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
LAX – SYDNEY- AUCKLAND
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!!
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
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:
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:
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
Shuttle to Tongariro National park and HIKE Tongariro Crossing – full day
Drive to Rotorua
Stay at Gibson Motel
7:30pm – Tamaki Maori Village Experience, yeah touristy, but fun and interesting!
Coromandel Peninsula – Explore the beach, hike around.
Stay at Hahei Bed and Breakfast
4:45pm – Cathedral Cove Sunset Kayak tour
Drive to Auckland and fly to Brisbane at 3:00pm
Visit cousin Andrea and her kids Rosie and Max – yay!
11:15am Fly from Brisbane – HOME!