Every tourist wonders if they have seen the best of the country they are visiting. Here is a local kiwi guide to spending 10 days in beautiful New Zealand.
Allow at least a week in the North Island and then try to make it to the South Island to Christchurch or Queenstown to admire the scenery.
1. Auckland is the gateway to New Zealand: almost all international flights arrive at Mangere. A 30-minute taxi ride and you’re in the city. Stay one night in the city and get a feel for the place. If you’re looking for affordable accommodation, check out the b and b auckland Aspen House Hotel, located next to a park and close to major attractions. Of course, the city has glamorous hotels like the Hilton, Hyatt, and Stanford Plaza.
With over 25 volcanoes (they’re all extinct now!), climb to the top of one and enjoy views of the city. At Mt Eden you can see both coastlines. Another great way to get acquainted with the city is to hop on a ferry (a 5 minute walk from the Aspen hotel) and go to Devonport (10 minutes) or Waiheke Island (35 minutes) for lunch at a winery and to wander around A practically empty sandy beach. Aspen Hotel has put together a guide for guests with the top 5 things to do in Auckland city.
Then choose a rental car, you can’t beat JUCY Rentals, for value for money, service and smiles. But of course Hertz, Avis and the other big brands are in town.
2. So once you have your car, head north. Just an hour and a quarter north of Leigh gives you wonderful views of the sea and islands. You can swim with the fish and see what the seas were like before man came to Goat Island.
Three hours north and you’ll be in Whangarei, where you can see even more beautiful scenery, Tutukaka, where there are excellent boat trips, or 45 minutes further on to Russell or Opua. Again, there are plenty of day trips out on the water to see the amazing scenery, dolphins, and marine life. 1. Allow a minimum of 2-3 days, many accommodation options – the Aspen House Hotel website has several suggestions for places to stay depending on the size of your wallet!
3. Three to four hours away is the Central Plateau in the North Island. Visit Taupo, Rotorua or both – they have a lot to offer. Drive back to Auckland and this time head south to the Central Plateau. Here you can choose Rotorua or Taupo. Rotorua is famous for its bubbling mud pools and geysers. Maori culture also abounds in Rotorua. Taupo has beautiful views of Ruapehu where you can ski and is famous for trout fishing. If you like golf, a round at Wairakei is world-class. Allow a couple of days.
4 If you have time, fly to Queenstown to enjoy the magnificent scenery. If you’re in a JUCY rental car, you’ll get a two-for-one deal so you can go to and Cruize Milford Sound. A trip to Nelson, trip to Kaikoura to watch whales
5. Alternatively, if you have time on your side, drive from the Central Plateau to Wellington. Get on the car ferry and go through Nelson. Visit Kaikoura and go whale watching before driving through Christchurch and Queenstown.