Flying into Auckland on the North Island will give you a bird’s eye view of New Zealand, a thrilling moment as you see the landscape unfold beneath you before the arrival of the city itself. Auckland is a city with plenty to do, with a bustling city centre home to great shopping, wining and dining opportunities, as well as outskirts offering outstanding hiking, golf and wineries.
From Auckland, head towards the geothermic wonderland of Rotorua, you may wish to stop off at Hot Water Beach on the east coast of the Coromandel Peninsula en route. Here you can dig yourself a pool on the beach which will fill up with hot water from the spring below and relax. Alternatively, or additionally you could also visit Matamata and take a Lord of the tour of Alexander Farm, also known as Hobbiton, a must for any film enthusiasts. There are also the Waitomo Glow worm Caves nearby, should you be looking for a more unusual way to spend a day. Rotorua itself is home to vast array of geothermic landmarks, as well as a rather distinct smell, which we’re promised you barely notice by the end of your visit. There are erupting geysers, bubbling mud pools and hot springs.
Your next stop is Wellington, a short hop away and one of New Zealand’s biggest cities. Here you’ll find a multitude of cafes, bars and restaurants. A lively city by day, it’s also buzzing at night, with plenty going on. It has also got plenty of culture and history, as well as being a major player in the resurgence of New Zealand craft beers. From here you’ll head south, be it by ferry or charter, to the South Island where you could head out to Kaikoura if you’re a fan of sea life, with dolphins, whales and seals living permanently along this stretch of coast. Alternatively you can just head straight on to Christchurch.
Christchurch itself feels very British, though it does have obvious Maori influences as well as some European touches. Known for its diversity, Christchurch offers plenty of culture, with galleries, markets, music as well as sports stadiums, the Ko Tāne Living Māori Village and a whole host of festivals. There are also plenty of outdoor activities in the area, including some high-adrenalin pursuits as well as biking and hiking. En route to Queenstown, a stop at either Franz Josef or Fox Glaciers is a must. Whether you just stop for the views or take a hike, helicopter tour or even a sky-dive, this area is outstandingly beautiful.
Queenstown is the place to really let your adventurous side out. It’s renowned for its adrenalin pumping activities including bungee jumps, sky diving, jet boating and white water rafting. Nearby you’ll find the beautiful Fiordland National Park, where you’ll find the iconic Milford and Doubtful Sounds, as well as many more.