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Need help planning 14 day itinerary of North & South Island

Northern Virginia...
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Need help planning 14 day itinerary of North & South Island

Hello everyone,

I am planning a first time trip to NZ in late March/early April with my hubby. I have been doing lots of researching and I know that I should choose just one island...but I can't do it!

My hubby has a friend temporarily living in Auckland, so we were planning to start our trip there.

These are the places/activities that I'm trying to fit into the 14 days.

Auckland- brief sightseeing on day of arrival

Poor Knights Island- scuba diving


Tongario National Park- Alpine Crossing Tramp

Abel Tasman

penguins?? wanted to go to Dundedin/ or Oamaru- Is it worth it to go there for penguins this time of year?

Queenstown- bungy jumping

Milford Sound

Fox Glacier

I also want to do jetboating and hanggliding along the way.

Any ideas/suggestions would be greatly appreciated on how to make this work. Or if necessary, what should I cut out? Please help.

Thanks in advance- I love Tripadvisor!


New Zealand
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for South Island
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1. Re: Need help planning 14 day itinerary of North & South Island

Welcome to the forum TSC :)

I think you will find your wish list too long for the time avaialble, you may have to leave some areas for your next visit. If you visit Queenstown early April you may find many places fully booked April 2 - 3 - 4 for Warbirds Over Wanaka, a bi-annual airshow. My suggestion is to visit the South Island first and save Auckland for last. you could;

1 arrive Auckland, fly to Queenstown

2 explore

3 Bus/cruise Milford, bus or fly back to Queenstown

4 drive to Wanaka

5 drive to Fox

6 explore glaciers

7 drive to Punakaiki

8 drive to Chch, fly to Rotorua

9 explore...

hope this helps :)

New Zealand
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2. Re: Need help planning 14 day itinerary of North & South Island

You're going to be struggling to fit all that in, here's a suggestion for the Nth island-

D1- Auckland (you're going to be suffering from jetlag, so I wouldn't try and fit too much in.

D2- Drive to Whangarei/Tutukaka, stay

D3-Poor Knights diving trip, head back towards Auckland, staying perhaps Nth Auckland area- Orewa area or stay overnight again in Whangarei and get away early the next day. You may be very tired after diving.

D4- Drive to Rotorua

D5- Rotorua sightseeing, drive to Taupo late afternoon

D6-Tongariro Crossing, stay back in Taupo overnight.

D7- You will be very tired from the tramp the next day but it's only a short drive(1hr) back to Rotorua and fly to Queenstown. This doesn't give you any leeway should the weather pack up for the Crossing, it's good to have an extra day just in case.

With regards to the South Island, I think you need to decide on either the glaciers or the penguins, not both. And you just won't get up to Marlborough Sounds within the time frame. You can jet boat and hangglide around Queenstown and Milford of course is close by. Fly back to Auckland from Queenstown.

Rarotonga, Cook...
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for Rarotonga, Waiheke Island, Southern Cook Islands, Auckland Central
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3. Re: Need help planning 14 day itinerary of North & South Island

I also recommend that you narrow your expectations to savour fewer activiites, since you won't fit in any more than one third to maybe half of your wish-list. The good news is that the weather is still sufficiently warm in the northern half of the North Isle over this time of year.

Auckland to meet up with your friend, is a good place to unwind, especially if travelling some distance to reach NZ. Poor Knights Islands scenery and its acclaimed diving followed by a visit to the central plateau and Tongariro crossing will give two very diverse but rewarding experiences. The flight south from Rotorua to Queenstown makes sense.also

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4. Re: Need help planning 14 day itinerary of North & South Island

it is possible to fly from Taupo to Queenstown. This would save a drive back to Rotorua. You will have a plane change in Wellington.

Or, you could drive from Auckland to Taupo. 4 hours. Stay the night in Taupo

Do the Tongariro Crossing next day.

Don't drive to Tongariro. Use the Tongariro Expeditions bus to pick you up at your accommodation and drop you back at the end of the day. Only $55.00 per person round trip and your accommodation provider can arrange this for you.


Then the followind day, drive to Rotorua from Taupo. Just 1 hour.

5. Re: Need help planning 14 day itinerary of North & South Island

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