Road trip in New Zealand with a focus on the fantastic nature and exciting culture. Hand-picked B&B, kayaking and a two-day cruise in Doubtful Sound. Visit calculatorinc for culture and traditions of New Zealand.
This is a trip for you who want to experience the fantastic nature and culture of New Zealand. We have included some of the greatest nature experiences such as a kayak trip at Cathedral Cove, a day of hiking in the stunning Abel Tasman National Park, and in Doubtful Sound a mini cruise awaits in the insanely beautiful fjord. But we have also made sure that there is plenty of time to just enjoy nature, the food, the wine, each other – and the freedom to choose what you want to spend your time on.
Nature is in the center and the nights are specially selected with cozy, local B & Bs in a good location where you have good chances to have a chat with the local “kiwis”.
Day 1: Scandinavia-AucklandDay 2: Arrival in Auckland
You land in Auckland and go to your hostel. You have two nights in Auckland. Auckland is also called the “City of Sails” because of the many boats that are always in the city’s marina. It is a modern city with everything you could wish for in terms of restaurants, cafes and not least good shopping opportunities. Auckland has a relatively small center, where Queen St forms the backbone. Most large chain stores, as well as well-known brand stores, are located along this street. From the top of Queen St you can walk towards Victoria Park Market and disappear between the many stalls and stalls selling everything from used clothes to branded goods. You can also go up in the Skytower for a beautiful panoramic view of the city.
Day 3: On your own in Auckland
The day is spent in Auckland. You can take the ferry to the small island of Waiheke, which is beautifully situated in the bay off Auckland. The temperature on the Waiheke is on average slightly higher than in Auckland, and the island is therefore ideal for viticulture. Visit the many vineyards and enjoy the beautiful nature.
Day 4: Auckland-Coromandel
Since it is nature and the experiences it is about, we suggest that you leave Auckland today and start exploring New Zealand. You pick up your rental car and head to Rotorua, which is a couple of hours drive east of Auckland.
Day 5: Kayak trip at Coromandel
The coastline surrounding the Coromandel Peninsula is characterized by unusual rock formations, beautiful beaches and small fishing villages. Today you are going on a half-day kayak trip around the Coromandel Peninsula. The coastline is actually best seen from the water – from the sea you can really see how dramatic the coast is, with strangely shaped rocks and the green hilly terrain in the background. (M) With the sea kayaks you can get all the way into some of the caves in the rocks, which otherwise are almost never visited. You do not need to have paddled a sea kayak to participate in this tour – you will receive a thorough introduction to kayaking at the beginning of the tour.
Day 6: Coromandel-Rotorua
From here, the tour continues towards Rotorua. The highlights of the community are experiencing a traditional Maori show, with a “Hangi” dinner, as well as the thermal areas. Wherever you are in the city, you will see signs of thermal activity underground. The city is famous and infamous for the stench of sulfur that hangs in the air. ( F )
Day 7: Experiences in and around Rotorua
You have all day to experience Rotorua and its surroundings. Wai-O-Tapu is a great place to start. It is one of New Zealand’s most colorful volcanic areas with geysers and hot pools. Walkways take you through a unique and colorful landscape, where you will have a view of more than 20 different pools in all shapes and colors of the world. Every day, the Lady Knox geyser sprays boiling water into the air at exactly 10:15 (with the help of a man and some baking soda). Just outside Rotorua are Hells Gate and Wai Ora Spa. The place is not as awful as the name suggests, on the contrary, it takes you one step further from the visual only, with a unique geothermal and cultural health experience. Here you can relax in warm mud baths, sulfur-rich hot tubs and quiet surroundings. ( F )
Day 8: Rotorua-Taupo
Today the trip goes to Taupo. Along the way, you can choose to take a detour to Waitomo to explore the area’s many caves and the impressive firefly larvae. ( F )
Day 9: Experiences in and around Taupo
You have all day to explore the beautiful area around Taupo. We recommend that you hike in Tongariro National Park or visit the impressive Huka Waterfall. ( F )
Day 10: Taupo-Wellington
If you leave Taupo in the morning, you’re in Wellington around lunchtime. If you are interested in wine, you can drive past the Martinborough wine region and have lunch and visit a winery or two. In Wellington you deliver the car and check in at your B&B. ( F )
Day 11: On your own in Wellington
Today you have time to take a closer look at the capital of New Zealand. The city has many cozy restaurants and cafes and fascinating museums. For example, you can visit Te Papa, New Zealand’s interesting national museum. It is also possible to go on a guided tour of the Parliament buildings. ( F )
Day 12: Wellington-Blenheim
Now it’s time to say goodbye to the North Island, and you cross the Cook Strait by ferry to the South Island. Arriving in Picton through Queen Charlotte Sound is a beautiful experience in clear weather. In Picton you pick up a rental car and drive on towards Blenheim. ( F )
Day 13: Blenheim-Abel Tasman National Park
From Sydön’s wine capital, the tour now goes to one of New Zealand’s most beautiful and lush national parks, Abel Tasman. The national park is actually the smallest in New Zealand, but it offers lush rainforest flanked by beautiful beaches and crystal clear water. So definitely worth a day trip. On the way here you can take a trip past Nelson, a small town that offers microbreweries a beautiful view of Tasman Bay. ( F )
Day 14: Abel Tasman on his own
Today you have time to enjoy Abel Tasman at your own pace, at sea or on land. The park offers one of the iconic nine major hiking trails in New Zealand, the Coastal Track, which you can walk both back and forth, or you can hike out and arrange a kayak ride back. ( F )
Day 15: Abel Tasman to Greymouth
The day is spent driving along the rugged west coast of the South Island, to Greymouth. On the way here you can swing past Punakaiki and the famous Pancake Rocks and Blowholes, where you really get an idea of how wild the west coast actually is. ( F )
Day 16: From Greymouth to Fox Glacier
From your overnight stay in Greymouth, you can drive in peace and quiet further down the west coast, to Fox Glacier. Here you have two whole nights, so there is no need to hurry. The further down on the west coast you come, the closer you get to the mountain range that winds its way down through the South Island. Fox Glacier is located between the coast and a beautiful mountainous hinterland. ( F )
Day 17: Experiences on and around Fox Glacier
The day is spent in the area around Fox. The glaciers here on the new west coast of Zealand are quite unusual, as some of the ice masses are actually in the rainforest. Go on a hike and get close to the glacier. It is also possible to take a helicopter ride and land on the glacier. ( F )
Day 18: Fox Glacier-Wanaka
From Fox, the trip goes south over the Haast Pass along Lake Wanaka to the small town of Wanaka. Make a stop at the Haast Pass where there are several shorter hiking trails. After the Haast Pass, the green, lush and hilly landscape changes to a more open landscape with fields and more brownish colors, as most of the rain falls on the western side of the mountain range. ( F )
Day 19: Experiences in and around Wanaka
You have all day in the small cozy town of Wanaka. We recommend a walk around the lake, which gives you a beautiful view of the lake and not least the mountains. You can also visit the Warbirds Museum and Puzzleword. ( F )
Day 20: Wanaka-Queenstown
It is only a short drive between Wanaka and Queenstown, but we recommend that you take the slightly longer road: “The Scenic Route” to Cardrona over the Crown Range Saddle, which is New Zealand’s highest paved mountain pass. The journey begins with 8-10 hairpin curves, which lead up to “The Saddle” and a fantastic view. In Queenstown you leave your car. You do not need this. ( F )
Day 21: Experiences in and around Queenstown
The day is spent in Queenstown, where you have the opportunity to explore the city and the many activities on offer. Queenstown is beautifully situated between the mountain range “The Remarkables” and Lake Wakatipu. It is a city for all ages and souls. It has a cozy promenade and a plethora of different restaurants, cafes, casinos and a lot of shops, within a relatively small area. As I said, this community is also perfect for anyone who loves an adrenaline rush. Here you can try bungee jumping, kite and paragliding, rafting and jet boating. Just outside the town at Glenorchy, you will find some of the places where The Lord of the Rings was filmed. ( F )
Day 22: Queenstown-Doubtful Sound
In the morning you travel by bus from Queenstown to Doubtful Sound. Doubtful Sound is an impressive fjord with an exciting wildlife including fur seals, penguins and dolphins. It is a unique place and one of the most remote and untouched places on earth. Before reaching the fjord, however, you must first sail across Lake Manapouri and take a bus over a mountain pass before reaching the boat, which is ready at the quay at Doubtful Sound. The next day is spent on board a mini-version of a cruise ship, from which you explore Doubtful Sound. Doubtful Sound is reminiscent of Milford Sound – but still not. The cliffs are not as high as at Milford – on the other hand, the journey here is longer and more difficult, so not as many tourists come to Doubtful Sound as to Milford. The day is spent watching dolphins, kayaking, go hiking and enjoy the incredibly beautiful landscape. You spend the night on board the ship. The silence out here is almost deafening. Go out on the deck at night and feel almost alone in the world! (F , L , M )
Day 23: Doubtful Sound-Queenstown
You wake up to the same silence you fell asleep to yesterday. The morning is spent on the fjord before the boat docks. From here you travel back by bus over the pass and go over Lake Manapouri, from where the bus will drive you back to Queenstown. The last afternoon is spent in Queenstown – maybe you can buy the last souvenirs? ( F )
Day 24: Departure Queenstown
You travel from Queenstown to Scandinavia. ( F )
Day 25: Arrival in Scandinavia
Twenty-one nights at B&B and simpler hotels
One night on a ship in a shared 4-bed cabin (also possible to upgrade to a 2-bed cabin)