All videos were taken by Alexander on his trip around New Zealand
This itinerary is completely customizable
Days 1 - 3
Your trip begins in Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city. Auckland is surrounded by water and incredible natural landscapes. You can visit beautiful beaches, several islands, and hike volcano cones, which provide breathtaking views of the city of Auckland and the surrounding area. On short trips from the city center, you can visit the wine region of Waiheke Island, visit the Hobbiton movie set, or marvel at the famous Waitomo glow worm caves.
You could easily spend the majority of your vacation in the Auckland region and still not see everything. Alexander lived in Auckland for six months and thoroughly explored the area. With so much to do in the area, we will focus your trip on the most interesting areas to get the most out of your time in Auckland.
Days 4 - 5
Next travel to the capital of New Zealand, Wellington. Wellington is a quaint city at the bottom of the North Island with a small population that is home to good food and good craft beer. The National Museum of New Zealand, which is also called “Te Papa” or “our place” is a must-visit attraction. The museum is enormous and you could easily spend an entire day exploring.
Then, take a tour of the “Weta Workshop” where many of the props and costumes for “The Lord of the Rings”, “The Hobbit”, and “Avatar” were created. To best enjoy the panoramic views of downtown Wellington and the harbor, make sure to take a ride on the cable car from downtown Wellington to the Botanical Gardens.
Christchurch / Franz Josef and Fox Glacier
Days 6 - 8
Welcome to the South Island! After arriving in Christchurch, drive or take a train over the “Southern Alps” and Arthur’s Pass. This is an iconic drive in New Zealand and is a beautiful way to get to the West Coast of the South Island. You will take a tour of one of the world’s most impressive and accessible glaciers in the world, Franz Josef Glacier.
Here you can walk on a portion of the glacier and visit the ice caves of this glacier that receives 100 feet of snow per year and is 8 miles long. It’s an interesting experience to be able to walk on a glacier and go to the beach on the same day. Within a 30 minute drive, you can visit an even bigger glacier called Fox Glacier. This area is called Glacier Country for good reason. Two of New Zealand’s top five largest glaciers are within a short drive of one another.
Wanaka and Queenstown
Days 9 - 11
Leaving glacier country, your will hug New Zealand’s west coast and you will have beautiful views of the Tasman Sea on your way to Wanaka. Wanaka is a picturesque town next to a large 192 square mile lake with amazing views of the Southern Alps. The water is clear and the lake is a great location for swimming, water sports, cycling, and hiking. Wanaka is also a great starting point for visiting a UNESCO world heritage site, Mount Aspiring National Park.
The next stop is next to another crystal clear lake and a famous town, Queenstown. The drive from Wanaka to Queenstown is unforgettable and is one of Alex’s top five drives in New Zealand. This area is famous for extreme sports such as skydiving and bungee jumping and modern-day bungee jumping was started in New Zealand! If extreme sports do not interest you, don’t worry, Queenstown has something for everyone. Relax in a hot pool, enjoy local cuisine and wines, or take a slow-paced boat tour on Lake Wakatipu.
Not far from Queenstown is the incredible Milford Sound and it is possible to reach it by car or an unforgettable helicopter tour. The best way to experience the Fjord is by taking a boat cruise, helicopter or airplane tour, or by sea kayaking. The landscape is dramatic and some of the waterfalls are 3,280 feet high! The landscape here is truly unbelievable!
Mount Cook, Tekapo, and Christchurch
Days 12 - 14
Leaving the Queenstown area, head to Mount Cook / Aoraki to have a glimpse of New Zealand’s tallest mountain. On your way to Mount Cook, admire the beautiful blue waters of Lake Pukaki and the dominating Mount Cook in the background. There are beautiful hikes and this area is part of New Zealand’s “International Dark Sky Reserve.” With very little artificial lights in the area, this is a prime location to stargaze.
Next, head to Lake Tekapo where you can admire the turquoise-colored lake that was created by the glaciers grinding against the rocks. After an adventurous tour in New Zealand, relax in the hot pools and admire the lake, mountains, and clear views of the stars. Lake Tekapo is also within the UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve so your nights will be just as memorable as the days!
Weather in New Zealand
December - February
March - May
June - August
September - November
Due to New Zealand’s geographical location in the Southern Hemisphere, the weather is opposite to the weather in the United States. For example, when it is winter in North America, it is summer in New Zealand! This gives you a perfect opportunity to escape from the cold winter and take advantage of the warm weather in New Zealand. The above temperatures are averages for the entire country and become colder the more south you go in winter. New Zealand is also a popular snow skiing location.
After our initial conversation, we will build you and your group a custom itinerary based on your interests. Alexander lived in New Zealand for a year and spent many months traveling around the country. We can give you insight into the country and recommend many places and activities along the way. Once you decide to go on the trip, we will book everything and guide you through the process of preparing for your trip. We will make sure that all of your travel documents are in order and will answer any questions you might have.
During each of our trips, we provide remote support for the entire duration of your trip. Our meticulous preparation before the start of your trip will reduce the possibility of something going wrong during your trip. When you book your trip with us you will spend your vacation enjoying the country you are visiting instead of dealing with logistical issues. Start by clicking “Request a Quote” and keep your eyes on your inbox because we will be sending an email to you shortly. We are looking forward to sharing this truly amazing country with you!
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* price may fluctuate based on dates booked and number of people above or below four
* price excludes airfare to and from the country
* price excludes lunch and dinner