New Zealand Trip Itinerary

Day 1

On Day 1 we arrived at Auckland from LA at 8.30 am in the morning. Took a rental car and drove to Holiday Inn Rotorua. On the way stopped at Hamilton for lunch.

After checking in at the hotel Holiday Inn Rotorua went to Redwoods tree walk at 4pm in the evening.

Day 2

On Day 2 we drove to Waio-tapu Thermal Wonderland in time for their Lady Knox Geyser activity at 10.15 am in the morning. Took a short hike to tour around the thermal wonderland. Headed to Lake Taupo for lunch.

After lunch visited Huka Falls spent rest of the afternoon there and returned back to Holiday Inn for second night stay.

Day 3

For Day 3 we had booked 10.15 am Hobbiton Movie set tour online the previous day. We reached the sets at 9.40 am and hence took the 10am tour. After completion of the tour we drove to Hamilton for the 3rd night stay.

We visited Hamilton Gardens in the afternoon. We stayed at Ashwood Manor in Hamilton for a night.

Day 4

On day 4 we had our flight to South Island (Queenstown) at 5pm. Hence we visited Auckland Skytower in the morning, had lunch and returned rental car and headed to airport. On reaching Queenstown at 7.30 pm in the evening we rented car from ezi rental and checked in to Crownplaza Queenstown.

Day 5

On day 5 we had plans to drive to Milford Sound Lodge. On the way we stopped at Sandfly cafe Te Anau for lunch.We traversed Fjordland National Park, took small hikes to Mirror lakes and Chasm on the way, and reached in time for evening cruise of Milford Sound. After the cruise we stayed at the Milford Sound Lodge.

Day 6

On day 6 we took another cruise (early morning) to Milford Sound as it had rained heavily overnight, the place was misty and had waterfalls everywhere. After the cruise we drove back to Te Anau

That evening we relaxed at Lakeside Motel Te Anau. A very charming small town, best to relax after long drive between Milford Sound and Queenstown.

Day 7

On Day 7 we drove to Lake Wanaka, had lunch and drove to Mt Aspiring National Park.

We spent evening exploring lakes and hikes in the region. Lake Hawea, Lake Wanaka and Blue Pools hike were very beautiful.We stayed for the night at Archway Motel Wanaka.

Day 8

On Day 8 we drove from Wanaka to Aoraki/Mount Cook National park. On the way we stopped at lake Pukaki. We had lunch at Old Mountaineers' Cafe at Mt Cook NP and took a hike to Tasman Glacier view point. We stayed the next 2 nights here at Aoraki/Mt Cook Alpine Lodge.

Day 9

On day 9 it rained almost the whole day in Mt Cook NP. So we decided to go visit nearby lakes . Lake Pukaki was beautiful in rain.

Lake Tekapo though a little windy that day had beautiful seasonal flowers like lupins all around.

Day 10

Day 10 was the day of checkout at Aoraki Alpine Lodge, but like silver lining we woke up early to witness clear skies and beautiful sunlit views of Aoraki/Mount Cook. We decided to hike all the way (10km) to Hooker Glacier lake. The views were stunning all along. After the hike we drove all the way to Queenstown, stopping at Wanaka for lunch. We stayed at Bella Vista Motel the next 2 nights.

Day 11

On Day 11 we drove to Glenorchy and Paradise.It was a very scenic drive. We relaxed in the evening as we had flight back to San Diego the next day

Day 12

Feeling rejuvinated and with loads of sweet nature memories, we said good bye to New Zealand. On our flight back to Auckland from Queenstown we were lucky to spot Aoraki/Mount Cook with 2 of the glaciers we could not visit (Fox and Franz Josef). We could also spot Tasman lake , Hooker Glacier lake , Lake Pukaki and Lake Tekapo.

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[2016-11-27 12:14:16]

Thanks for sharing the itinerary.. much appreciated! what a heavenly country.


[2016-11-29 10:17:34]

Thank you!