New Zealand Snapshot

For anyone planning to travel to New Zealand we hope this snap shot of our time is useful in your planning.

Days in New Zealand: 28

Money Spent (USD for 2 people): $6222 

Accommodation = $1655

Food = $1049

Alcohol = $325

Activities = $204

Transportation = $1529

Misc = $60

Visas = $0

Splurge = $1300 (anniversary dinner $61, black water rafting $180, ferry crossing uplifted $67, bike rental for wineries $60, shotover jet $203, Nate’s birthday $68, Milford Sound cruise $76, Doubtful Sound overnight cruise $519, Skydiving, 1 person $174)

Our Route: Auckland, Bay of Islands, Coromandel Peninsula, Rotorua, Waitomo, Turangi, Ohakune, Wellington, Blenheim, Abel Tasman, Frans Josef, Queenstown, Milford Sound, Te Anu, Doubtful SoundCromwell, Wanaka, Christchurch

Our #1 Recommendation…

Rent a car

Our Top 5 Lists…

North Island

  1. Cathedral Cove
  2. Black Water Rafting
  3. Hot Water Beach
  4. Bay of Islands Local Beach
  5. Wellington Craft Beer Scene 

South Island 

  1. Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise
  2. Queenstown Jet Boating 
  3. Hiking Abel Tasman National Park 
  4. Blenheim Winery Bike Tour
  5. Wanaka Sky Dive


  1. Hottie Beach Restaurant
  2. Fergburger
  3. Winnie’s Montonara Pizza and Beer Fries
  4. Taco Medic Fish or Brisket Taco
  5. Fairlies Pork and Apple Pie

New Zealand Overall

  1. Cathedral Cove 
  2. Blackwater Rafting 
  3. Doubtful Sound
  4. Queenstown Jet Boat 
  5. Hot Water Beach

In retrospect we would have…

  • Either canceled or increased our time in Bay of Islands because it’s far to go for only two nights. If you are on a budget or cracked for time, we recommend leaving it out.
  • Checked out Waiheke Island in Auckland
  • Spent more time exploring the Coromandel Peninsula
  • One night instead of two in Rotorua. If you have been to Yellowstone and it wasn’t your thing, you can skip it.
  • Allowed more flexibility to wait for good weather to complete Alpine Crossing and check in a couple days in advance
  • Extra night in Wellington
  • More time in Abel Tasman
  • Only one night in Frans Josef unless the weather is fantastic
  • Spent a half day or no time in Christchurch

Suggested 1 week itinerary

Queenstown Arrival and Departure with day trips to Milford Sound, Arrowtown, Glenorchy and local Wineries. One night in Doubtful Sound and one night in Frans Josef

Suggested 2 week itinerary

Wellington Arrival 2 nights > Blenheim 2 Nights > Abel Tasman 2 nights > Frans Josef 1 night > Wanaka 1 night > Queenstown 3 nights > Te Anu 2 night for Milford and Doubtful Sounds > Queenstown Departure 1 night 

Suggested 3 week itinerary

Auckland Arrival 2 nights > Coromandal 2 nights > Rotorua 1 night > Waitomo 1 night >  Okahune 1 night > Wellington 2 nights Blenheim 2 Nights > Abel Tasman 2 nights > Frans Josef 1 night > Queenstown 4 nights > Te Anu 2 nights for Milford and Doubtful Sounds > Queenstown Departure 1 night 

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