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2 week driving trip from Auckland to Christchurch

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2 week driving trip from Auckland to Christchurch

Hi guys,

We are planning to book a 2 week trip in October, ideally flying into Auckland and then flying back out of Christchurch. we would love to hire a campervan and make our own way from one to the other. any tips or must-see places would be much appreciated!! Our holidays always end up being so much more adventurous when we use the advice from these forums!

a bit about us - i like beautiful scenery and good food, my hubby is an adrenaline junkie - i hear NZ is the perfect place for both of us!! :)

It is also our 3rd wedding anniversary during the time we plan to be there and would like to book a swanky romantic hotel for one night if there is anywhere special you would suggest?

Thanks everyone!

The smiths

Swindon, United...
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106 posts
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1. Re: 2 week driving trip from Auckland to Christchurch


I wont be able to offer much in the way of general New Zealand advice, but can point you in the direction of a couple of things you shouldnt miss.

We visited NZ back in 2008 and fell in love with the place - its awesome. We loved it that much we have just booked another 4 week trip back there for Feb 2011. You will see so many wonderful sights and for your husband, well, hes in for a treat.

Firstly, who are you planning to hire a campervan from? The last time we went we used Maui, but on this occasion have used New Zealand Frontiers and I have so say im very impressed with the early stages of booking and advice giving - Maui are good too, but I liked the idea of using a dedicated NZ camper firm, whereas Maui also do Oz & SA. One thing to remember is that if you want to Freedom Camp (in designated areas) your camper must have a toilet and shower.

Stuff to get the heart racing - I would recommend!

Caving in Waitomo to see the glow worms - We did the blackwater tubing last time, and plan to do a 7hr Lost World tour on our next visit. Lots of abseiling and climbing.


SkyLine Luge in Rotorua - Hard to describe - you basically sit on a tea tray and race down the side of a mountain. Great fun in a lovely setting.


I would also recommend Taupo Bungy - absolutely beautiful setting, with you jumping over a crystal clear bluey/green coloured river. Gorgeous


Whilst in Taupo also visit Dixie Browns Restaurant (if its still there) on the side of Lake Taupo - again, gorgeous area.


From Taupo take the SH1 to Wellington and you will drive through some breathtaking landscapes - probably one of the best drives I did, other than Arthurs Pass.

On the way to Christchurch, think about stopping at Kaikoura - gorgeous place and walking along the peninsula is a great way to spend an afternoon.

You will not regret heading to NZ, I get tingly just thinking about our return.

You will have great difficulty planning your trip as there are just so many great things to do, and so many wonderful places to visit.

Below is the review of my trip from 2008 - may give you some ideas


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2. Re: 2 week driving trip from Auckland to Christchurch

Ah thanks so much for this, it ha just made us both even mor excited about going! i have seen the luge on tvbefore and it looks like lots of fun!

will check out the camper van site aswell!

how long did you go for last time? we wish we had longer but are restrained with holidays from work.


Swindon, United...
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106 posts
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3. Re: 2 week driving trip from Auckland to Christchurch

We went for 3 weeks back in 2008. Nothing I can say will do the place justice, it is simply out of this world. People are fantastic and "up for it" and really support you in all the mad activities you are likely to do.

If you have any more questions feel free to ask - This board is one of the more friendlier so shouldnt take you long to build an itinerary.

You are in for a real treat.

Wanaka, New Zealand
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4. Re: 2 week driving trip from Auckland to Christchurch

Hi SmithSmith,

Welcome to the forum.

Silentdark has suggested some great places to visit between Auckland and ChCh and given that you have only two weeks, the route he suggested is a good one.

However, given your love of scenery and your husbands love of adventure sports, it would be a real shame if you didn't get to visit Queenstown, Wanaka and some of NZ's most stunning locations located south of Christchurch.

Would you consider spending about a week in The North Island and then flying down to the South Island for a week there?

Or alternatively, two weeks is quite a good amount of time to do a loop of the South Island, starting and finishing in Christchurch, if this is something that also might interest you?

Perhaps take a look at some NZ websites (www.newzealand.com is a good place to start) and then decide on a few places that really interest you. From there we are more than happy to help you build up an itinerary.

Auckland Central...
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5. Re: 2 week driving trip from Auckland to Christchurch


Welcome to the New Zealand Forum.

With only 2 weeks flying into Auckland and out from Christchurch is definitely the way to go. Even so it is not a lot of time and you will have to make some choices. Try and resist the temptation to have to see everything and go everywhere!

Your enjoyment of New Zealand’s scenery can begin within an hour of the airport and I would suggest that you consider heading out to the Waitakere Ranges for a night before setting off on your travels. The ranges are an area of exceptional natural beauty where you will find black sand beaches, regenerating rain forest, walks, and some stunning scenery and views – there is a motor camp at Piha beach.

In Rotorua your husband may wish to give tandem kayaking a go. Have a look at


Where roughly do you expect to be on he day of your wedding anniversary (north or south island)?

Brisbane Qld
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212 posts
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6. Re: 2 week driving trip from Auckland to Christchurch

hi there

the campervan company I would recommend is


we have used them on two visits to NZ

They are not brand new vans but you cannot beat the price.

I agree with the previous post

Waitomo to see the glow worms

Rotorua to see the skyline ride

also consider seeing

Mt Maunganui and the beach situated in the city of Tauranga in the Bay of Plenty region

When in Wellington visit the Museum of New Zealand


In the south island consider the Kaikoura Coast


I found it just a beautiful place to visit.

hope this of help to planning your visit

Globe Trekker
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7. Re: 2 week driving trip from Auckland to Christchurch

We did a similar camper-van trip from the North to the South last year, and it was so stunning that we did not want to sleep at all during our vacation :)

Used ExploreMore campervan after good research and were quite satisfied with it - was even one of the cheapest. We used a mix of freedom parking, and camping spots.

A lot of great ideas have already been provided here, but here is the itinerary we followed, with plenty of activities in each place to allow for adventure, nature and romance. We decided to minimize alcohol during the entire trip, and this made us stay fitter, sleep less, and enjoy New Zealand a lot more. We also went for a multiple options for wellness throughout the trip that energized and relaxed our tired bones.

- Bay of Islands

- Auckland

- Hot Water Beach (Coromandel)

- Rotorua/Taupo

- Wellington

- Abel Tasman Park

- WestPort/Greymouth

- Fox Glacier/Mt. Aspiring

- Queenstown/Wanaka

- Te Anau/Milford Sound

- Invercargill/Bluff

- Dunedin/Lord of the Rings area

- Christchurch

Best of luck for your trip to New Zealand - you will definitely enjoy it - keep a couple of buffer days in your driving itinerary to allow for any contingency. Let me know if you need details for any of the areas.

Edited: 12 June 2010, 23:20
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8. Re: 2 week driving trip from Auckland to Christchurch

hi everyone, thank you so much for these posts - there is loads of info to get us started! We hope to book the flights next week so we will probably get an itinery together and post it on here to see what you think!!

Thanks again :)

Palmerston North
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9. Re: 2 week driving trip from Auckland to Christchurch

Ahh Spring! A lovely time to visit New Zealand.

As you're travelling through the country, stop by at the i-SITE network of visitor information centres for free maps, and advice from local experts about what there is to see and do. newzealand.com/travel/…i-sites_home.cfm

If you're wanting to get off the State Highways at some point for a more scenic adventure and for an opportunity to meet the locals, I recommend The Country Road. Pick up a brochure from Taupo i-SITE as you're travelling south. Turn off at Stormy Point just south of Mangaweka, and journey to interesting places like boutique mills, wineries, The Herb Farm www.herbfarm.co.nz , New Zealand's Most Beautiful Town of Feilding (14 times winner)...and coming out at Palmerston North City. Alternatively, you can continue on the theme, bypass Palmerston North and go through the very scenic Manawatu Gorge. Turn right at Woodville to take the road to Wellington. On the way stop off at a brewery for a meal, tour, tasting,shopping... www.tui.co.nz and enjoy the wonderful townships along the way, particularly Greytown. Another option is to go through Palmerston North but to the eastern side, passing over Manawatu River and past Massey University. Travel approximately 30minutes to the newly revitalised township of Shannon. Gorgeous souvenirs, locally made designer clothes (including merino dresses), and lots of bling. Nice place to stop for a coffee. Also in the township is the native wildlife park of Owlcatraz - www.owlcatraz.co.nz where you can see native New Zealand owls (morepork) up close. Afterwards, carry on south to Wellington for the remainder of your journey.

In terms of getting your adrenalin fix, if you don't get your first fix at Taupo Bungy, then see the spectacular Huka Falls, check out Mokai Gravity Canyon www.gravitycanyon.co.nz just off SH1 south of Taihape. Stunning stunning papa cliffs and the opportunity to try three activities in the one place - bungy, bridge swinging and flying flox. The height of the bridge is 80m so the free fall is thrilling - about 50m. A cafe is onsite for fortifying refreshments afterwards. Phew!

Happy planning!

10. Re: 2 week driving trip from Auckland to Christchurch

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