass the peninsula to South Bay. Should you don’t have 3 hours, there are smaller hikes or detours alongside the way in which so that you can do.


Picture via: Shutterstock

After an evening’s relaxation, we proceeded to force down the Kaikoura coast the place we were given to look the wear from the earthquake that took place in 2016. Those roads have been most effective lately opened so shall we see how onerous the rustic has labored to sort things; however amidst this, we have been enamored via the wonderful thing about the beach which regularly had dolphins and seals taking part in within the shallow waters.

All the way through this adventure, we explored some glorious seashores ahead of arriving on the port the town of Picton which is lauded because the gateway to the Marlborough Sound (this may be the gateway to the South Island for ferries that come from the North).

We had a while left after we arrived on the town and one of the most issues we did and which it is advisable to additionally do is hike the 3-hour go back Snout Observe for surprising perspectives of the Marlborough Sounds.

From Picton to Abel Tasman Nationwide Park

Nowadays used to be most commonly spent riding in order that shall we succeed in one in every of New Zealand’s most lovely wasteland reserves, the Abel Tasman Nationwide Park!

We in fact arrived past due within the afternoon, however we crammed our day with stops to a few breweries and wineries within the Marlborough area, in addition to to the spell binding inexperienced waters at Pelorus Bridge.

TRIVIA: You’ll in finding a bit of of Center-earth on this spot as a result of that is in fact the filming location within the scene of “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” when the dwarves have been floating in barrels down a river.

After we checked in at The Barn close to Abel Tasman Nationwide Park, we marked our first evening with a delicious barbeque dinner as we frolicked via the fireside and exchanged tales as we get ready for the next day to come’s adventures!

Abel Tasman Nationwide Park

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It’s time to profit from this New Zealand nationwide park which is very famend for its golden seashores, sculptured granite cliffs, and world-famous coast observe referred to as the ‘Abel Tasman Coast Observe’.

One of the simplest ways to do that? Cross on a kayaking go back and forth which can first go away from Kaiteriteri by means of a cruise boat that’s already integrated within the excursion, after which upon arriving at Torrent Bay, you’ll have a fully-guided kayak excursion for approximately 2.5 hours the place you’ll come upon seals alongside the way in which.

After this, you’ll return to Kaiteriteri by means of a go back cruise or a 2/3-hour unguided hike during the Abel Tasma Coast Observe. I might suggest doing the latter to be able to make stops alongside the gorgeous bashes to do a little sunbathing or whatnot (you’ll even come upon a few of New Zealand’s local natural world such because the Tui and the Tuatara!).


We bid good-bye to Abel Tasman at this level of our New Zealand highway go back and forth itinerary and headed right down to the West Coast to the little coastal the town of Punakaiki which is located at the fringe of the Paparoa Nationwide Park. For this present day, we made a number of stops at the highway after which ended the day with a talk over with to Punakaiki’s noted ‘Pancake Rocks’.

  • Nelson Lake: (FREE) We had lunch with a view of this lake this is inside of Nelson Lakes Nationwide Park — a spot filled with spell binding alpines, forests, and glacial lakes.
  • Cape Foulwind Walkway: (FREE) It is a impressive 3.4km one-way coastal stroll that led us thru a towering lighthouse, a fur seal breeding colony, and sooner or later to Tauranga Bay.
  • Pancake Rocks: (FREE) Because the title suggests, those are limestones that seem like stacked pancakes, the reason for which is tens of millions of years of abrasion via water, wind, and salt. On this house, you’ll additionally in finding spectacular blowholes that make thundering sounds. I like to recommend coming right here both all over break of day or sundown as a way to get the most productive lights and think about.


For as of late’s New Zealand highway go back and forth itinerary, it used to be only for locating the hidden gem stones of Hokitika and its surrounding spaces. As such, the spotlight of this present day can be our talk over with to Hokitika Gorge which had astonishing blue-green waters and a picture-perfect swing bridge.

Strolling to this spot concerned not more than a 650-meter hike so it used to be a very simple path to move thru. All of us sought after to take a swim however sadly, since we have been right here in autumn, the waters have been already too chilly.

Ahead of the day ends, once we checked into our lodging, we constructed an enormous bonfire via the seashore in Hokitika. We had such a lot amusing roasting marshmallows and exchanging tales (in the end, this used to be technically the remaining excursion day of this Southern Loop leg).

From Hokitika to Christchurch

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On our as far back as Christchurch, we drove around the iconic Southern Alps which is one in every of New Zealand’s easiest passes.

Upon arriving within the town, we checked in to JUCY Snooze (which used to be a novel pill hostel), and a few folks opted to discover Christchurch — while others opted to stick in and relaxation, in preparation for the adrenaline-filled go back and forth for the following days below the ‘Southern Voyager’ leg of Wild Kiwi!

» Southern Voyager «

From Christchurch to Franz Josef Glacier

Picture via: Shutterstock

After assembly new further folks on our excursion, we departed from Christchurch within the morning and headed for the dizzying heights of Arthurs Move and the beautiful snow-capped Southern Alps.

Mid-way, we stopped via a lake (during which a few of our partners have been loopy sufficient to leap into the icy waters) and Citadel Hill (which used to be named as such as a result of its enforcing array of limestone boulders that have been harking back to an previous run-down stone fort).

Once we had our amusing, we in the end arrived at our vacation spot which used to be Franz Josef Glacier Village.

Franz Josef Glacier

Picture via: Shutterstock

At the side of Fox Glacier, Franz Josef Glacier is surrounded via the Global Heritage Web site park of Te Wahipounamu. As a lush house stuffed with unbelievable attractions, there’s a various selection of issues that you’ll do right here in your New Zealand highway go back and forth itinerary:

  • Franz Josef Glacier Heli Hike: (NZ$459~) Via this once-in-a-lifetime excursion, you’ll move on a thrilling helicopter experience and do a 3-hour hike thru probably the most superior glacier ‘ice structure’. It appears that evidently, this can be a dear excursion to make however it’s an expense that can be value your cash and whilst — assured. Regardless that, when you most effective have the finances for only one excursion in all of your Franz Josef talk over with, that is the revel in you will have to spend money on. Simply be mindful that that is climate dependent, so if the day seems bitter then no worries as a result of there are different issues so that you can do round the town.
  • Franz Josef Glacier Valley Stroll: (NZ$78~ or FREE) That is an process that you just should make when you’ve got a decrease finances or if the elements grew to become out dangerous (and you’ll’t do a heli hike). You’ll do that with a information or on your own and it is going to take about 3 hours to move previous the Waiho river mattress as a way to see the grand terminal face of the Franz Josef Glacier.
  • Franz Josef Glacier Sizzling Swimming pools: (NZ$25~) After an afternoon of mountain climbing, praise your self with a soothing dip within the Franz Josef Glacier Sizzling Swimming pools. That is open till 9:00PM and you’ll make a selection to soak in one of the most 3 primary outside swimming pools that vary from 36 to 41 levels Celsius (if you wish to have privateness, there also are non-public swimming pools to be had).
  • Fox Glacier Heli Hike: (NZ$440~) Should you relatively need to witness the glacier to the south, this heli hike excursion to Fox Glacier is an possibility. Just like the Franz Josef Glacier Heli Hike, this will likely take you on a experience on a helicopter over the Fox Glacier after which land in a space the place you’ll do a 4-hour guided hike.

From Franz Josef to Queenstown

For this present day of our New Zealand highway go back and forth itinerary, we’re in the end making our technique to the ‘adrenaline capital’ of New Zealand — Queenstown! It’s a bit of of a force regardless that, so ahead of we arrived within the town, we handed via the next puts first.

  • Lake Matheson: This lake gives awe-inspiring replicate reflections of Mt. Prepare dinner (the easiest mountain in New Zealand) and Mt. Tasman. It principally comes to a brief circuit stroll, and if I would possibly percentage a tip, it’s highest to hike right here all over first light or nightfall as a way to see the most productive lake reflections of the encircling snowcapped mountains.
  • Haast Move: A mountain move discovered within the Southern Alps that’s brimming with stunning quick walks, rainforests, and waterfalls. Probably the most breathtaking waterfalls we now have noticed have been Fantail Falls and Thunder Creek Falls.
  • Wanaka: We stopped on this hotel the town to take a temporary riding spoil, and it used to be the sort of serene position to living room or have a picnic in! It used to be additionally an enchanting revel in to look the ‘lately noted’ Wanaka Tree (a fence publish that has now changed into a web-based sensation — and it’s simple to look why as a result of this lone tree used to be completely backdropped via the alps and the encircling terrain).
    • NOTE: Should you occur to have a complete day to spare in Wanaka, I recommend doing the 16km go back observe to Roy’s Height that grants perspectives over Lake Wanaka, Mount Aspiring/Tititea, and its surrounding peaks.

TIP: Whilst you arrive in Queenstown round evening time, drop via Fergburger for dinner. That is New Zealand’s most famed burger joint and it is helping to notice that it’s NOT a sequence — you’ll most effective in finding them in Queenstown, so it’s a should to offer them a take a look at. Positive sufficient, they do have great-tasting burgers. (But when you wish to have a much less crowded position, Satan Burger is a brilliant selection!).

Milford Sound

A go back and forth to the South Island all over your New Zealand highway go back and forth itinerary isn’t whole with out visiting the UNESCO-listed fiord of Milford Sound!

It takes 5 hours to force right here from Queenstown, however I guarantee you: this can be value your whilst as a result of, for something, the street that results in Milford Sound is scenic. And while you arrive, you’ll be indulging within the towering Mitre Height, the luxurious rainforests and the prime waterfalls like Stirling and Bowen falls that each plummet down its sheer facets. To not point out, this fjord is house to fur seal colonies, penguins, and dolphins — so that you’re positive to have a amusing time general.

Now, one of the best ways to look this all can be thru a boat cruise (NZ$80~), however if you wish to take it a step additional, you’ll additionally do a helicopter excursion over Milford Sound!

NOTE: When you’re with some spare time, test via the tab marked as ‘Day #19’ to look the opposite actions that you’ll do in and round Queenstown.


For our remaining day in Queenstown on our New Zealand highway go back and forth itinerary, we made positive to fill it up with adrenaline-pumping actions! A few of my partners went bungee leaping and others did canyon swings. As for me…? Like I’ve already discussed ahead of, I made it my purpose to do sky diving in Queenstown in order that it will lend a hand me triumph over two of my best fears: heights and flying in a aircraft…

…and so I did: I jumped out of a perfectly-functioning aircraft at 15,000 ft and boy, it used to be probably the most wonderful factor that I’ve ever executed in my existence!

For a whole listing of motion actions, you’ll do, see underneath…

  • Sky Diving: (Begins at NZ$330~) Queenstown is alleged to be the birthplace of tandem skydiving; subsequently, there’s no higher position to do it than right here! And if you wish to have the highest supplier conceivable, do it with NZONE Skydive. With their years of operation and highly-trained dive masters, you’re positive to be in just right arms whilst you soar out of an airplane at 12,000 or 15,000 ft (your selection). The joys of unfastened falling for approximately 60 seconds as you plummet against the bottom at 200kph is a sensation that you just’ll ceaselessly bear in mind and cherish. I’ve executed this myself and I’m so happy that I did it with NZONE!

READ: My Skydiving Enjoy

  • Bungy Leaping: (Begins at NZ$60~) That is New Zealand’s easiest bungee soar at 134m above the Nevis River, and it gives 8.5 seconds of natural unfastened fall! Regardless that this seems bad in your eyes, be confident that your protection is wholly confident as a result of AJ Hackett has been working this since 1988 with over 1.5 million jumpers who now grasp the bragging rights. (NOTE: If in case you wish to have some added ‘oomph’ in your go back and forth, you’ll additionally package deal this with a roundtrip helicopter experience).
    • Combo = Mix this bungee leaping process with a Nevis canyon swing for without equal adrenaline rush!
  • Ledge Swing: (NZ$160~) But some other daredevil affair, the Ledge Swing will set you flying 400m throughout and over Queenstown! Positioned on the best of the Skyline Gondola, the Ledge Swing will first take you on a soothing panoramic experience up and after you’re strapped in, they’ll pull the ‘cause’ to ship you swinging over the mountain.
  • Jet Boating: (NZ$150~) That is an adrenaline-pumping process that also is invented via New Zealand. Should you like pace, spins, and thrills mixed with marvelous water surroundings at the Shotover River, then going in this Queenstown jet boating process can be value your whilst!
  • Quad Cycling: (NZ$240~) That is the most productive amusing you’ll have on 4 wheels! For this, you’ll be supplied with a complete set of protecting apparatus and clothes equipment as you move on a 2.5-hour experience during the panoramic vistas of Queenstown.
  • Luge: (Begins at NZ$45~) Quite of a mixture between a go-kart (with out the engine) and a toboggan (with out the snow), “Luge” is a amusing and fast moving journey process this is super for folks of every age!
    • NOTE: It additionally already features a gondola experience).
  • Lord of the Rings Excursion: (Begins at NZ$185~) Adventure thru Center-earth and talk over with the ‘cinescapes’ from Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies on this wonderful half-day excursion. Probably the most puts you’ll be visiting are “Isengard”, the 12-mile Delta, Misty Mountains, Pillars of the Kings — and extra! Unquestionably, this can be a deal with for the franchise fanatics (like me!).
  • Helicopter Excursion: (Begins at NZ$800~) Jump prime above Queenstown as you are making your technique to the UNESCO-listed house of Te Wahipounamu which encompasses Mt. Prepare dinner, all of the technique to Milford Sound which has acres of dense forests, streams, lakes, and towering mountains. From this chook’s eye view, you’ll without a doubt have an extraordinary get entry to view of the landscapes you’ll be seeing — and that’s now not all, as a result of you’ll additionally revel in a snow touchdown within the secluded Southern Alps!
  • Skyline Gondola: (Begins at NZ$30~) Decelerate and get at the Skyline Gondola which provides you with one of the most highest vantage issues within the town. For the most productive perspectives and footage, move right here when the solar units, and if the sky occurs to be transparent, you should grasp the risk to move on their stargazing excursion.

Mt. Prepare dinner

We stated our goodbyes to Queenstown as of late for our New Zealand highway go back and forth itinerary, however we shook away the blues as a result of we knew that we have been fending off to the long-lasting Mt. Prepare dinner which is New Zealand’s easiest top (at 3,724 meters!).

Up to we’d have beloved to climb the summit, we have been glad sufficient to do a hike within the valley and one of the most well-liked trails that results in Mt. Prepare dinner used to be the Hooker Valley observe. It is a 3-hour hike that is going thru beautiful alpine sceneries and you’ll do it on your own or with a a professional information.

Now… if I say so myself, this has were given to be one of the vital wonderful mountain climbing trails that I’ve ever executed in my travels, so don’t skip out in this!

As soon as the evening falls, don’t additionally put out of your mind to move out and do a little stargazing within the stunning Aoraki Mount Prepare dinner Nationwide Park.

Again to Christchurch

Picture via: Shutterstock

Unfortunately, this used to be our remaining force with our partners and Wild Kiwi — however in fact, we have been all smiles as we predict again to all of the memorable issues that we’ve executed or noticed!

…And as though we have been nonetheless hungry for extra, we made positive to make some stops alongside the way in which ahead of in the end arriving again in Christchurch, and one of the most spots we dropped in have been: Tasman Glacier, Lake Tekapo, and Church of the Excellent Shepherd.

• • •

Reserving Necessities

TIP: It’s a good suggestion to crosscheck the costs with different well-liked go back and forth insurance coverage suppliers like Global Nomads and HeyMondo (as my reader, you get 5% off)!
Alternatively, be mindful {that a} go back and forth insurance coverage’s affordability most often way lesser protection; so please all the time be sure that you learn the nice print as a way to decipher which go back and forth insurance coverage corporate is the correct are compatible for you and your go back and forth!

The Easiest Issues to Do in New Zealand’s islands?

Come and take a look at this listing of the highest issues to do in New Zealand’s North Island and South Island which options the most productive actions and excursions!

• • •


It’s simple to look that this New Zealand highway go back and forth itinerary has been an final journey for me — and it’s all because of Wild Kiwi!

With that stated and executed, going for his or her 21-day NZ Discovery excursion is a should if you wish to have an all-encompassing great-for-value go back and forth of the rustic North and South Island; alternatively, when you’re pressed on time, any in their 7-day or 14-day excursions will already are compatible you smartly.

NOTE: A few of you have got been asking me which of the 7-day excursions is highest to take. Smartly… that is slightly a troublesome query to reply to as a result of each and every of the ones excursions has its personal attraction.

However relying in your choice, it may be a very simple pick out; subsequently, what I will say is that the ‘North Voyager’ gives the most productive of New Zealand’s tradition, the ‘Southern Loop’ takes you on a laid-back go back and forth of varieties, and the ‘Southern Voyager’ supplies the most productive journey and adrenaline alternatives.

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