It’s an impossible feat to see the entire country of New Zealand in seventeen days, but we’re nuts, so we tried. If you’ve got sixteen days and want to go gung ho and see both islands, here’s one way to do it.  I’ll report at the end of the trip what exactly we recommend and what we wish we had done better.


Travel Day: January 26th


DAY ONE: January 28th — AUCKLAND — We lost a day! – NZ is 18 hours ahead of the US.

Arrive at Auckland Airport at 2:40pm & take the Airbus to Downtown Auckland

Explore Auckland! (if not exhausted)

Stay 1 night at the  Shakespeare Hotel & Brewery

*We intentionally are not spending another day in Auckland as we’re focusing on nature for our trip and spending time in the cities where we have family.

DAY TWO:  January: 29th

Take the Airbus back to Auckland Airport  in the AM

Fly down to Queenstown

Stay in Latham’s flat – thank you Verity & Latham!!

Explore Queenstown all day: Lake, ride the sky Gondola, hike down to town,e tc.

DAY THREE: Thurs – January: 30th

Whitewater River Rafting  on the Showater River with Queenstown Rafting.


Pre- Hollyford Track Hike Briefing Meeting

Dinner in town & stargazing

Fri – January: 31st

6:30am – Pick-up for Hollyford Track Three Day Guided Hike through the wilderness

HERE’S the link to the company we’re going with

Sat – February 01

Hollyford Track

Sun – February 2nd:

Hollyford Track – End

Last night in Queenstown

Mon – February 03th:

Drive to Franz Josef glacier

1:00pm – Franz Joseph Glacier Climb

5:00pm – Check in at Chateau Franz Hostel

7:20pm (approx) – Okarito Kiwi tour – find kiwis in the wild!

Tue – February 04th:

Drive to Christchurch  (where Steph is from!)- via pancake rocks??

Stay with Verity & Latham – yay!

Wed – February 05:

Christchurch – city tour with Amy Bowie & Kirsten Simpson – yay!

Thurs – February 06th:

Christchurch – Waitangi Day — maybe Akaroa?

Fri – February 07th:

Rent a car in ChCh drive up the coast to  Picton via Marlborough wine country.

7:00pm – Take the ferry across Cooks Straight from Picton to Wellington to meet Kirsten

Sat – February 08th:

Explore Wellington with Kirsten

Sun – February 09th:

Enjoy drive from Wellington  to Tongariro. Visit Carole on the way.  (stop in wineries?)

Stay at Asure Parklands Motor Lodge

February 10th:

Shuttle to Tongariro National park and HIKE Tongariro Crossing – full day

Perhaps relax in the evening at – Huka Falls, or Tokaanu Hot Pools

February 11th:

Drive to Rotorua

Stay at Gibson Motel

7:30pm – Tamaki Maori Village Experience, yeah touristy, but fun and interesting!

February 12th:

Coromandel Peninsula – Explore the beach, hike around.

Stay at Hahei Bed and Breakfast

4:45pm – Cathedral Cove Sunset Kayak tour

February 13th:

Drive to Auckland and fly to Brisbane at 3:00pm

Visit cousin Andrea and her kids Rosie and Max – yay!

February 14th

11:15am Fly from Brisbane – HOME!


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