(Closed) New Zealand Itinerary

posted 5 years ago in Honeymoons
Post # 3
1033 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

We went to NZ for our honeymoon- we were there about a month- we stayed on the North Island the whole times. It really depends on what you want to do. We like to relax so we spent a week on an isolated sheep farm in Tepuke (it was soooo awesome). Auckland was ok, nothing too exciting– the drive north of Auckland like up to Russell is really beautiful.

Post # 5
360 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2011 - Gardens of the World

Christchurch and Queenstown are good picks for the South Island. Do you want to drive yourselves around, go by tour bus, or fly? If you only have 10 days, then I think it would be best to stick to the South Island, otherwise you might feel like you’re rushing around a lot. Nelson is at the top of the South Island and is gorgeous. Franz Joseph glacier, Milford Sounds, Wanaka, and Fiordland are all in the lower South Island and you could definitely explore them in conjunction with getting to or from Queenstown.

What time of year are you going? Because that will also determine what you can do and where might be good to go.

Post # 7
369 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

@Chunkyswifey143:  FH and I went to NZ South Island for 10 days total in December 2012; we had an amazing time!!!!! We rented a campervan and freedom camped most of the time (as it’s legal in so many places); I’m not super adventurous but it made the trip so much more fun to be mobile and not worry about hotels.

Originally we were going to start north towards Abel Tasman but bc the roads ended up being closed, we went south instead. Here’s a short version of our itinerary:

Day 1: Flew into Christchurch, picked up van, drove to Lake Tekapo. If you google pictures, the water in New Zealand is actually that color. We slept amongst lupins next to the lake.

Day 2: Twizle, Mt. Cook, Queenstown

Day 3: Bungee!!!! Hung in Queenstown, rode the gondola in town, luged (super touristy but fun), booked Milford Sound cruise, drove south

Day 4: Milford Sound cruise, Mirror Lakes, many little stops along the road at pools, waterfalls, chasms, etc

Day 5: Driving and Fox Glacier

Day 6: Franz Josef Glacier, along the West Coast, Pancake Rocks

Day 7: Split Apple Rock, beach day, drove to Abel Tasman area, booked kayak trip

Day 8: Kayaked at Abel Tasman, went to Nelson (stopped at Founder Park… super kitschy but fun, delicious fresh fish).

Day 9: Marlborough Sounds, Picton (I put a sad face here but not sure why, I think bc we wanted to do part of the Queen Charlotte trail or do a boat tour but wasn’t able to), short hike, beach, saw some seals up close, parked the campervan on the beach in Kaikoura (which was amazing as we live on the other side of the Pacific!)

Day 10: Back to Christchurch, walked around downtown, observed the damage (so sad), and tried to support local business.

People don’t tell you about the sandflies!!! They are SO annoying by Milford Sound so bring some bug spray.

We mostly relied on the Lonely Planet New Zealand book and from talking to people. Our kayak company at Abel Tasman and it was so lovely. If we could do it again, we would have spent more time at Abel Tasman and done part of the Queen Charlotte. Also, it takes lots of TIME to drive from place to place! Even though the island is relatively small, the roads tend to be 2 lane and you occasionally get stuck behind a slow driver. So, definitely put in extra time for that.

I won’t lie, the trip was expensive. The activities are all pricey (kayaking, bungee, etc) but the experience was absolutely worth it. NZ feels less touristy to me than many places and is just gorgeous all around.

Anyway, HAVE AN AMAZING TIME! And PM me or reply if you want more info!!

Post # 8
369 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

@Chunkyswifey143:  Also, I would not spend 5 days in each of those places as they are pretty small and you can see everything in 2 days, at most.

Post # 9
169 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

Definately travel more around the south island, Christchurch is pretty small now after the earthquake, there are still a few of the normal tourist attractions but a lot have been ruined and can still be seen in ruins..

I would recommend Lake Tekapo, Wanaka, Queenstown, Milford Sound Franz Josef, Fox Glacier, visiting Mt Cook, Dunedin (they have a castle, which is where we got engaged) and maybe if you can Stewart Island (I would love to go), Akaroa, and ive heard Golden Bay around the Nelson area is amazing too!

Post # 10
8359 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

The other posters have all mentioned some great places but I want to throw in the Bay of Islands. Someone already mentioned Russell but also check out Waitangi particularly for the history. 

Post # 12
193 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: March 2015

Drive around! Central otago and the drive around the south island is beautiful. Christchurch no longer has earthquakes that cause damage, and the airport is operational and more importantly – is located on the largely unaffected side of the city.

I have lived in both the north and south islands and I fully recommend going to Christchurch still. The north island cannot compare! The beauty of the canterbury plains is worth it 😀

Have a wonderful trip!

Post # 13
1066 posts
Bumble bee

@sharkchomp:  wow that was really well planned. i live in nZ and haven’t done all that!!! lol

Post # 15
227 posts
Helper bee

Once you’re in NZ, it’s really easy to get around if you’re willing to drive. I agree with the others who said not to spend too long in Christchurch and Queenstown. They’re both lovely, but you’ll be missing out on some insanely beautiful things! And driving around the country gives you some of the prettiest views. 

I second recommendations for: Milford Sound, Wanaka, Franz Joseph glacier. I really liked Abel Tasman, too, if you’re going that far north. It’s not too far from Nelson, which someone also mentioned. 

Enjoy!! I studied in Wellington for a year and miss that country dearly. I’ve still not seen anything that compares to how stunningly beautiful New Zealand is. 

Post # 16
1835 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2012 - Oak Tree Manor

Hi there! I think you should definitely spend some more time exploring the South Island – the PPs have some great advice, so I’ll just add on a few more things:

-Queenstown is very touristy. Not sure what you’re interested in, but if you’re more into outdoorsy, quiet activities, don’t spend too many nights in Queenstown. It’s great for adventure stuff (bungee jumping, white water rafting, etc.) but there is a lot else to see on the South Island…We spent 3 days in Queenstown and that was more than enough time.

-You MUST stay at Adrift at Golden Bay…It’s my favorite hotel/B&B I’ve ever stayed at. It’s near Nelson – you can rent a car and drive up to Golden Bay, and make day trips to Abel Tasman National Park. It’s perfection.

-I blogged about our honeymoon in New Zealand and Australia – here’s my posts on Nelson/Golden Bay (http://www.weddingbee.com/2012/12/11/new-zealand-honeymoon-3/) and Queenstown (http://www.weddingbee.com/2012/12/12/queenstown-honeymoon/), as well as a post about budget travel (http://www.weddingbee.com/2012/12/14/international-honeymoon-travel-tips/), hopefully those give you some ideas! If you have any extra time to spare, you might want to check out Australia, but if you’re stuck with just 10 days, then just enjoy NZ and don’t waste it all flying 🙂

Feel free to PM me if you have any questions, our honeymoon was very similar. Good lucK!

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