Trip Report

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Trip Report

An Outdoor Exploration of New Zealand

Two week trip of both North and South Island which included backpacking Fjordland National Park.

by KBennettAbout Me:"The world is big and I want to have a look at it before it gets dark" -John Muir read more

New Zealand12 days / March - April 2014

Highs & Lows

Impromptu helicopter ride through S.Islands mountains with a glacier landing.

The nauseous hours long winding drive on the S. Island to the ferry terminal in Picton

Itinerary Overview

  • 1 Night: Queenstown
    Sleepover
  • 2 Nights: Routeburn Track
    Hiking the Routeburn Track in Fiordland National Park
  • 2 Nights: Queenstown
    City touring and day trip to Milford Sound
  • 2 Nights: Nelson
    Hike, and kayak in Abel Tasman National Park
  • 1 Night: Wellington
    Brewery tour and stopover on our way to Hawke's Bay
  • 3 Nights: Hawke's Bay
    Wine touring
  • 1 Night: Auckland
    Sightseeing

Q & A

  • What would you have changed?

    I would have reduced the time spent in Nelson and possibly skip Wellington and add in more time in Auckland and visit the Bay of Islands on the North Island. Our friends said sailing the Bay of Islands was a real highlight.

  • What tips would you give a friend?

    Definitely splurge on taking a guided hike where you stay at lodges only accessible by foot or helicopter. The South Island mountains are stunning and it's nice to have a warm bed at night in comfortable accommodations. Also, the Hawke's Bay region has incredible wineries located in a very pretty region.

  • Transportation Tips?

    We rented a car and it was easy to get around. New Zealanders drive on the left side of the road (opposite of the USA) compared to the USA, and the steering wheel is on the right side of the car.

  • Any standout moments?

    Our Milford Sound cruise included a flight back to Queenstown but because of fog, the flight was canceled. As a last minute option we could pay for a helicoptor ride back which was an incredible experience to fly through incredible mountains, and land on a glacier. Worth every penny! Also - the valley and views around Hawk's Bay are simply incredible. It's a picturesque wine country.

  • Packing tips?

    The weather was mild in March/April but could be unpredictable so bring layers. Most places were fairly casual so leave designer clothes at home!

  • Any surprises?

    Auckland was very charming and would have liked to spent more time there.

  • Booking details?

    Guided hike which I highly recommend: Ultimate Hikes (we did the Routeburn Track) Milford Sound Cruise: Real Journeys

Lodging