Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
I just got back from New Zealand this week and everyone's been asking for my itinerary, so here it is. I went with two friends (Jen and Judy) and Judy had to leave around the 1-week mark so this planning took that into account.
If you are planning to go and only have a week or so, I'd focus the trip on South Island, which is so beautiful and has lots of different activities to do!
In the next couple of weeks, I'll try to do individual posts on some of my favorite places, but here's the overview =)
- Day 1: Fly into Auckland in AM: hike One Tree Hill, great brunch at Sierra Cafe, tried to visit the Auckland Art Gallery (free admission, but closes at 5pm), dinner at Depot Eatery and drinks nearby
- Day 2: Drove to Waitomo Caves for a tubing adventure in an a cave with glow worms; great dinner at Huhu Cafe; spent the night in Rotorua
- Day 3: Drove to Hobbiton to visit The Shire film set on a tour; drove back to Auckland; listened to an awesome band called the Mix Tape Bros at Brew on Quay St.
- Day 4: Flew to Queenstown in AM; visited Queenstown market next to the lake, ate a Fergburger, spent the night at the Winery bar eating cheese/charcuterie and sampling wines
- Day 5: Drove out to Milford Sound - had meat pies at Miles Better Pies; took a Jucy Cruize on Milford Sound; drove back and had dinner at The Cow in Queenstown
- Day 6: Drove out to Franz Josef Glacier; took a helicopter and guided hike with Franz Josef Guides
- Day 7: Drove out to Hokitika and spent the day jade carving at Bonz n Stonz (great experience!), drove to Christchurch after dinner
- Day 8: Walked around the city to see the cool street art but everything is very much under construction. We learned a lot about what happened there back in 2011. Visited some cool shopping areas made out of shipping containers
- Day 9: Spent morning in Christchurch exploring the Christchurch Botanic Gardens before flying to Bay of Islands, which is a beachside area north of Auckland. Spent the night eating, drinking wine, and visited a hostel bar with new friends we made
Back to North Island:
- Day 10: Took a cruise from Paihia in Bay of Islands to view the islands and see tons of dolphins (10 at a time!), had dinner in Russell in the oldest building in New Zealand, the Duke of Marlborough hotel, saw the sunset on the ferry back
- Day 11: Took bus (nakedbus) back to Auckland and checked into our hostel. Spent the day at various bars while waiting for our CA Bar Admission results (we all passed!) Checked out the EDM scene in Auckland at Club Kong.
- Day 12: Took a ferry to Waiheke Island. Had brunch at a beautiful cafe overlooking the cliff/ocean and then visited Cable Bay Winery -- the most beautiful winery I've ever visited!
- Day 13: Flew out!