(Closed) New Zealand Honeymoon! Who has been there???

posted 4 years ago in Honeymoons
Post # 2
Member
14965 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

I love New Zealand!!!  We stayed on the South Island the whole time for 2 weeks but moved around every 2-3 days.  When we went in Dec, the west side of the island was very rainy and the easy side was beautiful.  It was so weird how different it was.  We did the Franz Josef glacier hike which was a fun experience.  Milford Sound boat tour was amazin.  (Try to be flexible with your schedule, we were rained out for both the hike and boat tour and had to wait for the next day, which ended up to be beautiful).  Queenstown is a must for some adventures, we only passed thrugh, but there is a lot to do there.  Akaroa is a really cute little town too.  Get bug spray!  They have these sand flies or something on the west side of the island that are just freaking vicious and itch and hurt like a mosquito jacked up on steriords or something bad.

Post # 4
Hostess
592 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

You MUST visit Rotorua!!!! 

Post # 5
Member
64 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: City, State

We are going to New Zealand for our honeymoon as well!!!  We are in Hawaii first (eloping there), and then flying to Christchurch and spending 3.5 weeks in New Zealand.  We are splitting our time 2.5 weeks in South Island and 1 week in North Island.

I’m not sure if you’ve gotten any guidebooks yet, but we picked up NZ Frenzy North Island and South Island – they have a lot of good info about more off the beaten track adventures.  

We’ve decided on our possible itinerary for the North Island.  We are spending a day in downtown Wellington and plan to visit Te Pa Pa Museum.  The next day we will drive to Tongariro National Park.  We would like to do Tongariro Crossing and/or Mt Ngauruhoe day hikes there.  We will then drive to Taupo (area attractions: Aratiatia Rapids, Huka Falls, and some hot springs there) and Rotorua (area attractions: Hamurana Springs Loop, Whakarewarewa redwood forest, the “Mud pool”, and Waiotapu’s Champagne Pool).  Possibly Waitomo Caves, and then finish our trip in Auckland where we will likely just hang around the CBD area.  I wish we had time to see Northland, Bay of Islands, and the Cormandel Peninsula.

Our South Island itinerary is still a bit in the air – we are spending a few days in Nelson to see the Marlborough Wine Region and have booked Heaphy Track (one of the Great Walks).  We also want to see Abel Tasman National park, Franz Josef Glacier Park, Milford Sound region (we’ve allotted time here to do Kepler Track), and the Otago Peninsula.

We are kind of winging this trip, which is really unlike us.  There’s just so much to do that we wanted to stay super flexible.  We’ve only booked hotels for Christchurch, Nelson, Welly, and Auckland.  We plan to book hotels as we go, or if in a pinch – stay in the network of holiday parks or DOC campgrounds (since we will have all our gear for Heaphy).  Our itinerary is probably not realistic, so we will play it by ear!  We rented cars with Apex and Go Rentals for the entire duration of our trip – they had the best price and are Kiwi companies.  We also booked a flight between South and North Island with Jetstar for a song.

Post # 6
Member
2332 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

The Marlborough Sounds and the nearby famous wine region  in the south island is a must. So beautiful and really accessible. 

Queens town is also stunning.

ETA: Def don’t stay in Nelson if you’re going to the Marlborough Wine region. It’s 1.5 hours drive away over a very windy hill and is actually a totally different region (Marlborough vs Tasman). Either Stay in the town of Blenheim which is ten Min from all the vineyards or the Marlborough Sounds which is also very close

Post # 7
Member
2128 posts
Buzzing bee

Auckland: look at the ferry schedule for Kawau Island, Rotorua Island, Waiheke Island, or Tiritiri Matangi Island. Cornwall Park in town. Auckland zoo, the museum, MOTAT,  the sky tower, the bridge climb. North Auckland has amazing beaches, and we have amazing West Coast beaches like Bethells beach or Muriwai. There is a TONNE to do here, the viaduct is lovely in summer, so is Ponsonby. 

Northland is beautiful, so is the Coromandel and Bay of Islands. Rotorua is amazing and will give you an awesome Maori cultural experience. There’s the gondola and luge, natural hot springs, and definitely go to Paradise Valley Springs to see the lion feed – so cool! 

Taupo is perfect, I’m building a house there! The lake is an obvious must, Huka falls and the prawn park. If you want a really nice luxury night drive down to the Tongariro National Park and stay at the Chateau. Divine. 

Wellington is an awesome city, they have a pretty cool zoo and there’s the museum. On the waterfront near the museum is this little cafe that has two wakas in it… They do the best eggs benedict, served on really typical old NZ plates. 

 

Marlborough sounds is pretty, so is the West Coast. Haven’t been to Queenstown, it doesn’t really interest me. Would bypass Canterbury completely. 

I’ve lived in the North Island and the South Island and wouldn’t bother much with the South – North Island rocks! 

 

At at that time of the year be prepared for rain or sun. Sorry for spelling and random words, etc. My iPad has started inserting random words and changing correct spelling to random nonsense. I try and pick them all up, but do miss mistakes from time to time! 

Post # 8
Member
2128 posts
Buzzing bee

betabloc:  just be careful with the roads. I don’t know where you’re from or what the roads are like, but our roads are often quite windy and can be narrow. Lots of tourists think they will be able to drive farther than what is realistic on our roads and have accidents. Not saying you will, just something to think about because you have already acknowledged you might not be able to do everything. Be safe, and enjoy 🙂 

Post # 9
Member
64 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: City, State

garnobella:  Thank you so much for your advice!  We are from Canada – windy roads here in the mountains, but our day to day driving is easy peasy.  We are pretty nervous about driving on the left side too!  I definitely think that we will be cutting back on our ultimate to-see list A LOT, since we are usually slow-paced travelers (contrary to how our itinerary might look). 🙂

ucsadie – we booked our flights into Christchurch and out of Auckland before anything else, so we were committed to seeing both islands.  I think we would have been super happy just staying on one island as well.

Post # 10
Member
72 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: February 2017 - The George, Christchurch

I live in New Zealand so i could be biased but NZ is a beautiful country and you will not be disappointed! Decmeber is heading in to summer time so its starting to warm up. There is so much to see and do. I live in the South Island (christchurch) and heading down south to Queenstown way and also up North to Nelson/ Golden Bay area are our favourite areas. Also you have the glaciers, many walks, waterfalls and little towns along the way. I am not too familiar with the North Island but i like Wellington, and Rotorua is a must for the thermal pools. You will have a wonderful honeymoon in NZ, i know you will not be disapppointed, and you will want to spend longer here. Have fun planning your trip!

Post # 11
Member
2128 posts
Buzzing bee

This site drives me crazy. It keeps clearing what I write. 

betabloc:  I’m pleased you took that as it was intended. I was a bit worried it would come across as being rude or a tourist bash. 

I also thought of in Auckland: the Muriwai gannet colony, horse treks down Muriwai beach, Pakiri Beach, in Warkworth and at Ti Tree Hills. Ti Point reptile park is an interesting place. You can hire a kayak and go to Rangitoto Island then have dinner at the summit and kayak back after dark (with a guide of course). You can go on wine tasting, and can helicopter to Waiheke Island. We have heaps of walks and no nasty critters! Butterfly creek is near the airport, there is whale and dolphin watching, and Kelly Tarltons Aquarium. Pakiri Beach has squeaky sand, and the Botanic Gardens are beautiful. There are lots of other gardens around too. If you have a car and want to go for a drive, pop up to Gibbs Farm (google it) and have a gander from the road. It only opens at certain times of the year but it’s a massive privately owned sculpture park and he owns giraffe, zebra, buffalo, and all sorts! You can see some from the road, and if you keep driving there’s a garden centre with its own sculpture garden, which is beautiful at the start of summer. It’s only like $10 for entry. Kaipara garden centre maybe? Can’t remember. 

 

In North Auckland Wenderholm is a really really nice park and beach. There’s a historical home you can walk through. 

 

Keep an an eye on treatme.co.nz , http://new.grabone.co.nz/auckland-experience , Groupon.co.nz for discounted activities. Sometimes the deals suck, sometimes they’re awesome. 

Post # 12
Member
62 posts
Worker bee

It depends on what time of the year you’re there, and what kind of things you like to do… But there is so much to do in NZ and it’ll be a beautiful place for your honeymoon!  Taupo is a good choice (my family lived in Taupo for a while so it is special to me) – apart from going out on the lake itself, the best thing to do in the area is go to Tongariro National Park (if it’s Winter you can go to the snow, but there’s plenty to do the rest of the year too, like the Tongariro Crossing walk).  Huka Falls is also an impressive place to visit nearby. 

In my opinion (and despite my family coming from the North Island), the South Island is the more beautiful of the 2 islands.  If you’re into adventure type things there are plenty of great walks, swimming with dolphins (in Akaroa and Kaikoura), bungee jumping (Queenstown) and helicopter rides to see the glaciers (at Fox and Franz Josef). 

Milford Sound is pretty spectacular, and Lake Tekapo is just about my favourite place on earth (particularly around Nov-Dec when the lupin flowers are out)! Queenstown, Akaroa and Wanaka are lovely towns to visit. 

I personally haven’t had the best time on the West Coast of the South Island (it’s very rugged and isolated with poor weather), or in Christchurch (sadly, due to the earthquake several years ago a lot of the city was destroyed and it still hasn’t been rebuilt), so I wouldn’t plan on spending much time there on future holidays.  Have a great holiday!

Post # 13
Member
2714 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015 - St Peter\'s Church, East Maitland, and Bella Vista, Newcastle

I’m biased and love the South Island as it’s where I was born and bred. So many beautiful places – the Marlborough Sounds, Golden Bay, Milford Sound, Queenstown, Wanaka, Akaroa…but if you’re spending a week in Taupo (also gorgeous!) I wouldn’t try to pack too much more in, it’s a deceptively big country and as a PP said, the roads can be winding and so what you think might be a 2 hour drive is nearer four hours.  In your shoes I don’t think I’d go further south than Christchurch – spend some time in the Marlborough Sounds and Golden Bay, drive down the east coast to Kaikoura and go whale watching there, then keep going to Christchurch and visit Akaroa (it was a French settlement originally and is one of my favourite places on the planet).  If you wanted to visit Queenstown I’d recommend flying from Christchurch otherwise you’ll lose a full day driving there and while it’s a gorgeous drive through the high country, it’s long and in bad weather, even in summer, can be treacherous.  

Post # 14
Member
331 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

I live in Christchurch, I think the south island is so so beautiful (and I am from Canada).

Near here is Akaroa, a little half french/English town which is absolutely stunning. And Tekapo is further south but incredible, the bluest glacier lake and a dark sky reserve – you will see more stars than you knew existed! There is also observatory there you can book a tour with.

Further North Abel Tasman is beautiful beach and you can kayak through seal colony and it is a beautiful spot, Kaiteriteri is near there and is my fave little beach area.

Post # 15
Member
331 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

And bookme.co.nz has great deals on attractions all over the country, you book pretty much last minute but usualy save 1/2 the cost!

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