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2 Week New Zealand Itinerary (North & South Island)

2 Week New Zealand Itinerary (North & South Island)

New Zealand is a country that can be described in many words for its natural beauty, but they are far from capturing the true essence of what this tiny, yet magical country has to offer. New Zealand needs little introduction, and if you’re looking at this 2 week New Zealand itinerary then you already have an idea of just how picturesque, unique, and absolutely incredible this county is.

While 2 weeks in New Zealand is a great start, it just barely scratches the surface so this New Zealand itinerary does its best to fit as much as possible into 14 days. Get ready to hit the ground running and pack some spare batteries for your camera, you’re about to start planning the trip of a lifetime.

How to Get Around New Zealand

It’s obvious that New Zealand is a country made for road trips. This entire itinerary is built around the fact that you’ll be doing a New Zealand road trip. While buses are available, in 2 weeks there is just simply not enough time to see both islands around a bus schedule that you can’t control. This itinerary is made as it is to maximize your time and choosing to rent a car or a camper van will help you do just that.

Whether you drive and sleep in a camper van or pick up a rental car and sleep in accommodation is up to you. Just know that all of the New Zealand accommodations recommended in this guide are suited for those driving a car. They are not campgrounds, though some do offer parking or places for camper vans.

Best Time to Visit New Zealand

Before diving into planning your entire itinerary, be sure that you can visit at an ideal time!

The most important thing to take note of is that New Zealand has seasons that are opposite of those in the northern hemisphere, meaning that our summer is their winter, our fall is their spring. So while you may have time off in summer for a vacation, you’ll be seeing snow when you land in New Zealand!

To keep it short and sweet, the best time of year to visit New Zealand is, like most destinations, during the shoulder seasons. The shoulder seasons are March-May and September-November. Visit during these periods and you may luck out with the weather, fewer crowds, and lower prices. Of course, be wary of holidays and weather may need to be taken into consideration more depending on what kinds of outdoor activities you wish to do.

New Zealand Travel Insurance

  • Picking travel insurance is an essential part of planning a trip for everyone, including your trip to New Zealand
  • If you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel
  • World Nomads is an affordable option that I personally recommend, especially for a country such as New Zealand as World Nomads covers a ton of adventure activities
  • I’ve made 2 claims with World Nomads for doctors appointments and antibiotics in the Philippines and Australia
  • No idea where to start? Check out my travel insurance guide to help you pick the best option for you
  • Don’t think you need travel insurance? Read these travel horror stories

2 Week New Zealand Itinerary Overview

For this New Zealand itinerary, you’ll spend 2 weeks driving around the islands visiting the must-see New Zealand attractions and destinations. This itinerary spends 1 week on the North Island and 1 week on the South Island. It’s a tight itinerary but it’s doable. Note that there are 2 variations for the South Island itinerary so read closely and decide which one you’d prefer.

The blue points represent destinations on the North Island, the red those on the South Island, and the two yellow points are additional destinations if you opt for the option 2 South Island itinerary.

1 Week North Island Itinerary

  • Day 1: Auckland
  • Day 2: Auckland
  • Day 3: Rotorua via Matamata
  • Day 4: Rotorua
  • Day 5: Wellington via Taupo
  • Day 6: Wellington
  • Day 7 (option 1): Wellington to Nelson via ferry
  • Day 7 (option 2): Wellington to Christchurch via air

1 Week South Island Itinerary

  • Day 8 (option 1): Franz Josef
  • Day 8 (option 2): Christchurch to Hokitika via Arthur’s Pass
  • Day 9: Franz Josef
  • Day 10: Queenstown via Wanaka
  • Day 11: Queenstown
  • Day 12: Milford Sound
  • Day 13: Aoraki/Mount Cook
  • Day 14: Christchurch

2 Weeks in New Zealand Part 1: North Island

Day 1-2: Auckland

Arrive in Auckland, get settled, and adjust to jet lag as quickly as you can so you can get out and explore this wonderful city. While Auckland is a great place to visit, there is so much more beauty to see in New Zealand so minimal time will be spent here.

Note that if you’re doing this itinerary as a road trip, you do not need to pick up a car to explore the city, save your money to do more!

Most itineraries will recommend just one day in the city, which is fine, but it’s recommended that you spend at least 2 nights so that you can do one of the best day trips from Auckland to see some of the stunning sights not far from the city on your second day.

Spend your first day discovering some of the best things to do in Auckland and your second day seeing more in the city or head out to Waiheke Island, one of the most recommended day tours (don’t worry a tour isn’t necessary) from Auckland and for good reason! The island is known for its wineries and beaches. I don’t know about you but that sounds like the perfect introduction to New Zealand to me.

If you opt to visit Waiheke Island on your own, you can take the ferry over to the island, and once there you have the option of taking the bus or renting a bike. Alternatively, I suggest other options in my Auckland itinerary.

Top Things to do in Auckland

  • Viaduct Harbour: Take a stroll over to and along Viaduct Harbour for a relaxing introduction to the city. Here you can kick back and energize yourself at one of the many restaurants or bars around. If museums interest you, the Maritime Museum is here too.
  • Mount Eden: If you’re up for it, head over to Mount Eden, where you can walk to the top for some of the best views of Auckland. There are plenty of trails to choose from and it’s only a 40-minute walk up to where you can catch an epic sunset.
  • Sky Tower: If you love views but not hiking, head over to the Sky Tower where you get 360-degree views of Auckland, 328 metres up.
  • Waiheke Island: Catch the ferry to Waiheke Island and explore at your own pace, checking out the best beaches such as Oneroa, Palm, and Onetangi or wineries such as Stony Ridge and Mudbrick for picturesque views. Prefer to be shuttled to wineries for a fabulous day? Get wined and dined on this Waiheke Island wineries tour.

Where to Stay in Auckland

Book your Auckland accommodation for 2 nights.

  • Luxury: Hotel DeBrettA boutique-style hotel that is consistently rated as one of the best hotels in Auckland.
  • Mid-Range: The Quadrant Hotel & Suites Close to the main shopping street, Queen Street, as well as many Auckland highlights, plus rooms with balconies that offer stellar city or harbour views.
  • Budget: Attic BackpackersA hostel right in the middle of the action. Perfect for budget-conscious travellers.

See more places to stay in Auckland.

Day 3: Rotorua via Matamata

You will need to pick up your rental car today if you’re opting to do this guide as a self-drive itinerary.

If you’ve never heard of Matamata before, don’t worry, it’s still worth heading to on the first stop of your New Zealand road trip because it’s where Hobbiton is located!

This small farming town is where some sets of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy were filmed. While the sets were temporary, the popularity of the films were the reason why tourism in New Zealand boomed, so the sets were rebuilt as a permanent tourist attraction.

It will take you about 2 hours to visit Hobbiton and it’s recommended that you book in advance because it often sells out as one of the best places to visit in New Zealand! Whether you are a Lord of the Rings fan or not, a stop at this star attraction will surely transport you to another fantasy world that is absolutely incredible to visit. Tours include a guide who shares details of how the films were made, Hobbit holes, around The Shire, and you can even have a drink at the famous Green Dragon Inn.

After visiting Hobbiton, continue onwards to Rotorua, an area that is world-famous for its geothermal activity.

Where to Stay in Rotorua

Book your Rotorua accommodation for 2 nights.

  • Luxury: Pullman RotoruaWorldclass service, an abundance of amenities, and even lakeside views…who’s not in?
  • Mid-Range: Holiday Inn RotoruaModern and with an exceptional location, overlooking the Whakarewarewa Geothermal Reserve and Historical Village, plus right on the edge of the Redwoods Forest, this hotel is a top choice.
  • Budget: YHA RotoruaA 5-star hostel in a central location that offers dorm-style and private rooms, a no-brainer for budget-conscious travellers.

Day 4: Rotorua

In Rotorua, you can spend your time seeing nature put on quite a show as geysers erupt, mud boils, and lakes are such unusual colours you’ll question if they’re real in Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland.

There are many things to do in Rotorua that aren’t about geothermal activity though, as there are opportunities to climb through the trees at the Redwoods Treewalk, getting up close to scenic nature, and getting to learn more about Maori culture as Rotorua is easily the top destination in New Zealand to immerse yourself in this unique culture. Spend a full day exploring the top Rotorua attractions and on your first evening, it’s worth relaxing at the Polynesian Spa before a day packed of activities tomorrow.

Top Things to do in Rotorua

  • Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland & Waimangu Volcanic Valley: Get to see some of Rotorua’s star attractions at two of the best geothermal parks, which include the famous Lady Knox Geyser, boiling mud pools, and the history between Rotorua’s volcanic and geothermal history.
  • Redwoods Treewalk: Eco-friendly, stunning, and majestic, a trip to the Redwoods Treewalk will have you walking high above the ground (20 metres), among the redwood trees that are up to 118 years old! For an extra special experience, visit at night, or for a bit of adrenaline, opt to combine it with zip lining.
  • Tamaki Maori Village: An award-winning cultural attraction, visiting here will introduce you to Maori culture through food, storytelling, and dance.
  • Polynesian Spa: Get epic views of Lake Rotorua while you soak in 40-degree geothermal waters? Yes, please! This luxurious spa offers natural mineral bathing with world-class facilities that are too good to pass up.

Day 5: Wellington via Taupo

Today will be quite a bit of driving, but if it’s a clear day you’re in for a real treat for scenic views. Break up your drive with a stop at Lake Taupo, the largest lake in New Zealand that offers a number of spots for you to stop and snap some scenic pictures. There may even be a few things to do in Taupo that interest you for a brief couple of hours stay.

If you love hiking, it’s recommended that you add in an additional day here in Taupo so that you can hike Tongariro Alpine Crossing, which is often referred to as the “World’s Greatest Day Hike”.

If you opt to skip the hike, you can still catch views of Tongariro National Park as you drive past on your way to Wellington which you should reach in time for dinner. Cuba Street is a great place to find food, drinks, and to people watch.

Where to Stay in Wellington

Book your Wellington accommodation for 2 nights.

  • Luxury: QT WellingtonA posh hotel with lush amenities, decorated with local NZ artwork and a stellar location in the city centre.
  • Mid-Range: West Plaza HotelThis Wellington hotel has bright, spacious rooms and is within walking distance to many of Wellington’s top attractions.
  • Budget: The Cambridge HotelA 19th-century building refurbished into a hotel that offers both dorm-style and private rooms.

See more places to stay in Wellington.

Day 6: Wellington

Foodies rejoice, Wellington is your city, as it’s packed with charming cafes serving steaming hot coffee, trendy restaurants, and is a hot spot for craft beer. Other than being a paradise for foodies, Wellington is New Zealand’s capital and is nicknamed “Windy Wellington” because of, you guessed it, the amount of wind that breezes through the city.

Take a day to get to know this cultural hub, through the music, art, and theatre scene, exploring the city’s top museums such as Te Papa Tongarewa, and checking out the scenic sights from the top of Mount Victoria. There are plenty of things to do in Wellington that will fill a day, but if you love cities or want to visit Weta Cave (another Lord of the Rings highlight) it’s recommended to add an extra day to your Wellington itinerary or only spend half a day getting to know Wellington.

Top Things to do in Wellington

  • Wellington Cable Car: An iconic Wellington attraction, the cable car is one of the only funicular cable cars still running in New Zealand and this one offers panoramic views of the city. Once at the top you have easy access to the Botanic Garden.
  • Mount Victoria: Take a hike up to the top of Mount Victoria for 360-degree views of Wellington and beyond. On a clear day, you can see as far as the South Island. It’s quite windy, so prepare yourself! The hike is a 6.3km loop that is rated as moderate.
  • Te Papa Tongarewa: As one of the best museums in the country and New Zealand’s national museum, this free museum is worth a visit to rain or shine.
  • Weta Cave: Get a peek into how the Lord of the Rings movies were made, see where the visions began coming to life, get up close with props from the films, and even visit a filming location on Mount Victoria for an epic look into the production of this famous movie series.

2 Weeks in New Zealand Part 2: South Island

Here you have some options! If you prefer to keep driving, take the ferry from Wellington and then drive onwards to Nelson and then Franz Josef. Follow option 1 for these details. Or you can drop off your rental car in Wellington and then fly to Christchurch. The flight is only 50 minutes and then you can pick up a new rental car in Christchurch. This option, option 2, will take you in a circle.

Day 7 Option 1: Nelson

In the morning catch the ferry from Wellington to Picton. The journey across will take about 3.5 hours and during it you’ll be able to see some more scenic views, it is New Zealand after all! Be sure to book your ferry in advance.

You will dock in Picton and then it’s a 2-hour drive to Nelson.

The Nelson Tasman Region is a fabulous area to explore, most known for the Abel Tasman National Park that is home to the Abel Tasman Coast Walk, one of New Zealand’s 9 great walks. Unfortunately, with little time here it can’t be done. However, this region is also famous for wine and craft beer and has even been named the Top Cider City by National Geographic.

There are a number of things to do in Nelson, so whether you opt to explore the abundance of greenery in and around Nelson or choose to become a taste tester for all of the region’s drinks (or a combination of both), have a relatively relaxing day as you gear up for tomorrow’s big drive.

Top Things to do in Nelson

  • Queens Gardens: A peaceful place for a stroll, the Queens Gardens are quaint but pretty. Sit down at Suter Art Gallery and Cafe for a glass of wine and some bites while overlooking the gardens.
  • Tahunanui Beach: A favourite for locals and visitors alike, this wide and long beach is popular but has plenty of space for everyone to enjoy. Soak in the sun or opt to go for a walk along this pretty beach.
  • WOW Museum: The World of Wearable Art Museum is a unique way to spend an afternoon seeing designs from the annual WOW competition that is held in Wellington. You’ll also find the Classic Cars Museum here too.

Where to Stay in Nelson

Book your Nelson accommodation for 1 night.

  • Luxury: Quest NelsonA luxe apartment-hotel in the heart of Nelson, a top choice if you want to be in the city.
  • Mid-Range: Trailways Hotel NelsonRight on the banks of the Maitai River in the city centre, it’s hard to go wrong with this hotel that boasts an outdoor heated pool.
  • Budget: Bridge BackpackersOne of the bestsellers in Nelson, you’ll question if this hostel is really a hostel.

Day 7 Option 2: Christchurch

Catch a flight to Christchurch in the morning and then spend the afternoon exploring the South Island’s largest city. There are lots of things to do in Christchurch, but personally, I think it’s great to get on the road to see more of New Zealand’s stunning national parks.

Hop to the Christchurch itinerary here for more details.

Day 8-9 Option 1: Franz Josef

From Nelson, it’s quite a day of driving to the small town of Franz Josef that is famous for its glaciers, one of which goes by the same name. The other, Fox Glacier, is popular too and both can be explored and hiked on when you opt to do a heli-hike. Unfortunately, this is now the only way that it’s possible to hike on the glaciers themselves as both have been receding.

While the big draw to this town is the glaciers, there are more things to do in Franz Josef that don’t involve ice such as the lush rainforest, hiking, and hot pools.

You won’t have much time on your first day in Franz Josef as you make your way south from Nelson along New Zealand’s Wild West Coast, as this drive is about 6-7 hours. You can break up the drive with stops in Punakaiki in Paparoa National Park to see the Pancake Rocks, and at Lake Mahinapua where you can stretch your legs and do a hike. Hikes around the lake are as short as 10 minutes and as long as 2 and a half hours.

Continue onwards to Franz Josef and spend your evening relaxing before tomorrow’s adventure. The hot pools are highly recommended!

Day 9 will be a full day in Franz Josef so make sure you have your heli-hike booked in advance for today or spend time hiking through the rainforest or even the Tartare Tunnels, which are known for the glowworms!

Top Things to do in Franz Josef

  • Heli-Hike: Take in the scenic views of Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier with a snow landing so that you experience the magnificence of nature up close.
  • Glacier Hot Pools: Head over to the hot pools where you can soak in the steaming waters that range from 36-40 degrees or splurge and get a private pool amidst the forest.
  • Tartare Tunnel: Since this itinerary doesn’t include a trip to the world-famous glow in Waitomo Caves, this is your chance to see them and with few crowds as this hike isn’t very busy!
  • Roberts Point Trek: A great option for when the weather is too bad to go a heli-hike, this hike is 11km round trip and takes you through the beautiful rainforest, over swinging bridges and to stunning sites.

Where to Stay in Franz Josef

Book your Franz Josef accommodation for 2 nights (1 night if you’re following the option 2 itinerary and stayed one night in Hokitika).

  • Luxury: Kahere RetreatFor privacy, take a peek at these custom-built cabins that have been made with the most attention to detail.
  • Mid-Range: Rainforest RetreatFrom luxury tree huts to dorms, this accommodation option has it all while set in the native bush for tranquility.
  • Budget: YHA Franz JosefSmall to large dorm rooms as well as private rooms, you really can’t go wrong when booking a YHA hostel.

Day 8 Option 2: Christchurch to Hokitika via Arthur’s Pass

You don’t have too much driving today (3.5 hours) so you can spend a slow morning in Christchurch if you need to rest up for the next half of your New Zealand itinerary. But if you want to get a hike in, get going early. Depart Christchurch and make your way through Arthur’s Pass National Park, a scenic drive to and through.

Make a stop at Castle Hill where you can see grand limestone rocks, an area that has important historical value to Maori culture.

Once in Arthur’s Pass National Park make a stop for a short hike at Devil’s Punchbowl that will lead you to a picturesque waterfall. This hike is about 1-hour roundtrip. For a longer hike, try the Arthur’s Pass Walking Track, which is about 3.5 hours return and could push the length of your day so be aware of time.

Lastly, continue onwards to Hokitika, an old gold mining town on the west coast. Here you can visit Hokitika Beach and do the short, 15-minute Hokitika Gorge Walk where you can see bright turquoise waters which is the big draw for this short yet sweet hike. Note that this hike will add an additional hour of driving.

When to Stay in Hokitika

Book your Hokitika accommodation for 1 night.

  • Luxury: Hokitika Fire Station Boutique AccommodationChic, fun, and only 500 metres from the beach, a great option if you’re craving your own space that’s your home away from home.
  • Mid-Range: Beachfront Hotel HokitikaAs the name suggests, this hotel is just steps from the beach and is a budget-friendly option that offers stellar accommodation and location.
  • Budget: Mountain Jade BackpackersRight in the centre of the action, this hostel offers both dorm and private rooms with all of your basic amenities.

Day 9 Option 2: Hokitika to Franz Josef

It’s a short drive from Hokitika to Franz Josef, just an hour and 40 minutes but still, get going early so that you have a full day in Franz Josef and don’t forget to book your heli-hike in advance so that you can see Franz Josef Glacier! See what else there is to do in Franz Josef in the guide here.

Both itinerary options are the same from here on out!

Day 10: Queenstown via Wanaka

From Franz Josef get going early so that you have at least half a day to spend exploring the lovely town of Wanaka. While this spot is famous because of the Wanaka tree that grows in the middle of a lake, there are plenty of other things to do in Wanaka that make it worth a stop.

You’ll spend about 3.5 hours driving from the west coast inland, passing many stops where it’s guaranteed you’ll want to stop to capture pictures of the scenic lakes and mountains. To break up the drive, a stop in Mount Aspiring National Park is a great way to stretch your legs. The easiest hike to get to that can be done in good time is the Blue Pools Walk, a short and easy 1.5km hike.

Once in Wanaka, grab some lunch and spend some time roaming around town before heading off for the final hour drive to Queenstown.

Top Things to do in Wanaka

  • Wanaka Tree: An obvious Wanaka activity, take a stroll along the lake and admire more of New Zealand’s natural beauty.
  • Roys Peak Hike: Roys Peak is one of the most famous hiking trails and viewpoints in all of New Zealand so if it’s important for you to get this hike in then it’s recommended to spend a night in Wanaka as the trail itself is hard and can take 5-7 hours on average.
  • Kayak Lake Wanaka: Aside from exploring the town itself, you get to spend more time outdoors and on the water by renting a kayak and paddling around Lake Wanaka. Guided afternoon kayak tours are available too.

Where to Stay in Queenstown

Book your Queenstown accommodation for 3 nights (2 if you opt to stay in Wanaka to do the Roys Peak Track).

  • Luxury: Eichardt’s Private Hotel Spacious, stellar views, and a world-class experience? Yes, please. This hotel prides itself on being one of the best luxury hotels on the South Island.
  • Mid-Range: Rydges QueenstownWho says you need to pay top dollar for extra luxuries? This Queenstown hotel has it all and for a great price tag.
  • Budget: Nomads BackpackersRight in the heart of the city and offering 5-star hostel accommodation, Nomads is great for all types of travellers and offers both dorm rooms and private rooms.

See more places to stay in Queenstown.

Day 11: Queenstown

I won’t lie, only having one full day dedicated to Queenstown is not enough. There is plenty of things to do in Queenstown that could fill days. You could easily spend the rest of your time here, adding in the top day trips from Queenstown if you want because there are plenty of gorgeous areas nearby to explore. Or you could continue with this itinerary, ending in Christchurch.

If you decide to spend 4 days in Queenstown, my Queenstown itinerary gives you a more detailed guide of things to do. If you want to visit Christchurch, or fly out of there, then pack your day in the adventure capital of the world with, well, adventure!

Opt in the morning to go bungy jumping, jump & swing, or jet boating, both things that were first done here in Queenstown. In the afternoon explore around Queenstown, do the Tiki Trail hike, and enjoy dinner at the Stratosphere Restaurant (reservations are highly recommended). There’s also the option to take the gondola up instead of hiking.

A more relaxing day could consist of doing a half-day wine tour followed by the gondola or hike and Stratosphere restaurant for epic dinner views.

Top Things to do in Queenstown

  • Bungy Jumping: The most famous activity to do in Queenstown because it was invented here, bungy jumping is a must-do for thrill-seekers. The Kawarau Bridge Bungy is the original bungy.
  • Hiking: Queenstown has epic hiking. The most famous and difficult trail is the Ben Lomond Track which is a 6-8 hour hike. Other hikes include the Tiki Trail (the beginning of the Ben Lomond Track) which is about 45 minutes – hour, or the Queenstown Hill which is a 1.5-3 hour hike.
  • Wine Tour: While Queenstown is known for adventure and thrills, it’s also known as a great wine region. I certainly won’t be judging if you opt for a more relaxed day with a glass in hand with beautiful views.
  • Jet Boating: The original jet boat ride was done in Queenstown and you can embark on an epic adventure that will take you down the exact same river, Shotover River, where this adrenaline-pumping activity started.

Day 12: Milford Sound

Queenstown lends itself as the top spot for a day trip to the unbeatable views of Milford Sound. Easily known as one of New Zealand’s top attractions, Milford Sound is a must, no matter how long or short your trip to the South Island is.

The most common option is the full-day Milford Sound tour from Queenstown that includes riding in a bus with photo stops and a 2-hour cruise of the Milford Fiord. This option is a full 12.5-hour day.

Another option is to fly into and out of Milford Sound and a cruise. This option is a half-day of views and gives you more time to explore Queenstown. Whatever you choose, you really can’t go wrong!

Day 13: Aoraki/Mount Cook

Mount Cook is the tallest mountain in New Zealand and some would say a trip to New Zealand without seeing its majestic view is an incomplete trip. Luckily, Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park is a mere 3 hours from Queenstown and the picturesque Hooker Valley Track is a 3-4 hour hike with little elevation that can be done as an easy afternoon walk.

Spend the night in Aoraki/Mount Cook and depart early the next morning for Christchurch if you’ve yet to explore it or have a leisurely morning in the park.

Top Things to do in Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park

  • Hooker Valley Track: One of the most popular short hikes in the park and in all of New Zealand, this hike will deliver some incredible views and is worth the drive to.
  • Stargaze: This national park is apart of the Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve, which makes it one of the best places to stargaze in the world due to the minimal light pollution because of restrictions on artificial light use. Don’t forget to take a step outside and look up once it’s dark.

Best Places to Stay in Mount Cook

Book your Mount Cook accommodation for 1 night.

  • Luxury: The Hermitage Hotel Mt CookJust look at the pictures of this hotel and tell me you don’t want to stay here with views like this hotel. Plus you can enjoy a cocktail beside a log fire? Sounds dreamy.
  • Mid-Range: Mt Cook Lodge and HotelOffering both private and shared rooms, this hotel also has stellar views and is more friendly on the wallet.
  • Budget: YHA Mt CookStay here for a cozy cabin feel in either private or shared rooms.

Day 14: Christchurch

Get going early today as you’ll have minimal time to explore Christchurch. But before you get to New Zealand’s second-largest city, be sure to make a stop at Lake Tekapo, just an hour from Aoraki/Mount Cook. You’ll most likely just stop for a few pictures, especially if it’s lupin season and the fields are filled with purple.

From Lake Tekapo, it’s another 3 hours to Christchurch. Take a wander through the city in the afternoon and choose just a few of the best things to do in Christchurch such as taking the gondola up to see the city’s skyline and more beautiful New Zealand views. Rest up as the next day you’ll be departing New Zealand after a whirlwind 2 weeks!

Top Things to do in Christchurch

  • Botanic Gardens: The Christchurch Botanic Gardens are a great way to spend a part of your afternoon, taking advantage of the fresh air before having to board a flight soon. The gardens are large enough that you could spend a whole day here!
  • Museums: If learning more about NZ is more your jam, check out one of the museums such as Christchurch Art Gallery, Canterbury Museum, or The Air Force Museum.
  • Christchurch Gondola: A short 10-minute ride up, the Christchurch gondola will deliver you to the stop of snowcapped mountains for epic views where you can even do ahbike or chill out at the on-site cafe.
  • Tramway Restaurant: Perfect if you’re short on time, the Tramway Restaurant will have you feasting on a 4-course dinner while taking in the sites of the city!

Best Places to Stay in Christchurch

Book your Christchurch accommodation for 1 night (if you fly out the next day).

  • Luxury: Sudima Christchurch CityA boutique-style hotel located in the CBD that is dedicated to sustainability without sacrificing on comfort or style.
  • Mid-Range: Hotel 115A unique hotel in the city centre that’s built and decorated with European decor.
  • Budget: Kiwi Basecamp BackpackersA great budget-friendly option in the heart of the city for those looking for private or shared accommodation.

See more places to stay in Christchurch.

And there ya have it! Two weeks in New Zealand will fly past, especially with an itinerary that’s this busy. This packs the best of New Zealand into the time that’s possible but that’s not to say that there aren’t other great places to visit too. You could easily spend weeks and weeks in New Zealand and still have more to see, that’s the beauty of New Zealand, it’s beautiful everywhere!

Continue planning your trip to New Zealand!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links which I earn a small commission from and are at no additional cost to you.

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