(Closed) Honeymoon in New Zealand

posted 7 years ago in Honeymoons
Post # 3
929 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2011


1) In the South Island, I suggest 2 towns:  Kaikoura, which is right on the top of the South Island (about 2 hours north of Chch) – its surreal – wild ocean scenery next to snow capped mountains.  Absolutely stunning!!  Not a ton to do there but the scenery kept us busy for a long time!  

Akaroa, about 1.5 hrs east of Chch, on a little spit of land.  It is the cutest little town, and the place where the French first landed on NZ, so has a really European vibe.  Around Akaroa there are a bunch of farmstays, where you stay in a B&B type accomodation but can tour the farms that the owners run, and even shear sheep (the real experience, not what you get at tourist traps).  PM me if you want some names!

2) Bring lots for the flight to keep you busy.  Mostly its just boring.  I actually don’t get too uncomfortable on the 16 hr marathon, but the boredom can get to you.  Bring an iPad if you have one, or a handheld video game, LOTS of trashy mags, books, etc.  You could get a script for a sleeping pill from your doctor, they are usually pretty willing for long flights like that, but i didn’t end up taking mine when i got them. 

OMG have so much fun! NZ is my favourite place in the world!  Chch is a beautiful city and the whole South Island is just magical :):)


Post # 4
743 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

If you are flying on Air New Zealand, then each of the seats has its own TV – I just flew to NZ last May and spent the whole flight watching Cougartown.

If if fits, I suggest going to Te Anau and Milford Sound. (Te Anau is ~2-3 hrs south of Queenstown and you stay in Te Anau if you want to see Milford Sound).  In Milford Sound, you should take a cuise through the fjords – absolutely stunning!

I was there in May, so I don’t know how much has changed, but Chch was a ghost town – they had completely blocked off the entire central (i.e. touristy) part of the town due to EQ damage.  I would check to see if things had opened up…..but if not, don’t plan on spending too much time there.

Finally – sign up on GrabOne to receive daily emails to get discounts on tourist-y stuff in NZ.  We got 50% off most of our activities because we took advantage of so many GrabOne deals.

Have a fab time!!!! 


Post # 5
699 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Your itinerary looks sweet, but as someone already mentioned, I would definitely try to hit Kaikoura towards the north end of the island as well.  Remember too that it is quit a drive between some of those places. 

NZ is great, I lived there for a lil bit and have been to all of the places you mentioned.  Kiwis are really friendly and laid back, especially on the south island, which is more known for being “redneck” (ps lots of them take offense to that).  I would google “Kiwi slang” or something like that before you go, just so you have a heads up!  Things like swimsuits are called togs; sandals (flip flops) are called jandals. 

Make sure to have a Lemon and Poeria (sp?) soft drink (not for me, but hey), green lipped muscles and lamb.  Okay honestly on that list the only thing I’d go for is the green lipped muscles, but that is 100% because I’m weird.  Oh, also I very much miss Phoenix organic soft drinks, including the Fejoia one, which is a fruit that they have there. 

Have a blast!

Post # 6
14481 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

I LOOOOVE New Zealand.   We did a loop around the South Island also starting at Christchurch.  Then looping around stopping at Fox Glacier, Wanaka, Te Anau, Milford, Mt Cook and Akoroa.  Fox to Milford is very rainy (at least it was in December) and sand flies are god awful, get insect repelleant as soon as you can.  If you dont have a Milford sound cruise on the itinery, I highly recommend it and I’m assuming you’re doing a glacier hike?  Akoroa was a last minute add on to our trip since Mt Cook was rained out and it was an amazing surprise… such a cute little town and the drive is so pretty, as it is everywhere.  You’re gonna have such an awesome time… NZ is possibly my favorite place in the world.

Post # 7
1297 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

NZ is fantastic! Definitely second Akaroa – about an hr from Christchurch. Don’t stay at Mt Cook – it is a rip off!! SO EXPENSIVE! – if you want to stay close by stay at Lake Tekapo – about an hr away – it is the MOST BEAUTIFUL place I have ever seen in my life – and do a day trip up and drive to Queenstown from there. It is very easy to drive around NZ too – you’ll have a blast!

Post # 8
4771 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I suggest a 2 day cruise on Doubtful Sound.  Go visit milford, you can see the peak from the shore, but do the cruise at doubtful becasue everyone gos to Milford and you’re in a procession of boats.  On doubtful you’ll be the only boat and it is amazing!

The higlight of NZ was def White Island for me but that is up north as well as waiotapu thermal wonderland which is amazing.  If you want to ferry it up north I def reccomend it.


Post # 10
1830 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

That is going to be such an awesome trip!!!   Darling Husband and I went to New Zealand for almost two weeks for our pre-wedding Honeymoon in April and we LOVED it.  The South Island is incredible – seriously, words cannot describe how amazing it is.

The PPs all have made wonderful suggestions and I’ll just throw my two cents in as well.

1.  Fox Glacier – the full day glacier hike is amazing!  Definitely try to schedule that in if you can.  They make it sound as though it’s going to be incredibly difficult but anyone with a reasonable level of fitness can do it easy peasy.

2.  Lake Matheson – just south of Fox Glacier by a few minutes, it’s a beautiful lake with amazing reflections of Mt Cook and some other gorgeous snow capped mountains (I’ll include a personal pic just to sell it even more!)  It’s an hour long walk around the lake – definitely one of the highlights of the trip.


3.  Milford Sound – instead of doing a cruise, try kayaking with Rosco’s Milford Kayaks.  Being out on the incredible deep, silent water of the fiords on a little kayak is amazing!!!   As someone else mentioned though, the sandflies will drive you mental so bring bug repellent regardless of the time of year you’re there. 

4.  Te Anau (the town you have to stay in for Milford Sound) – there’s an awesome restaurant called the Redcliff Cafe and it is AMAZING.  The owner is a young guy who bought a settler’s cottage and has refurbished it to become an intimate, quaint restaurant with some seriously amazing food.  Go there!

5.  Punakaiki Rocks were also pretty cool (up the west coast, between Greymouth and Charleston).  We weren’t expecting much but the sheer force of the water and wind is actually quite impressive.

6.  GLOW WORMS!  Don’t do the glow worm cave tour in Te Anau, I’ve heard it’s crap, but the glow worm cave rafting trip in Charleston is amazing!   It’s a rainforest train ride up the side of a mountain, then a relatively brief hike to the entrance of the cave.  You hike through the cave for about an hour (not terribly taxing) and get to the glow worm grotto where you see them up close.  Everyone turns out their head lamps and it looks like constellations across the ceiling of the cave.  You continue on to the cave river, hop in your inner tube and float on the cave river in pitch blackness, save for the millions of glow worms lighting your path on the ceiling.  Upon exiting the cave, you navigate some grade II rapids on your inner tubes back to the train.   It was by far the coolest thing I have ever done.  I cannot recommend it highly enough!  

7.  Lake Tekapo (sorry, not going in order geographically here) is also amazingly beautiful.  The water is the most bizarre shade of  milky blue (all glacier water) and it is surrounded by mountains.  There is the most gorgeous little stone chapel on the edge of the lake and I wanted to change our wedding venue immediately upon seeing it!   I can also recommend Tailor Made Tekapo Backpackers as an awesome place to stay.  It is a hostel but it’s a family owned home and they have private en suite rooms, along with the loveliest lounge with a wood burning fireplace and so many other lovely touches.  It was awesome.  

8.  Hokitika Gorge – just south of the town of Hokitika (I do not recommend staying there – food and accommodation options were very limited and subpar) is the most gorgeous little gorge you can hike through.  The river running through it is glacier water and is pretty spectacular.  The drive through the countryside is also pretty awesome to get there.  It’s not a long hike but you can go further than the prescribed path if you want to do some scrambling up and down rocks, which Darling Husband and I did.  Again, be wary of the sandflies though.   


Ok, I could go on and on but I realise this is getting to be of epic proportions here so I will end.  PM if you want to know any further information!   Oh yes, one last recommendation – not sure if you or your Fiance are beer drinkers but Darling Husband and I fell in love with Monteith’s Cider whilst we were there.  We weren’t big cider drinkers before we went there but after trying that – we were sold.  And of course the wine is pretty spectacular across the board.  On the food front – you must, must, MUST have lamb whilst you’re there!   The Kiwis do lamb better than anyone else in the world; the beef and venison you can get there are also pretty spectacular.  As you’re driving around, you’ll see why – the South Island seriously must have some of the world’s best farm land.

Ok, I said I was done, but one last recommendation – in Queenstown, there is a truly wonderful hot chocolate cafe on the edge of the lake in the centre of town, called Patagonia.  If you’re a chocolate lover, you will be in heaven here.   The chocolate churros are pretty special I must say.

Now I truly am done!  Enjoy your trip!!!!  🙂 

Post # 11
435 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Oh you’ll love it – and what a beautiful time of year to come and visit our wee little country! I second all the votes for Akaroa & Lake Tekapo – even as a New Zealander, both places take my breath away. My suggestion would be that if you make it north to Kaikoura, try and include Hanmer Springs – it’s a gorgeous little alpine village with fabulous dining (our favourite place is Malabar) and lovely hot springs to soak in. There are plenty of holiday homes available for rent if you want some private honeymooning time!

Post # 12
332 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

You will love New Zealand – I’ve been living in Christchurch 5 years now (orig from Canada) and it is an amazing place, so many beautiful places in such a small country! I agree with all the suggestions above, Lake Tekapo is gorgeous,I personally love Lake Wanaka near Queenstown, Punakaiki is amazing too on the West Coast – you can get kayaks there and go around the base of the limestone cliffs and caves so very cool! If you are going up to Abel Tasman you can kayak there too or do a walk in and stay at places inside the park. There is a seal rserve there you can kayak up to as well, even gather mussels right of the rocks if you want! Kaiteriteri is another small town near there that has beautiful beaches. Kaikoura is OK to stay in but the swimming with dolphins is amazing there – they are wild and the boat will take you out into the ocean alongside a pod of hundreds(!) of dolphins and you slide in along next to them…amazing.

Also recommend Akaroa, half the town is French the other English and it is in an inlet formed by a volcanic crater, absolutely gorgeous.

Christchurch is still getting back on its feet, we have a number of smaller aftershocks and the central city is still closed but the spirit is still here and people are incredibly upbeat.

Bookabach.co.nz or wotif.co.nz are pretty good for finding places to stay, and grabone.co.nz always has a ton of deals, you just might need to do suscriptions for a few places to get alerted to all the deals.

If you need any other suggestions let me know 🙂

Post # 13
5993 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2010

last year was our first visit to NZ and we are returning for 11 nights this christmas – all the south island this time, Dunedin, Milford (going scuba diving) and Queenstown

others have already giving you advice but if you are in Dunedin i suggest the Speights Ale House for dinner – yummy food

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