New Zealand Travel Tips & Tricks
If you’re here you must be thinking of or already planning a trip to New Zealand! If you are in the planning stage then hopefully this post helps because it is VERY hard to pick and choose an itinerary. Still undecided? All I can say is GO!!!! You will not regret anything about your trip no matter what you choose to do and see. Use these New Zealand Travel Tips & Tricks to plan the most epic adventure ever!
That being said, New Zealand has 2 obstacles that you’re going to need to overcome to truly enjoy yourself. The first is financial. New Zealand can be pricey because it’s a cool place where the US dollar doesn’t go very far. This is especially crummy because, if you’re a major adventurer that wants to take advantage of every unique activity you encounter.
The second obstacle is the island issue. New Zealand is made up of 2 islands, the north and the south. Although you can take a ferry between them the most efficient way to go from one to the other is by airplane. Both islands offer a vast array of activities and breathtaking landscapes. Most people would agree that you really needs to spend time on both islands to get a real vision of the country as a whole.
New Zealand Itineraries
Planning for New Zealand is an incredibly tough endeavor. There is a lot of ground to cover physically and innumerable options for activities and sites to choose from. As with any trip choose what works best for you and take note that just because the internet says something is a must-see (*cough* LOTR tours *cough*) does not mean you have to see it. For those reasons, if you are unable to spend 12 or more days in New Zealand you might be better off saving up money so you can really do the trip right at a later date.
On the other hand, very few blogs list any New Zealand itineraries under 3 weeks in length. It can be tough to take off 3 weeks from work and travel can also just be exhausting after a certain point. Personally, my sweet spot is 14 days, then I start to get over tired and notice I am not enjoying myself as much as I would if I were fresh.
With all of that in mind, this New Zealand itinerary aims to hit the highlights of the North and South islands in a reasonable 14 days without breaking the bank.
- 14 Day New Zealand Itinerary: You should spend as much time as possible in New Zealand! However, I know that for most people 3-4 weeks of vacation just isn’t realistic. This itinerary will make the best of your 14 Days in New Zealand. You will see some of the best sites in the country and split your time between the north and south island.
New Zealand Experiences
There are SO many options for things to do in New Zealand. Anything from culture, art and wildlife to landscapes, volcanoes, caves, waterfalls and glaciers it leaves nothing to be desired. Pick and choose your activities carefully and if there is anything you are on the fence about just nix it and move on to something that really sparks that fire in your soul. There is no reason to settle here, New Zealand has everything to offer and dishes it up on a gorgeous platter.
- Exploring and Navigating Auckland: Land in Auckland and figure out how to make it to your hotel, where to eat and how to fight jet lag. Get got a good taste for Queen Street at night and see the lights of the city
- Discovering Mount Eden: As the tallest natural point in Auckland and one of 48 dormant volcanoes dotting the cityscape, Mount Eden is a must-see Auckland site. The panoramic 360 degree views of the city and harbor at the top are not to be missed.
- Waitomo Glow Worm Caves: A caving adventure through the Waitomo glowworm caves! Cold water, abseiling, squeezing through tight spaces and sliding down waterfalls! This is one adventure that you don’t want to miss out on and you will never forget.
- Tongariro Alpine Crossing: The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is one of the most beautiful day hikes in New Zealand and perhaps the world depending on who you talk to. It was rainy and windy but the view and Emerald Lakes are absolutely worth it. Don’t miss this hike, not for the faint of heart!
- Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland: A relaxing day at Wai-O-Tapu thermal wonderland exploring the unique Rotorua region. Wai-O-Tapu is a crazy unique place because of all the geothermal activity. Everywhere you look there are areas of steam coming out of the ground. A soak in the hot springs at Waikite Valley completed the day.
- A Full Day In Rotorua: Redwoods and Maori: Easily spend a full day exploring Rotorua including a trip to Te Puia and the Whakarewarewa Redwood Forest. The highlight will definitely be Mitai Maori Village!
- Kaikoura Whale Watching and Epic Seascapes: Kaikoura is a dream for anyone that loves marine life. Whale watching, sea lion swimming and more. To top everything take a walk along the rocky coast to see the incredible cliffside views.
- Christchurch Art, History and Lion Feeding: Christchurch, New Zealand should most definitely be on your itinerary for any trip to New Zealand. It is one of the main gateways to the south island along with Queenstown and offers a ton of cool art, culture and adventure for anyone to enjoy.
- Queenstown Adrenaline Rush: Queenstown, New Zealand truly is natures playground. For nature lovers and adrenaline junkies this is the place you will want to spend a ton of time. Surrounded by The Remarkables mountain range the views do not quit and your heart rate won’t get a break either.
- Milford Sound Cruise: Milford Sound is a destination found on most New Zealand itineraries. Unsure if it is worth the trip? Spoiler alert: It is going to rock your world. It is one of the most truly remarkable and unique landscapes I have ever been surrounded by.
New Zealand Travel Tips & Tricks
- Driving On The Wrong Side Of The Road