One way to visit New Zealand is to combine the trip with..
Another way is to combine New Zealand and Fiji that is pretty close by, only 4hrs flight. We did the first option obviously once you get to travel so far to see New Zealand you also want to visit Australia if you’ve never been!
It’s definitely a place that pretty much has everything. The beauté sauvage, the wild nature portraits, the lakes, the rivers, the amazingly blue waters, breathtaking views, mountains, snow, the glaciers and not only that.. The white sand beaches, the black sand beaches. What else can someone ask for? Maybe the time we went wasn’t the best period to visit it cuz lets face it end of March is for them the beginning of Autumn.. If I would go back it would be for snowboarding on the South Island in June or for real summer holidays early February on the North Island.
WHERE TO STAY:
AUCKLAND: Hotel DeBrett. In the middle of the city right across all the restaurants, the bars, the shopping district and the harbour. It is perfectly situated to see the most of Auckland. We chose to stay in Auckland and drive around the North Island because we thought that everything was pretty much close.
But it wasn’t the best idea when you only have 3 days to see most of the places. We had to drive for hours and hours to get from one place to the other. Well, we eventually did all the things I had on my list and they were totally worth it but we were TOO tired at the end of the day. So if I had to do it all over again I would definitely spend more than one week and stay at 2 different hotels, that I mention below.
But I will share with you guys my itinerary, which at the end was pretty efficient exactly as I had planned it!
WHAT TO SEE (in 2 days):
WAIHEKE ISLAND. Rent a bike if you are sporty enough, it is about 4hrs to go around the whole island but if you have a short stay in general I would suggest rent a car and doing that in less than two. Definitely stay over for sunset and maybe go for wine tasting the island offers many places for that.
CATHEDRAL COVE. 45 min walk/hike to get there and it’s 2hrs drive from Auckland but TOTALLY WORTH IT. (Highlight of the trip)
Piha Beach for sunset views (hope your days are not as cloudy as mine)
WHAT TO VISIT in the North Island if you have time:
- Bay of Islands
- Tongarino National Park
- Lake Taupo
- Huka Falls
On my next trip in New Zealand I’m definitely going there.
PLACES TO STAY THERE:
HUKA LODGE. Whether you’re into fishing, food or the great outdoors, luxury boutique hotel Huka Lodge is rated as one of the world’s top retreats. Set in Taupo, home to New Zealand’s largest lake in the heart of the volcanic North Island beside the Waikato River and cascading Huka Falls, it’s still a top angling destination as well as an adventurous gourmet getaway.
THE LODGE AT KAURI CLIFFS. Set amid 6,000 acres of sprawling hills near Matauri Bay (four hours’ drive from Auckland), with jaw-dropping vistas of Cape Brett and the offshore Cavalli Islands, The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs is as spacious as it’s seductive.
EAGLES NEST. A luxurious estate atop a private peninsula overlooking New Zealand’s Bay of Islands, Eagles Nest hotel has five ultra-contemporary, individually designed villas with spectacular views. This North Island boutique retreat is the ultimate in exclusivity and beyond-five-star hospitality.
AUCKLAND’s TOP RESTAURANTS:
- The French Café!! One of the best places to have dinner!
- Sidart, the best in Kiwi fine dining cuisine
- Depot Eatery and Oyster Bar, a bit more casual but reaaally good
- The Grove
RECOMMENDED LENGTH OF STAY:
6 NIGHTS/ 7 FULL DAYS for sure, but you can always do what I did and just spend 3 days there.
- For those renting a car that their permit is not written in english,you will be asked for a translation so better be prepared not to loose time at the car rental.
- VERY long queues at the passport control nothing you can do to avoid it unless you have a priority pass for that. If you can get one it will save your lives believe me
- If you like oysters try BLUFF oysters, i think the are the best I have EVER had (more info on the South Island chapter..)
(The pictures from the hotels are from Mr&MrsSmith)