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From Christchurch to Queenstown Itinerary - Aoraki Mount cook National Park, New Zealand

10-Day New Zealand South Island Itinerary for an Awesome Road Trip

New Zealand is one of the best countries to experience an unforgettable road trip. It offers breathtaking landscapes, dynamic Maori culture, amazing national parks and mesmerising lakes. Here is a New Zealand South Island itinerary for 10 days including important things that you can’t miss in New Zealand on your road trip. Don’t forget to check Important Things to Know Before Travelling to New Zealand.

10-Day New Zealand South Island Itinerary for an Awesome Road Trip
10-Day New Zealand South Island Itinerary for an Awesome Road Trip

From Christchurch to Queenstown Itinerary

The best way to explore New Zealand south island’s attractions is to start your road trip from Christchurch. You can hire a campervan and sleep under the open sky or drive between locations with the possibility to book accommodation for an overnight. Furthermore you can also plan an easy and flexible bus tour with Kiwi Experience. Either way you will be able to visit the best places of the South Island and to have the best time in New Zealand.

From Christchurch to Queenstown Itinerary
From Christchurch to Queenstown Itinerary

The official name of the South Island is Te Waipounamu, which is Maori for “the greenstone waters”. It has been also nicknamed the “mainland” because it’s 32% bigger than the North Island. Nevertheless only 23% of the whole New Zealand population are inhabitants of this area. It’s also the South West New Zealand World Heritage site, which is internationally recognised by UNESCO World Heritage.

Lake Tekapo, New Zealand South Island highlights
Lake Tekapo, New Zealand South Island highlights

Best Season to visit New Zealand South Island

The seasons in New Zealand are the opposite to the well-known seasons in the Northern Hemisphere but the same to Australia. New Zealand’s climate is variable and it can happen to you that you will experience all 4 seasons in one day. I would suggest to visit South Island during the Spring (September to November) or Summer (December to February). Summer time is much busier with tourists though.

New Zealand South Island Highlights

Christchurch, 10-Day New Zealand South Island Itinerary
Christchurch, 10-Day New Zealand South Island Itinerary

Day 1: Spend a Day in Christchurch

Christchurch is the largest city on the South Island of New Zealand. It has nearly 400.000 Kiwis. It also has a compact size so you can see the attractions in a single day.

  1. You can explore the city in the historical, well- restored Christchurch tramway.
  2. See the Cardboard Cathedral that was build from cardboard tubes after the earthquakes in 2011.
  3. See the “185 Empty White Chairs” memorial to the quake victims
  4. Visit free Canerbury Museum with interesting galleries dedicated to Maori culture and natural history.
  5. Must visit in Christchurch is the Botanic Garden that is right behind the Museum.
  6. Enjoy the view of Christchurch from the Gondola cable car

Where to eat in Christchurch

  1. If you are searching for something extraordinary then definitely visit King of Snake. The whole restaurant resembles a movie set and not just a fine-dining restaurant.
  2. There are more and more people who are turning to vegetarianism and more aware of planet Earth. These ones should doubtlessly visit the Lotus-Heart. Here you will taste locally and organically sourced dishes.
  3. If you are searching for a cheap treat, visit No Meat Burger at Lower 9th Diner, 89 Lichfield St, Christchurch Central. Here you can taste various burgers for the price of $10 and under.

Day 2: Arthur’s Pass National Park

Arthur's Pass, New Zealand
Arthur’s Pass, New Zealand

Just a two hours drive away from Christchurch you can reach magnificent Arthur’s Pass National Park with it’s highest pass across the Southern Alps. It’s another spectacular thing not to miss in New Zealand. Arthur’s Pass National Park is famous for having a landscape of two halves.

Arthurs Pass Best Tracks

There are different walking tracks but I would suggest you to take “The Arthur’s Pass Walking Track”. Within 3 hours you will observe stunning views, diverse alpine vegetation, waterfalls and beautiful birds.

Where to stay

There are various accommodations and hostels in Arthurs Village but I would suggest to book a room on Airbnb especially if you are travelling in a group. There are many amazing houses for a low price.

Day 3: Franz Josef Glacier & Fox Glacier (3h drive)

Things to do in South Island: Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand
Things to do in South Island: Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand

More great New Zealand South Island activities are helicopter ride or a guided ice walk to the famous rivers of ice, Franz Joseph Glacier and Fox Glacier. Both are jaw-droppingly beautiful and also part of the spectacular World Heritage Area. You will be able to see amazing rainforests, waterfalls and lakes. It’s also a great place to do a skydive and experience the view from a slightly different perspective.

If you don’t want to book any tours to the glaciers but drive to the location then it’s possible to visit both areas in one day. Otherwise Franz Joseph Glacier tour is much more popular and offers designated tracks for all levels of experienced hikers. Nevertheless it’s steeper than Fox Glacier and groups tend to be bigger. Both glaciers are breathtakingly stunning and offer amazing natural attractions. It just depends if you prefer the secure guided walk tour or the more adventurous and off the beaten path experience.

Day 4: Twizel & Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park

New Zealand South Island Attractions: Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park, New Zealand
New Zealand South Island Attractions: Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park, New Zealand

Aoraki / Mount Cook National Park is New Zealand South Island must do because it’s the highest Mountain in NZ which lies within a beautiful park. Aoraki is a UNESCO World Heritage and means “Cloud Piercer”. There are plenty of adventurous and interesting things to do. You can stay over night in Twizel.

What to do at Aoraki / Mount Cook

  1. Hooker Valley Track – For those who are beginners in hiking it’s an amazing opportunity to enjoy an easy but scenic route. The track is flat and ends up at the mesmerising Hooker Lake.
  2. Blue Lakes and Tasman Glacier – Also amazing and easy tracks,
  3. Lake Pukaki – quiet lake that is known for it’s Lupin flowers blooming during the spring time.
  4. Lake Tekapo – famous Alpine lake in New Zealand which is very famous among tourists. It’s surrounded by various cafes and restaurants.
  5. Church of Good Shepherd at Lake Tekapo – it’s a landmark of Lake Tekapo

Day 5: Wanaka

Things not to miss in New Zealand: Lake Wanaka, New Zealand
Things not to miss in New Zealand: Lake Wanaka, New Zealand

Wanaka is a small city located on New Zealand’s South Island which is surrounded by various great highlights that you can’t miss on your road trip. It’s a great place to locate yourself for a night and to explore nearby attractions.

What to do in Wanaka

  1. Lake Wanaka – You will find the lake right in the town and it’s New Zealand’s fourth largest lake which is more than 300m deep.
  2. Roys Peak – it’s a mountain in New Zealand that is just 6km away from Wanaka. The Instagram-famous track starts at the Roys Peak Track car park on the Mount Aspiring Road. It will take around 5-6 hours finishing the hike with breathtaking views over Lake Wanaka and Mount Aspiring.
  3. Rob Roy Glacier Track at Mount Aspiring – Is another most-loved half-day track which is one hour away from Wanaka. It’s also a very beautiful and easy hike.
  4. Mount Iron Walk – it’s one of the most popular short walks in Wanaka that offers a beautiful panoramic view.

Day 6-7: Queenstown

Queenstown, New Zealand
Queenstown, New Zealand

If you are searching for the best places to visit on the South Island of New Zealand then Queenstown should be on your bucket list. It’s a vibrant and scenic town that has various activities for every taste. If you’r up to experience some adrenalin rush then you can go for bungy-jumping, canyon swinging or wild-water rafting.

What to do in Queenstown

  1. Hiking to the summit of Ben Lomond – it’s a one day hike over the attractive mountain Ben Lomond with a hight of 1748metres. There are two options to reach the peak: Take the scenic ride on the Skyline Gondola or you can hike from Queenstown. There are 3 places to start the hike: from the end of Thompson Street, from the One Mile Power House on the road to Fernhill or from a track that begins near the gondola terminal.
  2. Glenorchy – it’s a little but spectacular town which is just a 45-minute drive away from Queenstown. It’s surrounded by snow-capped mountains, crystal clear lakes and national parks. It’s famous for it’s multi-day hikes including the Routeburn Track, one of New Zealand’s Great Walks.
  3. Bobs Cove – a mere 15-minute drive away from Queenstown, the short walk track through native bush offers a stunning cove with a view over the turquoise Lake Wakatipu.
  4. Where to eat in Queenstown – Try popular burgers at Fergburger, delicious pizza at Winnies and pasta at The Cow.

Day 8-10: Fiordland National Park & Milford Sound

Milford Sound, New Zealand
Milford Sound, New Zealand

Fiordland National Park is a 2-hour drive away from Queenstown and it’s one of the most famous sights of New Zealand. It’s also part of Te Wahipounamu and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. You will experience breathtaking scenery over a vast landscape, unique wildlife, marvellous marine scenes and a world-famous Great Walk. The most convenient way to explore the best of Fiordland National Park is to stay in Te Anau.

What to do at Fiordland National Park

  1. Lake Marian Hike – the duration of this awesome hike is around 3-4 hours. The track is very beautiful but it can get rocky and muddy especially if there has been recent rain. During your hike you will see Like Marian surrounded by snow covered mountains.
  2. Gertrude Saddle – if you like challenging hiking routes and you are an experienced one you can try to conquer the Gertrude Saddle. In the end you will be rewarded with an overlook of Milford Sound from the top of the saddle. This hike will take around 4-6 hours.
  3. Key Summit – it’s another popular hiking track that will take you only 3 hours.
  4. Milford Sound Cruise – it’s a different way to experience the fiord in it’s glory from the water.
  5. Kayak Milford Sound – it’s a cool and adventurous way to see the beauty of the area by kayaking. You can also come closer to the waterfalls.
  6. Visit Te Anau Glowworm Caves  – that’s a great way to experience a mysterious underground world with the luminous light of numerous glowworms. Definitely an unforgettable experience.
  7. The Chasm Walk – it’s a short but impressive walk with powerful waterfalls.


Best Places to visit in North Island, New Zealand in 7 Days

7 days Itinerary for the North Island, New Zealand

It happens very often that travellers don’t have much time to see the best of New Zealand that’s why here is my suggestion of New Zealand North Island itinerary for 7 days. It is a bit of a rush but still enough time to experience New Zealand’s North Island highlights.

7 days Itinerary for the North Island, New Zealand
7 days Itinerary for the North Island, New Zealand

This New Zealand North Island travel guide is perfect for the New Zealand self drive tours or exploring the country by bus. In both ways it’s a very easy and exciting route. I will start from Auckland and finish in Wellington, nevertheless you can also follow the New Zealand 7 days itinerary backwards. It covers the best of north island New Zealand to make your road trip memorable.

Best Places to visit in North Island, New Zealand in 7 Days

Day 1: Auckland

Auckland is the most populated city in New Zealand. It’s for it’s Westhaven Marina, busy CBD occupied by tall skyscrapers and surroundings filled with magnificent landscapes. It’s a nice smooth introduction to the Kiwi culture before you start your New Zealand North Island trip through the land of Tolkien’s mystical creatures. You can visit Auckland Art Gallery or experience bungee jump off the Auckland Harbour Bridge or jump off the Auckland Sky Tower. I would suggest you to explore Auckland’s surroundings, they have a lot to offer. Check my Top 5 things to see in Auckland.

New Zealand, Auckland
New Zealand, Auckland

Auckland offers plenty of car rental companies to choose from. I would suggest Snap Rentals. It’s backpacker-friendly, accepts 18+ drivers with insurance costs being the same for drivers of any age. No extra charge for multiple drivers. Pick up locations in Auckland are Auckland City Centre (Hopetoun Street) and Auckland Airport. And Drop-off Locations: Auckland, Queenstown, Queenstown Airport and Christchurch Airport.

Day 2-3: Tauranga & Mount Maunganui

If you are enjoying a self drive tour in New Zealand then it will take you 2:30h to get to Tauranga from Auckland. Tauranga is one of the most populous cities in the Bay of Plenty region North Island of New Zealand. It’s surrounded by a beautiful coastline where you can go sailing, fishing or dolphin and orca watching. You can stroll through the harbour, enjoy the view and taste something delicious in one of the cafés.

Mt. Maunganui, Tauranga, New Zealand
Mt. Maunganui, Tauranga, New Zealand

But don’t stay too long in Tauranga. Just a 15 minutes drive away from Tauranga you will find the amazing beach town, Mount Maunganui. It has been named as the “Best beach in New Zealand”. There are plenty of beautiful walking tracks to the top of the extinct volcano Mauao, which rises 232 metres above the sea and offers amazing 360 degree view. There is also Gourmet Night Market with a wide range of fresh food from local farmers.

Day 4: The geothermal city of Rotorua

Rotorua is another geothermal treasure of New Zealand’s North Island. It’s located just one hour drive away from Tuaranga and offers various attractions. A special feature of this town due to the sulphur in the air is the incredibly strong smell of eggs that makes the journey unbearable and can be handled for only 2 days. 

Redwoods, Rotorua, New Zealand
Redwoods, Rotorua, New Zealand

35% of Rotorua’s population is Maori and the reason for that goes back to the time when the tribes just arrived in New Zealand. Shortly after they discovered lake Rotorua and it’s geothermal surroundings. They immediately saw the benefits, providing hot water and fertile soil. They also gave a spiritual meaning to the region. Nowadays there are numerous villages that you can visit and experience a journey back in time.

Where to stay in Rotorua?

Just for 1 night I would suggest to stay at Base Hostel. The positive aspects were the close proximity to the city and the free parking space for the driving backpackers. Wi-fi was available at the reception but only until 9pm, otherwise you need to pay $6 for 24h.

Things to do and attractions in Rotorua

Geothermal reserve walk in Hell’s Gate

The best way to start your day getting to know the sulphur-rich area is with visiting one of the 5 geothermal parks. We decided to experience the unique Maori owned active geothermal area with mud bath spa, Hell’s Gate. It’s a mesmerising field with erupting waters, pools of boiling mud and a volcano with the largest hot waterfall in the Southern Hemisphere. Every hot pool has a different temperature, for example the steaming cliffs pool is the hottest one and reaches 122C.

There is a separate charming area where you can relax and enjoy the landscaped view. I need to warn you though, your skin will have an egg odor for a few days. Addendum, you will need around 2h to visit this unique place.

Wine tasting at Volcanic Hill and skyline

New Zealand is famous for it’s rich variety of great wine. Every region produces it’s own liquid pride, as does Rotorua. Nevertheless there are only two amazing winemakers, who are creating divine wine together, Sean Beer and Brent Park. They gathered experience from all over the world and decided to produce high quality wine, poetically named Volcanic Hills. Their winery is small and they sell directly to costumers which makes their wine even more exclusive.

To explore the savoriness of Volcanic Hills’ wine you can have a ride on the breathtaking Skyline and visit the tasting room. The memorable ride on the Gondola will leave you in excited anticipation to see the top of the Skyline. The tasting room will spoil you with samples of wines from New Zealand’s best wine regions. While you are being a professional and decadent wine taster you can also enjoy the 180° panoramic views over Lake Rotorua. There are 5 different varieties of wine to try and each one has it’s own explosive flavours.

Night tour in Rotorua

This is one of the must tours in Rotorua! It’s something completely different because you will experience the nature of New Zealand by night. Everything that seems to be so normal by day comes to life by night. The shiny eyes of a cute opossum looking at you from behind a tree, curious wallabies and thousands of glowworms covering the walls of the forest like stars in the sky.

All this we witnessed with our great tour guide Stephen, who picked us up from the hostel. He told us about Rotorua’s history and forestlands, to which we were driving. When we reached the secret location, we were provided with torches and safety vests and we started our journey through the dark and mysterious woods. On the way Stephen was telling us about the fauna and flora, pointing out the most important plants. The wow effect were the glowworms adjacent the waterfall by night. It’s very hard to describe the beauty of the nature that we saw, you just need to experience it by yourself.

After the walk through the Native Forest we headed to a river where we could sit down, have a nice chat and enjoy hot chocolate with biscuits. Stephen’s wife is from South America and she makes really great hot chocolate, of which you can’t get enough!

Day 5: Hobbiton & Taupo

Hobbiton the movie set tour

Visiting New Zealand and not going to Peter Jackson’s famous movie set, where the adventure of the little hobbit Frodo began, is a sin! All tourists know it, that’s why 30% of Hobbiton‘s visitors haven’t even seen the movies and still were willing to pay $114. We’ve been told that the best time to experience hobbiton is in the morning, before the set is full with excited fans. Take the first bus from Rotorua to Hobbiton. The movie set is not the original one, it was rebuilt after the Lord of the Rings trilogy concluded. Because after the movies came out, many people came to the farm where it was filmed. So being a businessman, Peter Jackson decided to cooperate with the farmers again and open the attraction park for their faithful groupies.

Hobbiton Movie Set, Matamata, New Zealand
Hobbiton Movie Set, Matamata, New Zealand

The 2 hours guided tour will definitely leave you with an infinite amount of pictures and a happy smile on your face. Hobbiton is indeed an amazing place with incredible scenery that looks so genuine that you would like to choose one of the gardened houses and stay there forever. People who are working here are taking care of every element of the village, even the evergreen lawn grass is perfect! After a fun tour you will be invited for an ale or cider at the Green Dragon.

Must See Orakei Karako

You can only reach the geothermal treasure of nature Orakei Karako by car. It is a 45 minutes drive from Rotorua. It’s a volcanic colorful world of geysers, hot springs, mud pools and silica terraces. To get to the untouched geothermal paradise you need to take a ferry which will bring you to the other side of the lake. Don’t worry, it’s all included in the acceptable price of $36.

On your 1h self-guided tour you will discover 23 active natural geysers, numerous bubbling hot springs and the Ruatapu Cave. This impressive natural cave has a jade-green pool, which is thought to have been used as a mirror by Maori women for ritual preparations. It’s also one of the picturesque geothermal areas that doesn’t have so many visitors because of it’s hidden position. This means you won’t feel crowded when you enjoy the native bushwalk.

The lakeside town of Taupo in the middle of New Zealand’s North Island is one of the most beautiful and tranquil places to visit on your New Zealand North Island 7 days itinerary. The lake is actually an active rhyolitic volcano, which has produced two of the world’s most violent eruptions in recent geological history. The marvelous lake with the crystal clear water is also the largest lake in New Zealand.

Where to stay in Taupo?

We were staying in the centrally located Base Hostel. Base hostel is relatively new, rooms are very modern and the walls are still white. In the kitchen area guests are provided with all possible equipment and even a spacious deck, where you can enjoy your breakfast under the hot sun. The hostel would be ideal if not only for one essential thing: sleep. It’s located just above the Element Bar, which is part of the hostel.

Things to do in the evening in Taupo

Maori Rock Carvings Lake Taupo, New Zealand
Maori Rock Carvings Lake Taupo, New Zealand

Get to know Taupo with the famous boat cruise to the Maori Rock Carvings. The 14-metres artwork above the deep water was completed in 1980 by the team of four artists and is only accessible by boat. Join the evening trip at 4:30 with Ernest Kemp Cruise. Every guest gets spoiled with a cozy vibe, heaps of wine & beer, pizza and even some delicious treats by the end of the almost 3h long trip.

Day 6: Taupo & Wellington

Free Walks in Taupo

The morning is an ideal time to go to see the Huka Falls. Just follow the path next to the river in the opposite direction from the town. It’s one of the best free walks in New Zealand that will lead you to the natural hot springs first. After 30 minutes of walking you can soak into the hot bubbling water in Otumuheke Stream at Taupo’s Spa Park. Just don’t forget to grab a towel, swimwear, a pick-nick basket and 1-2 or even more friends. It’s better to arrive at this place in the morning, because the hot pools are famous but very tiny, so many locals and tourists want to enjoy them too.

The famous Huka Falls, one of the Taupo’s highlights are another 45 minutes away from the natural hot springs. On a sunny day the water on the lakeside walk is crystal clear blue and very inviting. Huka Falls doesn’t look like the waterfalls that we all know, the 220,000 liters of water per second flow horizontally.

Bungy Jumping & Tandem Swing in Taupo

You an also start your day in a thrilling way and get picked up by the Taupo Bungy Team. You can dip your head into the mesmerizing Waikato River from 47 meters high with Taupo Bungy. Definitely try the Tandem Swing. I believe that Bungy is more of a test on how courageous you are and the swing is more about enjoying the butterflies in your stomach and the picturesque view!

Where to eat in Taupo

For the fine eaters I would suggest Plateau. The dishes are masterpieces on the plate which taste divine. The staff is very friendly and polite. The prices are also acceptable.


On the way to Wellington

The drive time from Taupo to your the final destination Wellington is 5 hours. However there are some nice stops on the way. You can have a break at Ohakune for it’s walking and biking trails. Another option is to visit the National Army Museum in Waiouru. My suggestion would be to drive to Kapiti Coast and take a tour to Kapiti Island.

Day 7: Wellington

Cable Car in Wellington, New Zealand
Cable Car in Wellington, New Zealand

Wellington is the capital of New Zealand. It has been named the world’s “Coolest Little Capital”. The cosmopolitan is famous for it’s amazing coffee culture and great culinary scene. Definitely check The Ultimate List of the Best Free Things to do in Wellington NZ. 

One day would not be enough to see the best of it but here are some suggestions. No doubt you should drive or walk to Mount Victoria and enjoy the panoramic view of the city. Start your walk from the Oriental Bay and stroll on the waterfront, taking time to visit Te Papa museum. Try the best Fish & Chips at The Chippery or check some more of my restaurant and cafe suggestions here. You can also take part in a Weta Workshop tour. The Weta Studios are the best special effects studios in the world.

Get your hike on: The best walks New Zealand has to offer

New Zealand is inarguably one of the most beautiful countries in the world. With so much culture and natural beauty to be discovered on this island, it’s no wonder so many travellers flock in their masses to find it. And, if you’re a rather active traveller, rest assured there’s plenty of places for you here, too.

Of course, if you are planning an ‘adventurous’ holiday for yourself and the family, or whether you’re travelling solo, it’s important to keep yourself well protected. This check list ensures you’re covered for an emergency. Staggeringly, 28% of travellers don’t cover themselves with adequate insurance either, so make sure you’re not the one caught out.

Here are just some of the best hiking opportunities New Zealand has to offer.

Milford Sound

For what is perhaps New Zealand’s most beautiful spot of all, head to Milford Sound. Although often seen upon a cruise, this fjord is better off explored on foot – disembark in this natural wonderland and discover one of the most incredible sights on Earth.

With limestone cliffs protruding majestically from the emerald waters and dense forestry upon them, the hiking potential here is almost unparalleled. Some parts of Milford Sound are admittedly more challenging, but the perks are more than worth it – with stretching panoramas boasting waterfalls, wildlife and sprawling views, there’s a reason why this part of New Zealand is so popular.

Rotorua

 

The smoky Rotorua, New Zealand

Head to Rotorua if you want to discover a prevalence of culture whilst you explore. It’s a town renowned for the prominent Maori culture, boasting the highest Maori population of any town in the entire country. Be sure to try a traditional hangi (feast), as recommended by Audley, during your time here.

But if you’re focused on the hike, rest assured it’s one of the best places for it. The Thermal Plateau has some of the most wondrous geothermal features in the country, with everything from cave formations to dense forests, with mud pools and gushing geysers in between. This will prove to a be a hike unlike any other.

Mount Tongariro

If you’re up for the challenge of hiking upon a volcano, head to Tongariro National Park. There’s countless routes here to discover, depending on just how long a hike you’re looking for – shorter hikes such as the track towards the Taranaki Falls or the Ohinetonga Lagoon circuit are best suited to the less-experienced explorer.

However, you could potentially spend up to eight hours here exploring the sprawling park. The Tama Lakes boast a track that could take just that long if you take your time, taking you through a vast majority of Tongariro. And then there’s the volcano itself – it isn’t an easy climb, but if you’re up for the challenge it’s all yours.

Abel Tasman National Park

Abel Tasman National Park in New Zealand

Another of New Zealand’s national parks, Abel Tasman is very different from Tongariro. Instead of hilly treks and a volcano to boot, you’ll find some lush forestry that gives way to beautiful, glistening beaches. Hike to the top of Abel Tasman’s hills for stretching views out towards the horizon, the sun-soaked surroundings perhaps the closest thing to paradise in the country.

This is the perfect destination for a first-time hiker, especially because the terrain isn’t as challenging as some other entries on this list. And, as an added bonus, you’ll discover some of New Zealand’s natural beauty as a result.

Art Deco Walk, Napier

If a hike isn’t really your thing and you simply want a casual stroll, consider Napier’s Art Deco Walk. This city is full to the brim with incredible Art Deco architecture, with some prominent historical value accompanying it – it’s indisputably New Zealand’s most stunning city of all.

The level of maintenance and upkeep that has so evidently gone into the city’s appearance makes for a fascinating trip, and as you walk upon the streets gawking at the many beautiful buildings before you, make sure you take the time to appreciate the history and how Napier came to be how it is today. Here you will find more interesting places that you definitely need to visit in New Zealand!

5 ways to see New Zealand from a different perspective

There’s a reason why New Zealand has quickly become a hotspot for travellers from across the world – it’s one of the most beautiful countries out there. With that being said, stray from the norm and consider the lesser-frequented destinations New Zealand has to offer.

Here are just five ways to see the country from a different perspective. But before you plan your journey here is the list of important things that you definitely need to take with you!

Cruise through the fjords

Despite their popularity, Milford and Doubtful Sound are two of New Zealand’s best natural sights. The majesty of these fjords is undeniable; lush greenery, cascading waterfalls and calm waters make for one of the most naturally stunning settings in the entirety of the world, let alone the country.

Cruises are popular in the area, but you can also disembark if you wish to explore the fjords on foot. Milford Sound is undoubtedly the more popular of the two, so consider escaping to Doubtful Sound instead – it’s equally as beautiful, but with hardly any crowds around to detract from the experience.

A traditional road trip

Why not traverse New Zealand on the road? There are countless routes to be discovered on both the North and South Island – why not hire out a campervan and make your journey your own? Tongariro National Park is a popular choice for many travellers looking to discover a feat of nature – it’s here that you’ll discover a world of geothermic wonder.

Or, you could consider the Bay of Islands Loop – this way, you’ll be discovering the best of the natural beauty of the North Island whilst also seeing Auckland, the iconic city with attractions and sights such as the famed Sky Tower and Viaduct Harbour.

Experience authentic culture in Rotorua

Rotorua

Head to Rotorua if you want to discover the most prominent instances of Maori culture on offer. After all, this town situated on New Zealand’s North Island is home to the highest Maori population in the country – nearly 40% of Rotorua’s residents are Maori.

With geothermal activity abound and the Maori people practicing manaakitangathat is, the art of the host giving the best of themselves, their time and their history – you’ll be in for an authentic and exciting experience when visiting Rotorua. Consider attending a Mitai Maori Night, with food and entertainment courtesy of the Maori people.

Escape to Lake Tekapo

Lake Tekapo is one of those places that goes under the radar for many travellers, despite its many reasons for being a hotspot. There’s a mountain to hike – Mount John should be scalable by anyone – hot pools to bathe in, and even one of the world’s largest dark sky reserves which allows for some beautiful views of the night sky.

It’s also the perfect destination for the active traveller, with hikes unparalleled by anywhere else in the country throughout Lake Tekapo. And the lake itself is a sight you can’t miss, a glistening pool that’s best seen at winter – this way you can immerse yourself in some of the adjacent hot pools.

Lose yourself upon Great Barrier Island

If you’re looking to get off the grid and find somewhere often unvisited by many travellers, Great Barrier Island is the place to go. In fact, this island is so isolated that it goes without any supply of electricity – instead, the residents rely on solar and wind power.

With such a lack of development comes an authentic natural experience, and you’re left with just you and your surroundings – there aren’t even any supermarkets here. People say once you visit you’ll be overcome by a sense of peace and belonging – be prepared to stay a little longer than you had prepared for.

Here are also tips where to go if you visit the North or the South Island of New Zealand.

Great products of New Zealand

How about getting to know great products of New Zealand?

Start your day right!

Sounds simple but we all know the way you start the morning can affect your whole day. If you learn how to start your day right it will significantly increase your chances of having a satisfying, productive day! I know it’s hard enough to wake up in the early and dark morning but try to start your day with a boost of energy from a refreshing shower. When life gives you lemons you make handcrafted scrub out of it: Aio Sugar Scrub Lemon. This magic mixture of coconut, olive, almond and rosehip oils that I found on cherrusnz.com will boost your circulation in the morning, get your blood flowing and wakes you up quicker.

You don’t want to carry sleep on your face the whole day so definitely use Astral Collective Zen Activated Sponge. I love that cheeky little sponge because it contains only two ingredients: activated charcoal and konnyaku potato fibre but gives my skin a clean and healthy feeling in just 1 minute! Another deep cleanse alternative is Astral Collective Detox Face Mask although I’m impatient and prefer to use that one in the evening so I can lay down and wait until it’s dry. Nevertheless 1 spoon of this powder mixed with a bit of water works miracles! Oh yeah and the packaging is tiny and cute!

Moisturising your skin is an important part of every bath ritual especially during the cold days. Worth to mention that showers shouldn’t be hot either: The more heat, the more moisture is drawn from your skin. It’s hard to find good face creams, prices and brands don’t mean good quality nowadays. I doubtlessly recommend natural-derived Oxygen Refreshing Moisturiser and Tribeca Glow , it just depends whether you prefer oil or cream.

After your beautiful morning routine leave your house with the perfect smile! I’ve tried the new natural and cruelty-free Zoo Natural Teeth Whitener to whiten and polish teeth. I really liked the result. I need to inform you though, it won’t work immediately but if you use it every day you will notice the difference! It’s a bit of a messy procedure but will definitely give you that million dollar smile!

A smoothie a day keeps the doctor away!

During the winter, it’s especially important to get your daily dose of fruits and veggies to help maintain a strong immune system to battle all the colds and flu’s going around. Blended smoothies are an efficient way to pack a ton of nutrition into glass. Nevertheless we don’t always have time to search for various recipes and buy fresh products in our busy lifestyle. Blend it Raw makes it very easy to be healthy and save some shopping time with their idea to deliver chilltainers filled with ingredients for 10 portioned servings direct to your home. They offer free shipping, everything that they send is recyclable and there are 3 new recipes every week! With the exact amount of products you won’t experience any waste. The amazing aspect about Blend it Raw – recipes is that they describe why the ingredients of each smoothie are important for you. Additionally it’s easy to follow them: Just throw the mentioned ingredients into the blender and Voila! The energy booster in your glass is ready! It’s the most effortless and effective way to stay healthy, energetic and avoid to gain weight during those cozy peckish winter nights at home.

P.S. Worth to mention, they regularly publish new delightful smoothie recipes on their website!

Relax. Soak. Unwind.

The best escape from the rainy cold weather is by soaking in a hot bath and relax that winter blues away. You don’t have to go to a pricey spa, you can have the same luxurious experience in your own home and without spending a fortune. You just need to possess a bath and visit the beautiful website donoharm.com . There you can find various natural and cruelty-free products for affordable prices. Try Anoint Coconut Bath Milk and immerse into an exotic heaven with the smell of coconut and essential oils. And the way the bottle with the cork lid looks is adorable!

Winter times can also cause dry scalp and slows the growth of your hair. But where there are problems, there are solutions! I’ve discovered Essential Scalp Spray which helps to support hair growth and scalp circulation. It also contains Lavender oil that helps to alleviate dryness and inflammation. It’s simple to use, just spray it directly onto the scalp, there is no need to wash it out. You can use it daily, it’s up to you! Furthermore all us girls want is for our hair to grow fast and strong even if it’s not winter!

Future mummies need to take even more care of their skin because of going through the big changes. There is a great range of numerous oils and creams to prevent stretch marks and relieve the feelings of itchiness. One of them is Mother to be Body Oil which is 100% natural and it’s safe for mother and baby. For just $30 you will receive an amazing mix of almond, avocado, wheat, lavender and carrot oils that you need to massage into your skin once a day.

The success lies in taking care of your beautiful body!

Best time for a tea party!

What is a better way to spend a cold winter afternoon than enjoying a cup of delightful tea with your favorite friends? Especially during this winter season’s relentless low temperatures that leave you frozen to the bone. There’s no solution more immediate and enjoyable than a hot cup of good tea. You can surprise yourself and your cherished ones with the Himalayan experience from Nepal. It’s ideal for black and green tea lovers who enjoy rich and strong flavors. I’ve ordered the 10 gram tasters from Tea House and found my favorite one: Ruby Black.

Experience some luxury

With time our skin gets thinner and dryer, furthermore it’s getting more susceptible to damage through the cold temperatures and wind. Especially the area around our eyes is very sensitive to surroundings and different lifestyle habits. We all know that eyes are the windows to our soul, that’s why we need to keep them happy and vibrant! Saintsco Bee Venom Eye Cream is my favourite at the moment. I prefer to put on eye cream in the evening because it’s easier to apply my make up on the next day: No panda eyes after using mascara. Most eye creams made my eyes look swollen the next day but not Saintsco . It’s quickly absorbed by the skin, additionally it tightens and lifts the eye area. Great anti-aging and moisturizer.

And again regular moisturizing is definitely good to prevent any unwanted conditions such as dryness and wrinkles during the colder periods. I discovered the unique Saintsco Bee Venom Mask and was amazed what it’s done to my skin. I have a normal skin type and use it just once a day in the evening and it makes my skin soft and healthy. It contains bee venom that’s known as as a painless alternative to botox, that means no needles needed to look beautiful and fresh! Nevertheless some people might be allergic to bee stings, just make sure that you are not one of them if you want to experience wonders of Saintsco.

Another Sainsco product that I adore is Bee Venom Lip Plumper . Surprise, surprise it makes your lips bigger in a natural way! The bee venom will give you a bit of tingling feeling in the beginning but it takes just 2-3 minutes and as a result you will have voluptuous lips. The combination of  manuka honey and shea butter will nourish and soften the lips. Furthermore it’s possible to wear it under your lipstick!

When it comes to keeping the skin look young, no beauty ingredient does a better job than two of my beloved Saintsco products: Saintsco Bee Venom 24ct Gold Serum and Bee Venom & Stem Cell Super Protein Essense with 24ct Gold. In the winter and for those who are working indoors where the skin is under the influence of conditioned air all the time moisturizing and hydration are essential. Both of these incredible products are suitable for all skin types and help you to combat the signs of aging. Serum helps to increase blood circulation, soften your skin and gives a bit of a shiny effect because of the gold powder in it. It’s a marvelous way to spoil yourself and boost elasticity, correct skin, reduce wrinkles and emphasize your youthful appearance. Furthermore all products are from New Zealand and it contains 100% pure natural bee venom. Definitely a winter must have!

Stay warm and cozy!

While winter is spreading it’s cold all over the country, we instinctly feel an urge to create our warm nests during the season. The sheepskins are the best way to give that feeling both visually and sensually by their soft surface. Did you know research reported that sheepskin has a soothing, swaddling effect that can result in better sleep, reduced stress and improved weight gain. Furthermore you can use them  in different ways by lining the chairs, covering the beds, placing onto the floors or just using them as throws at any place easily. Or just get some warm and soft slippers to keep your feet warm throughout any bad season times!

Give a gift!

During the cold temperatures it’s important to take care of your beloved one. And who has the tendency to forget about essential daily procedures? Right, men! The best way to solve that problem is to surprise him with great products. Furthermore giving presents to others stimulates feelings of kindness, compassion and love. I would suggest Mens Refreshing Pack from KDone. It’s all made in New Zealand and includes shaving gel, aftershave balm, body wash, aluminium free deodorant and lip balm. The products may have a bit of a specific smell, it’s because they are 100% natural and don’t have added fragrances that cause sensitizing and other negative skin reactions. You will be positive surprised about the result and smoothness of your partner’s skin! Additionally it’s packed into a useful travel bag that can be used if you want to escape cold weather and fly away to a sunny paradise.

You need effective travel products for yourself as well? No worries, here is a lovely Skincare Pack with moisturizing goodies. Facial cleanser with the refreshing smell of lemongrass is perfect to remove make up and clean your face. There are two different types of moisturizers: light hydrating and rich& intensive for mature skin, it’s also great to use as a night cream. Last but not least; Hand & Body cream to spoil your skin with avocado oil and vitamin E.

My two other winter must-haves from Kareen Holland’s collection are Foot Balm and Peppermint Shampoo. We tend to forget about our feet in the cold season because they are covered most of the time. But wearing shoes the whole day will cause dry skin and other discomforting reactions. It’s crucial to use foot balm rich in effective hydration and moisturizing. KDone’s with avocado oil, shea butter, cocoa butter and other essential oils is doubtlessly one of these! Use it over night and you will wake up with baby skin on your feet.

As I mentioned before dry scalp is another unpleasant issue that winter can bring. And while it’s not snowing on the North Island, you won’t be able to get away with the “Snowflakes in my hair” joke. Most of the shampoos nowadays contain numerous amount of harmful ingredients, KDone Peppermint Shampoo is absolutely natural. It will sooth your scalp, stimulate blood circulation and makes your hair pretty! It’s undeniably worth the money!

Just Be Natural with soaps!

As I mentioned the seasonal attack of biting wind on our skin and hair leaves us with a dry and uncomfortable feeling. The keys to radiant skin in the winter time are using natural products that work with your skin’s own oil-producing system, protecting skin (and hair) from the harsh elements. I discovered New Zealand’s Be Natural soap products and was amazed by the great results you can reach with it!

Facial skin is sensitive and delicate, but takes quite a beating in terms of exposure to weather, chemicals and other external influences. Furthermore we forget that cleaning our makeup brushes regularly is important. Not only will it get rid of bad bacteria, but it will also prevent your makeup colors from getting mixed. That’s why Make Up Brush Cleaner is one of my favorites. Afterwards you can use Be Clean – Honey, Oat And Almond Face Soap For a gentle, natural cleansing use. It smells like caramel and can be also used as a baby soap, body soap and is  fantastic for men’s shaving.

Be Silky is an organic shampoo bar with Rosemary and Eucalyptus. I’ve never used solid shampoo before and to be honest I was skeptical. But the results are amazing, my hair smells good and it looks shiny and healthy! What else do you need?

Online you can find various soaps which will make every beauty junky happy and excited. They are all just $8!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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