Tips for planning your own trip to New Zealand

In case you’d be interested in going in New Zealand, inspired by Lord of the Rings, by your love for nature, by my blog, or whatever, here are some indications on budget and sites…

1° What budget should be forecast : What have been our expenses ?

NZ hotels

Most of the time, we slept in 4-bed dorms. As this is not the high season anymore, those dorms were barely full. So non only we could book at the last minute, but moreover we were having more space in the dorms.
In addition, most of hotels and hostels provide kitchen facilities, reducing the food budget to minimum.

NZ transportation

 

Within three weeks, we’ve ride around 3000 km. On the North Island, we rent a car, whereas we booked a bus pass in the South Island. In retrospect, renting a car isn’t worth it. A car far more expensive (the smallest car costs 540 euros for a week) and offer a flexibility you will also have with the intercity buses. Indeed, their schedule is super well thought for travelers, passing by every single important place at the right time.
Starting North and finishing south, we had to take a flight to go back to Auckland, from where our international flights will leave – Alex to Paris, me to Kuala Lumpur.

2° What can you do within 3 weeks : What has been our itinerary ?

NewZealand roadmap north

NewZealand roadmap south

3° Is everything worth traveling : our ranking

Well, after some discussion with Alex, here comes the ranking of our favorite places

Places that MUST be seen once in a life time
1° The Geysers South Rotorua, and especially the Wai-O-Tapu National Park
2° A walk around the Rotorua Lake, just before sunset, to watch the birds
3° The wonderland Hobbiton village, the film set
Abel Tasman National Park
5° Crossing the South Alps by train or bus
6° The amazing fjords of Doubtful Sounds

Places that are nice, should you have enough time
7° Queenstwon, for all the sports you can do around: kayak, frisbee, parasailing…
8° Christchurch, witness of an earthquake
9° The Marlborough Sounds, should you not have time to see the Southern ones
10° The Tongarino volcano

Places that can definitely be SKIPPED
Wellington, that as nothing but a nice museum
Napier, unless you’ve never seen Art Deco architecture in Europe
Franz Joseph glacier, unless you’ve never seen the European Alps
Auckland, unless you’ve never been in a city before

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