(Closed) New Zealand honeymoon…help me out (again)!

posted 4 years ago in Honeymoons
Post # 2
413 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

My husband and I went to both and given that you only have 8 days, I wouldn’t recommend other than flying to the North Island. We loved Christchurch and Milford sounds and got to sky dive over Milford. But we absolutely loved the North Island and Cathedral Cove…. absolutely our favorite.

Post # 3
2636 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

You can take a ferry (3 hours) from Wellington in the NI to the Marlborough sounds in the SI if you want to but if you’re short on time flying only takes 20min to an hour. 

The Marlborough Sounds is in my opinion the most beautiful part of all of New Zealand- perfect for relaxation on the golden beaches. I would try and stay a few nights there if you can. These are my favourite resorts but there are many similar: http://bayofmanycoves.co.nz/ or http://www.peppers.co.nz/portage/ . In my opinion it is much nicer and quiter than the Milford Sounds, worth a drive. There are also many beautiful wineries and fine dining in the nearby Blenheim area (http://www.witherhills.co.nz/Home

You can drive a scenic route from Chch to Queenstown which is much nicer than taking the state highways http://www.newzealand.com/int/trips-and-driving-itineraries/south-island/queenstown-to-christchurch-via-mount-cook/

You’re right in saying there won’t be any skiing in NZ in summer, but Queenstown is the best place to do adventure. There will be bungy jumping, jet boating, zip-trekking, skydiving, luging, parasailing and paragliding depending on your level of adventure.  I’d also take a cruise on the Queenstown lake. the https://www.realjourneys.co.nz/en/experiences/cruises/tss-earnslaw-vintage-steamship-cruises/

 (I have holidayed in NZ many times, once for several months).


Post # 4
2636 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

This is Marlborough and I would highly recommend kayaking there- I have done it twice and had dolphins swim right up to me. I’ve also seen seals while on a boatride there.

Post # 5
2634 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015 - St Peter's Church, East Maitland, and Bella Vista, Newcastle

Christchurch to the Marlborough Sounds is about a four hour drive, and Christchurch to Queenstown is about a six hour drive.  To be honest, with eight days I’d do one or the other but probably not both, unless you fly from Nelson (biggest centre near the Marlborough Sounds) to Queenstown.  The main Chch-Qtown road is pretty beautiful – Tekapo is a good place to stop on the way, there’s a tiny church which looks straight up the lake to Mt Cook – just stunning.  

Christchurch is is still recovering after the devastating earthquake of 2012 – so there’s a lot of construction.  My tips for eating would be Dux Dine (seafood and vegetarian) and the Addington Coffee Co-op is a great place for a casual lunch.  Oh and a Mexican place called the Flying Burrito Brothers is great too – it’s on the north of the city.

Queenstown has a famous burger joint called Fergburger – it’s not to be missed!

Post # 6
2420 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: January 2013

mhcmod:  cool youv chosen nz for your honeymoon! After travelling the world I can honestly say nz is the best countey in the world. Im born and bred in christchurch, and im still living here now. What the otjers have recommendedi agree with, marlborough sounds/Abel Tasman is devine. Love it there, so so pretty. Queenstown is great for adventure, and on the way down definitely stop at Tekapo Lake. My husbands family has a holiday home there and we go often, its absolutely amazing. Go up mount john at nigjt and see the galaxy. It is the best place for star gazing and people travel from all over the world to go. The glod thing about nzisthat yiu7can literally travel from one side to the other (east to west in 3ish hrs, noeth to south in a good day) and besomewhere totally different. You needto take the ferry across from north island to south, its ok but flying would be quicker and easier.

If you have time, a day trip from christchurch to akaroa is a really cool place to visit. Gorgeous wee town on the sea. Windy hill to get to but so worth it. Chch is a great city, even after the 2011 earthquake. Baretta is a yum restaurant,  as well as cafe valentinos and lonestar is a big kiwi fave.


Have an amazing time!! If you can, u migjt not have time but try and get to the west coast and go to franz josef and fox glaciers. Aaaamazing. enjoy!! 

Post # 7
1069 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

Eight days is unfortunately not very long. NZ is amazing though – highlights for us were probably Hobbiton, Rotorua hot springs and the Kaikoura baby seal colony/dolphins. Christchurch is very interesting, although a bit sombre given the destruction. The Cardboard Cathedral is beautiful.

We didn’t have time to get down to Milford Sound and Queenstown, so it sounds like you are going in a different direction. Travel takes longer than you would expect, so don’t push yourself too much!

Post # 8
553 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

As NowandLater said…the North Island has some real gems. I’ve lived in NZ and traveled all over the entire country, and I think the North Island is passed over more than it should be. Hahei/Hot Water Beach/Cathedral Cove is one of my favorite places on earth. Once I hiked down there in the dark to watch the sunrise…it was spectacular. There were dolphins!

But if you’re committed to focusing on the South Island (with only a week it does make sense to limit your scope), here’s what I did:

Picton to Kaikoura: (kind of a waste; the sea is often too rough for the whale watching boats to go out. We did get to see a seal colony, though.)

Picton to Nelson:  horsback riding in the hills. It was kinda meh. We weren’t there for summer, though, so kayaking wasn’t an attractive option.

Nelson to Hokitika: (via Punakaiki pancake rocks) stopped to do pounamu carving. It was a good gift for my mom. (Hokitika and Greymouth smell pretty awful due to the coal smoke.)

Hokitika to Fox Glacier:  research suggested that Fox Glacier was less crowded than the more popular Franz Josef…I think that was our only reasoning.

Fox Glacier to Queenstown:  Stayed in Queenstown for a couple days doing all the daredevil touristy things imaginable. (Canyon Swing, Shotover Canyon jet boat, and white water rafting.) (don’t forget to stop in Wanaka on the way.)

Queenstown to Milford Sound:  We did an overnight cruise on a tall ship. It was awesome. Definitely recommended.

Back to Queenstown, then up the east coast (the long way through Dunedin, Timaru, and Oamaru to Christchurch.) We made lots of stops at interesting lakes, rivers, beaches, etc. 

NZ is really great about signage. It’s got great hidden magic spots on the side of the road. For little hikes there are usually signs that will say the distance/estimated time required and difficulty level.

Should you decide to reconsider the North Island…send me a PM. I’ve got an even longer list. 😀

Post # 10
2634 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015 - St Peter's Church, East Maitland, and Bella Vista, Newcastle

The mountain roads are all usually fine except in the depths of winter, when I don’t think you’re there (judging from what you said about there not being skiing and snowboarding) so I wouldn’t think you need a 4WD unless you’re planning to go off-roading.  Certainly I’ve driven all over the South Island and except when heading up to the ski field, have not needed a 4WD.

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