AREA 268,680 sq km
LANGUAGE English & Maori
CURRENCY New Zealand dollar (NZD)
For current information regarding health, recommended vaccines and the location of trustworthy doctors and medical clinics, please refer to the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers website.
- 3 star hotel: $80
- 4 star hotel: $130
- 5 star hotel: $240
- Inexpensive restaurant: $12.23
- Meal for 2, mid-range restaurant, 3 courses: $65.24
230V / 50Hz
- Outdoor and Adventure
- Romance and Honeymoon
- Animal encounter
- Culture and Art
- Road trip
- New Zealand is a country with 2 main islands, and it is known as the ‘Shaky Isles’ because it has an average 365 earthquakes a year.
- No matter where you are in New Zealand, you are never more than 120km from the sea.
- There are 5 species of kiwi in New Zealand: the great spotted kiwi, the little spotted kiwi, the rowi, the tokoeka and the North Island brown kiwi. None of these birds can fly.
- There are 12 sheep for every person in New Zealand.
- Wellington is the world’s most Southern capital, at 5,420km from the South Pole.
- Instead of swimming in the sea, beach goers dig holes in the sand on Hot Water Beach, on the Coromandel Peninsula, which fill with warm mineral waters. They can then have a nice warm soak, no matter how cold is the outside temperature.
- The largest insect in the world can be found on Little Barrier Island. It looks like a huge grasshopper, and it is so big it can eat carrots.
- The Zorb (a big plastic shock-absorbing ball that we get inside and roll down hills) has been invented in New Zealand in 1994.
- The world’s steepest residential street is Baldwin Street, in the New Zealand city of Dunedin. At its steepest, it rises 3.3ft (1m) for every 9.8ft (3m). Every year, 1,000 runners run to the top and back again in the Baldwin Street Gutbuster race.
- The first bungee jump happened in Auckland in 1986.
- New Zealand’s Maori people use small chisels to carve grooves into their skin, as tribal tattoos.
Day 1 & 2: Auckland
Sights to visit: Viaduct Harbour, Sky Tower, Kelly Tarlton’s Underwater World, Auckland Museum, Botanic Gardens, SKYCITY and the Museum of Transport & Technology.
Day 3: Waiheke Island
Drive around the island, visiting wineries, olive groves, artists’ studios, and unspoiled beaches.
Day 4: Rotorua
Experience and learn about geothermal and volcanic history (geysers, mud pools, volcanic vents), and the Maori culture.
Day 5: The Thermal Attractions or Extreme Adventures
Go to Waimangu and Waiotapu. Then hike Whakarewarewa Forest and witness an amazing cultural performance at Tamaki Maori Village. Or head to Taupo, with its staggeringly beautiful Lake Taupo and Tongariro National Park nearby, where you can try some tramping, mountain biking or skydiving.
Day 6: Drive to Wellington
A 5-hour dazzling journey will take you around Lake Taupo, where there are plenty of lake-edge stops for photographs, through the stunning beauty of Tongariro National Park, and through heartland farming provinces. Alternatively, go the coastal route along the Kapiti Coast.
Day 7: Wellington
Sights to visit: Te Papa, the cable car, the Botanic Garden, the Parliament, the City Gallery Wellington, Cuba Street and Oriental Parade
Day 8: A Ferry Crossing
Rise early and catch one of the first ferries to Picton. The 3-hour trip is an experience in its own right and if the weather’s good you’ll have a picturesque passage through Queen Charlotte Sound. Catch the 1:40pm TranzCoastal. This rail journey is a scenic feast through vineyards and along a rugged coastline hugged by steep mountains. You might want to get out at Kaikoura and go whale-watching, or continue on to Christchurch, arriving around 7pm.
Day 9: Christchurch
Drive up Dyers Pass Roadto the top of the Port Hills. Stop for the fabulous views down into Lyttelton Harbour on your right. Drop down into the trendy seaside village of Sumner, and walk along the white sands of Sumner Beach. Sights to visit: Canterbury Museum and the Botanic Gardens.
Day 10: Drive to Queenstown
Prepare to be impressed by the landscapes on this 5- to 6-hour journey. You’ll pass by the unbelievably turquoise Lake Tekapo – look out for the stop at the south end of the lake, which affords picture-perfect views of Mount Cook – and through the grand beauty of Lindis Pass.
Day 11: Queenstown
Take an early cruise across Lake Wakatipu on the vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw. You’ll be back in plenty of time to take the gondola up to Bob’s Peak for breathtaking views over Queenstown. Leap off the bungy if you dare, or descend on the gondola and wander into the Kiwi & Birdlife Park.
Day 12: The Wineries
Drive yourself around the best of Central Otago’s wineries. Alternatively, wander around central Queenstown stores for excellent duty-free shopping.
Day 13: Fly to Milford Sound
Be up early for a memorable scenic flight or helicopter ride to Milford Sound. Take a boat cruise and make sure you include the Underwater Observatory. Flying is by far the best option if you’re short on time, although it is weather dependent. Bus trips can take around 12 hours roundtrip.
Day 14: Back to Christchurch
Connect with your international flight.