It depends on your personal interests what you'd find to be "must see" places and activities. But I think any first time visitor should go to Rotorua on the North Island and sample the Maori culture, explore the geothermal marvels (a twilight mud spa at Hell's Gate is highly recommended) and see the local wildlife (including kiwis) at Rainbow Springs. about 2 years ago
Queenstown is a must for every age group, the scenery lakes and mountains, walking tracks, restaurants, cafes, night life and adventure sports are all in one area. You can go from there on a day trip to Ta Anau and Milford take a boat ride in the Sounds, then head further south to Stewart Island for more amazing scenery and walks. about 2 years agoAnswered by Denise Ferns via WorldNomads.com
Milford Sound. A breath-taking highlight. Take a boat cruise. Simply amazing.
Paihia is great as well. Go to the Treaty Grounds and learn the history.
I really like Raglan too. Spend some time soaking up the surfer culture.
Oh, and when you're in Wellington go to Caffe l'affare and enjoy the incredible coffee! about 2 years ago
This is a tough one because it depends what time of year you're going and what you enjoy doing. Here are a few things I loved (and I've lived there most of my life):
- Fletcher Bay to Stony Bay walk in the Coromandel
- Hot Water Beach
- Cathedral Cove
- black water rafting (pricey)
- bungy jumping and skydiving in Taupo
- Tongariro Crossing
- Wellington (just go there, eat and drink)
- rent a car and explore the South Island
Some good websites for deals are:
Hope you have an awesome time :) about 2 years ago
Stay home. Better for the planet. Become at your place the best place it can be. about 2 years agoAnswered by Stephen Verchinski via WorldNomads.com
Just returned December 7 from 1st-time visit -- definitely Milford Sound -- the tiny penguins are primo...also the thermal spas at Rotorua are so good for the body & soul. about 2 years agoAnswered by Louise via WorldNomads.com
Milford Sound on a rainy day and Kaikoura anytime. Though in reality you just can't go wrong with that country. about 2 years agoAnswered by Ariel via WorldNomads.com
As for me and besides Auckland, I'd suggest Rotorua Park, Waitakere Park, Waitomo - Mamu, the West Coast and the Featherdale Wildlife Park (if you like animals).
Of course that there are many other interesting places, N.Z. is a fabulous country. But the above is what I visited myself and really loved.
Have a nice trip. about 2 years ago
First thing, don't do it by camper van, hire a car and stay in motels/hotels. Lots of reasons for this but basically the costs are around the same using a car. Use Emirates and Fly into Auckland out of Christchurch . Research you trip on various forums and find motels on Tripadvisor. Auckland to bay of islands, coromandel, rotorua and work way down to Wellington for ferry south to picton. Several ways to go here, look at map and work way down to fox glacier, wanaka and queenstown - trip to doubtful sound (much better than Milford) and then Christchurch via Dunedin. Take train across and then back to greymouth. Then home. about 2 years ago
If you google 100% New Zealand you'll get a tourist website that gives you planned road trips for various activities / travel modes / and time frames. I fourth this has been handy. Want to save money? You can look up rental car returns and return cars for free and have ferries paid for (depending on route).
If you're staying in hostels get a BBH card. A valuable tool when travelling is conversation with other travellers! People are usually really eager to share their adventures.
I have been here for almost 4 months. It's really a beautiful place and the people are absolutely wonderful. Safe journey! about 2 years ago