New Zealand Street Journey Itinerary: Information for 1st-Time Guests

Loads of you’d have identified by now how I adore New Zealand — and that’s not simply because it’s the set for ‘Center-earth’. (New Zealand Street Journey Itinerary)

Regrettably, my first journey to this nation felt extremely brief; in any case, I barely scratched the floor of the wonders held inside the North Island, and I didn’t even handle to drop by the South Island. So when Wild Kiwi invited me to go on a 21-day tour to each of the islands, you wager that I mentioned ‘sure‘ in a heartbeat.

Wanting again, it has absolutely turned out to be one of the epic street journeys that I’ve ever carried out in my life. With that, I hope that the remainder of this put up will present you why a tour with Wild Kiwi shall be value your whereas, if not provide you with concepts on your personal New Zealand journey!

Discover out extra about Wild Kiwi and why I’ve chosen to go along with them (regardless of the variety of different New Zealand tour corporations who’ve prolonged their invites to me) by studying the put up beneath…
: My Massive Journey to New Zealand with Wild Kiwi

New Zealand Journey Information

» Fast Journey Planning

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IMPORTANT: New Zealand has STRICT quarantine legal guidelines for undeclared meals and different biohazards. Because of this you shouldn’t herald any sort of recent meals reminiscent of bananas, apples, honey, and so on. as you just remember to get rid of them earlier than going by the bags declare space. Processed or packaged meals might be accepted however you might be imagined to declare them in your arrival card. Should you’re ever unsure, ask for clarification — in any other case, you can be charged with a hefty high-quality.

Should you’ve bought outside tools like diving gear, mountain climbing boots, and so on. you could clear them earlier than you journey to New Zealand to ensure that the inspection course of to go extra shortly for you. Be suggested that New Zealand is agency about this given how they’ve sniffer canines and bio-sensitive X-ray machines to detect any undesirable gadgets.

» Greatest Time to Go to

Technically, there may be NEVER a foul time to go particularly if it’s for a New Zealand street journey itinerary; but in fact, since each the North and South Islands are lengthy and slim, the climate just isn’t uniform. In order an summary, beneath are New Zealand’s seasons:

  • Summer time: That is the most well-liked time; therefore, the busiest — however the seashores are nice throughout this time of the yr. Take word by the way in which that January would be the warmest month. Eager about this, New Zealand is a superb escape for these months of the yr if you wish to get away from harsh winters.
  • Autumn: This time is beautiful because the leaves change colours and it’s additionally among the finest instances to plan a getaway or a mountain climbing spree because the summer time crowds are principally gone. So as to add, charges are on an ‘off peak’ stage.
  • Winter: Queenstown for example shall be your winter wonderland, however there absolutely are a lot of ski areas across the nation. Should you are available June you’ll be able to benefit from the Queenstown Winter Pageant.
  • Spring: This is without doubt one of the ‘off peak’ seasons as you get to get pleasure from hotter days and longer daylight.

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» New Zealand Forex

New Zealand Greenback (NZD) whereby about NZD 1.70 is the same as about USD $1~ / €0.85~ (that is as of August 2022). Within the occasion that you simply wish to change your cash for NZD, I extremely advise that you simply do NOT change your cash on the airport because the charges there aren’t aggressive.

  • How one can greatest change your foreign money? Both change it at a financial institution or at a cash exchanger in your house nation or within the metropolis middle. Higher but, simply withdraw from an ATM along with your debit/bank card — nonetheless, you could do one huge withdrawal to reduce charges along with your financial institution. Talking of playing cards, lots of the institutions settle for bank cards nevertheless it’s at all times advisable to have money readily available as a result of lots of smaller outlets do not settle for worldwide bank cards.

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» Value of Journey in New Zealand

To offer you an concept, it’s best to count on to journey in New Zealand with a mean day by day price of about USD $40~ per particular person on a finances, or a minimum of $70~ if you wish to expertise extra consolation in actions, excursions, inns, and extra. (Values beneath present low-budget to medium-budget ranges).

  • Resorts: $20 to $35 USD / day
  • Meals: $10 to $16 USD / day
  • Enjoyable: $10 to $20 USD / day
  • Transport: At the least $10 for native transportation

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» Visa for New Zealand

You’ll be able to verify this record of nations to see who does NOT want vacationer visas to enter New Zealand. Naturally, should you’re NOT a citizen of any of the listed international locations, you’ll then want to use for a vacationer visa within the New Zealand embassy that’s close to you.

Should you’re a Philippine citizen like me, you’ll be able to learn my information on ‘How one can Apply for a New Zealand Visa‘.

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» The place to Keep (New Zealand Lodging)

There may be in fact a spread of lodging in New Zealand so that you can select from. To seek for the perfect lodging at the perfect costs, I counsel testing Agoda and However should you’re moderately occupied with renting snug homes, verify AirBnB.

Anyhow, should you’re coming with Wild Kiwi, your lodging shall be taken care of in the course of the tour (a mixture of inns and hostels); however it’s extremely beneficial that you simply e book your personal lodging for a minimum of 1 evening earlier than and after your Wild Kiwi street journey journey to allot a while of rest earlier than and after your flights. For a listing of the highest lodging, see my posts beneath…

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» Wild Kiwi Routes

To this point, Wild Kiwi has over 7 sorts of routes and combos which you could select from:

  • North Island: 7-day Northern Voyager
    • Stops: Auckland > Raglan > Taupo > Napier > Rotorua > Coromandel > Auckland
    • Worth: NZD $1,199 (topic to alter)
  • South Island: 7-day Southern Voyager
    • Stops: Christchurch > Franz Josef > Queenstown > Mt. Cook dinner > Christchurch
    • Worth: NZD $1,199 (topic to alter)
  • South Island:7-day Southern Loop
    • Stops: Christchurch > Kaikoura > Picton > Abel Tasman > Punakaiki > Hokitika > Christchurch
    • Worth: NZD $1,099 (topic to alter)
  • North & South Island:14-day NZ Explorer
    • Mixture of 7-day Northern Voyager + 7-day Southern Voyager
    • Stops: Auckland > Raglan > Taupo > Napier > Rotorua > Coromandel > Auckland > (Fly to Christchurch) > Christchurch > Franz Josef > Queenstown > Mt. Cook dinner > Christchurch
    • Worth: NZD $2,499 (topic to alter)
  • South Island: 14-day Massive South
    • Mixture of 7-day Southern Voyager + 7-day Southern Loop
    • Stops: Christchurch > Franz Josef > Queenstown > Mt. Cook dinner > Christchurch > Kaikoura > Picton > Abel Tasman > Punakaiki > Hokitika > Christchurch
    • Worth: NZD $2,499 (topic to alter)
  • North & South Island: 14-day NZ Adventurer
    • Mixture of 7-day Northern Voyager + 7-day Southern Loop
    • Stops: Auckland > Raglan > Taupo > Napier > Rotorua > Coromandel > Auckland > (Fly to Christchurch) > Christchurch > Kaikoura > Picton > Abel Tasman > Punakaiki > Hokitika > Christchurch
    • Worth: NZD $2,499 (topic to alter)
  • ★ North & South Island: 21-day NZ Discovery
    • Mixture of 7-day Northern Voyager + 7-day Southern Loop + 7-day Southern Voyager
    • Stops: Auckland > Raglan > Taupo > Napier > Rotorua > Coromandel > Auckland > (Fly to Christchurch) > Christchurch > Kaikoura > Picton > Abel Tasman > Punakaiki > Hokitika > Christchurch > Franz Josef > Queenstown > Mt. Cook dinner > Christchurch
    • Worth: NZD $3,599 (topic to alter)

The next are the essential inclusions for all of the excursions of the New Zealand street journey itinerary…

  • Professional native information/driver
  • Each day street transportation and stops
  • Limitless WiFi
  • Lodging
  • Each day breakfast
  • Native flight (as relevant to the route)

If you’re on the 21-day NZ Discovery tour like I did, you get some extra extras reminiscent of the next…

  • Surf lesson in Raglan
  • Wai O Tapu geothermal park admittance
  • 3 free dinners

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» Packing Information

After all, this may rely on what month and what areas you can be visiting as per the street journey circuit you select — however for a begin:

  • Carry snug strolling footwear (for these metropolis strolls + mountain climbing sprees) and a rain jacket (simply in case).
  • In summer time, deliver a towel, swimwear, mild summer time garments, flip-flops, and a lightweight jacket.
  • In winter, ensure that to pack a heat jacket and many layers because the South Island can get actually chilly.
  • Don’t fear about bringing fancy attire as a result of New Zealand has a really informal costume code.
  • It’s greatest to deliver a day bag that may maintain a few of your necessities since it is going to be essential for the stops you’ll be making.
  • Get a refillable bottle too. In any case, New Zealand faucet water tastes higher than bottled stuff (to not point out, it’s free, which saves you the price of shopping for costly bottled water).
  • Bear in mind to pack sunscreen or a hat as a result of the solar might be fairly robust in some locations.
  • Be at liberty to deliver your personal snacks or alcoholic drinks in the course of the street journey.
  • Bringing insect repellant is a good suggestion as properly as a result of there are little pests referred to as ‘sand flies’.
  • Lastly, you could purchase journey insurance coverage, particularly because you’ll be doing lots of adrenaline-pumping actions. For this, I extremely suggest shopping for from World Nomads. I’ve been shopping for my journey insurance coverage with them for years they usually’re wonderful. They’ve vast protection, they service worldwide they usually have a quick and simple buy course of on-line. Most significantly, they cowl journey actions (which another journey insurance coverage don’t).

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» Useful Māori Phrases

English is the dominant language spoken by most Kiwis (New Zealanders) however the nation’s de jure official languages are Māori and New Zealand Signal Language (NZSL). Relaxation assured, Māori individuals are bilingual and may converse English too, however they’ll be comfortable to listen to you attempt to converse the Māori language.

If you wish to be taught a number of useful phrases, just remember to pronounce the next correctly!

Hi there (to 1 particular person, formal): Tēnā koe (Te-na koy)
Hi there (to 1 particular person, casual): Kia ora (Key-oar-rah)
Thanks: Kia ora (Key-oar-rah) ~ pronounced with a rising intonation
Sure: Āe (I)
No: Kāore (Kao-re)
Goodbye (mentioned by the particular person leaving): E noho rā (E-noho ra)
Goodbye (mentioned by the particular person staying): Haere rā (Hayre ra)
I’m sorry: Aroha mai (Ar-ro-ha-mai)
Assist!: Āwhina! (Af-fin-nuh!)
Cheers!: Kia ora! (Key-oar-rah!)

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New Zealand Street Journey Itinerary

NOTE: The next sections are in a tabbed format; so, with a purpose to see the subsequent day’s contents, simply click on the headings.

» Northern Voyager «

From Auckland to Raglan

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Our first day began off gray and wet — however nothing dampened our temper as we set off on our New Zealand street journey itinerary to our first cease within the North Island: Raglan.

This small coastal city is known for its general surf tradition and its black sands in Ngarunui Seashore — that being mentioned, we did some browsing right here and it was a great deal of enjoyable (although the water was chilly for a tropical woman like now).

Now, one enjoyable trivia about this seashore is that it’s apparently one of many world’s longest left-hand surf breaks; that being mentioned, it was fairly a novel place in itself!

After our time right here, we huddled again to city to discover the charming cafes and outlets earlier than making a cease over to the breathtaking Bridal Veil “Waireinga” Falls in Waikato which was on the way in which to our lodging for the evening. This primary day was fairly one thing and through dinner, we bought to know the remainder of the wonderful those that we have been going to spend the subsequent days with.

TIP: Like I’ve beforehand talked about, it’s advisable to allot some days in Auckland earlier than beginning Day #1 as a result of there are some nice spots that you could see on this largest metropolis of New Zealand! For a listing of superior FREE issues to do in Auckland, see my detailed put up right here.

Waitomo & Taupō

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The enjoyable continues on this New Zealand street journey itinerary as we bought to find the next cities full of distinctive actions!

  • Waitomo is a village that’s well-known for its in depth underground cave methods, and as a customer, you’ll be able to both do the next…
    • Go to Waitomo Glowworm Cave(NZ$50~) Do you wish to see stars up shut — or higher but, see a galaxy of ‘tiny residing lights’? With this tour, you can be gliding silently on a ship by Waitomo River as you undergo the “starry” wonderland of the Glowworm Grotto which has hundreds of tiny glowworms (Arachnocampa luminosa) that radiate a luminescent bluish mild at midnight. Thoughts you, these creatures are distinctive to New Zealand solely!
    • Go to Ruakuri Cave(NZ$70~) Very like the principle Waitomo Glowworm Cave, Ruakuri Cave affords the magical expertise of sighting glowworms up shut; however greater than this, you’ll be winding your manner by spectacular limestone formations and crystal tapestries.
    • Go black water rafting by glowworm caves = (NZ$140~) If you would like a extra adventurous expertise, that is the only option for you as you abseil, weave, soar, climb and float by the gorgeous underworld of Ruakuri Cave and some waterfalls too.
  • Taupo is a city that’s moderately distinguished by its lakefront setting in addition to the next…
    • Do jet boating = (NZ$115~) That is an adrenaline-pumping exercise that was invented by New Zealand. So should you like velocity, spins, and thrills mixed with marvelous water surroundings, happening a jet boating exercise shall be value your whereas! I’ve gone by this expertise myself and it was a great deal of enjoyable!
    • Sail on Lake Taupo = (NZ$50~) Loads of crusing corporations not solely take you to the unbelievable waters of Lake Taupo, nevertheless it additionally takes you to the ‘Mine Bay Maori Rock Carvings’ which is sometimes called one of many nation’s most extraordinary artworks that towers 14 meters above deep water. Apparently, this has been sculpted over the course of 4 years and depicts the face of Ngatoroirangi, a ‘visionary Māori navigator who guided the Tūwharetoa and Te Arawa tribes to the Taupō space over a thousand years in the past’.
    • Huka Falls = (FREE admittance) This highly effective but astonishing set of bluish waterfalls on the Waikato River drains onwards to Lake Taupo. It’s mentioned that per second, the quantity of water flowing by it typically approaches 220,000 liters!

Napier & Hawke’s Bay

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Earlier than leaving Taupo, we had the selection to go skydiving over Lake Taupo (NZ$270) — nonetheless, I used to be hell-bent on doing mine in Queenstown as a substitute (climate allowing, fingers crossed). However both manner, doing a skydive right here shall be one for the books as a result of the views excessive up overlooking the lake shall be memorable!

I’m truly terribly afraid of heights. Mix that with my worry of flying airplanes, then absolutely, doing skydiving is a horrible concept for me, proper? Haha. However I’ve since determined to beat my fears!

As soon as everybody was prepared, we hit the street once more to go to the charismatic metropolis of Napier which is fashionable for its beautifully-preserved Nineteen Thirties structure of art-deco buildings. It absolutely made me really feel like I used to be transported to the filming set of Nice Gatsby!

Whereas we have been nonetheless basked within the afterglow of Napier throughout this New Zealand street journey itinerary, we proceeded to go to some vineyards to do some wine tastings (prices round NZ$10~). And to cap our break day, we stopped by Te Mata Peak in Hawke’s Bay area to sight the sweeping summits that rise as much as 399m. This place is especially nice for driving, mountain climbing, and mountain biking because you’re certain to be showered with spectacular views in each path!

Rotorua’s Journey & Pure Sights

Backside photographs by: Shutterstock

From the second that we stepped into the geothermal city of Rotorua, I grew to become nostalgic for my first go to right here again in 2016 as I smelled the all-too-familiar scent of the sulfur-rich air. It is a hotspot within the North Island of New Zealand and there are heaps to do right here:

  • Geothermal Parks: Naturally, Rotorua is filled with a number of geothermal parks; but when I’ll counsel, select from any of those prime 3 locations (after which metal your sense of odor!)
    • Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland = (NZ$32~ / FREE with Wild Kiwi Excursions) This showcases New Zealand’s most colourful and distinctive lively geothermal components which were sculpted by hundreds of years of volcanic exercise.
    • Te Puia = (NZ$54~) Apart from being a Maori cultural village, Te Puia is known for its geothermal exercise, particularly that of its Pōhutu Geyser which is claimed to be the most important geyser within the southern hemisphere. It additionally erupts a couple of times each hour at heights that would attain 30 meters!
    • Hell’s Gate Geothermal Park and Mud Spa = (Begins at NZ$20~) Apart from witnessing boiling swimming pools and erupting waters, you would additionally get pleasure from their scorching spring companies which might be coupled with a therapeutic mud and sulfur spa.
  • Redwood Forest: (FREE admittance) Spend the day away mountain climbing or biking by this towering forest that’s simply on the sting of Rotorua. Relaxation assured, there may be an array of trails which you could select from, regardless of your stage of health or expertise.
  • Luge: (Begins at NZ$45~) Considerably of a combination between a go-kart (with out the engine) and a toboggan (with out the snow), Rotorua’s “Luge” is a enjoyable and fast-paced journey exercise that’s nice for folks of all ages! I loved this a lot and lots of people even say that this place is best than the Luge exercise present in South Island’s Queenstown, so go and provides this a attempt!
  • Zorb: (Begins at NZ$39) Additionally referred to as ‘globe using’, this entails a ‘ball of enjoyable’ the place you roll down a hill inside an enormous inflatable ball. Invented in 1994 in New Zealand, this has turn out to be one of many ‘must-do’ actions when within the nation and it typically provides you the prospect to decide on the sort of path that you simply’ll undergo — could or not it’s zigzag or straight!
  • White Water Rafting: It is a great point to do with your loved ones or buddies in Rotorua! This is without doubt one of the issues I did along with my companion and it was a rare expertise! We went by steep native bush canyons and over 14 rapids and three waterfalls, together with the world-renowned 7-meter Tutea Falls which is the ‘Highest Commercially Rafted Waterfall within the World’! Reality be advised, this was my first white water rafting exercise of all time and it was completely an excellent first.

Rotorua’s Film & Cultural Sights

For at the present time, there are 2 issues that we made certain we did NOT miss:

  • Go to the Hobbiton Film Set: (NZ$114~) For the ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit‘ film followers like me, that is your once-in-a-lifetime probability to enterprise off into your personal Center-earth journey! In any case, that is the well-known 12-acre film set of the long-lasting village of the Shire. As a customer, you can be guided by a two-hour strolling tour to the totally different hobbit gap homes (e.g. Sam and Frodo’s home) and different quintessential landmarks just like the Mill and the Inexperienced Dragon Inn (the place you may also seize a complimentary drink that’s brewed solely in Hobbiton!).
    • TIP: One other place to think about for LOTR followers is a go to to the well-known Weta Workshop!
  • Go to a Maori Cultural Village: (Round NZ$100~) Rotorua and its surrounding cities arguably have the best focus of Māori villages. With that in thoughts, it’s a should to go to a minimum of one with a purpose to immerse your self within the historical past and customs of the Maori folks in New Zealand — a tradition that the nation is very happy with. We went to among the finest villages, Tamaki Maori Village, and a number of the many wonderful issues that you simply’ll expertise and which I personally liked have been witnessing the highly effective haka (conventional struggle cry), studying in regards to the Maori historical past, partaking in a hangi (conventional Maori feast), and extra.


Picture by: Shutterstock

We bid farewell to the wonders of Rotorua and mentioned whats up to the gorgeous Coromandel Peninsula whereas making stops and brief walks to scenic landscapes alongside the way in which.

As soon as we arrived at Hahei, we donned our swimwear and headed to the favored Scorching Water Seashore. It’d sound peculiar for a seashore’s waters to be associated to something ‘scorching‘ nevertheless it’s true as a result of this bay has underground scorching springs which everybody can get pleasure from by digging by the sand throughout low tide. With this, you’ll be able to simply alternate between cold and warm swimming pools straight away!

So armed with our shovels, we looked for a great place by the seashore and lounged as we watched the sundown on the horizon. For sure, this was actually considered one of a form!

From Coromandel to Auckland

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To mark our final day on the North Island for our New Zealand street journey itinerary, we first went on a hike to Cathedral Cove (Te Whanganui-A-Hei) Marine Reserve which is one more spotlight of our go to to the Coromandel Peninsula.

With its lovely white sand, turquoise waters, and towering rock formations, this place was fairly a sight! To not point out, there’s a pathway right here that’s well-known for being the opening scene from the film Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.

As soon as we had our fill of the magical surroundings, we went to pack our baggage and journeyed again to Auckland in preparation for our flight to Christchurch in order to mark the beginning of our South Island journey.

NOTE: If you wish to keep again within the North Island, it’s advisable to fly over to Wellington, the capital of New Zealand.

» Southern Loop «

From Christchurch to Kaikoura

After an evening’s relaxation in Christchurch, we began our South Island journey by making a cease first within the seaside city of Kaikoura that’s full of rugged cliffs and spectacular marine life. For an array of issues to do right here throughout your New Zealand street journey itinerary, they’re as follows…

  • Whale watching: (NZ$150~) It is a year-round expertise the place you may get actually near whales of various varieties reminiscent of sperm whales that are the most important toothed predators. One of the best factor about this tour is that there’s a 95% charge of sighting success and that is primarily as a result of all of the locals cooperate in sharing info when sighting these huge creatures within the water. If in case you don’t see any whales (which is very unlikely) they are going to gladly situation an 80% refund.
    • Fly possibility = (NZ$180~) Should you’re not good with boat rides or should you merely desire a chicken’s eye view to really see the magnitude of the world’s largest mammals, a flight expertise above Kaikoura’s waters is a superb selection! Now don’t fear as a result of everyone seems to be assured a window seat for unobstructed views.
  • Watch or Swim with Dolphins: (Begins at NZ$95~) Come face-to-face with quite a few dolphins of their pure atmosphere by swimming and taking part in with them — you’ll by no means get a greater probability than this! Should you’re not keen on swimming, you would additionally choose to remain dry and go on the dolphin-watching tour.
  • Fishing Journey: (NZ$120~) Go together with a neighborhood and expertise an immersive fishing journey as you catch lobsters and crayfish within the waters — well-known delicacies in Kaikoura! Whether or not you’re a first-time fisher or not, you’re certain to have a lot enjoyable on this. On the finish of the journey, you’ll be able to select to launch your catch or have it cooked. My companions and I had lots of enjoyable having fun with our catch so this could be a enjoyable exercise for you too!
  • Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway: (FREE) It is a 3-hour scenic hike stuffed with clifftop views and wild animals (in actual fact, you’ll be able to sight seabirds and seals up shut!). as you cross the peninsula to South Bay. Should you don’t have 3 hours, there are smaller hikes or detours alongside the way in which so that you can do.


Picture by: Shutterstock

After an evening’s relaxation, we proceeded to drive down the Kaikoura coast the place we bought to see the injury from the earthquake that occurred in 2016. These roads have been solely not too long ago opened so we may see how onerous the nation has labored to sort things; however amidst this, we have been enamored by the great thing about the shoreline which regularly had dolphins and seals taking part in within the shallow waters.

Throughout this journey, we explored some fantastic seashores earlier than arriving on the port city of Picton which is lauded because the gateway to the Marlborough Sound (that is additionally the gateway to the South Island for ferries that come from the North).

We had a while left after we arrived on the town and one of many issues we did and which you would additionally do is hike the 3-hour return Snout Observe for gorgeous views of the Marlborough Sounds.

From Picton to Abel Tasman Nationwide Park

Today was principally spent driving in order that we may attain considered one of New Zealand’s most lovely wilderness reserves, the Abel Tasman Nationwide Park!

We truly arrived late within the afternoon, however we stuffed our day with stops to some breweries and wineries within the Marlborough area, in addition to to the enchanting inexperienced waters at Pelorus Bridge.

TRIVIA: You’ll discover a little bit of Center-earth on this spot as a result of that is truly the filming location within the scene of “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” when the dwarves have been floating in barrels down a river.

As soon as we checked in at The Barn close to Abel Tasman Nationwide Park, we marked our first evening with a delicious barbecue dinner as we frolicked by the fireside and exchanged tales as we put together for the subsequent day’s adventures!

Abel Tasman Nationwide Park

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It’s time to profit from this New Zealand nationwide park which is very famend for its golden seashores, sculptured granite cliffs, and world-famous coast observe referred to as the ‘Abel Tasman Coast Observe’.

The easiest way to do that? Go on a kayaking journey which is able to first depart from Kaiteriteri through a cruise boat that’s already included within the tour, after which upon arriving at Torrent Bay, you should have a fully-guided kayak tour for about 2.5 hours the place you’ll be able to encounter seals alongside the way in which.

After this, you’ll be able to return to Kaiteriteri through a return cruise or a 2/3-hour unguided hike by the Abel Tasma Coast Observe. I might suggest doing the latter so to make stops alongside the gorgeous bashes to do some sunbathing or whatnot (you’ll be able to even encounter a few of New Zealand’s native wildlife such because the Tui and the Tuatara!).


We bid goodbye to Abel Tasman at this level of our New Zealand street journey itinerary and headed all the way down to the West Coast to the little coastal city of Punakaiki which is located on the sting of the Paparoa Nationwide Park. For at the present time, we made a number of stops on the street after which ended the day with a go to to Punakaiki’s well-known ‘Pancake Rocks’.

  • Nelson Lake: (FREE) We had lunch with a view of this lake that’s inside Nelson Lakes Nationwide Park — a spot stuffed with enchanting alpines, forests, and glacial lakes.
  • Cape Foulwind Walkway: (FREE) It is a spectacular 3.4km one-way coastal stroll that led us by a towering lighthouse, a fur seal breeding colony, and ultimately to Tauranga Bay.
  • Pancake Rocks: (FREE) Because the identify suggests, these are limestones that seem like stacked pancakes, the reason for which is thousands and thousands of years of abrasion by water, wind, and salt. On this space, additionally, you will discover spectacular blowholes that make thundering sounds. I like to recommend coming right here both throughout dawn or sundown with a purpose to get the perfect lighting and examine.


For right now’s New Zealand street journey itinerary, it was solely for locating the hidden gems of Hokitika and its surrounding areas. As such, the spotlight of at the present time could be our go to to Hokitika Gorge which had astonishing blue-green waters and a picture-perfect swing bridge.

Strolling to this spot concerned not more than a 650-meter hike so it was a simple path to undergo. All of us wished to take a swim however sadly, since we have been right here in autumn, the waters have been already too chilly.

Earlier than the day ends, after we checked into our lodging, we constructed an enormous bonfire by the seashore in Hokitika. We had a lot enjoyable roasting marshmallows and exchanging tales (in any case, this was technically the final tour day of this Southern Loop leg).

From Hokitika to Christchurch

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On our manner again to Christchurch, we drove throughout the long-lasting Southern Alps which is considered one of New Zealand’s highest passes.

Upon arriving within the metropolis, we checked in to JUCY Snooze (which was a novel capsule hostel), and a few folks opted to discover Christchurch — whereas others opted to remain in and relaxation, in preparation for the adrenaline-filled journey for the subsequent days beneath the ‘Southern Voyager’ leg of Wild Kiwi!

» Southern Voyager «

From Christchurch to Franz Josef Glacier

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After assembly new further folks on our tour, we departed from Christchurch within the morning and headed for the dizzying heights of Arthurs Go and the gorgeous snow-capped Southern Alps.

Mid-way, we stopped by a lake (whereby a few of our companions have been loopy sufficient to leap into the icy waters) and Citadel Hill (which was named as such due to its imposing array of limestone boulders that have been paying homage to an previous run-down stone citadel).

After we had our enjoyable, we lastly arrived at our vacation spot which was Franz Josef Glacier Village.

Franz Josef Glacier

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Along with Fox Glacier, Franz Josef Glacier is surrounded by the World Heritage Web site park of Te Wahipounamu. As a lush space full of improbable sights, there’s a numerous variety of issues that you are able to do right here on your New Zealand street journey itinerary:

  • Franz Josef Glacier Heli Hike: (NZ$459~) By this once-in-a-lifetime tour, you’ll go on an exhilarating helicopter experience and do a 3-hour hike by essentially the most superior glacier ‘ice structure’. Evidently, it is a expensive tour to make nevertheless it’s an expense that shall be value your cash and whereas — assured. Although, should you solely have the finances for only one tour in your complete Franz Josef go to, that is the expertise it’s best to spend money on. Simply take word that that is climate dependent, so if the day seems bitter then no worries as a result of there are different issues so that you can do round city.
  • Franz Josef Glacier Valley Stroll: (NZ$78~ or FREE) That is an exercise that you could make if in case you have a decrease finances or if the climate turned out dangerous (and you’ll’t do a heli hike). You are able to do this with a information or by your self and it’ll take about 3 hours to go previous the Waiho river mattress with a purpose to see the grand terminal face of the Franz Josef Glacier.
  • Franz Josef Glacier Scorching Swimming pools: (NZ$25~) After a day of mountain climbing, reward your self with a calming dip within the Franz Josef Glacier Scorching Swimming pools. That is open till 9:00PM and you’ll select to soak in one of many 3 most important outside swimming pools that vary from 36 to 41 levels Celsius (if you would like privateness, there are additionally non-public swimming pools out there).
  • Fox Glacier Heli Hike: (NZ$440~) Should you moderately wish to witness the glacier to the south, this heli hike tour to Fox Glacier is an possibility. Very like the Franz Josef Glacier Heli Hike, this may take you on a experience on a helicopter over the Fox Glacier after which land in an space the place you are able to do a 4-hour guided hike.

From Franz Josef to Queenstown

For at the present time of our New Zealand street journey itinerary, we’re lastly making our strategy to the ‘adrenaline capital’ of New Zealand — Queenstown! It’s a little bit of a drive although, so earlier than we arrived within the metropolis, we handed by the next locations first.

  • Lake Matheson: This lake affords awe-inspiring mirror reflections of Mt. Cook dinner (the best mountain in New Zealand) and Mt. Tasman. It principally entails a brief circuit stroll, and if I’ll share a tip, it’s greatest to hike right here throughout daybreak or nightfall with a purpose to see the perfect lake reflections of the encompassing snowcapped mountains.
  • Haast Go: A mountain cross discovered within the Southern Alps that’s brimming with lovely brief walks, rainforests, and waterfalls. Among the breathtaking waterfalls we’ve got seen have been Fantail Falls and Thunder Creek Falls.
  • Wanaka: We stopped on this resort city to take a short driving break, and it was such a serene place to lounge or have a picnic in! It was additionally an interesting expertise to see the ‘not too long ago well-known’ Wanaka Tree (a fence put up that has now was an internet sensation — and it’s straightforward to see why as a result of this lone tree was completely backdropped by the alps and the encompassing terrain).
    • NOTE: Should you occur to have a full day to spare in Wanaka, I counsel doing the 16km return observe to Roy’s Peak that grants views over Lake Wanaka, Mount Aspiring/Tititea, and its surrounding peaks.

TIP: Whenever you arrive in Queenstown round evening time, drop by Fergburger for dinner. That is New Zealand’s most well-known burger joint and it helps to notice that it’s NOT a series — you’ll solely discover them in Queenstown, so it’s a should to present them a attempt. Certain sufficient, they do have great-tasting burgers. (However if you would like a much less crowded place, Satan Burger is a superb various!).

Milford Sound

A visit to the South Island throughout your New Zealand street journey itinerary just isn’t full with out visiting the UNESCO-listed fiord of Milford Sound!

It takes 5 hours to drive right here from Queenstown, however I guarantee you: this shall be value your whereas as a result of, for one factor, the street that results in Milford Sound is scenic. And when you arrive, you’ll be indulging within the towering Mitre Peak, the plush rainforests and the excessive waterfalls like Stirling and Bowen falls that each plummet down its sheer sides. To not point out, this fjord is dwelling to fur seal colonies, penguins, and dolphins — so that you’re certain to have a enjoyable time general.

Now, the easiest way to see this all could be by a boat cruise (NZ$80~), however if you wish to take it a step additional, you may also do a helicopter tour over Milford Sound!

NOTE: If you find yourself with some spare time, verify by the tab marked as ‘Day #19’ to see the opposite actions that you are able to do in and round Queenstown.


For our final day in Queenstown on our New Zealand street journey itinerary, we made certain to fill it up with adrenaline-pumping actions! A few of my companions went bungee leaping and others did canyon swings. As for me…? Like I’ve already talked about earlier than, I made it my purpose to do sky diving in Queenstown in order that it may assist me overcome two of my prime fears: heights and flying in a airplane…

…and so I did: I jumped out of a perfectly-functioning airplane at 15,000 toes and boy, it was essentially the most wonderful factor that I’ve ever carried out in my life!

For a whole record of motion actions, you are able to do, see beneath…

  • Sky Diving: (Begins at NZ$330~) Queenstown is claimed to be the birthplace of tandem skydiving; due to this fact, there’s no higher place to do it than right here! And if you would like the greatest supplier potential, do it with NZONE Skydive. With their years of operation and highly-trained dive masters, you’re certain to be in good arms once you soar out of an plane at 12,000 or 15,000 toes (your selection). The joys of free falling for about 60 seconds as you plummet in direction of the bottom at 200kph is a sensation that you simply’ll perpetually bear in mind and cherish. I’ve carried out this myself and I’m so glad that I did it with NZONE!

READ: My Skydiving Expertise

  • Bungy Leaping: (Begins at NZ$60~) That is New Zealand’s highest bungee soar at 134m above the Nevis River, and it affords 8.5 seconds of pure free fall! Although this seems harmful to your eyes, be assured that your security is wholly assured as a result of AJ Hackett has been working this since 1988 with over 1.5 million jumpers who now maintain the bragging rights. (NOTE: If in case you need some added ‘oomph’ to your journey, you may also bundle this with a roundtrip helicopter experience).
    • Combo = Mix this bungee leaping exercise with a Nevis canyon swing for the final word adrenaline rush!
  • Ledge Swing: (NZ$160~) One more daredevil affair, the Ledge Swing will set you flying 400m throughout and over Queenstown! Positioned on the prime of the Skyline Gondola, the Ledge Swing will first take you on a calming panoramic experience up and after you’re strapped in, they are going to pull the ‘set off’ to ship you swinging over the mountain.
  • Jet Boating: (NZ$150~) That is an adrenaline-pumping exercise that can also be invented by New Zealand. Should you like velocity, spins, and thrills mixed with marvelous water surroundings on the Shotover River, then happening this Queenstown jet boating exercise shall be value your whereas!
  • Quad Biking: (NZ$240~) That is the perfect enjoyable you’ll be able to have on 4 wheels! For this, you can be supplied with a full set of protecting tools and clothes gear as you go on a 2.5-hour experience by the panoramic vistas of Queenstown.
  • Luge: (Begins at NZ$45~) Considerably of a combination between a go-kart (with out the engine) and a toboggan (with out the snow), “Luge” is a enjoyable and fast-paced journey exercise that’s nice for folks of all ages!
    • NOTE: It additionally already features a gondola experience).
  • Lord of the Rings Tour: (Begins at NZ$185~) Journey by Center-earth and go to the ‘cinescapes’ from Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies on this wonderful half-day tour. Among the locations you’ll be visiting are “Isengard”, the 12-mile Delta, Misty Mountains, Pillars of the Kings — and extra! No doubt, this shall be a deal with for the franchise followers (like me!).
  • Helicopter Tour: (Begins at NZ$800~) Soar excessive above Queenstown as you make your strategy to the UNESCO-listed space of Te Wahipounamu which encompasses Mt. Cook dinner, all the way in which to Milford Sound which has acres of dense forests, streams, lakes, and towering mountains. From this chicken’s eye view, you’ll undoubtedly have a uncommon entry view of the landscapes you’ll be seeing — and that’s not all, as a result of additionally, you will expertise a snow touchdown within the secluded Southern Alps!
  • Skyline Gondola: (Begins at NZ$30~) Decelerate and get on the Skyline Gondola which provides you among the finest vantage factors within the metropolis. For the perfect views and photographs, go right here when the solar units, and if the sky occurs to be clear, you could seize the prospect to go on their stargazing tour.

Mt. Cook dinner

We mentioned our goodbyes to Queenstown right now for our New Zealand street journey itinerary, however we shook away the blues as a result of we knew that we have been heading off to the long-lasting Mt. Cook dinner which is New Zealand’s highest peak (at 3,724 meters!).

As a lot as we might have liked to climb the summit, we have been comfortable sufficient to do a hike within the valley and one of many fashionable trails that results in Mt. Cook dinner was the Hooker Valley observe. It is a 3-hour hike that goes by beautiful alpine sceneries and you are able to do it by your self or with a educated information.

Now… if I say so myself, this has bought to be one of the wonderful mountain climbing trails that I’ve ever carried out in my travels, so don’t skip out on this!

As soon as the evening falls, don’t additionally overlook to exit and do some stargazing within the lovely Aoraki Mount Cook dinner Nationwide Park.

Again to Christchurch

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Sadly, this was our final drive with our companions and Wild Kiwi — however in fact, we have been all smiles as we predict again to all of the memorable issues that we’ve carried out or seen!

…And as if we have been nonetheless hungry for extra, we made certain to make some stops alongside the way in which earlier than lastly arriving again in Christchurch, and a number of the spots we dropped in have been: Tasman Glacier, Lake Tekapo, and Church of the Good Shepherd.

• • •

Reserving Necessities

TIP: It’s a good suggestion to crosscheck the costs with different fashionable journey insurance coverage suppliers like World Nomads and HeyMondo (as my reader, you get 5% off)!
Nonetheless, take word {that a} journey insurance coverage’s affordability usually means lesser protection; so please at all times make sure that you learn the high-quality print with a purpose to decipher which journey insurance coverage firm is the correct match for you and your journey!

The Greatest Issues to Do in New Zealand’s islands?

Come and take a look at this record of the highest issues to do in New Zealand’s North Island and South Island which options the perfect actions and excursions!

• • •


It’s plain to see that this New Zealand street journey itinerary has been an final journey for me — and it’s all due to Wild Kiwi!

With that mentioned and carried out, going for his or her 21-day NZ Discovery tour is a should if you would like an all-encompassing great-for-value journey of the nation North and South Island; nonetheless, should you’re pressed on time, any of their 7-day or 14-day excursions will already fit your needs properly.

NOTE: A few of you could have been asking me which of the 7-day excursions is greatest to take. Properly… that is fairly a troublesome query to reply as a result of every of these excursions has its personal attraction.

However relying in your choice, it may be a simple choose; due to this fact, what I can say is that the ‘North Voyager’ affords the perfect of New Zealand’s tradition, the ‘Southern Loop’ takes you on a laid-back journey of kinds, and the ‘Southern Voyager’ supplies the perfect journey and adrenaline selections.

Have you ever seen my newest vlog?

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