Games New Zealand

The Ultimate 3 Week New Zealand Itinerary

aboard milford sound cruise along 3 week new zealand itinerary

New Zealand is my favorite place on the earth and with three weeks right here, I’m guaranteeing will probably be yours too.

Daring declare I do know, however in a rustic the place it’s virtually unattainable to not have the Lord of the Rings soundtrack play as you’re going there and again once more, you’ll immediately fall in love with the jaw-dropping landscapes, heart-pumping adrenaline, endless ecological playground, and impossibly cute mascot, the Kiwi.  It’s a paradise that you must expertise for your self and that’s the place I are available.

Planning for a visit to New Zealand is not any straightforward activity and as I used to be planning my very own journey, I used to be overwhelmed with all the alternatives and locations that we might go.  To cross down all of the information that I’ve discovered from my experiences, this journey information is supposed to get right down to the small print of what it is advisable to know to plan your personal Center-Earth-sized three week New Zealand itinerary.

three Week New Zealand Itinerary Highlights

aboard milford sound cruise along 3 week new zealand itinerary

New Zealand is an enormous, dynamic, but compact nation which makes it straightforward to discover and see a ton.  That stated, you continue to want time to see it correctly which is why this itinerary is ideal.  You get to see virtually every thing you need to with out having to do any actual double backs.

Right here have been my prime 5 highlights of New Zealand:

  1. Skydiving
  2. Hobbiton
  3. Black Water Rafting
  4. Milford Sound
  5. Flying Kiwi
Curious the place our favorite place we stayed was?  Extra on that under however I extremely advocate Arthur Road B&B in Whitianga of the Coromandel Peninsula

Desk of Contents

Be happy to leap round!

This is what we’re masking:

Your three Week Itinerary in New Zealand

If you wish to see New Zealand correctly, you want a minimum of three weeks, if no more.  This itinerary was crafted from a visit that got here up fairly final minute between the months of October and November which landed in the midst of the Spring season.  Having been to the nation earlier than, I knew that I needed to place one thing collectively that was extra thorough than the primary time round which meant making an attempt to sluggish issues down a bit to see extra.

Earlier than we start, be certain that to learn all the fundamentals within the Complete New Zealand Journey Information.  Inside you’ll discover the type of issues you might want to know if you begin planning your very personal journey together with ideas, coupon codes, and journey hacks.

The Tales

There have been so many unimaginable tales to inform whereas I used to be in New Zealand so what I’ve completed is compiled all the tales from my Instagram account.  This covers our complete journey from begin to finish together with our brief 2 day stopover in Sydney.  

Journey Planning Map

This can be a detailed driving route and key highlights customized map that I created for this itinerary.  One factor you’ll discover that the Flying Kiwi portion of the journey is left primary as you possibly can take a look at their tour itinerary for the complete particulars for the sake of simplicity.

Tip: View the New Zealand planning map in full display and create a replica for your self.  Make tweaks on your personal journey and in Google Maps, you’ll have the ability to view it by going into the menu, choosing “My Locations” and the “Maps” tab.

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Day 1 – Goodbye Sydney, Howdy Queenstown

tourists shopping in downtown queenstown as part of 3 week itinerary

tourists shopping in downtown queenstown as part of 3 week itinerary

There’s a whole lot of methods to start out your journey by means of New Zealand however with effectivity in thoughts and to benefit from the three weeks, I knew that this itinerary needed to be a one-way route from the South to the North Island or vice versa.  Finally, logistically, issues made extra sense to start out in Queenstown due to flights and spots open on Flying Kiwi’s Reverse Traverse.

What you’ll love about that is that Queenstown within the South Island is a very superior spot to start out off in and get acclimated.  It’s a spot the place you’re going to need to base your self at the least for a few days and meaning it gained’t be go-go-go proper from the start.  Out of all cities in New Zealand, it’s additionally my favorite so that you’re in good arms.

scenic descent into queenstown from the plane in new zealand itinerary

scenic descent into queenstown from the plane in new zealand itinerarySince direct flights into Queenstown aren’t doubtless, you’ll be possible coming in from someplace like Sydney akin to I did or transit by way of Auckland.  Wherever you come from, prepare for one of the scenic landings you’ll ever have.  On strategy you’ll see the fjords, big snow-capped mountains, glistening lakes, and fields dotted with the white wool of sheep.

courtesy phone at queenstown airport to call car rental companies

courtesy phone at queenstown airport to call car rental companiesThe Queenstown airport is small however very easy to navigate and your first step when you get your luggage is to seize your automotive rental.  In case you adopted my suggestion by reserving with Hitch, head over to the courtesy telephone beside the Avis counter and allow them to know you’re right here.  A van will come across the shuttle decide up loop and also you’ll be arrange together with your eco-box automotive in a jiffy at their off-site workplace.  Very first thing although is to keep in mind that you’ll be driving on the left aspect of the street so take a while to get used to that and assume twice at intersections.

Your first day primarily consists of getting settled in after which exploring the downtown streets of Queenstown so take it as time to get to know the town and stroll in all places.  The shops might shut early however a bunch of memento outlets keep open a bit of later.

End off the night time by grabbing dinner on the quirky and comfy Italian restaurant tucked within the nook of an alleyway named Cow Restaurant.  From its namesake, you study that this was an previous cow milking shed.  Inside you’ll discover a ton of memorabilia from Queen Victoria interval.  The pizzas are the most effective merchandise on the menu arms down and may I add very giant.  The most effective bang-for-buck is the massive 14-inch measurement.

What you’ll see:

The place you’ll eat:

The place to remain:

We by no means would’ve thought we’d have the ability to discover one thing like this on Reserving.com nevertheless it actually goes to point out you ways they’ve stepped up their guesthouse recreation.

WE STAYED HERE

closeburn lakeview house near queenstown

closeburn lakeview house near queenstown

CLOSEBURN HOLIDAY HOUSE

Whereas not in downtown Queenstown, this transformed upscale cottage house is about with the right view of Lake Wakatipu and The Remarkables.  There’s an on-site maid which is why every part is so ridiculously clear.  Bonus that it consists of laundry amenities.

TripAdvisor

Reserving.com

GREAT ALTERNATIVE

queenstown lakeview holiday park

queenstown lakeview holiday park

QUEENSTOWN LAKEVIEW HOLIDAY PARK

When you’d assume a vacation park is especially for campervans and RV’s, they really have personal lodges obtainable which might be absolutely outfitted.  They’re situated in an ideal spot, walkable to the downtown, and fairly luxurious.

TripAdvisor

Reserving.com

TIP: Parking in Queenstown may be tough however the most effective free road parking we discovered was on Brecon Road.  This spot is sweet for 240 minutes (four hours) of free parking (8AM – 6PM, 7 days every week).  In the midst of the day, spots get crammed up actually shortly however the evenings appeared to be straightforward.

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Day 2 – Horseback Driving in Glenorchy

glenorchy dart river adventure horseback riding rees river itinerary

glenorchy dart river adventure horseback riding rees river itinerary

scenic drive from queenstown to glenorchy new zealand

scenic drive from queenstown to glenorchy new zealandYour first full day begins with an early morning drive by means of the beautiful drive to the city of Glenorchy.  The drive alone is an attraction by itself so be sure to account for lots of stops alongside the best way.  The moody morning fog and rising solar with the mountains because the backdrop make for a dramatic scene because the street skirts the pristine shores of the lake.

One of the simplest ways to absorb the panorama round Glenorchy is neither on foot or by automotive.  It’s by horse and that’s why the early morning begin is required.  The check-in time on the Dart Stables workplace in Glenorchy is at 7:50AM.  When you’re all equipped, a shuttle will take you to the situation of the stables close to the foothills of Mount Alfred.  What makes the 2-hour River Wild expertise such a deal with is that you simply’re capable of comfortably journey across the backcountry of the Dart Valley in a small group.  Their information are extraordinarily educated and can inform you all concerning the totally different places utilized by movies resembling Lord of the Rings.

Whenever you’re executed, you’ll be famished so head into the small and charming city of Glenorchy which has a unbelievable little cafe referred to as The Buying and selling Publish which can also be subsequent to the seashore and wharf that are all value a stroll to.

aerial view of glenorchy new zealand in 3 week itinerary

aerial view of glenorchy new zealand in 3 week itinerary

TIP: In case you have a drone, that is THE place to fly it so be sure to’re all charged up once you get right here.

road sign for paradise road in new zealand

road sign for paradise road in new zealandHit the street once more however earlier than you allow Glenorchy, take the drive into Paradise.  Now there’s an superior 4WD Lord of the Rings Tour which heads in there and might be extra complete however when you’ve got your personal automotive, you possibly can simply drive the gravel street your self.  You’ll see street indicators pointing in the direction of Paradise (pun meant) and all it’s a must to do is comply with that a method street in.  Should you check out the map, you’ll see roughly the spot that we drove to and turned again.   That is the world the place X-Males: Origins and Lord of the Rings/Hobbit scenes (Beorn’s home, remaining battle within the forest in Fellowship of the Ring, Isengard) have been filmed.

winding road as part of drive towards te anau nz

winding road as part of drive towards te anau nzGauge your time as you’ll have to make a three hour drive to Te Anau.  That is one other drive that will probably be crammed with many scenic stops.  Ideally you’ll need to make this drive with the solar nonetheless up as nicely.

Relating to Te Anau, there isn’t an excessive amount of to do right here however in case you are trying to do one thing to shut out the night time, there’s a enjoyable little zip-line that they’ve constructed into Lions Park and sundown over Lake Te Anau from the seashore can also be fairly fairly.

Earlier than calling it an evening, ensure to select up meals and snack provides for Milford Sound.  There’s a 4 Sq. within the city centre the place you’ll be able to seize the whole lot from breakfast meals, sandwiches, drinks, granola bars, chocolate, and even scorching dinner should you’d choose to do your personal factor

MUST-DO: Refill your tank.  Don’t make the identical mistake we did the place we ran out of gasoline once we received to Milford Sound and that entire debacle.

What you’ll see:

  • Glenorchy city & wharf
  • Paradise
  • Te Anau – Lions Park and Lake Anau

What you’ll do:

The place you’ll eat:

the trading post in glenorchy lunch in new zealand

the trading post in glenorchy lunch in new zealand

  • Lunch – The Buying and selling Publish – Superior little cafe with scrumptious croissant sandwiches and carrot cake to die for.
  • Dinner – Bailiez Cafe – Run-of-the-mill restaurant with an reasonably priced particular menu.  Decisions are restricted in Te Anau and costs fairly excessive for what you get.

The place to remain:

WE STAYED HERE

yha te anau private room interior in nz

yha te anau private room interior in nz

YHA TE ANAU

I’ve stayed right here twice and every time I’ve been very proud of its stability of location, worth, consolation, and availability of personal en-suite rooms.  It’s a hostel however it’s a great choice for anybody travelling by means of Te Anau.

TripAdvisor

Reserving.com

GREAT ALTERNATIVE

explorer motel and apartments te anau aerial photo

explorer motel and apartments te anau aerial photo

EXPLORER MOTEL & APARTMENTS

In case you’re in search of a property that’s not a hostel however at an identical worth to the YHA, this one is a superb various that additionally presents a barbecue space, free parking and free Wi-Fi entry.

TripAdvisor

Reserving.com

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Day three – Milford Sound

milford sound at low tide in 3 week itinerary of nz

milford sound at low tide in 3 week itinerary of nz

As I point out within the Prime 5 issues to do from Queenstown, one of many jewels of the New Zealand is its largest park, Fjordland Nationwide Park.  Deep within the park is the indigo blue waters, flanking mountains, and thunderous waterfalls of Milford Sound.  Carved by glaciers tens of millions of years in the past, this can be a sight you need to see in individual and a type of locations that in case you missed, you’d have critical FOMO (worry or lacking out).

The primary cause to separate up your time in Queenstown with a keep in Te Anau is to maximise the time you’ll be able to discover the park.  The difficulty I’ve with day journeys is that you find yourself losing an excessive amount of time on the street in a single day.

My suggestion is to ebook the primary cruise of the day with Southern Discoveries.  There’s a few good causes for this:

  1. Minimal visitors on the drive to Te Anau together with Homer Tunnel
  2. The primary cruise is usually discounted and it comes with a hearty breakfast buffet
  3. The morning mild at Milford Sound is beautiful and a lot better than the tough mild that you simply get mid-day.

The drive from Te Anau is just one hour 45 minutes however account for two.5 hours as you’ll be tempted to cease A LOT particularly when you enter Fjordland Nationwide Park.  Simply keep in mind that you’ll be taking the street again out.

TIP: You gained’t have any knowledge the entire day so be sure to’ve made every little thing out there offline in your telephone together with navigation.  That is the place one thing like maps.me (iOS/Android) is useful.  If there’s a photograph cease you must skip due to time, simply star it and are available again in your approach out.

sotuhern discoveries milford sound cruise pass cards itinerary

sotuhern discoveries milford sound cruise pass cards itinerary

Everybody parks in the identical big lot when you get to Milford Sound and from there you stroll over to the cruise terminal the place all ships embarks from.  Merely present your voucher and also you’ll be given the passes it’s essential to board.

view of black coral from underwater observatory in milford sound new zealand

view of black coral from underwater observatory in milford sound new zealandThe cruise is one of the simplest ways to see everything of Milford Sound ranging from the terminal, out into the open waters of the Tasman Sea after which again in.  When you booked the cruise and kayak choice, you’ll have the ability to get off on the Discovery Centre which will provide you with the chance to go right down to the underwater observatory to see the very uncommon black coral, adopted by a 1 hour kayaking session in Harrison Cove.  Personally, this can be a nice mixture since you get to take your time to see the grand scale of Milford Sound from the boat after which expertise it in a totally totally different method on the water and up near the partitions of the fjord.

TIP: We discovered that issues are a bit rushed when your kayaking session begins. Whenever you’re accomplished on the underwater observatory, ask the employees if you will get equipped earlier so there’s a bit extra buffer time.

bowel falls track kiosk

bowel falls track kioskAgain on the terminal, determine whether or not you’re within the Bowen Falls Monitor (NZ$10 – grownup, NZ$5 – baby) which you’ll be able to pay for at a kiosk beside the espresso and merchandising machines.  Alternatively, you should purchase it out of your cruise operator.  Tickets are required as a result of a brief boat journey is required.  Once we have been there, we determined to skip it as a result of we didn’t know whether or not it was value it or not however this can be a brief monitor to Woman Bowen Falls that solely re-opened in 2018 after being closed for 15 years.  It’s a disgrace that it isn’t properly promoted however in case you’re undoubtedly inquire about it.

TIP: Relying on the tide, I encourage you to go out from the parking zone and in the direction of that iconic view of Mitre Peak.  At low-tide you’ll be able to stroll fairly far out and has fairly superior reflections.

the chasm rushing water new zealand itinerary

the chasm rushing water new zealand itineraryAs soon as you allow Milford Sound, it’s as much as you ways rather more you need to see.  There are a ton of photograph spots however the primary ones to take a look at for are The Chasm and Humboldt Falls.  The Chasm is true off the street so it’s straightforward to get to.  Humboldt Falls requires you to show off onto the Hollyford Monitor on the Marion Nook.  From there, it’s a really lengthy four hour drive again to Queenstown.The turnoff for Decrease Hollyford/Marion Nook for Humboldt Falls and in addition instructions for emergency gasoline (I hope you don’t want it)

TIP: Gunn’s Camp on Hollyford Street carries emergency gasoline in case you want it.  The error we made was realizing we didn’t have sufficient so we turned again to Milford Sound solely to comprehend that their machine was damaged which left us stranded.

Relying on what time you get again into city, you’ll be able to both have a sit-down dinner or decide up one thing on the best way again.  Due to our fuel points in Milford Sound, we needed to abandon our unique plan to have some finances Thai meals and simply munched on the rest of our snack meals.

What you’ll see:

  • Milford Sound
  • Bowen Falls Monitor
  • The Chasm
  • Hollyford Monitor’s Humboldt Falls

What you’ll do:

The place you’ll eat:

The place to remain:

We by no means would’ve thought we’d have the ability to discover one thing like this on Reserving.com nevertheless it actually goes to point out you ways they’ve stepped up their guesthouse recreation.

WE STAYED HERE

hippo lodge backpackers private room with bunk beds

hippo lodge backpackers private room with bunk beds

HIPPO LODGE BACKPACKERS

I’ll be trustworthy, not precisely our favorite property particularly since we have been booked right here for two nights however you get what you pay for.  We discovered that most individuals staying right here have been worldwide staff and so actually felt extra like a college dorm than anything. Fortunately they’ve free parking.

TripAdvisor

Reserving.com

GREAT ALTERNATIVE

mi pad smart hotel rooftop patio view

mi pad smart hotel rooftop patio view

MI-PAD SMART HOTEL

Centrally situated lodge that isn’t going to run you thru roof.  As a brand new lodge, every thing is trendy and very snug.  On prime of that, they’ve an unimaginable rooftop patio that gives spectacular views because it’s on a hill and dealing with the lake.

TripAdvisor

Reserving.com

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Day four – Thrills in Queenstown

shotover jet boat ride in queenstown new zealand itinerary

shotover jet boat ride in queenstown new zealand itinerary

After a few days on the street, it’s lastly time to take pleasure in all the things that Queenstown has to supply.  Sure, through the years it’s develop into much more touristy with the inflow of Chinese language tour buses, and shops like Louis Vuitton taking up (I do know…why???) however there’s nonetheless numerous appeal to this city.  I liken Queenstown to a very laid again ski village like Park Metropolis in Utah.

There’s an general buzz and pleasure to the town whether or not it’s from individuals getting psyched for an upcoming journey exercise, happening a flowery night time out, or purchasing until one thing drops.

shotover jet most exciting jet boat ride

shotover jet most exciting jet boat rideAs an alternative of a flat white to start out your day, head straight to Shotover Canyon for what needs to be probably the most ridiculous boat experience recognized to man.  It’s referred to as Shotover Jet and it’s an motion packed expertise that has you barreling by way of the canyon and boulders at unreal speeds, and pulling 360 diploma spins that’s one thing out of a James Bond stunt staff.  The one factor you are able to do is maintain on to the metallic bar in entrance of you dearly and display on the prime of your lungs.

TIP:  Examine the entire expertise as a part of the perfect issues to do in Queenstown.

enjoy queenstown village green in new zealand itineraryenjoy queenstown village green in new zealand itineraryQueenstown’s Village Inexperienced

Head again into city and spend the remainder of the day on foot.  There are many shops to browse round.  That is additionally an excellent probability to purchase any final minute provides you may want earlier than you hit the street once more.  For instance, in the event you forgot waterproof pants or want an additional layer, a retailer like Mountain Warehouse has fairly priced gear.

eating fergburger burgers in queenstown as part of 3 week nz itinerary

eating fergburger burgers in queenstown as part of 3 week nz itineraryOnce you’re hungry, it’s time to lastly go to my favorite burger place on the planet – Fergburger.  New Zealand might be the final place you’d assume would have legendary burgers however that is it.  There’s a purpose why the road up goes out the door and why they’re open 21 hours a day.  My suggestion is to both attempt to Chief Piggum or the Ferg Deluxe.  Additionally, the hand-cut pepper & squid is a brand new revelation from this current journey.  Wasabi mayo will change your life!

TIP:  To keep away from the strains, name in to make your order (full menu).  That method, all it’s a must to do is decide up your meals on the window when it’s prepared.

body sanctum spa reception and complimentary water

body sanctum spa reception and complimentary waterTo spherical this out, make a reservation on the Physique Sanctum Spa for a bit of little bit of rest remedy.  One other common spot that’s unattainable to e-book is Onsen Scorching Swimming pools.  From their personal swimming pools, you get fairly unimaginable open views of the Queenstown panorama.  In the event you’re eager on doing this, ensure that to e-book no less than four months forward of time.

For dinner, for those who’re up for a lighter and more healthy, seize some meals at Rehab which has an incredible number of salads and cleaning juices.

With Flying Kiwi beginning the subsequent day, the very last thing you’ll should do is return your automotive to keep away from having to cope with it tomorrow.  This half will get slightly bit difficult since you’ll drive your automotive again to the airport for the return however will then want a method again into the town.  For those who’ve learn our Queenstown information, you’ll know that taking the bus just isn’t value efficient in any respect so name an Uber and get him/her to select you up nearer to the airport since they’re not allowed inside.

That is additionally in all probability good night time to do laundry.

What you’ll see:

What you’ll do:

The place you’ll eat:

The place to remain:

  • Similar location as the day before today

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Day 5 – The Begin of the Reverse Traverse

boarding flying kiwi bus in queenstown day 5 new zealand itinerary

boarding flying kiwi bus in queenstown day 5 new zealand itinerary

With the Queenstown leg coming to an in depth, there isn’t a lot time to do something substantial for today because the Flying Kiwi decide up is at 2:30PM.  In consequence, take your time, collect your luggage, check-out, and head into the downtown.

The one problem you’ll have is you’re going to be travelling round together with your luggage.  When you’d wish to stroll round city with out them, you’ll have to go to the Baggage Storage by Smarte Carte contained in the O’Connells Purchasing Centre (NZ$13 per day for small gadgets and $16 per day for giant gadgets).

In case you’re hungry, there’s a superb cafe named Vudu Cafe & Larder.  When you’re there, be sure to seize a flat white, avocado toast, and ginger crunch bar.  They’re additionally recognized for his or her vegan meals when you’ve got any dietary restrictions.

What you’ll see:

The place you’ll eat:

The place to remain:

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Day 6 to 17 – Flying Kiwi

sandboarding flying kiwi group photo adventure tour new zealand

sandboarding flying kiwi group photo adventure tour new zealand

For simplicity and re-hashing info that I’ve talked about in my evaluate of the Flying Kiwi Reverse Traverse itinerary, you will discover out concerning the full 14 day itinerary on the tour web page as properly.

On reflection, this was a very cool hybrid street journey itinerary as a result of we obtained to spend 2/three of the journey guided by specialists and travelling with new buddies that we met on Flying Kiwi.  Their route is rather well curated and gave us an opportunity to do a lot of what we needed to see together with highlights akin to The Legendary Black Water Rafting, skydiving within the Abel Tasman, diving within the Bay of Islands, and our kayak and climbing combo within the Abel Tasman.

Guide with Flying Kiwi

flying kiwi promotion discount code promoflying kiwi promotion discount code promo

For those who’re in search of an unimaginable expertise round New Zealand with out the stress of planning all of it out your self, the prospect to journey with superb individuals, and discover New Zealand the best way it was meant to be seen – the outside with a ton of journey, verify them out!

Use code “GOINGAWESOMEPLACES” to get a free sleeping bag rental (valued at NZ$60) in your complete journey!

BOOK YOUR TRIP

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Day 18 – Scorching Water Seashore

hot water beach 3 week nz itinerary beach spa

hot water beach 3 week nz itinerary beach spa

On the final day of your Flying Kiwi journey tour, you’ll be returning again to Auckland.  After saying a fond farewell to your new travelling mates, you’ll be by yourself once more.  Whereas it’ll be tempted to remain within the metropolis for the day, the reality is that your time is best spent elsewhere (sorry Auckland!)

Thought-about to be off-the-path and sometimes missed in most New Zealand itineraries is someplace referred to as the Coromandel peninsula which sits virtually parallel to Auckland however on the East coast.  The panorama modifications dramatically right here and is a mixture of mild seashores, rugged coves, forest-filled mountains, and a haven for native vacation-goers.

Begin off by grabbing your rental automotive and once more I like to recommend Hitch as they’ve hands-down the most cost effective price.  Simply consider, their automobiles are fairly outdated.  Like in Queenstown, their workplaces are off-site so wait for his or her shuttle within the designated space of the terminal.

TIP:  Want an affordable solution to get from the town to the airport?  Experience the SkyBus Auckland Metropolis Categorical which has a number of decide up factors downtown, runs 24 hours a day on a regular basis, and will take lower than 45 minutes to get to the airport.  E-book your tickets on-line to get a less expensive price (NZ$17.50 one-way for an grownup).  It’s cheaper than a taxi/Uber for positive.

Hit the street and set your GPS to Whitianga.  For those who’re a automotive fanatic, you’re going to like the roads particularly when you get into the mountains and also you get to drive across the switchback windy and scenic roads that take you thru Coromandel Forest Park.

tairua perfect pitstop to fly drone

tairua perfect pitstop to fly droneAlongside the best way, I like to recommend stopping at Tairua which is a superb pitstop to seize recent fruit frozen ice cream and maybe even fly the drone when you have one.

Whitianga is the closest giant metropolis which is why you’re headed that method as there are a selection of excellent lodging and eating choices there.  If you get there, drop off your luggage, settle in, and prepare to go out.   For those who’re staying at a B&B like ours, they’ll have buckets and shovels out there so ensure to load them into the automotive.

TIP:  How you propose out the remainder of your afternoon or night will solely rely upon the tides at Scorching Water Seashore. Once we have been there, it occurred to be at 5PM.  The perfect time to be on the seashore is anytime within the +/- 2 hours vary (3PM to 7PM in our case).  Factoring within the 30 minute drive from Whitianga and sundown time, you’ll both solely have time to do Scorching Water Seashore or each Cathedral Cove and the seashore.

For those who don’t need to rush issues, I’d advocate simply doing Scorching Water Seashore because it’s not the sort of factor you’ll be able to leap out and in and also you need to ensure you have sufficient time to do seize dinner.

crowds at hot water beach in coromandel new zealand trip

crowds at hot water beach in coromandel new zealand trip

hot water beach spades to dig spa pool

hot water beach spades to dig spa poolScorching Water Seashore highlights an unimaginable phenomenon the place volcanic exercise nicely under the floor heats up an underwater river and bubbles to the floor at low tide.  Armed with a spade to dig up your personal private pool and bucket to deliver chilly water from the ocean to chill the water down, that is probably the most outrageous strategy to spa that I’ve ever skilled however you’ll adore it since you’re pressured to get your palms soiled.  It’s a cross between treasure searching and frantic digging and re-digging to take care of your personal spa pool within the sand.  It’s arduous to explain however when you get there, simply search for the gang of individuals and also you’ll know what to do.  Price range 2 hours right here.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Location:  From the primary automotive park, cross the stream and the great locations to dig are simply north of the primary big boulder and earlier than the rocks that stick out within the water.  Normally, simply comply with the gang.

Low Tide:  Examine for low tide earlier than going

Parking:

  • There are three foremost tons:  The Essential Seashore carpark (free), Te Waiwai carpark (free) and the Major Retailer carpark (paid)
  • You can even pay for parking at Hotties Cafe, Scorching Waves Cafe and the Scorching Water Seashore Prime 10 Vacation Park
  • If the free tons are crammed, look out for open spots alongside Pye Place street earlier than or after the Principal Seashore carpark

What to convey:

  • Spade and bucket – You’ll be able to lease them on the seashore in case your lodging don’t have them to borrow
  • Swimwear
  • Towel
  • Bathe gel, shampoo and conditioner

Ideas:

  • For the most effective expertise, present up 1 hour earlier than low tide or proper at low tide.  When you present up later, the seashore can be suffering from holes and there gained’t be any alternatives to dig up a recent gap since they’ll already be taken.  Displaying up earlier may even have the benefit of discovering free parking
  • As an alternative of renting a spade and bucket, simply ask to borrow one from another person on the seashore
  • Use the toilet on the change rooms as there are not any amenities by the seashore
  • The simplest solution to inform if there’s scorching water beneath is to make use of your spade as soon as after which dig your ft in to really feel the temperature.  If it’s cool, there’s no level in digging additional and transfer onto one other spot

FAQ:

  • The place can you set your luggage? – I’d advocate protecting your valuables within the automotive as there’s you’ll should put religion that no one will take your issues.  Most individuals will put their luggage on or close to the mound of boulders inland from the seashore.  I like to recommend placing your issues near others and canopy your issues together with your towel
  • The place can I modify?  I’d advocate placing your swim put on on within the automotive or at your lodge/B&B forward of time.  If you come out of the seashore, there’s a brand new change room facility which is properly maintained and clear
  • The place can I bathe?  There are open showers simply outdoors the change facility to rinse your ft and wash up

Learn the critiques

Whenever you’re finished, drive again to Whitianga and have the most effective seafood of your journey at a restaurant referred to as Squids.

What you’ll see:

What you’ll do:

The place you’ll eat:

  • Lunch –  No particular suggestion as we snacked within the automotive however in the event you’re hungry, I like to recommend consuming close to Auckland as a result of there’s not a lot when you head out
  • Dinner – Squids Bar & Grill

The place to remain:

WE STAYED HERE

arthur street b&b whitianga nz bedroom

arthur street b&b whitianga nz bedroom

ARTHUR STREET B&B

Pleasant hosts, fully-stocked rooms (together with breakfast gadgets), straightforward parking, and very snug, and obtainable spade/bucket makes this a favorite of ours from our journey to New Zealand.

Agoda

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whitianga b&b accommodations in new zealand itinerary

whitianga b&b accommodations in new zealand itinerary

WHITIANGA B&B

An adult-only lodging that’s extraordinarily properly rated and reasonably priced.  Like Arthur Road B&B, there’s actually no want to take a look at hostels as a result of the costs are comparable and also you don’t need to cope with shared loos.

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Day 19 – Cathedral Cove

cathedral cove new zealand itinerary

cathedral cove new zealand itinerary

This naturally shaped stone archway between two secluded coves within the Coromandel Peninsula shouldn’t be missed.  Anticipate beautiful views at Cathedral Cove as this straightforward hike hugs alongside the coast, dramatic cliffs, pristine waters, and plush forests.

Begin your day early by heading out to Hahei Seashore.  When you might take the shuttle to the beginning of the hike path, I like to recommend parking proper by the seashore itself and make the mild ascent that solely provides an additional 20 minutes.

paved trail cathedral cove 3 week itinerary

paved trail cathedral cove 3 week itineraryOne factor that you simply’ll instantly discover concerning the hike right here is that it’s very well-paved and which makes it very straightforward and stroller-friendly.  Alongside the best way, you’ll even have a couple of alternatives to do a number of aspect hikes to further coves and lookout factors.

On the finish of the path that takes not more than 50 minutes from the seashore, you’ll descend down into the the cathedral-like arch and the dual seashores on all sides of the arch.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Hours:  No official hours

Extra information:   Web site

Parking:

  • The parking zone at Hahei seashore is free
  • The lot firstly of the path is closed from October 1 – April 30 and NZ$15 for four hours from Might 1 to September 30 (fairly restricted)
  • There’s personal parking from homeowners on the street as much as the highest automotive park
  • Hahei Customer automotive park (on the fitting as you enter Hahei) is free and from there you’ll be able to take a shuttle to take you to the highest (NZ$5 return for adults, NZ$three return for youngsters, and NZ$10 for two adults and a couple of youngsters.  You’ll be able to pay the driving force by money, use the machine, or pay on-line.

What to deliver:

  • Swimwear and towel when you plan on swimming on the seashore

FAQ:

  • Are there change rooms? – No there aren’t any amenities right here
  • Are there stairs?  A majority of the path is clean paved nevertheless steps are required when making your approach down and up from Cathedral Cove.  There are additionally stairs on the seashore stroll as much as the beginning of the path

Learn the critiques

Seize lunch in Hahei as you’ll then have to make the lengthy drive right down to Taupo which can take three.5 hours.  In Hahei, there’s the one plaza that has all o the meals.  Coastal Co-Op has fairly superior pizza and ice cream.

huka falls in taupo new zealand

huka falls in taupo new zealandWhenever you lastly make it to Taupo, you’ll solely have time to take a look at Huka Falls. Right here you’ll be able to witness the true energy of 220,000 litres of water barrelling down a slender passageway with ferocity.  The parking zone is just minutes away from the primary bridge and with just a few lookout factors, you’ll be able to simply full your go to in 10-15 minutes.

TIP:  The gates shut at 5:30PM within the winter and 6:30PM in the summertime.

With the large hike arising the subsequent day, take time to purchase provides as you’ll want to organize your personal lunch.  For the perfect costs, go to the Pak’N’Save. What we did was purchase a bag of croissants, slices of cheese, and ham with additional water as properly.

Sleep early as a result of the decide up tomorrow is absolutely early.

What you’ll see:

What you’ll do:

The place you’ll eat:

The place to remain:

WE STAYED HERE

rainbow lodge backpacker taupo hostel

rainbow lodge backpacker taupo hostel

RAINBOW LODGE BACKPACKERS

A well-liked hostel in Taupo that could be very reasonably priced.  The situation is handy as you’re strolling distance to the Pak’N’Save and the eating places by the lake.  A energetic place with a big kitchen and open lounge.  Benefit from their $5 burger nights.

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GREAT ALTERNATIVE

hilton lake taupo hotel new zealand

hilton lake taupo hotel new zealand

HILTON LAKE TAUPO

One of many few Hilton properties in New Zealand.  A primary-class lodge with a free pool, health club, and on-site Bistro Lago Restaurant by chef Gareth Stewart.   Rooms are spacious and opulent.

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Day 20 – Tongariro Crossing

best photo spot for tongariro crossing in nz itinerary

best photo spot for tongariro crossing in nz itinerary

Dubbed the “hike by way of Mordor”, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing has grown to worldwide fame because of Lord of the Rings.  It’s a monitor that takes you thru an other-worldly volcanic panorama, vivid Emerald Lakes, mysteriously pink crater, and switchback plains, and ethereal jungle forest.  At 19.4km lengthy, it’s additionally described as the most effective in the future hike in New Zealand and I’ve to agree.

The trek is an unimaginable expertise as a result of it takes you thru such a dynamic change of landscapes.  It really provides you an appreciation of the awe-inspiring energy of mom nature at work at its rawest type. That stated, it’s nonetheless one hell of a piece out and strong preparation is essential.

tongariro expeditions bus drop off in new zealand itinerary

tongariro expeditions bus drop off in new zealand itinerary

To do the hike, you have to reserve your spot at Tongariro Expeditions, the most effective shuttle firm on the market who may have you coated whether or not you’re staying in Taupo.  I liked how they have been capable of decide us up and drop us off instantly from the hostel we have been staying at.  It actually made issues really easy.

snow on tongariro crossing hike

snow on tongariro crossing hikeShould you check out the cross part of your complete 7-9 hour hike, you’ll see elevation profile from begin to finish.  It’s a hike that ascends the saddle between the 2 mountains of Mt. Ngauruhoe and Mt. Tongariro earlier than descending into a set of sulphuric lakes and down the bottom.

tongariro crossing walking times and cross section trek

tongariro crossing walking times and cross section trek

Listed here are a couple of classes discovered from our expertise:

start of tongariro alpine crossing start of tongariro alpine crossing Favorite half – My favorite a part of the hike was close to the start of the path the place you’re threading via the valley whereas the solar rises above the towering Mt. Ngauruhoe which surprisingly was extra lovely than it’s twin mountain and the hike’s namesake.  That is additionally the a part of the hike that gave me critical flashbacks to Frodo and Sam as they snuck by means of the razor-shop rocks of Modor.

red crater summit mt ngauruhoered crater summit mt ngauruhoeManageable uphills – The reality is that a lot of the hike wasn’t insanely onerous and nothing in comparison with one thing like Lifeless Lady’s Cross on the Inca Path.  All of the ascents have been manageable so long as you took plenty of breaks in between.  Once you’ve had sufficient, the path often ranges out for a pleasant lengthy pause.

downhill rocky scramble in tongariro alpine crossing new zealand

downhill rocky scramble in tongariro alpine crossing new zealandThe toughest half – The arduous half was truly the descent from Pink Crater Summit to Emerald Lakes (#5 within the map under).  This half consists of massively eroding unfastened gravel that looks like a brief distance however lasts for an eternity as a result of 1) there’s no good foothold in any respect 2) the bottom slips beneath you with out discover three) others that basically don’t have the suitable footwear act as massive obstacles and four) it’s the backbone of a ridge and so there’s drop off on each side.  It’s not one thing that the majority guides speak about in order that’s why I extremely advocate good footwear and maybe a little bit of slip and slide confidence

Crowds – We weren’t even there throughout high-season (mid November) and the path was already fairly packed.  Let’s simply say there was by no means some extent when it was simply us.  Don’t anticipate to get any clear photographs until you begin actually early and hike actually shortly.

sulphur smell at emerald lakes on tongarirosulphur smell at emerald lakes on tongariroTime administration – We’re not quick hikers and what makes us even slower is the truth that I used to be additionally taking plenty of photograph and video for the weblog.  By the point we made it to the snow close to the Purple Crater Summit, it was already 10:40AM.  We didn’t make it to the Blue Lakes till 1:45PM.

And not using a good grasp of time, I assumed we have been nonetheless good till we noticed the indicators.  By the point we made it to the Ketetahi Hut, it was 2:45PM and the signal stated there was nonetheless one other 1 hour 30 minutes left.  In the event you check out the Tongariro Expeditions information, they advocate at the very least 2 hours.  Needing to make it to the automotive park by 4PM, we needed to actually speed-hike/run again down in 1 hour 15 minutes.

completing tongariro crossing on the buscompleting tongariro crossing on the busMaking it on the bus within the nick of time

Additionally don’t underestimate that final stretch.  It’s designated as exhausting for cause – it’s by no means ending and simply whenever you assume the forest ought to clear into marking lot, it retains going.  One way or the other we pulled it off however I wouldn’t advocate this to anybody.

tongariro crossing topography map with main highlights new zealand itinerarytongariro crossing topography map with main highlights new zealand itineraryCourtesy of Tongariro Expeditions

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Location:  E-book with Tongariro Expeditions to start out your hike on the Mangatepopo Automotive Park

When:  There are two decide up occasions in Taupo – 5:20AM and 6:20AM.  Decide up occasions on the finish of the path occur between 1:30 – four:30PM however in our case, it was 2PM – 4PM (seasonal causes).

Worth:  NZ$70 grownup or NZ$35 youngster spherical journey from Taupo.  Alternatively for those who’d wish to park on the Ketetahi lot, you possibly can rent a shuttle

  Various providers:  When you have a automotive and also you’d wish to park on the Ketetahi aspect, you possibly can rent a one-way shuttle to Mangatepopo.  Pickups are from 6.30AM-Eight.30AM.  There’s a particular Tongariro shuttle parking zone for this

What to convey:

  • Lunch and snacks
  • 1.5 – 2L of water per individual
  • Actual mountaineering footwear (i.e. Columbia’s Conspiracy Outdry shoe)
  • Sunscreen – You’re utterly uncovered the entire path.  With the ozone layer depletion close to New Zealand, it’s really easy to get burnt right here.  Re-apply no less than as soon as.
  • Sun shades
  • Put on layers – be prepared for all climate
  • Beanie/toque within the winter
  • Waterproof jacket and pants if it rains

Ideas:

    • This hike could be very climate dependent so that you do have to check-in with Tongariro Expeditions the day earlier than to see in the event that they’re operating or not
  • Refill on lunch, snacks, and water the night time earlier than
  • Shuttle buses depart on time – We didn’t need to discover out what would occur if we arrived after 4PM.  Our bus left at four:04PM in order that tells you simply how on time they’re
  • Free climbing sticks – You’ll discover that mountaineering sticks can’t be rented from Tongariro Expeditions and that’s as a result of they them totally free to borrow on the bus.  It’s not one thing they disclose however a reasonably candy perk
  • Take note of color of bracelets – Anybody with Tongariro Expeditions may have a rubber bracelet.  Your bus will probably be one color and different buses will probably be one other color.  Should you’re the primary bus and see different colors begin creeping up on you, that’s when you understand you’re beginning to comply with behind

FAQ:

  • What occurs in the event you don’t make the bus? – They instructed us to name them if we knew we wouldn’t make the final bus however I discovered that hilarious as a result of I don’t had sign the entire hike.  Simply don’t be late.
  • What’s the toilet state of affairs? – I used to be impressed with what number of toilet outhouses have been arrange alongside the path.  They’re frequent sufficient that you simply don’t want to actually fear an excessive amount of.  Simply anticipate lengthy strains particularly after lunch hour so I’d advocate going earlier than summiting Pink Crater and once more at Ketetahi Hut.

Learn the evaluations

You’ll be exhausted if you get to Taupo.  Take a breather, reward your self an amazing dinner over at Dixie Brown’s, and watch an excellent sundown over Lake Taupo.

What you’ll do:

The place you’ll eat:

The place to remain:

  • The identical as the day gone by

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Day 21 – Hobbiton

wide angle view of hobbiton movie set from across the lake in new zealand trip

wide angle view of hobbiton movie set from across the lake in new zealand trip

Finish off your journey on a excessive with a few issues two issues that the North Island is greatest recognized for – geothermal exercise and Hobbiton.

craters of the moon geothermal activity steam

craters of the moon geothermal activity steamBegin of your day by heading to Craters of the Moon which minutes outdoors of Taupo and throughout the road from Huka Falls.  Whereas this won’t have the size or variety of Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, it’s a type of issues that is sensible logistically, doesn’t take too lengthy to do, and is sort of reasonably priced (NZ$Eight for adults, NZ$four for youngsters).

Stroll by way of the guided boardwalk which takes you thru effervescent craters, hissing steam vents, and vibrant soil.

spa thermal park natural hot springs near taupo

spa thermal park natural hot springs near taupoClose by city is a secret treasure that’s been recognized to locals for a very long time however is now turning into an enormous attraction by itself.  The identify provides it away – Spa Thermal Park.  It’s half of a giant inexperienced area that options strolling paths, playground, and open park however what makes this place particular is the thermal stream on the fringe of the Waikato river.

The recent stream mixes in with the river water and naturally types a number of small rock swimming pools.  Every pool is at its personal temperature and cools down as you get nearer to the river.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

 Handle:  County Ave, Tauhara, Taupo 3378, New Zealand (search for Otumuheke Thermal Stream)

spa thermal park map in taupo nz

spa thermal park map in taupo nz

Hours:  7AM -8PM

 Worth:  Free

Parking: Free on the park’s lot however areas refill shortly

What to deliver:

FAQ:

  • change facilities at spa thermal parkchange facilities at spa thermal parkAre there change rooms? – Sure, a model new facility was constructed with particular person change rooms
  • Are there lockers? – Free lockers are offered as a part of the brand new constructing however for those who’re snug, you possibly can simply put your issues on the rock close to the water the place you’ll be soaking

Learn the evaluations

couple photo at hobbiton film set in new zealand 3 week itinerary

couple photo at hobbiton film set in new zealand 3 week itinerary

tour bus that takes you into hobbiton

tour bus that takes you into hobbitonHobbiton is the stuff of legends.  Scouted by Peter Jackson’s workforce for Lord of the Rings, the story is that they flew over this 1,250 acre sheep farm in Matamata and found that it was strikingly just like The Shire with its big pine tree and rising hill overlooking a lake.  They utterly transformed the rolling inexperienced hills into Hobbiton however on the time, they created it as a short lived set with the intention to return it again to a farm after filming was carried out.  When The Hobbit rolled round, they determined to re-build every little thing completely for guests to tour for years to return.

samwise gamgee hobbit hole in film set near matamata

samwise gamgee hobbit hole in film set near matamataWhereas it’s as touristy as issues are available New Zealand, its must-do for any Lord of the Rings pilgrimage.  The two hour tour takes you thru the complete grounds of Hobbiton the place it hits you simply how thorough, detailed, and full it’s.  If you first enter in, you’ll have that out-of-body expertise as I did the place you understand that it’s all actual.  The one disappointment is the truth that there’s nothing a lot behind these spherical doorways however with the ability to stand inside one will make you overlook fairly shortly.

free drinks at green dragon hobbiton

free drinks at green dragon hobbitonFrom the farmer’s backyard, hobbit-scale holes, human-scale hobbit holes, the beekeeper’s mailbox, chimney’s that puff actual smoke, the home of the hobbit that picks his nostril, and naturally Bilbo’s Bag Finish, it’s straightforward to forgive the massive group of vacationers.  To spherical out the expertise, you get to have a pint of Southfarthing’s personal ales within the iconic Inexperienced Dragon pub.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

 Tackle:  501 Buckland Rd, Hinuera, Matamata 3472, New Zealand

Hours:  Excursions depart day by day from 9am till three:30pm. (Additional 4PM and four:30PM excursions between September 1 – April 30, and 5PM and 5:30PM between December 27 and February 28)

 Worth:  NZ$84 for adults, NZ$42 for youth (9-15), and free for youngsters Zero-Eight

Parking:   There’s loads of parking in Shire’s Relaxation (the place you wait in your bus decide up throughout the road from Hobbiton)

Ideas:

shires rest hobbiton film fest nz

shires rest hobbiton film fest nz

  • Reservations prematurely are beneficial
  • If in case you have the time and spots can be found, I extremely advocate reserving the night banquet tour which helps you to tour Hobbiton at nightfall (greatest lighting) and a dinner feast within the Inexperienced Dragon
  • Observe that there are additionally pickups from the Matamata I-Website (information centre) or Rotorua
  • There’s a Hobbiton Film Set Retailer in Rotorua (1235 Fenton St, Rotorua)
  • If you wish to get photographs of you within the Hobbit holes, your greatest guess is to remain close to the again of the pack.  You gained’t have the ability to hear an excessive amount of of the commentary nevertheless it’s actually the one solution to get clear photographs
  • In Inexperienced Dragon, go round and take note of the random notes, footage, and objects.  There aren’t any easter eggs however we discovered a number of indicators that gave me a chuckle
  • The hobbit clothes on the again exit of Inexperienced Dragon are free for guests to placed on so benefit from this photograph op

Guide your tour

The drive again to Auckland will take 2 hours and 15 minutes.  Examine into the place you’ll be staying at night time or have dinner first, relying in your timing.

What you’ll see:

  • Craters of the Moon
  • Hobbiton Film Set

What you’ll do:

The place you’ll eat:

The place to remain:

WE STAYED HERE

new market cozy b&B in auckland

new market cozy b&B in auckland

NEW MARKET COZY ROOM

This was the right B&B-type of place to finish off our journey.  We needed some one thing snug, not within the metropolis, with straightforward parking and this ticked off all of the packing containers.  The room was tremendous spacious and excellent throughout.

Agoda

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city lodge backpackers hotel in auckland

city lodge backpackers hotel in auckland

CITY LODGE

In the event you’re trying to keep within the Central Enterprise District (CBD) space, this can be a nice reasonably priced choice that’s nonetheless a personal en-suite room.  Properly rated and near numerous meals within the space.

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The journey prices

As I point out within the New Zealand journey information, you’ll know that this isn’t the most cost effective nation to journey via however in case you do it sensible, you don’t need to spend as a lot cash as you assume.

To offer you an concept of the type of cash you’ll should spend on a three week New Zealand journey, right here’s a break down of all of our bills.  Word this doesn’t embrace any flights, is for the 2 of us and is in NZD.

  • Flying Kiwi – $5,690
  • Actions – $2,692
  • Meals – $1,285
  • Lodging – $991
  • Transportation – $795
  • Souvenirs – $309
  • Communications – $213
  • Clothes – $60

Complete = NZ$12,Zero35.39 (for 2)

new zealand 3 week trip expenses

new zealand 3 week trip expenses

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What we missed

No itinerary is ideal and there have been loads of issues that I want we might slot in however simply couldn’t with the three week restriction we had.

As you’ll be able to see from the journey map, you’ll see that this itinerary focuses on the western aspect of each islands of New Zealand which leaves the japanese aspect largely skipped.  For those who’re contemplating options or have a critical case of FOMO, check out a few of these actions that could be value including if you wish to broaden from the three weeks.

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The entire expertise

Our full three week New Zealand itinerary was merely epic.  It was an unbelievable journey that spanned each the South Island and North Island, giving us an opportunity to see treasured highlights and expertise bucket-list worthy actions.

This can be a journey the place we combined and matched a standard street journey with a guided bus tour and it was fairly distinctive in consequence.  For one, it made journey planning a heck of so much simpler as a result of all I needed to do was concentrate on the start and the top.   Via Flying Kiwi, we have been capable of make new buddies with individuals we might’ve in any other case by no means encountered and it was our enjoyable dynamic of travellers that basically made issues memorable.  The journey bus tour additionally offered a pleasant change of tempo between travelling as a pair and as a gaggle.

New Zealand is someplace that I might go many times.  In three weeks you’ll be transported over climates that vary from alpine, glacial, fjord, sub-tropical, rainforest, and full tropical.  Extra importantly, it’s a rustic that emphasizes doing simply as a lot it does seeing which suggests there’s by no means a uninteresting second.  The adrenaline by no means actually wears off when you’re on the market and smiles run finish to finish all day lengthy.

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Obtained questions from your personal journey to New Zealand? Let me provide help to by dropping a remark down under!

 

How to plan a 3 week New Zealand itinerary with a comprehensive trip guide that covers where to stay, eat, what to see, and do, and insider tips#nzmustdo #realmiddleearth #purenewzealandHow to plan a 3 week New Zealand itinerary with a comprehensive trip guide that covers where to stay, eat, what to see, and do, and insider tips#nzmustdo #realmiddleearth #purenewzealand

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