New Zealand is a small country with a little bit of everything and super friendly folk to help you navigate your trip.
On this month long road trip in February/March of 2014 we spent 10 days on the North Island and 3 weeks on the South Island.
Starting in Auckland we spent 10 days visiting the Coromandel Peninsula, the Waitomo Glow Worm Caves and the Rotorua geothermic area, hiking in Tongariro National Park and ending with a short stop in Wellington.
Drive from Auckland to Coromandel Peninsula
Post includes the shortcut on Route 4 across the peninsula and a stop at a kauri grove.
Sights around Tairua, Coromandel Peninsula
Post includes a day hike along the Linch Stream Trail and a visit to Hot Water Beach.
Sleeping and Dining in Tairua, Coromandel Peninsula
Staying the Night in Waitomo Village
This small village near the entrance of the glowworm cave system is worth the overnight stop before or after your cave adventure.
Black Abyss Tour, Waitomo Glowworm Caves
This action-packed tour includes an abseil down to the bottom of the cave, a zip line in total darkness, a float along the dark waters of the cave lit by the glow worms and a climb through the rocky tunnels back to the surface.
Tongariro Circuit Trek page
A 3 day/2 night trek through a desolate landscape punched with bright emerald lakes, volcanic cones and other formations.
Our visit started with sea kayaking in Abel Tasman National Park, wine tasting in Marlborough and hanging out in Christchurch. The road trip continued through Arthur’s Pass and down the west coast of the island stopping at Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and Fox Glacier. Next, back over to the East Coast to Dunedin with a two day stopover at Mt Cook. From Dunedin we circled the Otago Region, known for its vineyards and orchards, then stopped at Curio Bay in the Catlins before heading to the West Coast and Te Anau, gateway to the Milford and Doubtful Sounds in Fiordland National Park. Queenstown ends the month-long adventure.
Ferry Crossing from Wellington to Picton
Three and half hour ferry crossing on a gorgeous summer day.
Kaiteriteri – Gateway to Abel Tasman Natl Park
This tiny town makes a great home base for exploring one of the South Island’s most popular national parks.
Kayaking Abel Tasman Natl Park with Wilsons
Description of a one day sea kayaking trip along this amazing coastline to Tonga Island.
Drive from Marlborough to Christchurch
Photos from the South Island’s rocking northeastern shoreline.
Christchurch 3 Year After the Earthquake
Photo journal of this city’s lingering devastation and budding new construction.
The Greener Side of Christchurch
Post includes visits to the Botanical Garden and the Ellerslie International Flower Show.
Sleeping and Dining in Christchurch
Drive from Christchurch to the West Coast via Arthur’s Pass
Post includes a visit to Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and Blowholes on the island’s west coast.
Sleeping and Dining in Hokitika
A pleasant West Coast stopover.
Driving NZ’s West Coast – Hokitika to Haast
Post includes visits to Fox Glacier and Lake Matheson.
Stopover in Haast, NZ
A pleasant stopover at the end of Route 6.
Drive from Haast to Mt Cook
Turbulent weather makes for amazing photos of the drive to the country’s highest peak.
Mt Cook – Hiking the Hooker Valley Trail
Did this hike twice hoping for better weather, still the scenery is stunning.
Sleeping and Dining in Mt Cook Village
Drive from Mt Cook to Dunedin via Moeraki Beach
More turbulent weather photos plus a visit to Moeraki Beach back on the east coast.
Drive through Central Otago
More bad weather in Dunedin pushed us inland for a long loop drive through this wine region know for its pinot noir.
Sleeping and Dining in Dunedin
Exploring the Otago Peninsula
A quick morning walk along the delightful Sand Fly Bay.
Stocking-up in Dunedin
A great place to by groceries and other back country needs.
Scenic Route 99 – Curio Bay to Te Anua
This route may not be as scenic as the local tourist brochure would have you believe.
Doubtful Sound with Real Journeys
Day trip to one of Fiordland National Park’s most spectacular wonders.
Sleeping and Dining in Te Anau
A great base for exploring the sounds and trails of Fiordland National Park.
Milford Track page
A 4 day/3 night trek along one of New Zealand’s most popular great walks. See page for details.
Chilling in Queenstown
Our last day in New Zealand just enjoying the sun, scenery and maybe some good Malaysian street food.