I am planning for a honeymoon trip to NZ for about 10-14 days in the coming November (likely to be mid-November). We have never visited AU or NZ before, so this country/region is completely new to us. My first question is, what should be the top must-see or must-visit places in NZ regardless of where they are?
After scrutinized the posts here as well as travel books, I feel quite a bit lost about where in NZ we should be visiting. This is because the many sightseeing spots seem to be very discrete/dispersed all over the country, and we are not going to drive by ourselves. That means, most likely we are going to be based in 2 or 3 places at most, then work out day trips to the surrounding places. Then, we cannot be visiting a lot of places, especially we are both slow persons.
I guess we should be landing at Auckland when entering the country. However, Auckland City/Central and Wellington don't seem too appealing to us comparing to other places, as we are both outdoor people and prefers natural scenery. Then here comes the headache - where should we be heading to upon arrival?
I have 3 preliminary routes in mind as below:
Route A (North Island only): Rotorua; Taupo; Waitomo; either Bay of Islands or Coromandel;
Easier to manage as we do not need another flight upon arriving Auckland, but wonder if these are the best places to visit, as many of you seem to be ranking South Island higher than those in this one.
Route B (South Island only): Christchurch; Te Anau; Queenstown; Milford Sound
These places seem ideal but would it be too difficult for us to manage? It looks like a road trip all the way and moving ourselves from one hotel to another each day. And about Christchurch, we understand that it is still recovering from the earthquake. Should we give up Christchurch for somewhere else given the limited time we have?
Route C (Based in Rotorua and then Queenstown): Rotorua; Taupo; Queenstown; Milford Sound; either Waitomo or Te Anau for the glow worm caves
I am not really sure if this would work well. It seems to be a lot of travel/flight time, and I do not know whether I need to go back to Auckland from Rotorua for a flight to the South. And, should we be getting the best in NZ with this route within the 2 weeks time?
Bottomline given by my fiancee: One glow worm cave (either Waitomo or Te Anau); A safe skydiving option somewhere (we aren't sure yet whether we will go for it); we are not good with those really exciting and adventurous activities such as rafting or bungee jump, other than skydiving.
How will you advise us to decide where we should be going? All ideas welcomed. Please also advise if any of my thoughts are incorrect. Thanks so much to you all in advance.