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The Ultimate Two Week New Zealand Itinerary

Do you need to benefit from your next trip to New Zealand but don’t have unlimited time to see the whole lot? Spending two weeks in New Zealand will can help you see an enormous variety of landscapes, from beaches and volcanoes in 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 but hopefully it’ll assist you plan your next trip!

Auckland (1 night time)

Most tourists 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 depends what you need out of a trip to New Zealand, however when you’re something like me you’ll need to skip via the cities and out into the world-class landscapes close by. So, when you only have two weeks in New Zealand I’d advocate spending one night time in Auckland — have a look across the metropolis, get your New Zealand bearings and then transfer on. If Auckland doesn’t attraction or for those who’ve already been there, you need to drive straight to the Coromandel (depending what time your flight arrives in fact).

Coromandel Peninsula (1 – 2 nights)

From Auckland I’d next head to the Coromandel Peninsula, where you’ll find some of New Zealand’s prime seashores. Cathedral Cove is probably the most well-known, however Scorching Water Seashore (where you’ll be able to dig a gap and bathe in scorching water right on the seashore) and New Friends Seashore (the place there’s an superior viewpoint) are additionally highlights. There’s also a waterfall, some hikes and some nice small cities. Should you depart Auckland early you must have the ability to see quite a bit in in the future, which means the subsequent day you may head right down to Rotorua (by way of Tauranga if you want to take a look at Mount Manganui, certainly one of New Zealand’s prime seashores / coastal viewpoints (I went there once I was a child so no pictures!).

Two week New Zealand itinerary: Cathedral CoveTwo week New Zealand itinerary: New Chums Beach

Rotorua (1-2 nights)

For surreal geothermal landscapes look no further than Rotorua. You’ll see bubbling scorching swimming pools and psychedelic lakes (some are free, some you’ll should pay for) and there are many adventure actions in case you’re into that type of thing. Should you’re a Lord of the Rings fan you’ll additionally need to go to Hobbiton, which is within the close by town of Matamata. If not, you can head right down to hike the Tongariro Crossing (also a Lord of the Rings filming location) — it’s generally known as one among 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 last spot on the North Island, Waitomo is residence to caves filled with glow worms. There are additionally some cool waterfalls within the space and it’s only a few hours from Auckland, which means you possibly can drive again the subsequent day earlier than your flight to the South Island.

Christchurch (1 night time)

I’ve travelled around the South Island excess of the North Island — but the consensus is that you need to spend extra time within the south. The best choice is to fly into Christchurch and then head for the Southern Alps as soon as you possibly can. Christchurch is a nice sufficient metropolis, but one night time is sufficient for those who’re brief on time. You would discover the historic city 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 first night time I’d think about sleeping in Fairlie or Lake Tekapo — on the best way you’ll be able to take a look at the Rakaia Gorge Monitor (3-4 hours, or you’ll be able to simply hike the first section which can take round an hour) and then on in the direction of the Hakatere Conservation Park. The street by way of this area is gorgeous and the Mount Sunday hike, another Lord of the Rings location, is straightforward and has some nice views. When in Fairlie ensure to check out nearby 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 soon attain Lake Tekapo — there’s an previous stone church by the lake as well as a nice hike (Tekapo Peninsula Walkway). Should you spend the night time in Lake Tekapo contemplate doing the star gazing tour at Mount John Observatory — it’s top-of-the-line locations on the earth to do it. You can too drive as much as Mount John in the course of the day for some great views (and a coffee).

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. For those who’re match you would do Three-4 of them — I’d attempt to do the Hooker Valley (3 hours), Kea Point (45 minutes), Tasman Glacier (1-2 hours) and the Pink Tarns (2 hours). That’d be a tiring day, so perhaps skip Kea Point and the Pink Tarns if it’s a must to. There are some accommodation options in Mount Prepare dinner Village (which are quite expensive) or you’ll be able to camp at the Whitehorse Hill DOC (Division of Conservation) camp. Otherwise drive back the best way you came and then 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, but you then’d miss out on Dunedin, New Zealand’s coolest city. The drive from Mount Prepare dinner (or Twizel and so forth) to Dunedin takes you through the Waitaki Valley. It’s a scenic drive and there are some nice places 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

Soon enough you’ll be back on the East Coast. Oamaru, with its unrivalled (in New Zealand at the very least) Victorian architecture is must-see spot, as are the Moeraki Boulders just 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 can explore the centre metropolis (have a drink on the Octagon and check out the practice station and so forth) on the first 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. When you’re fortunate you may spot some wildlife, together with sea lions, albatross and penguins. The different aspect of the harbour can also be good (Heyward Point is one among my favourite “hidden” spots) and the suburban beaches of Saint Clair and Brighton are also cool to see. Dunedin also features a couple of waterfalls, fascinating rock formations, the world’s steepest road and plenty of cool cafes and bars to chill out in in the event you’re feeling a bit lazy. If you want to get out of city and don’t 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 stay in Te Anau as an alternative)

The Catlins, a fantastic stretch of shoreline that includes waterfalls, beaches and viewpoints, is a short drive south of Dunedin. You would easily spend a number of days within the Catlins, but you might see the highlights in a day. Take a look at a couple of waterfalls (Matai and Purakaunui are in all probability one of the best), Nugget Point 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 inns) 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 ought to be on everyone’s two week New Zealand itinerary. There’s heaps to see alongside the best way, including the Mirror Lakes, waterfalls, Lake Marian and plenty of other little scenic spots. Once you get to Milford Sound you possibly can admire the scenery from the shore or take a cruise out to the sting of the ocean. If you wish to do a few of the hikes in the area (Key Summit, Lake Marian) it’s value spending an evening somewhere alongside the best way. There are some camping grounds near Milford Sound or you possibly can 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 last stop on this two week New Zealand itinerary is Queenstown, in all probability the preferred vacation spot in the nation. There are numerous methods to fill your days in Queenstown, together with hikes, scenic drives, journey actions or just chilling out on the town. The drive to Glenorchy and Paradise is a private spotlight — do the Glenorchy Walkway as well as it’s an ideal 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 visit as a day trip from Queenstown or stay the night time there. The apparent drawcard in Wanaka is Roys Peak, certainly one of New Zealand’s most famous day hikes. Time your hike so you get to the top when the sun is rising — it’s a particular experience! From Queenstown you possibly can fly again to Auckland and catch your flight house. Depending on what time your flight is it is perhaps greatest to be again in Auckland the day before 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 Around New Zealand

I extremely advocate renting or buying a automotive in New Zealand — it means you’ll have the freedom to see exactly what you need. You possibly can go for a campervan (which suggests you’ll get monetary savings on accommodation) or a automotive which are rather a lot cheaper. You may as well take a tour or travel by bus.

Two Weeks in New Zealand

This two weeks in New Zealand itinerary hits a number of the country’s prime tourist spots, however there are such a lot of other places to see. Explore my New Zealand posts and pencil within the locations you’d like to visit — you possibly can all the time skip other locations or move by way of them shortly. Most two week itineraries embrace the West Coast (South Island) and skip Dunedin and the Catlins — everyone has an opinion I assume and there’s no right or incorrect solution to do it. If you’d like some help crafting your personal New Zealand travel itinerary send me an e mail — it’s also possible to hire me as a personal tour information / driver from April next yr!

Are you planning on spending two weeks in New Zealand? Which places are you most excited to go to? Let me know in the comments 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 imagination in terms of naming web sites.

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