Anyone Honeymooning in New Zealand?

We've booked a mini moon to Mykonos for a few weeks after the wedding but as it's my 30th next year we're looking into a bigger 'real honyemoon' trip to New Zealand for February 2018. Is anyone else honeymooning in NZ and if so where are you going and what are you doing?

We're thinking of doing 2/3 weeks driving around the south island with swimming with dolphins / whale watching, hiking, wine tasting etc. We need to get a move on with the planning though as it's not far away!

Posts

  • LucykinsLucykins Posts: 701

    Hello, yep we are going to New Zealand soon!

    We've got a week in the north island, a week in the South Island and then a few days in Sydney. A lot to fit in! 

    On the north island we're flying into Auckland, staying there a couple of days and then going on to hot water beach, waitomo caves and Rotorua. In the caves we've got a tour booked where you go round on rubber rings and down a slide inside the cave. Looks mad but fun!

    We are then flying from Rotorua to Christchurch, from where we will go on to Mount Cook, Wanaka and Queenstown and hopefully do a tour to Milford Sound.

  • Katherine66Katherine66 Posts: 1,234

    I am hoping when we ve saved enough to go.   Mainly south island hubby worked there and wants to show me his old haunts.  Want to see the cave worms on north island, the blue penguins and the southern lights. 

    Flying premium economy via los Angeles its abit more extra but we need the leg room for hubby.  

    Only going for 2 weeks because of work commitments.  

  • msbellamsbella Posts: 53

    I am from New Zealand!! Let me know if there are any specific questions you have!

    Wanaka and Queenstown are the best places to go, make sure you check out Arrowtown, it is very cute

    Feb is def the best time to go but be prepared if the season changes within a few hours! The good thing about it being changeable is that if it starts raining it is likely to change to sun quickly again :D South Island is a lot more dry though than the North

    Since you are staying in Auckland a few days, I recommend a short ferry ride to an island called Waiheke which has many wineries on it. Its beautiful because you have a mix of beach and wineries in one and is easy to get to from Auckland Town

    Hot water beach is great but also crowded if its school holidays. If you are in that area you should also visit Catherdral Cove 

    :)

  • emma531emma531 Posts: 216

    Hi, 

    We're also going to New Zealand! 

    We fly on 28th September. Starting in Auckland, seeing family and the heading south stopping off at Rotors, Taupo and Wellington. We're then getting the ferry over to Picton, stop off at Hammer Springs, then Tekapo, Queenstown, Wanaka and Christchurch where we will fly out to Sydney.

    I've literally put hours and hours into research as it's quite a confusing place. It's not as easy to go A-B as it is here! 

    In short, We're going on a glow worm kayak tour, thermal springs, stargazing, fly/cruise/kayak/fly (Milford sound), shot over jet boat, canyon swing and if there's still snow, skiing! 

    New Zealand is such a great choice! 

    You need loads of time in the South Island as everywhere is so far apart.The only thing I'm dreading is the flight, we will be travelling for 36 hours. Ouch!

  • Katherine66Katherine66 Posts: 1,234

    Hi emma

     

    thats alot you are doing and it all sounds really exciting!  Pretty the places we will go to but we are abit old for all these exciting activities:).  

    We plan to hire a car and drive round, as a science teacher its the nature i want, we are staying well away from built up areas and have no intention of seeing Auckland!  

    we tried so hard to emigrate there but we are out of time. 

  • emma531emma531 Posts: 216
    Katherine66 wrote (see post):

    Hi emma

     

    thats alot you are doing and it all sounds really exciting!  Pretty the places we will go to but we are abit old for all these exciting activities:).  

    We plan to hire a car and drive round, as a science teacher its the nature i want, we are staying well away from built up areas and have no intention of seeing Auckland!  

    we tried so hard to emigrate there but we are out of time. 

     

    Hi, it should be quite easy for you to stay away from built up areas, there appears to be barely any of them lol. 

    We're looking for a mixture of adventure and nature - like flying to Milford sound. Scenic cruise, chilled out kayaking but the thrill of a lightweight aircraft.

    We're lucky we've been able to take a lot of time off work (which I remind my colleagues of every day 😂).

  • What kind of accommodation are you going for? I think we might do a mixture of just standard cheaper hotels for some of it but might try and book one or two more special hotels when we stay longer in queens town or  wanaka. Has anyone found any really great hotels to stay in the South Island?

  • emma531emma531 Posts: 216
    Jessica228 wrote (see post):

    What kind of accommodation are you going for? I think we might do a mixture of just standard cheaper hotels for some of it but might try and book one or two more special hotels when we stay longer in queens town or  wanaka. Has anyone found any really great hotels to stay in the South Island?

     

    We're staying with family in Auckland then We're picking up a campervan for 2 weeks. We just feel like the camper will give us a lot more freedom and is also a lot cheaper meaning we can spend money on more activities. 

    We're looking for a decent hotel in Christchurch for our last night though.

  • We're going quite soon too (4 weeks tomorrow!)

    We're doing something quite similar to Lucykins but we're doing Melbourne and Sydney first then flying into Auckland. We're staying with family in Hamilton and doing Rotorua, Hot Water Beach, Cathedral Cove and Hobbiton (had to be done) before we fly into Christchurch. 

    I absolutely had to see the Cardboard Cathedral while it's still there. We've booked Hotel 115 for while we're there as it was well positioned and looked lovely. From there we're hiring a car and driving to Mount Cook and Lake Pukaki, staying at The Hermitage but in their Motel deluxe units because we figured after being with family and in hotel rooms it'd be nice to have our own space for a few days. Hopefully get some time star gazing if the skies are clear. Going to drive back via Dunedin to fit in a little Whisky Distillery trip before we have our last couple of days on North Island.

  • msbellamsbella Posts: 53

    My favourite in Taupo

    http://www.hukalodge.co.nz/ expensive

    Queenstown pools:

    http://www.onsen.co.nz/

    Queenstown nice accommodation:

    http://www.stoneridge.co.nz/ 

    Airbnb is good to use too in NZ

    White water rafting is quite tranquil too - tongariro river

    Not much in chch for nice accommodation 

     

     

     

  • Katherine66Katherine66 Posts: 1,234

    Were not not staying in any accommodation unless the weather goes horrid, we plan on hiring a subaru  4x4 and kipping in that. 

  • emma531emma531 Posts: 216

    H2b has finally Sat up and had a look at honeymoon planning (wish I'd never asked him lol) lots of "that looks nice, we'll go There's with the reply of "that will take 2 days to get to". Driving me insane lol.

    So now we have a revised plan...

    Auckland 2nts with family.

    Rotorua 2nts (glow worms/thermal springs)

    Taupo 1nt

    Wellington 2nts (sightseeing and out for tea/drinks)

    Ferry to Picton

    Picton to ????? 1nt

    Franz Josef Glacier 1nt (heli hike!!!!!!)

    Wanaka 2nts (skiing)

    Queenstown 3nts (jet boat, canyon swing, fly/cruise/kayak/fly Milford sound) also Arrowtown.

    Tekapo 1nt (stargazing)

    Christchurch 1nt camp 1nt hotel (see family)

    Fly to Sydney for 2nts (no idea what to do!)

    Dubai 4nts

    Back in rubbish Newcastle!

     

    Super excited writing this! Please all share your New Zealand plans! 5 weeks on Thursday for us!

  • LucykinsLucykins Posts: 701

    When I put together my itinerary, I ran it past the New Zealand TripAdvisor forum, and the people on there who know NZ really well gave me feedback on whether my plans were feasible and whether there were any better alternatives. So that was very useful!

    With camper vans, I gather you can't park just anywhere and can get in trouble/fines for parking in the wrong place, so just something to be aware of. We are keen to see countryside rather than the city too, but the best flight option was to fly to Auckland and then we need a day to recover from the jet lag so I've booked 2 nights there after we arrive.

    In Christchurch we are staying at a place called Southwark Apartments. I've chosen a mixture of nicer and more budget hotels, depending on how many nights we are staying somewhere. In Wanaka we have a YHA hostel but it had great reviews and an excellent location. In Sydney I booked a hotel but we might cancel it and stay with family.

    I'd like to go to Milford Sound but the fly/cruise options seemed very expensive - have you booked yours already Emma?

  • Definitely go to Hamner Springs - it's a great honeymoon day out! :) 

  • I'm considering combining New Zealand with Fiji trip in January! Prebooked some cheapish accommodation, though hard to find inexpensive accommodation really in this season.

    Would concentrate on North Island with a long stay in north of South Island.

    How's this?:

    2 nights Auckland

    2 nights Rotorua

    1 night Taupo (worth it?)

    2 nights Tororiro (not sure whether to do 1/2 nights here, or none at all i.e. just see it on long drive down to Wellington)

    2-3 nights Wellington

    10-12 nights in a cute cottage near Abel Tasman national park.

    We'd be skipping Queenstown, which I don't feel too bad about tbh. Looks like Scotland and I used to live in the highlands. Milford Sound--surely beautiful but seen Norwegian Fjords and also fjords in Argentina, so not rushing down there for that.

     

  • Has anyone been on their NZ honeymoon yet that can share any tips / pics? We really need to get a move on and book our flights and accommodation, we just want to do it all though! So hard to whittle down!

  • We've got our flights booked to NZ with a layover  in Malaysia on the way back - Borneo, wooooooo! 

  • We've finally booked our flights, acommodation and activities, so excited!! This is our itienerary:

     

    Day 1 - Arrive in Christchurch, explore, recover from jet lag. Overnight

    Day 2 - Drive to Hanmer Springs, spend the day at the thermal spa and pools, evening drive to Kaikoura

    Day 3 - AM Dolphin Encounter, PM Whale Watching, Overnight in Kaikoua

    Day 4 - Drive to Nelson, stopping of at Blenheim / Picton for a few hours each. Overnight in Nelson

    Day 5 - Explore Abel Tasman National Park. Overight in Nelson

    Day 6 - Drive towards Frans Josef stopping at Punakaiki and Hokitika. Overnight in Hokitika

    Day 7 - FJ Glacier Heli Hike AM, Quad biking PM, Overnight in Franz Josef

    Day 8 - Drive to Wanaka via matheson and Haast pass, overnight in Wanaka

    Day 9 - Explore Wanaka area

    Day 10 - More Wanaka, drive to Te Anau, Glow worm caves, Overnight.

    Day 11 - Day trip to Milford Sound, Overnight in Te Anau

    Day 12 - Drive to Manapouri, overnight Doubtful Sound Cruise

    Day 13 - Drive to Queesnstown

    Day 14 & 15 - Explore Qeenstown

    Day 16 - Drive to Mount Cook (maybe drive part way night before), Hooker Valley Track. Overnight in Mt Cook

    Day 17 - AM in Mount Cook, PM in Tekapo for Hot Springs & Stargazing. Overnight in Tekapo

    Day 18 - Mount Sunday then on to Christchurch

    Day 19 - Fly home from CH

  • emma531emma531 Posts: 216

    Hi all,

    Just got back from our New Zealand honeymoon on Monday. I'm completely on love with the place!!

    Any questions, just ask!x

  • MrsGxMrsGx Posts: 328 New bride
    emma531 wrote (see post):

    Hi all,

    Just got back from our New Zealand honeymoon on Monday. I'm completely on love with the place!!

    Any questions, just ask!x

    Hi Emma,

    I hope you had a lovely honeymoon! It sounds like you did.

    We're currently debating our honeymoon in New Zealand for November next year. We're planning on 2 weeks touring the south island. Can't decide between a campervan or hire car and motels. Can I ask what you did and how long you went for? 

  • emma531emma531 Posts: 216
    MissGx wrote (see post):
    emma531 wrote (see post):

    Hi all,

    Just got back from our New Zealand honeymoon on Monday. I'm completely on love with the place!!

    Any questions, just ask!x

    Hi Emma,

    I hope you had a lovely honeymoon! It sounds like you did.

    We're currently debating our honeymoon in New Zealand for November next year. We're planning on 2 weeks touring the south island. Can't decide between a campervan or hire car and motels. Can I ask what you did and how long you went for? 

    Hi,

    We landed in Auckland on 30th Sept and spent 2 nights there with family. (I was so dizzy from the plane, really glad we had that time to chill!)

    We then picked up our campervan (Britz voyages. Supposed to be a 4 berth but really only big enough for 2 but just right for us) and then drove 3 hrs to Rotorua. The next day we went white water rafting and did a glow worm kayak tour. Then went via wai-o-tapo  thermal wonderland. If you're not good with smells.... take some strong mints!!!

    Then 1 night in taupo which was a nice holiday town. Next drove 3hrs to Wellington 2nts where we just did a bit of sightseeing and pubs. 

    Then ferry to Picton and a huge 8hr drive to Franz josef to do the glacier heli hike. Luckily we booked for 2 nights as it was too windy on the 1st day so did the hike the next day. Nothing else to do in FJ other than pub!

    Then onto Wanaka 2nts which we loved! We squeezed in a day of skiing up cardrona just before the season finished. Then onto Queenstown. Our new fave place!! Queenstown is flipping awesome! Really good mix of adventure and leisure. It's big enough to keep you busy but small enough to still be nice. We did the shot over jet boat and the canyon swing as well as flying over to Milford Sound for a cruise and kayak. If you can  afford it I would certainly recommend flying as opposed to driving or a coach. Takes far too much time - we save 3 nights.

    Then we drive to Tekapo 3hrs 1nt. Supposed to go stargazing but got halfway through the pretty rubbish tour when it was cancelled due to the wind. I wouldn't pay for the tour again, just go up the mountain myself.

    Then 3hr drive to Christchurch where we stayed 1 by in s camp site and one in a hotel as well as seeing family. Very interesting place with all the regeneration after the quakes. 

    If we'd have had more time we have probably had another day skiing, longer in Queenstown and longer in Wellington.

    I would certainly recommend getting a campervan. It made our lives so much easier and as we were only in a small one we could still park anywhere. Don't worry about no toilet/shower in the camper. They're only needed if you are freedom camping which tends to only be allowed in the middle of nowhere. All the facilities were more than adequate in the parks.

    When we went we had wet/windy/cold weather in Auckland. Mid teens in Rotorua.  Wet but warm in Wellington. Highs of 26° in FJ after being on a glacier! Then around 2° in cardrona. Late teens in Queenstown in the sun but about 8° in the evening and then rain again in Christchurch. Needless to say the mountain at Tekapo was FREEZING! 

    Due to the vast changes in weather, we needed every item of clothing going meanin

  • emma531emma531 Posts: 216

    Ps. We went to Sydney and Dubai after. In hindsight, I'd have cut out Sydney all together and cut Dubai down to 2 nights just to break up the journey and to go to aquaventure lol. I'd have used that extra time in NZ x

  • MrsGxMrsGx Posts: 328 New bride

    emma531 - Wow! It sounds amazing. Thanks for all the info 

    We're still undecided on whether to go, the flight prices have shot up in recent weeks, and the 29+ hour flights are really putting me off. I get fidgety after a 2.5 hour flight to europe haha! People also keep saying that 2 weeks isn't long enough, but we can't get anymore time off work.

    However reading your post has got me so excited! We want to do a similar path, but fly both in and then out of Christchurch, and just stay on the south island. Want to do the FJ Glacier, Milford Sound, Queenstown, Dunedin etc. too. The weather sounded like it varied alot! I guess if we just pack for every occasion we'll be fine :)

    I've looked at the coach and fly from Milford Sound, I think flying back would be amazing but completely dictated by what funds we have available by then. Did you take the a coach from Queenstown to Milford and then fly back? Thanks for the info! It sounds amazing  x

  • emma531emma531 Posts: 216

    Tbh, if I had the chance to go again and only had two weeks, I'd jump at that chance! It's just so amazing there.

    The flight wasn't as bad as I expected. We flew from Newcastle which added a 10hr stop over in Dubai so we got some sleep in the hotel in the airport. Then the flight to Auckland which refilled at Sydney really wasn't that bad. I had some of asdas finest sleeping tablets, had my amazing travel pillow (really is amazing) and Emirates give you an eye mask and ear plugs, toothbrush etc. Although next time I'd pay for the extra leg room which wasn't very much but well worth it. Emirates have literally hundreds of films to choose from, impressive in flight meals and as much wine as you can cope with. Made the flight literally fly over. The only problem was feeling dizzy for a while after, I could feel the motion of the plane for ages!

    We flew to milford and also flew back. Its expensive but well worth it. If you were only going to fly one way I'd advise to fly there and coach back. The route is one big circle meaning you go a different way back. On the way there we flew through snowy mountains that literally took my breath away and was really a once in a life time experience. The way back was still impressive but felt more like it could be done anywhere, flying over lakes etc 

    I would say that if you are going to go, really go for it and try to save as much as you can so you can experience as much as possible. We spent an absolute fortune but figured as we were so far away and it was our honeymoon it was ok lol. I would have lived to have done more but of course there's always a limit and I'm now SKINT haha!

    Getting a camper certainly saved us money. The diesel is around 70p/litre but there is a tax of $6/10km for diesels. Our tax came to around $130. Was still cheaper than a petrol van though as petrol is quite a bit more. The campsites varied between $40 to $60 whereas if you are looking at hoyels/motels they will be a minimum of $100. Our CC hotel was $200 for one night. So while hiring a camper may be a little more expensive than a car, it's far far cheaper (and easier!) In the long run! Plus we ate every breakfast and most lunches in the camper which must have saved quite a bit. Not something you can do with hotels.

    Have you had a look at the routes you can take to get all the things in you want? We quickly discovered when planning that just because things look close on the map it doesn't mean they close on the road lol. Those pesky mountains get in the way!

    I'm actually getting excited for you just writing this haha!

  • LucykinsLucykins Posts: 701

    Hello! We recently honeymooned in NZ too. We had 2 weeks there, going round both islands, and then 4 nights in Sydney at the end.

    We had a hire car and stayed in hotels/motels/a beach hut/an old schoolhouse. I picked a mix of posher and more affordable places to stay. In Christchurch we stayed in a lovely block of apartments (called Southwark Apartments) which was great value for money. I have heard that camper van hire can be cheaper if you start in the south and drive northwards so that could work for you maybe.

    Like Emma, we had a long stopover in Dubai on the way there, which meant we qualified for Emirates to give us a free hotel. It really helped with the jet lag. 

    Our itinerary was

    - 2 nights Auckland

    - 1 night near Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach

    - 1 night near Waitomo caves

    - 2 nights Rotorua, then flight from Rotorua to Christchurch

    - 1 night Christchurch

    - 2 nights Aoraki Mount Cook Village (highly recommended)

    - 1 night Wanaka

    - 3 nights Queenstown (incl coach tour to Milford Sound)

    - 4 nights Sydney (2 of which was staying with family)

     

    We did Milford by coach and didn't find it a problem. The guide stopped in various places of interest, told us interesting info and played a NZ movie for us on the way back. The flights would be great on a clear day, but too expensive for us to justify. On the day we went, the flights were all cancelled because the weather wasn't the right conditions, so as it happens we couldn't have flown anyway. 

  • LucykinsLucykins Posts: 701

    Jessica, with your itinerary I think you might have packed a little too much in. I planned a similarly packed itinerary initially, then ran it by the forum on Tripadvisor and they really recommended I made a few changes. With jet lag and loads of long drives, you could end up tiring yourself out and not seeing much of each place.

    I could be wrong of course, and if you're happy travelling about lots then no worries, but I would recommend posting here:

    https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowForum-g255104-i125-New_Zealand.html

    The peeps on there will have some suggestions I'm sure :)

  • ThiebauldThiebauld Posts: 5
    Jessica228 wrote (see post):

    We've finally booked our flights, acommodation and activities, so excited!! This is our itienerary:

     

    Day 1 - Arrive in Christchurch, explore, recover from jet lag. Overnight

    Day 2 - Drive to Hanmer Springs, spend the day at the thermal spa and pools, evening drive to Kaikoura

    Day 3 - AM Dolphin Encounter, PM Whale Watching, Overnight in Kaikoua

    Day 4 - Drive to Nelson, stopping of at Blenheim / Picton for a few hours each. Overnight in Nelson

    Day 5 - Explore Abel Tasman National Park. Overight in Nelson

    Day 6 - Drive towards Frans Josef stopping at Punakaiki and Hokitika. Overnight in Hokitika

    Day 7 - FJ Glacier Heli Hike AM, Quad biking PM, Overnight in Franz Josef

    Day 8 - Drive to Wanaka via matheson and Haast pass, overnight in Wanaka

    Day 9 - Explore Wanaka area

    Day 10 - More Wanaka, drive to Te Anau, Glow worm caves, Overnight.

    Day 11 - Day trip to Milford Sound, Overnight in Te Anau

    Day 12 - Drive to Manapouri, overnight Doubtful Sound Cruise

    Day 13 - Drive to Queesnstown

    Day 14 & 15 - Explore Qeenstown

    Day 16 - Drive to Mount Cook (maybe drive part way night before), Hooker Valley Track. Overnight in Mt Cook

    Day 17 - AM in Mount Cook, PM in Tekapo for Hot Springs & Stargazing. Overnight in Tekapo

    Day 18 - Mount Sunday then on to Christchurch

    Day 19 - Fly home from CH

     

    What an amazing trip you will have <3

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