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Karin
Miami Beach

Karin from Miami Beach asked

North or south

2 weeks in NZ.

Shall e drive from Quenstown to Auckland or from Auckland to Queenstown?

New Zealand

5 Answers
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answered by
Justin from Phoenix

So if you skip the north island, you miss the glowworm caves. You miss Tongariro National Park. You miss Rotorua and all the cool stuff near it. I can't recommend that to anyone.

Awhile back, I published a blog post about a suggested 2-week itinerary. It includes some of the lessons I learned about what to do differently.


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  1. Tongariro National Park (attraction)
  2. Rotorua (attraction)
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answered by
Natala from San Francisco

honestly, if this is your first trip to NZ, i'd spend the whole two weeks on the South Island There's just so much to do and you don't want to be zip-zip-zip driving everywhere but have time to camp, explore and go on side adventures. I've spent roughly 6 weeks in NZ over 4 trips. 

Agree that the Tongariro National Park Tongariro park + walk is amazing, plus you can explore Taupo and Rupaeho as are the glow worm caves in Rotorua and the wine near Napier. I haven't been to the Coromandel CoastCoromandel Coast, but I keep hearing it is wonderful... 

But that's a week of travel if you spend time in AKL and end up in Wellington (and Welly is cute!) before even getting to the South Island -- and there's so much to explore there! Queenstown is easily 4-5 days, including Milford Sound maybe add 2 more days. There's Abel Tasman National Park  and Mt Aspiring and Franz Joseph glacier and just all those random beautiful places along the way... 


What time of year are you going? 


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Karin
Hi Natala, Thanks for the great feedback, everything sounds amazing! We're going next month and really need to get on with the planning.
 

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Natala
oh so exciting! i just got from NZ two weeks ago. So wonderful. One other thing I'd highly recommend is leaving flexibility to adjust based on weather and interest. My first trip to NZ had a very rough plan (we landed in Queenstown and needed to get to AKL 2 weeks later)...nothing else as figured out! it was the best trip!
 
 
 

Mentioned in this answer:

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VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. South Island (attraction)
  2. Tongariro National Park (attraction)
  3. Rotorua (city)
  4. Napier (city)
  5. Coromandel Coast (attraction)
  6. Wellington (city)
  7. Queenstown (city)
  8. Milford Sound (city)
  9. Abel Tasman National Park (park)
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answered by
Christie from Hershey

From Auckland to Queenstown willl give you progressively more dramatic scenery. 


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answered first by
Rani from New Zealand

Easier to hire a car from Auckland to Queenstown with more budget options. Try going through Rotorua, Coromandel detour, Tauranga, lake Taupo, Tongariro national park if you have time, wellington City, Ferry across and do Nelson, Wineries in Marlborough, head down the east coast for open plains, farmland, nice beaches and Christchurch OR head down the west coast for wild weather, native forest and untouched small townships where you'll feel excitingly isolated. Then the while bottom part towards queenstown is sensationally beautiful. You can fly to Australia from Queenstown.


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Karin
Super Info, thanks Rani
 
 
 
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answered by
Wolfgang from Greding

I can recommend the South Island . But even for only one island 2 week are really short. I  took 3.5 weeks and didnt saw everything i wanted. 

Also i fear only two weeks could get really stressfull. But south island is really awsome. I recommend november -> spring in NZ 


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  1. South Island (attraction)


   
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