We can guarantee this will be the quickest 3 weeks of your life. Three memorable weeks that'll you'll never forget! We're going to give you an itinerary that'll make your trip a blast! Three weeks is a relatively short stay, so make it as relaxing, or as adrenaline-pumping as you like. There's no strict guidelines here folks, it's your holiday after all.
Recovery. After your long plane ride from somewhere far, far away, you'll need to close your eyes, have a sleep-in, and something to eat. Recovery can take a while as you settle into a new time zone, so take it easy. For the sake of this itinerary, you’ve landed in the big-smoke of Auckland. Go exploring and head up the Skytower for amazing panoramic views of Auckland City, seeing up to 80 kilometers in the distance. Walking around the City Centre is an awesome way of getting your bearings!
Now that you’re fully recovered after a couple of days at JUCY Snooze Auckland, head up North to the seaside to escape! There are so many awesome spots to explore in Northland; from Waipu, Mangawhai Heads, Te Arai and Pakiri Beaches. Pack the rental car or camper, go glamping, or book a beach house for you and your mates and breathe in the fresh sea air.
After a few days relaxing by the sea, head back through Auckland and enter the mighty Waikato. There is so much to explore here folks. From Matamata (Hobbiton), the Waitomo Caves, Hamilton Gardens, Taupo and the Mount Ruapehu Ski Fields, you could spend an endless amount of time exploring this region! Huka Falls is a must when you’re travelling through Taupo – check out the whitewater pool and witness the 220,000-litres-per-second waterfall!
After passing through the mighty Waikato, you’ll travel through the Manawatu region and into Wellington! You’ve made it to the bottom of the North Island! While you’re in Wellington, walk along the waterfront and check out New Zealand’s national museum – Te Papa. If you’re a film fanatic, visit Weta Workshop and discover how films such as the Lord Of the Rings Trilogy and Ghost In the Shell were made! Zealandia is also worth a visit while you’re in the windy city too! Visit the 225 hectare urban ecosanctuary and learn about the conservation projects that are underway to reintroduce 18 species of native wildlife back into the area. Walking to the summit of Mount Victoria will also give you epic 360 degree views of the coolest little capital.
After a few days in Welly, jump aboard either the Bluebridge or Interislander ferries. Relax on a 3 hour voyage across the Cook Strait, and you’ll soon enter the Marlborough Sounds! You may even spot a few penguins flopping on their bellies, a few seals, or a pod of dolphins.
The breathtaking backdrop of the mountains meeting the sea, dense rainforests and rugged cliff faces welcome you into the South Island. Picton is where the ferry terminates, stay here for an evening to soak in the beautiful surrounds. Picton also has some fine food, including some of the best seafood, and is a buzzing little town!
The next leg of your journey will see you discover either the East Coast or West Coast of the South Island. Visit the bustling city of Christchurch or explore the quaint little rural towns on the West Coast. For this itinerary, we’re going to take you on a ride down through Westport, Greymouth and Hokitika on the West Coast!
From Picton, drive west to Nelson; one of the sunniest cities in the country (they have approximately 2,600 sunny hours a year!) From Nelson, take State Highway 6 down to Westport, pop in for lunch and stock up those supplies! From Westport, head south and stop in at Punakaiki and get the camera out for the Pancake Rocks. The Pancake Rocks and Blowholes are only a 20 minute walking loop from the carpark and the limestone formations are spectacular at high tide!
From Punakaiki, head south through Greymouth towards Hokitika. With just a small population shy of 3,000, this quaint little town is home to one of the coolest campgrounds in the country. Visit Shining Star Beachfront Accommodation and hear the waves crash from your cabin. The gorge walk in Hokitika is well worth the view of the incredible blue river too!
After a restful few days in Hokitika, take in the stunning views on the drive to Mount Cook National Park. Home to Franz Josef Glacier and Fox Glacier, you’ll want to spend a few days here exploring! Take a guided tour up one (or both!) of the glaciers and learn more about how they were formed and continue to change in this spectacular environment!
You’re on the final leg of your trip now towards to the beautiful area of Wanaka and Queenstown. Be sure to check the Hasst Pass road closure times before you venture south! If you’re a bit weary eyed, stay overnight in Haast and venture south the next day.
The last few days of your three weeks in New Zealand will be spent exploring the Mount Aspiring National Park, Wanaka and Queenstown. Wanaka is an awesome little town full of activities in the great outdoors! Head up Roys Peak for one of the most Instagrammable views in the region (and watch those likes roll in), visit the skifields at Treble Cone or Cardrona, and take a snap of the #wanakatree.
The last leg of your journey is passing through the Crown Range and down through Arrowtown to Queenstown. Rest your head at JUCY Snooze Queenstown and visit our rooftop pizzeria & bar, Miss Lucy’s. For sweets and the last-minute gifts to take back home, visit The Remarkables Sweet Shop (their fudge is iconic). Lastly, purchase a piece of Pounamu jewelery, a lasting piece that'll forever remind you of your trip to our shores.
So there’s a fair chunk to get through, but your three weeks in this little country of ours is sure to be unforgettable! Don’t waste an opportunity to get out there and discover a different country and another culture, and unleash the inner adventurer within. You'll end up finding lots of hidden treasures and will therefore have plenty of stories to share. Keep safe and happy travelling!