New Zealand

This page outlines the posts related to a trip we took to New Zealand in February/March of 2014.

Trip Overview

The month long road trip started in Auckland. From there we spent 10 days on the North Island visiting the Coromandel Peninsula, the Waitomo Glow Worm Caves and the Rotorua geothermic area, hiking in Tongariro National Park and ending with a short stop in Wellington.

New Zealand North Island

We then spent three weeks on the South Island starting with sea kayaking in Abel Tasman National Park, wine tasting in Marlborough and hanging out in Christchurch. The road trip continued through Arthur’s Pass and down the west coast of the island stopping at Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and Fox Glacier. Next, back over to the East Coast to Dunedin with a two day stopover at Mt Cook. From Dunedin we circled the Otago Region known for its vineyards and orchards, then stopped at Curio Bay in the Catlins before heading to the West Coast and Te Anau, gateway to the Milford and Doubtful Sounds in Fiordland National Park. Queenstown ends the month-long adventure.

New Zealand South Island

North Island

Auckland – The Road Trip Begins
A quick visit to New Zealand’s largest city.
Sleeping and Dining in Auckland

Drive from Auckland to Coromandel Peninsula
Post includes the shortcut on Route 4 across the peninsula and a stop at a kauri grove.
Sights around Tairua, Coromandel Peninsula
Post includes a day hike along the Linch Stream Trail and a visit to Hot Water Beach.
Sleeping and Dining in Tairua, Coromandel Peninsula

Staying the Night in Waitomo Village
This small village near the entrance of the glowworm cave system is worth the overnight stop before or after your cave adventure.
Black Abyss Tour, Waitomo Glowworm Caves
This action-packed tour includes an abseil down to the bottom of the cave, a zip line in total darkness, a float along the dark waters of the cave lit by the glow worms and a climb through the rocky tunnels back to the surface.

Deciding What to See in Rotorua
This active geothermic region has tons of sights. Which ones are most worth your time?
Regent of Rotorua Boutique Hotel – Review

Tongariro Circuit Trek
The start of a 3 day/ 2 night trek through the desolate landscape punched with bright emerald lakes, volcanic cones and formations.
Tongariro Circuit Trek, Day 2 – Oturere to Waihohonu Hut
Tongariro Circuit Trek, Day 3  – Waihohonu Hut to Whakapapa Village
Chateau Tongariro Hotel
A great place to chill before or after your trek.

Stop Over in Wellington
A quick stop in New Zealand’s capital before heading to the South Island.
Sleeping and Dining in Wellington

South Island

Ferry Crossing from Wellington to Picton
Three and half hour ferry crossing on a gorgeous summer day.
Kaiteriteri – Gateway to Abel Tasman Natl Park
This tiny town makes a great home base for exploring one of the South Island’s most popular national parks.
Kayaking Abel Tasman Natl Park with Wilsons
Description of a one day sea kayaking trip along this amazing coastline to Tonga Island.

Wine Tasting in Marlborough
Marlborough, full of rustic charm, is known worldwide for its aromatic, crisp sauvignon blanc.
Sleeping and Dining in Marlborough

Drive from Marlborough to Christchurch
Photos from the South Island’s rocking northeastern shoreline.
Christchurch 3 Year After the Earthquake
Photo journal of this city’s lingering devastation and budding new construction.
The Greener Side of Christchurch
Post includes visits to the Botanical Garden and the Ellerslie International Flower Show.
Sleeping and Dining in Christchurch

Drive from Christchurch to the West Coast via Arthur’s Pass
Post includes a visit to Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and Blowholes on the island’s west coast.
Sleeping and Dining in Hokitika
A pleasant West Coast stopover.
Driving NZ’s West Coast – Hokitika to Haast
Post includes visits to Fox Glacier and Lake Matheson.
Stopover in Haast, NZ
A pleasant stopover at the end of Route 6.

Drive from Haast to Mt Cook
Turbulent weather makes for amazing photos of the drive to the country’s highest peak.
Mt Cook – Hiking the Hooker Valley Trail
Did this hike twice hoping for better weather, still the scenery is stunning.
Sleeping and Dining in Mt Cook Village

Drive from Mt Cook to Dunedin via Moeraki Beach
More turbulent weather photos plus a visit to Moeraki Beach back on the east coast.
Drive through Central Otago
More bad weather in Dunedin pushed us inland for a long loop drive through this wine region know for its pinot noir.
Sleeping and Dining in Dunedin
Exploring the Otago Peninsula
A quick morning walk along the delightful Sand Fly Bay.
Stocking-up in Dunedin
A great place to by groceries and other back country needs.

Drive from Dunedin to the Catlins
More sheep, rolling green hills and even a waterfall.
Curio Bay – Catlins Coast
A petrified forest and an uppity penguin add to a charming stay on the south coast.

Scenic Route 99 – Curio Bay to Te Anua
This route may not be as scenic as the local tourist brochure would have you believe.
Doubtful Sound with Real Journeys
Day trip to one of Fiordland National Park’s most spectacular wonders.
Sleeping and Dining in Te Anau
A great base for exploring the sounds and trails of Fiordland National Park.

Start of the Milford Track
The start of a 4 day/3 night trek along one of New Zealand’s most popular great walks.
Milford Track – Afternoon Visit to Mackinnon Pass
Mackinnon Pass, the high point of the Mildford Track, is not to be missed.
Milford Track – Mackinnon Pass Take II
Mackinnon Pass completely fogged in the following morning.
Milford Track – The Hike Out
The trek ends with a picturesque walk to Sand Fly Point followed by a boat trip back to Milford Sound.

Chilling in Queenstown
Our last day in New Zealand just enjoying the sun, scenery and maybe some good Malaysian street food.

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