New Zealand: North & South Island Itineraries

Are you thinking about taking a trip to New Zealand, but are not sure where to start planning? Or are you in the midst of planning, but having trouble making a few decisions? Then you’ve come to the right place!

New Zealand has so much to offer, from heart-stopping thrills, outdoor adventures, and jaw-dropping scenery to culturally and historically interesting sites.


I absolutely fell in love with New Zealand during our trip and believe that it has so much to offer anyone interested in visiting, whether you are an outdoor enthusiast or not.


Take a look at our itinerary for our trip to New Zealand along with any of the related posts I’ve linked to below to see which places interest/intrigue you.

If you have any questions or would like further advice, please feel free to contact me! I would love to help make your trip to New Zealand the most amazing experience it can be!

Disclaimer: We covered A LOT of ground! This is definitely an ambitious itinerary, but you can sleep when you’re dead right? 🙂


North Island Itinerary – 10 Days

The map above shows the main cities/areas we visited on the North Island. For more detailed information about each place, click the linked text below!


South Island Itinerary – 14 Days

The map above shows the main cities/areas we visited on the South Island. For more detailed information about each place, click the linked text below!

Top Half of the South Island Map

  • A/B. After arriving in Picton, we drove to Blenheim for more wine tasting in Marlborough
  • C. From Blenheim, we drove to Nelson via a stop in Havelock for some delicious mussels
  • D. Explored Nelson and used it as a refueling/prepping spot, for our trip to Abel Tasman National Park. We spent 3.5 days/3 nights hiking the Abel Tasman Track
  • E. After our hiking/camping adventure, we recuperated in Motueka with beer & wine tasting
  • F. We began our long drive south via Paparoa National Park on the west coast
  • G. Stopping in Franz Josef as a good halfway point, we saw Lake Matheson & Fox Glacier in the area before continuing onto Queenstown via the Haast Pass and the Crown Ridge Road (great views!!)
  • H/I. From Queenstown, we drove to Glenorchy to drop off our car and start the Routeburn Track for 3 days/2 nights


Bottom Half of the South Island Map

  • A. The end of the Routeburn Track is in the Divide, about halfway down the road to Milford Sound…we drove from this point to the Milford Sound & spent the night
  • B. From Milford Sound, we drove the beautiful road back to Te Anu for a quick stop for lunch, and then on to Dunedin for a night
  • C/D. After visiting the penguins in Dunedin, we drove back to Queenstown via a stop in Cromwell and Central Otago for wine tasting…fantastic pinot noir!
  • D/E. Leaving Queenstown, we started our final drive up north to stop at Mount Cook National Park for a hike and on to Lake Tekapo for our last night in NZ to see what are supposed to be the clearest skies in the world.
  • F. From Lake Tekapo, we drove up to Christchurch to spend the day around the infamous temporary shipping container shopping mall (turned permanent) and then bid farewell to our Smurf (our endearing term for our rental car) to fly to Sydney




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