I visited New Zealand for 28 days starting in Auckland and finishing in Christchurch. Along the route i stopped at:
Auckland–The Bay of Plenty–Hobbiton–Hamilton–Raglan–Waitomo–Wellington
Picton–Nelson–Abel Tasmin–Karamea–Franz Josef–Fox Glacier–Wanaka–Te Anau–Milford Sound–Doubtful Sound–Queenstown–Mount Cook–Lake Tekapo–Christchurch
The North Island we relied on public transport and my family friends were brilliant and drove us around. For the South island we hired a car with three guys we met in a hostel in Picton which was brilliant. Follow the link below to see my blog posts from New Zealand:
Currency: New Zealand Dollar
Tips i learnt whilst travelling in New Zealand
- Hiring a car is dirt cheap in the south Island we hired one for $26 a day which was split between four of us. For two and a half weeks it cost $160 NZD (£70) each including petrol.
- Most people do the same travel routes around New Zealand so chat to people and if your doing the same route and get on with them hire a car together. You will get to see a lot more than sticking to coaches plus it will save you a fortune as you could pay upwards of $1000 for a trip with a tour company.
- They drive on the left, so the correct side of the road.
- Very similar to driving in the UK.
- Definetly go for an automatic as it’s much easier especially as some of the roads are challenging in parts.
- The roads are absolutely incredible to drive on in the south Island and is an experience in itself.
- Roads are easy to navigate as there aren’t many ways to get to certain places use an app called maps.me which just uses location to navigate and no data.
- They don’t have 1¢ or 5¢ coins.
- ATM’s in the side of banks don’t charge you a penny to access your money.
- Pick up leaflets at airports and information centres they often have vouchers in for activities and can save you a lot of money. I saved over $100 NZD by using vouchers.
- Food is reasonably priced and they have own brand which can save a lot of money.
- Beer is pretty expensive
- Try whitakers bars of chocolate they are brilliant and perfect for taking on a hike.
- Hostels are reasonably priced, you shouldn’t be paying over $35 NZD a night for a bunk in a dorm.
- You can buy a YHA card which is $25 NZD which will save you ten percent across all YHA hostels in the world for a year. Also if you sign up in new Zealand you got a $5 off voucher for any Australia YHA.
- Look for hostels that offer free breakfast or dinner, Tombstone hostel in Picton offers free home made scones for breakfast.
Places to go in the north island:
- Glow worm caves in waitomo an incredible experience go for the black abyss option.
- Go to Hobbiton in the north island whether your a lord of the rings fan or not it’s a brilliant expensive and reasonably priced.
- Te Papa museum in Wellington.
Places to go in the south island:
- If your looking for a good night out in the south Island, Queenstown is the place
- Hike in the south island, there are so many different trails ranging from easy to difficult and you don’t have to go far to see stunning views.
- Rent a kayak and navigate the abel tasmin by water.
- Limestone arches north of karamea not on the tourist trail, a hidden gem.
- Check the glacier out at Franz Josef and hike some of the trails.
- Take a cruise around Milford or doubtful sound. Milford is much cheaper if your on a tighter budget.
John at a community run coffee shop in Auckland
Me with a giant bottle of lemon and Paeroa, in Paeroa
The Mount in Mount maunganui
Me at the top of Mount maunganui
John at the top of papamoa hills
John, right, me, centre, Matt, left
Me in a hobbit house in hobbiton
Limestone Arches north of karamea
Peters pools Franz Josef
Waterfalls at Franz Josef
Dolphins following our boat at Milford Sound
Waterfall at Doubtful Sound
Me, left, Nikolaj, centre, Ben, right, Doubtful sound
Me and Nikolaj on a bungee swing in queenstown
Team photo Lake Tekapo Ben, right. John, back centre. Me, front centre. Nikolaj, right.
Top of a trail in Mount Cook
Our Nissan Sunny which we had for the south island
Memorial in Christchurch