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The Ultimate Two Week New Zealand Itinerary

Two week New Zealand itinerary: Cathedral Cove

Do you need to benefit from your subsequent journey to New Zealand however don’t have limitless time to see every part? Spending two weeks in New Zealand will let you see an enormous number of landscapes, from seashores and volcanoes within the north to the snow-capped mountains and crisp lakes of the south. Take a look at my two week New Zealand itinerary — you may need to make some changes however hopefully it’ll aid you plan your subsequent journey!

Auckland (1 night time)

Most vacationers to New Zealand land in Auckland, by far the nation’s largest metropolis. There’s heaps to do, together with hikes, seashores and nightlife. It sort of relies upon what you need out of a visit to New Zealand, however when you’re something like me you’ll need to skip by way of the cities and out into the world-class landscapes close by. So, in case you solely have two weeks in New Zealand I’d advocate spending one night time in Auckland — take a look across the metropolis, get your New Zealand bearings after which transfer on. If Auckland doesn’t attraction or should you’ve already been there, you need to drive straight to the Coromandal (relying what time your flight arrives in fact).

Coromandal Peninsula (1 – 2 nights)

From Auckland I’d subsequent head to the Coromandal Peninsula, the place you’ll discover a few of New Zealand’s prime seashores. Cathedral Cove is probably the most well-known, however Scorching Water Seashore (the place you’ll be able to dig a gap and bathe in scorching water proper on the seashore) and New Friends Seashore (the place there’s an superior viewpoint) are additionally highlights. There’s additionally a waterfall, some hikes and a few good small cities. In case you depart Auckland early it is best to have the ability to see so much in at some point, which means the subsequent day you may head right down to Rotorua (by way of Tauranga if you wish to take a look at Mount Manganui, one in every of New Zealand’s prime seashores / coastal viewpoints (I went there once I was a child so no pictures!).

Two week New Zealand itinerary: New Chums Beach

Rotorua (1-2 nights)

For surreal geothermal landscapes look no additional than Rotorua. You’ll see effervescent scorching swimming pools and psychedelic lakes (some are free, some you’ll should pay for) and there are many journey actions in case you’re into that type of factor. When you’re a Lord of the Rings fan you’ll additionally need to go to Hobbiton, which is within the close by city of Matamata. If not, you would head right down to hike the Tongariro Crossing (additionally a Lord of the Rings filming location) — it’s generally known as certainly one of New Zealand’s (and the world’s) greatest day hikes.

Two week New Zealand itinerary: RotoruaMud pools at Hell's Gate, Rotorua, New ZealandTwo week New Zealand itinerary: HobbitonTwo week New Zealand itinerary: Tongariro Crossing

Waitomo (1 night time)

The final spot on the North Island, Waitomo is house to caves filled with glow worms. There are additionally some cool waterfalls within the space and it’s solely a few hours from Auckland, which means you’ll be able to drive again the subsequent day earlier than your flight to the South Island.

Christchurch (1 night time)

I’ve travelled across the South Island excess of the North Island — however the consensus is that you must spend extra time within the south. The best choice is to fly into Christchurch after which head for the Southern Alps as quickly as you’ll be able to. Christchurch is a pleasant sufficient metropolis, however one night time is sufficient should you’re brief on time. You would discover the historic metropolis centre, take the gondola above Banks Peninsula or do a coastal hike.

Two week New Zealand itinerary: ChristchurchTwo week New Zealand itinerary: Christchurch Gondola

Canterbury Excessive Nation / Mount Prepare dinner (2 nights)

From Christchurch drive inland and also you’ll quickly attain the beautiful landscapes of the Southern Alps. The primary night time I’d contemplate sleeping in Fairlie or Lake Tekapo — on the best way you possibly can take a look at the Rakaia Gorge Monitor (Three-Four hours, or you possibly can simply hike the primary part which can take round an hour) after which on in the direction of the Hakatere Conservation Park. The street by way of this space is gorgeous and the Mount Sunday hike, one other Lord of the Rings location, is straightforward and has some nice views. When in Fairlie make sure that to take a look at close by Lake Opuha and check out a pie from Fairlie Bakehouse — you’ll wrestle to seek out nicer pies!).

Two week New Zealand itinerary: Rakaia GorgeTwo week New Zealand itinerary: Hakatere Conservation ParkTwo week New Zealand itinerary: Ashburton LakesTwo week New Zealand itinerary: Lake Opuha

From Fairlie you’ll quickly attain Lake Tekapo — there’s an previous stone church by the lake in addition to a pleasant hike (Tekapo Peninsula Walkway). For those who spend the night time in Lake Tekapo think about doing the star gazing tour at Mount John Observatory — it’s top-of-the-line locations on the planet to do it. You may also drive as much as Mount John in the course of the day for some nice views (and a espresso).

Two week New Zealand itinerary: Stone church Lake TekapoTwo week New Zealand itinerary: Tekapo Peninsula Walkway

From there you’ll need to head to Mount Prepare dinner Nationwide Park. The street to Mount Prepare dinner Village is likely one of the greatest mountain roads in New Zealand and there are some superior brief hikes within the space. When you’re match you might do Three-Four of them — I’d attempt to do the Hooker Valley (Three hours), Kea Level (45 minutes), Tasman Glacier (1-2 hours) and the Pink Tarns (2 hours). That’d be a tiring day, so perhaps skip Kea Level and the Pink Tarns if it’s a must to. There are some lodging choices in Mount Prepare dinner Village (that are fairly costly) or you’ll be able to camp on the Whitehorse Hill DOC (Division of Conservation) camp. In any other case drive again the best way you got here after which take the detour to Twizel, Omarama or Otematata.

Two week New Zealand itinerary: The road to Mount CookTwo week New Zealand itinerary: Red TarnsTwo week New Zealand itinerary: Tasman GlacierTwo week New Zealand itinerary: Mount Cook

Waitaki Valley / Oamaru

Most individuals advocate driving from Mount Prepare dinner straight to Queenstown, however then you definitely’d miss out on Dunedin, New Zealand’s coolest metropolis. The drive from Mount Prepare dinner (or Twizel and so on) to Dunedin takes you thru the Waitaki Valley. It’s a scenic drive and there are some good locations to cease, together with the straightforward Benmore Peninsula Monitor and the Elephant Rocks.

Two week New Zealand itinerary: Benmore Peninsula TrackTwo week New Zealand itinerary: Elephant Rocks

Quickly sufficient you’ll be again on the East Coast. Oamaru, with its unrivalled (in New Zealand at the least) Victorian structure is must-see spot, as are the Moeraki Boulders simply down the street. From there it’s a brief drive to Dunedin.

Two week New Zealand itinerary: Oamaru old townTwo week New Zealand itinerary: Moeraki Boulders

Dunedin (2 nights)

I’m assuming you’ll get into Dunedin within the late afternoon, so you may discover the centre metropolis (have a drink on the Octagon and take a look at the practice station and so on) on the primary day after which discover the town’s beautiful surrounds on the second day.

The Otago Peninsula is an actual spotlight in Dunedin — there are heaps of viewpoints, seashores and hikes to discover. For those who’re fortunate you may spot some wildlife, together with sea lions, albatross and penguins. The opposite aspect of the harbour can also be good (Heyward Level is considered one of my favorite “hidden” spots) and the suburban seashores of Saint Clair and Brighton are additionally cool to see. Dunedin additionally options a few waterfalls, fascinating rock formations, the world’s steepest road and plenty of cool cafes and bars to chill out in when you’re feeling a bit lazy. If you wish to get out of city and don’t really feel like driving additionally contemplate the Taieri Gorge Railway.

Two week New Zealand itinerary: Dunedin hikingTwo week New Zealand itinerary: Nicols Falls, DunedinTwo week New Zealand itinerary: The Octagon, DunedinTwo week New Zealand itinerary: Heyward Point, DunedinTwo week New Zealand itinerary: Sunset in Brighton, Dunedin

The Catlins (1 night time or keep in Te Anau as an alternative)

The Catlins, a stupendous stretch of shoreline that includes waterfalls, seashores and viewpoints, is a brief drive south of Dunedin. You would simply spend a number of days within the Catlins, however you possibly can see the highlights in a day. Take a look at a few waterfalls (Matai and Purakaunui are in all probability the perfect), Nugget Level Lighthouse, Cannibal / Surat Bay, Curio Bay and the superb viewpoint above Tautuku Bay after which both spend the night time within the Catlins (there are a couple of tenting grounds and small motels) or head to Te Anau, the gateway to Milford Sound.

Two week New Zealand itinerary: Florence Hill Lookout, the CatlinsTwo week New Zealand itinerary: McLean Falls, the Catlins

Milford Sound (1 night time or head to Queenstown on the finish of the day)

A day journey to Milford Sound must be on everybody’s two week New Zealand itinerary. There’s heaps to see alongside the best way, together with the Mirror Lakes, waterfalls, Lake Marian and plenty of different little scenic spots. When you get to Milford Sound you possibly can admire the surroundings from the shore or take a cruise out to the sting of the ocean. If you wish to do a number of the hikes within the space (Key Summit, Lake Marian) it’s value spending an evening someplace alongside the best way. There are some tenting grounds near Milford Sound or you’ll be able to keep within the lodge there.

Two week New Zealand itinerary: The Mirror Lakes, Milford SoundKey Summit -- the best day hike near Milford Sound, New ZealandTwo week New Zealand itinerary: Milford Sound

Queenstown and Wanaka (2-Three nights)

The final cease on this two week New Zealand itinerary is Queenstown, in all probability the preferred vacation spot within the nation. There are numerous methods to fill your days in Queenstown, together with hikes, scenic drives, journey actions or simply chilling out on the town. The drive to Glenorchy and Paradise is a private spotlight — do the Glenorchy Walkway in addition to it’s an awesome brief stroll.

Two week New Zealand itinerary: Queenstown HillTwo week New Zealand itinerary: Glenorchy LagoonA beach at Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown, New Zealand

Wanaka is near Queenstown — you possibly can go to as a day journey from Queenstown or keep the night time there. The apparent drawcard in Wanaka is Roys Peak, considered one of New Zealand’s most famous day hikes. Time your hike so that you get to the highest when the solar is rising — it’s a particular expertise! From Queenstown you possibly can fly again to Auckland and catch your flight residence. Relying on what time your flight is it may be greatest to be again in Auckland the day earlier than your flight.

Two week New Zealand itinerary: Roys Peak hikeTwo week New Zealand itinerary: That Wanaka TreeTwo week New Zealand itinerary: Glendhu Bay, Wanaka

Getting Round New Zealand

I extremely advocate renting or shopping for a automotive in New Zealand — it means you’ll have the liberty to see precisely what you need. You possibly can go for a campervan (which suggests you’ll get monetary savings on lodging) or a automotive that are rather a lot cheaper. It’s also possible to take a tour or journey by bus.

Two Weeks in New Zealand

This two weeks in New Zealand itinerary hits a few of the nation’s prime vacationer spots, however there are such a lot of different locations to see. Discover my New Zealand posts and pencil within the locations you’d like to go to — you possibly can all the time skip different locations or cross via them shortly. Most two week itineraries embrace the West Coast (South Island) and skip Dunedin and the Catlins — everybody has an opinion I assume and there’s no proper or incorrect strategy to do it. If you would like some assist crafting your personal New Zealand journey itinerary ship me an e mail — it’s also possible to rent me as a personal tour information / driver from April subsequent yr!

Are you planning on spending two weeks in New Zealand? Which locations are you most excited to go to? Let me know within the feedback under!

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Jon Algie

A journey blogger from New Zealand who hates speaking about himself within the third individual and has no creativeness relating to naming web sites.

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