New Zealand – Itinerary

RO: Am avut in total 15 zile de petrecut in Noua Zeelanda, si am ales sa incepem vacanta cu doua zile in Auckland, in principal ca sa ne acomodam cu fusul orar inainte de a porni la drum pe insula sudica. Pentru ca am fost destul de constransi de timp, am preferat ca dupa cele doua zile in Auckland sa zburam pe insula sudica, in Christchurch, apoi sa vizitam timp de sase zile insula sudica (nu am ajuns in partea nordica si estica a insulei de sud si ne pare extrem de rau, insa pur si simplu nu era fezabil sa conducem mai mult decat am facut-o). Dupa cele sase zile ne-am intors in Christchurch si am zburat inapoi spre Auckland, unde am avut alte sase zile pe insula nordica. Dupa cum spuneam si in articolul cu informatii utile despre Noua Zeelanda, daca ar fi sa alegem din nou, am sta cel putin o zi in plus pe insula de sud si un pic mai putin pe cea nordica. Daaaar detaliem mai jos itinerariul facut de noi in fiecare zi 🙂 Fiecare dintre zilele listate mai jos contine un hyperlink direct catre articolul dedicat fiecarei zile in parte.

EN: We had 15 days in total to spend in New Zealand and we have chosen to start our trip with two days in Auckland. mainly just to get used with the timezone before heading to the southern island. Because we had some time restraints we preferred to fly from Auckland to Christchurch after these 2 days, then to visit the southern island for six days (we haven’t reached the northern and eastern part of the southern island and we are extremely sorry for that but it was simply not feasible to drive more than we did). After those six days we returned to Christchurch and flew back to Auckland, where we had another six days to wander around the northern island. As we already said in the article with useful information from New Zealand, if we were to chose again, we would stay at least one more day on the southern island and a bit less on the northern island. Buuuut we’ll detail our itinerary for each day 🙂 Each of the days listed below contains a direct hyperlink to the article written on our blog for each day. 
Northern Island Itinerary
Southern Island Itinerary
RO: ZIUA 1 & ZIUA 2 – Northern Island – Auckland 
Am avut doua zile rezervate pentru Auckland, si desi orasul nu este foarte mare si ar putea fi vazut intr-o singura zi… ar fi fost pacat sa nu stam mai mult 🙂 Are un farmec aparte, e foarte cosmopolit, plin de viata si e o “introducere” buna in tinutul Aoteaorei (numele maor al Noii Zeelande). Pentru primele doua zile nu am inchiriat masina, de la aeroport la hotel am optat pentru SuperShuttle, un autobuz special care opreste la anumite hoteluri/apartamente de pe traseu. Cu cat se rezerva un grup mai mare de persoane, cu atat pretul pe persoana este mai mic. Noi am platit aproximativ 15 euro de persoana transferul dus-intors la aeroport, simularile de preturi se pot face pe site. Am stat aproape de centru, in apartamentele Waldorf St. Martin (apartament de 4 persoane – 200 NZD/noapte/4pers – aprox 115 euro) si ne-am plimbat prin zona Sky Tower, Viaduct Harbour, cartierul hipsteresc Wynyard, am traversat golful cu feribotul pana in Devonport, ca sa vedem skyline-ul orasului si-am urcat pe Muntele Eden la apus, tot pentru priveliste 🙂 Pentru fanii de mic dejun copios, noua ne-a placut foarte mult Cafe Verona 🙂

EN: DAY 1 & DAY 2 – Northern Island – Auckland 
We had two days reserved for Auckland and even though the city is not that big and could be seen in only one day… it would have been a pity not to stay longer 🙂 It has a special charm, it is extremely modern, full of life and it can be considered a good “introduction” in the land of Aoteaora (the Maori name of New Zealand). For the first two days we did not rent a car, we have chosen SuperShuttle for the transfer from the airport, a special bus that stops to some of the hotels/apartments on the way. The bigger the group, the smaller the price per person. We paid approximately 15 euros per person for the return transfer, the price simulations can be done on their website. We stayed close to the city center, in Waldorf St. Martin apartments (4 persons apartment – 200 NZD/night/4 pers — approximately 115 euros) and we wandered the area around Sky Tower, Viaduct Harbour, the hipsterish neighborhood Wynyard, we have crossed the gulf by ferry until we’ve reached Devonport, to see the city skyline and we climbed Mount Eden at sunset, for the view 🙂 For those of you who like breakfast indulgence, we enjoyed quite a lot Cafe Verona 🙂

Auckland_Part 2_4_View
Auckland Skyline seen from the ferry to Devonport

RO: ZIUA 3 – Southern Island – CHRISTCHURCH and CANTEBURRY 
Am aterizat in Christchurch si pentru ca era deja trecut de ora pranzului, am luat masina de inchiriat si am pornit la drum. Am trecut pe la Castle Hill, apoi prin Arthur’s Pass, Hokitika (am fi vrut sa vedem viermii luminosi – gratuit, insa nu am mai ajuns). Planul initial cuprindea si rocile-clatita de la Punakaiki (inspre nord), insa nu ne-am incadrat in timp. Ne-am cazat la Ross Motel (122 euro/noapte/apartament cu 2 camere pentru 4 persoane), in apropiere de Hokitika.
TOTAL traseu: 280 km, timp de condus: 4 ore.

EN: DAY 3 – Southern Island – CHRISTCHURCH and CANTEBURRY
We landed in Christchurch and because it was already past lunch time, we took our rental car and we hit the road. We visited Castle Hill, then passed through Arthur’s Pass, Hokitika (we wanted to see the glow worms – free, but we did not get there anymore). The initial plan included the pancake rocks from Punakaiki (towards north) but it wasn’t enough time to see them. We stayed at Ross Motel (122 euros/night/2 bedrooms apartment for 4 persons), close to Hokitika.
ENTIRE JOURNEY: 280 km, Driving Time: 4 hours.

Castle Hill_New Zealand_6
Castle Hill, New Zealand

Day 3 - Map - Christchurch and CanterburryRO: ZIUA 4 – Southern Island – Franz Joseph and Fox Glaciers
Urmatoarea zi am mers catre ghetarii Franz Joseph si Fox, am incercat sa vedem reflexia Muntelui Cook in lacul Matheson (din pacate am prins o zi ploioasa), apoi ne-am indreptat catre Haast, cu cateva opriri pe drum la Knight Point si la Ship Creek. Ne-am cazat la Lake Hawea Hotel (175 euro/noapte/duplex cu 2 camere pentru 4 persoane).
TOTAL traseu: 400 km, timp de condus: 5 ore.

 

EN: DAY 4 – Southern Island – Franz Joseph and Fox Glaciers
The next day we headed to Franz Joseph and Fox Glaciers, we wanted to see the reflection of Mount Cook in Lake Matheson (unfortunately there was a rainy day and we couldn’t see anything) and then we headed to Haast, with a couple of stops on the way at Knight Point and Ship Creek. We stayed at Lake Hawea Hotel (175 euro/night/2 rooms duplex for 4 persons).
ENTIRE JOURNEY: 400 km, Driving Time: 5 hours.

Ship Creek_New Zealand_4
Ship Creek, close to Haast

Day 4 - Map - Franz Joseph and Fox Glaciers
RO: ZIUA 5 – Southern Island – Wanaka si Queenstown
A cincea zi era dedicata in intregime Wanakai si urcatului pe munte, la Roys Peak, imaginea iconica a Noii Zeelande 🙂 Am avut insa foarte mult ghinion pentru ca in ziua aceea a plouat cu galeata, traseul era plin de noroi si cerul acoperit de un plafon gros de nori. Chiar daca am fi facut traseul de sase ore dus intors, nu am fi vazut nimic din cauza norilor. Asa ca ne-am multumit cu privelistea copacului That Wanaka Tree din mijlocul lacului, o scurta vizita in satucul Arrowtown (construit in perioada epocii de aur) si o oprire in Queenstown, capitala sporturilor extreme in Noua Zeelanda 🙂 Ne-am cazat in Te Anau, la Fiordland National Park Lodge (125 euro/noapte/camera pentru 4 persoane).
TOTAL traseu: 300 km, timp de condus: 4 ore.

EN: DAY 5 – Southern Island – Wanaka si Queenstown
The fifth day was entirely dedicated to Wanaka and climbing to Roys Peak, to get that iconic image of New Zealand 🙂 But we were lucky enough to be there during a rainy day, the track was full of mud and the sky covered by a thick layer of clouds. Even if we would have done the entire six hours (return) hike, we wouldn’t have seen anything because of the clouds. So we only had the view with the lonely tree – That Wanaka Tree from the middle of the lake, a short visit to Arrowtown (built in the golden era) and a stop in Queenstown, the capital of extreme sports in New Zealand 🙂 We stayed in Te Anau, at Fiordland National Park Lodge (125 euro/night/4 persons room).
ENTIRE JOURNEY: 300 km, Driving Time: 4 hours.

That Wanaka Tree_Wanaka Lake_New Zealand_1
That Wanaka Tree, New Zealand

Day 5 - Map - Wanaka & Queenstown
RO: ZIUA 6 – Southern Island – Milford Sound
In ziua a sasea am mers la Milford Sound (cu o oprire scurta pe drum la Mirror Lakes), si am facut un tur cu barca de la Milford Cruises (55 euro/pers). De acolo am mers direct in sud, la Invercargill si am stat cazati la Ibis Style (90 euro/noapte/apartament 4 persoane cu 2 camere).
TOTAL traseu: 360 km, timp de condus: 5 ore.

EN: DAY 6 – Southern Island – Milford Sound
In the sixth day we went to Milford Sound (with a short stopover at Mirror Lakes) and we bought a boat tour from Milford Cruises (55 euro/pers). From there we headed south, to Invercargill and we stayed at Ibis Style (90 euros/night/2 rooms apartment for 4 persons).

ENTIRE JOURNEY: 360 km, Driving Time: 5 hours
Milford Sound_New Zealand_3
Day 6 - Map - Milford Sound
RO: ZIUA 7 – Southern Island – On our way to Mount Cook
Sau, cu alte cuvinte, ziua alergaturii de nebuni. Cea mai obositoare zi din Noua Zeelanda, cu peste 600 km parcursi intr-o singura zi 🙂 De la Invercargill am dat o fuga rapida pana in Bluff, in cel mai sudic punct al Noii Zeelande, daca ignoram prezenta insulei Stewart, apoi ne-am indreptat catre Mount Cook. Planul initial era sa ajungem acolo cumva ocolit, trecand pe coasta estica a insulei, prin Dunedin, sa ajungem si pe Purakaunui, sa vedem si farul de la Nugget Point, insa era un plan mult prea nerealist, asa ca a trebuit sa scurtam putin drumul prin centrul tarii. Am trecut prin Mandeville, unde se afla un muzeu al aviatiei (se poate zbura cu avioane vintage), apoi prin orasul caiselor, Roxburgh, unde am incercat cele mai delicioase tarte de la Jimmy’s Pie, Twizel – unde au o crescatorie de somon cu niste sandwichuri delicioase, am ajuns la Peters Lookout de unde se vede o priveliste perfecta cu Mount Cook, apoi ne-am ambitionat sa ajungem inainte de apus pana la satul Aoraki, ca apoi sa urcam pana la punctul de belvedere catre ghetarul Tasman. La finalul zilei ne-am intors la Ahuriri Motels (80 euro/noapte/camera dubla).
TOTAL traseu: 600 km, timp de condus: 7-8 ore.

EN: DAY 7 – Southern Island – On our way to Mount Cook
Or in another words, the day when we ran like blazes. The most tiresome day in New Zealand, with more than 600 km driven in only one day 🙂 From Invercargill we went to Bluff, the southern most point of New Zealand if we ignore the presence of Stewart island, and then we headed to Mount Cook. The initial plan was to get there passing through the eastern coast of the island, through Dunedin, to get to Purakaunui as well, to see the lighthouse from Nugget Point, but that was a completely unrealistic plan, so we had to shorten the trip through the center of the island. We passed through Mandeville, where there is an aviation museum (one can fly with vintage airplanes), then through the city of apricots, Roxburg, where we’ve tried the most delicious tarts at Jimmy’s Pie, Twizel – whee they have a salmon farm with some delicious sandwiches, we went to Peters Lookout where there can be seen a gorgeous view with Mount Cook, and then we wanted to take it even further and reach Aoraki village and then climb to the viewing point at Tasman Glacier. At the end of the day we stayed at Ahuriri Motels (80 euro/night/double room).
ENTIRE JOURNEY: 600 km, Driving Time: 7-8 hours

Tasman Glacier_Mt Cook_New Zealand_1
Day 7 - Map - On our way to Mount Cook
RO: ZIUA 8 – Southern Island – Mount Cook Hooker Valley 
Urmatoarea zi am refacut traseul zilei precendete, cu mers la Twizel pentru mic dejun la crescatoria de somon, oprit la Peters Lookout pentru privelistea cu muntele Cook, apoi am ajuns la Hooker Valley (pe care am parcurs-o doar partial). Am mers apoi la Lake Tekapo, urmand ca la finalul zilei sa ajungem la Christchurch. Am stat cazati la Courtesy Court Motel in Christchurch (60 euro/noapte/camera dubla).
TOTAL traseu: 430 km, timp de condus: 5-6 ore.

EN: DAY 8 – Southern Island – Mount Cook Hooker Valley 
The next day we did the same itinerary as the previous day, going to Twizel for some breakfast at the salmon farm, we stopped at Peters Lookout for the view with Mount Cook, then we reached Hooker Valley (we only made a part of it). Then we went to Lake Tekapo and at the end of the day we reached Christchurch. We stayed at Courtesy Court Motel in Christchurch (60 euro/night/double room).
ENTIRE JOURNEY: 430 km, Driving Time: 5-6 hours

Mueller Lake_Hooker Valley_New Zealand_2
Day 8 - Map - Mount Cook - Hooker Valley
RO: ZIUA 9 & 10 – Northern Island – Whangarei and Matapouri
In cea de-a noua zi am zburat din Christchurch pana in Auckland (am zburat cu Air New Zealand, biletul dus intors a costat aproximativ 100 euro/pers). Din Auckland am pornit catre Orewa, una dintre cele mai renumite statiuni de pe coasta (la doar 30 minute de condus de Auckland), apoi am ajuns in Whangarei, unde am stat cazati la Birchgrove Cottages (57 euro/noapte/camera dubla). Eram deja foarte obositi, asa am lasat pe a doua zi plaja Matapouri si piscinele naturale Mermaid, urmand sa ajungem in Hamilton, unde am stat cazati la Anglesea Motel (110 euro/noapte/apartament 4 persoane). A doua zi am vazut doar plaja si piscinele naturale si ne-am indreptat catre urmatoarea cazare. Planurile initiale includeau si o croaziera cu barca din Russel pana pe insula Motukokako, inclusiv sa mergem pana in nord la Capul Reinga, sa vedem farul si plaja Tapotupotu, apoi la intoarcere plaja Ninety Mile si plaja Piha de langa Auckland (cea din emisiunea Piha Beach Rescue), insa era un plan complet nerealizabil, asa ca am taiat de pe lista partea de nord a insulei.
TOTAL traseu pentru ambele zile: 530 km, timp de condus: 7,5 ore.

EN: DAY 9 & 10 – Northern Island – Whangarei and Matapouri
In the ninth day we flew from Christchurch to Auckland (we have flown with Air New Zealand, return ticket was ~100 euros/pers). From Auckland we headed to Orewa, one of the most renowned places on the coast (just 30 mins driving from Auckland) then we arrived to Whangarei, where we stayed at Birchgrove Cottages (57 euro/night/double room). We were already tired, so we left Matapouri Beach and Mermaid natural pools for the next day, when we finally arrived to Hamilton and stayed at Anglesea Motel (110 euro/night/4 pers apartment). The initial plans also included a boat cruise from Russel to Motukokako island and also to reach the northernmost point at Cape Reinga, to see the lighthouse and Tapotupotu Beach, and upon return the Ninety Mile and Piha beaches (Piha is close to Auckland – the beach from Piha Beach Rescue TV show) – but that was a completely unfeasible plan, so we removed the northern part of the island from the list.
ENTIRE JOURNEY for both days: 530 km, Driving Time: 7,5 hours.

Christchurch_New Zealand_1
Christchurch City Center

Day 9 - Map - Flight Christchurch Auckland

 

Mermaid Pools_New Zealand_10
Mermaid Pools, Matapouri

Day 9&10 - Map - Whangarei and Matapouri
RO: ZIUA 11 – Northern Island – Hobbiton & Maori Village
Urmatoarea zi am vizitat Hobbiton – The Movie Set de langa satul Matamata (a fost nevoie de rezervare online cu cel putin o zi inainte), apoi am ales sa vedem unul dintre satele maore din preajma Rotorua. Am ales Whakarewarewa Maori Village (ni s-a parut cel mai bun pret pentru ce ofereau), iar la final am stat cazati la Accolade Lodge Motel Rotorua (65 euro/noapte/camera dubla).
TOTAL traseu: 140 km, timp de condus: 2 ore.

EN: DAY 11 – Northern Island – Hobbiton & Maori Village
Next day we’ve visited Hobbiton – The Movie Set from Matamata (we had to book online with at least day day in advance), then we wanted to see one of the Maori villages around Rotorua. We have chosen Whakarewarewa Maori Village (it had the best price for what they offered) and in the end we stayed at Accolade Lodge Motel Rotorua (65 euros/night/double room). 
ENTIRE JOURNEY: 140 km, Driving Time: 2 hours

Hobbiton_New Zealand_1
Hobbiton Movie Set

Day 11 - Map - Hobbiton & Maori Vilage
RO: ZIUA 12 – Northern Island – Rotorua & Taupo
Urmatoarea zi am stat in zona orasului Rotorua, am vizitat centrul si padurea Whakarewarewa (cu copacii uriasi Redwoods), apoi am pornit catre lacul Taupo. Am oprit in Taupo la Mc Donald’s-ul construit intr-un avion DC3, apoi la finalul zilei ne-am cazat la Oreti Village Resort (170 euro/noapte/apartament cu 2 camere).
TOTAL traseu: 160 km, timp de condus: 2,5 ore.

EN: DAY 12 – Northern Island – Rotorua & Taupo
Next day we stayed around Rotorua, visited the city center and the Whakarewarewa forest (with those huge Redwoods trees) then we headed to Lake Taupo. We stopped in Taupo to see the famous Mc Donald’s built in an old DC3 airplane, and at the end of the day we stayed at Oreti Village Resort (170 euro/night/2 rooms apartment).

ENTIRE JOURNEY: 160 km, Driving Time: 2,5 hours

Rotorua_New Zealand_2 (2)
Rotorua

Day 12 - Map - Rotorua si Taupo
RO: ZIUA 13 – Northern Island – Tongariro 
Teoretic, era ziua dedicata traversarii faimoase, Tongariro Alpine Crossing 🙂 Insa din cauza unor probleme medicale, noi nu am mai putut merge, doar prietenii nostri au facut o parte din traseu. Dar pentru ca nu puteam ramane cu regretul de a nu vedea Lacurile de Smarald, am optat pentru varianta de a le vedea din avion:) Am luat un zbor de 30 de minute de la Mountain Air si a fost una dintre cele mai frumoase experiente din Noua Zeelanda! Am trecut apoi prin statiunea de ski Whakapapa, apoi ne-am intors spre Taupo cu o scurta oprire la cascada Huka. Seara am condus pana aproape de peninsula Coromandel si am stat cazati la Pedlars Motel (100 euro/noapte/apartament cu 2 camere).
TOTAL traseu: 350 km, timp de condus: 5 ore.

EN: DAY 13 – Northern Island – Tongariro 
Theoretically, this day was dedicated to the famous Tongariro Alpine Crossing 🙂 But due to some medical issue, we couldn’t go anymore but our friends managed to walk a part of the track. But because we couldn’t leave without seeing the Emerald Lakes, we wanted to see them from the airplane 🙂 We took a 30 mins flight from Mountain Air and that was one of the most beautiful experiences in New Zealand! We passed through Whakapapa ski resort, then we headed to Taupo with a short stop at Huka falls. In the evening we drove until we got closer to Coromandel Peninsula and we stayed at Pedlars Motel (100 euros/night/2 rooms apartment). 

ENTIRE JOURNEY: 350 km, Driving Time: 5 hours

Tongariro Flight_15
Airplane at Mountain Air

Day 13 - Map - Tongariro
RO: ZIUA 14 – Northern Island – Waihi Beach and Orokawa Bay 
Aceasta a fost ultima zi de vacanta in Noua Zeelanda pentru prietenii nostri, care urmau sa isi continue vacanta in jurul lumii pentru inca doua saptamani 🙂 Asa ca am dedicat ziua complet relaxarii, si desi planul initial era sa ajungem in peninsula Coromandel, la Cathedral Cove, am ales o plaja mai in apropiere, ca sa ne fie mai usor sa ne intoarcem in Auckland. Am mers pe plaja Waihi iar de acolo am descoperit golful Orokawa, cu o plaja absolut superba si pustie (ne-a luat insa ceva sa ajungem acolo, pentru ca a trebuit sa traversam un munte :D). Spre seara ne-am intors catre Auckland, prietenii nostri au plecat spre Hawaii, iar noi am mai ramas o noapte in Auckland, avand zborul a doua zi dimineata.
TOTAL traseu: 190 km, timp de condus: 2,5 ore.

EN: DAY 14 – Northern Island – Waihi Beach and Orokawa Bay 
This was the last day from this trip to New Zealand for our friends, who continued their vacation around the world for the next two weeks 🙂 So we completely dedicated this last day to relaxation, even though the initial plan was to reach Coromandel Peninsula. at Cathedral Cove. So we have chosen a closer beach, to shorten our driving time back to Auckland. We have chosen Waihi beach and from there we discovered the Orokawa Bay, with an absolutely gorgeous and secluded beach (it took us some time to get there, because we had to cross a mountain :D). In the evening we returned to Auckland, our friends headed to Hawaii and we stayed one more night in Auckland, having the flight at first our in the morning the following day. 
ENTIRE JOURNEY: 190 km, Driving Time: 2,5 hours.

Orokawa Bay_Waihi Beach_New Zealand_3
Orokawa Bay

Day 14 - Map - Waihi and Orokawa Bayjpg
RO: Acesta a fost traseul pe care l-am facut noi in Noua Zeelanda si dupa cum spuneam si in articolul cu sfaturi practice si costuri, nu a fost neaparat cea mai buna sau cea mai eficienta varianta. Pentru ca a fost foarte obositor condusul de la o cazare la cealalta, data viitoare vom lua in calcul varianta unui campervan, ca sa avem mai multa flexibilitate si sa nu mai depindem atat de mult de cazarile luate in avans. Sunt multe locuri superbe care au ramas nevazute, pe ambele insule, insa e timp suficient data viitoare, cand vom sta poate putin mai mult, ne gandim la trei saptamani 🙂

EN: This was the itinerary we have done in New Zealand and as we were saying in the article with useful info and costs, maybe it wasn’t the best or the most efficient option. And we’re saying this because driving from one accommodation to another was quite tiresome, next time we’ll take into consideration to rent a camper van, so that we can have more flexibility and no longer be dependent of the hotels booked in advance. There are so many gorgeous places that are left unseen, on both islands, but there is plenty of time next time, when we’ll probably stay longer – thinking about taking three full weeks 🙂 

 

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