My planned route for New Zealand – updated:
On the Northern Island of New Zealand
- Auckland – been here
I will arrive by flight to Auckland because there is the International Airport of New Zealand. This make my mind up, how to go further and I have to see this city and it’s surroundings, too, of course.
- Kaitaia – been here, too
I will go north: This town has an interesting mix of Maori and Dalmatian ancestry. From here you can take a tour to Cape Reinga.
- Paihia – not directly, was too far
I will go to the South again – I will try to see more than only the big cities. Paihia is the main tourist town in the Bay of Islands in the far north of the North Island of New Zealand.
- Coromandel Forest Park – done later
I will go hiking, therefore I booked a bed in Pinnacles Hut, Kauaeranga Kauri Trail
The Pinnacles Track is a great track for young and old. The circuit track leads to a modern hut on the Pinnacles, with views across the Coromandel Peninsula and beyond.
- Waiheke Island – not done at all
Waiheke Island is a national taonga (treasure) with many special places. Home to historic sites, wildlife and diverse habitats, the island is an important part of New Zealand’s landscape. Waiheke’s National Reserves protect natural, historical and cultural heritage and help to safeguard the biodiversity of the planet.
- Whitianga – not done at all
Situated in the Mercury Bay offering hot springs, a waterfall and forest walks
- Rotorua – been there and even at the country side
Rotorua, a town set on its namesake lake on New Zealand’s North Island, is a cultural centre for the indigenous Maori people. Te Puia cultural centre, in the Whakarewarewa valley, has geysers and thermal mud pools fueled by the area’s geothermal activity, and houses the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute.
- Napier – been there
If you like Art Deco architecture, you must visit Napier. The town was completely destroyed by an earthquake in 1931, then completely rebuilt in gorgeous Art Deco style.
- Hastings – only Te Mata Peak for an hour
Food, Wine and Te Mata Peak
- Whanganui – been there and at the country side
Wanganui is a region located north of Wellington and is known for its maori culture and heritage, the Whanganui National Park and the mighty Whanganui River – the longest navigable river in the country. Wanganui City rests on the banks of the Whanganui River.
- Masterton – not at all, but in Palmerston North and Greystown
is the largest town in Wairarapa region. You can visit The Wool Shed, the National Museum of Sheep and Shearing. For more history and culture don’t miss Aratoi, Wairarapa Museum of Art and History very close by.
Visit also Castlepoint (a limestone area with a light house) and
Greystown (houses in old Victorian style and the Cobblestones Early Settlers Museum)
- Porirua – not at all
The harbour city of Porirua is just 15 minutes north of Wellington. It’s the home of Pataka, one of New Zealand’s most important museums.
- Wellington – only day trip
Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, sits near the North Island’s southernmost point on the Cook Strait. It has colourful timber houses on surrounding hills and lots of museums and art.
On the Southern Island of New Zealand:
- Picton – been there, but neither museum nor park
Beautiful surroundings, trails (e.g. Snout Track)
Omaka Museum, Wither Hills Farm Park
- Nelson/Richmond – been there, but not in Kahurangi NP
Abel Tasman National Park + Kahurangi NP
Motueka – the home of the green tea
- Karamea – will not go there, Takaka instead
It is situated on the West Coast and belongs also to the Kahurangi NP
Here it is not possible to be a couch surfer, but a backpacker
- Westport/Greymouth – only Greymouth and surroundings
even Punakaika and Reefton seems to be interesting places.
Greymouth is a town with a history of jade hunting, gold mining and dramatic river floods.
- Hokitika – been here
I like the name – but more, because I read about the Jade (a special stone)
There are more interesting places like St. Joseph’s town, Moana, Okarito and Haast
- Milford Sound/Te Anau – yes, both!
A part of Fiordland, which is one of the most dramatic and beautiful parts of New Zealand,
Te Anau is known as the ‘gateway to the fiords’.
- Manapouri – wasted my time here
At Manapouri you’re surrounded by the majesty of Fiordland.
- Winton / Bluff / Invercargill / Gore – was as well in Invercargill as Bluff and Gore
Wherever I find a bed will be fine,
by the way Bluff is lands end, the ferry to Stewart Island is departing from here;
Invercargill has an interesting Water Tower and
Gore is the home of the Country music.
- Stewart Island – been there, did only day walks, stayed at backpacker’s
There is a 3-days-hike, the Rakiura Track, on Stewart Island I am interested in. There are huts nearby the track – no couchsurfing requested (there are no hosts either)
- Clutha – there is only a place called Balclutha, but was in Owaka instead
with the Mata Au-River, Purakuanui Falls (near Catlins) and the Nugget Point. By the Southern Scenic Route one can see sea-lions.
- Dunedin – yes, have been there
for its landscape, cultural history and the penguins!
I also will visit Mosgiel and Port Chalmers
- Alexandra / Cromwell – no vacancy, did stay longer in Queenstown and Wanaka
even Clyde, Naseby, Onaku and Ranfurly (town of Art Deco) are interesting places
- Queenstown and surroundings – have been here
Next to the town, you can find the Queenstown Gardens. The surroundings are dramatic natural landscapes including Lake Wakatipu. Horse riding is possible in the greater area. Furthermore nearby you will find Arrowtown, an old gold mining town.
- Wanaka – have been here, too
Situated in the Lake Wanaka region, where hiking and horse riding is great.
- Waitiki no, was in Oamaru instead and
here you will find Moeraki Boulders (special stones); Penguins and a public garden in Victorian style as well you will find in Oamaru. If you are interested in the farming history, you can get answers in Kurow.
- Christchurch – have been here again, took a look at Lyttelton and New Brighton
This will be the last stop on my trip throughout New Zealand and the last five days of it. The city itself is worth to see, but you can also watching whales, seals and sea birds as well as you can get a taste of the Cheviot hospitality nearby. This rural town is very welcoming. The city of Fairlie is known as the ‘Gateway to the Mackenzie Country’.
On the 21st February 2016 I had a flight from Christchurch to Hobart (Tasmania, Australia).
On 18th July 2015 I bought my flight ticket London – Auckland. I will arrive 29th November, because I will have a stop over in Shanghai for 8 hours – an interesting place to visit, too. It was not only the cheapest connection I could find, but also the best route for my opinion, because I leave in London around 9pm, arrive in Shanghai 4pm the following day – can have a sleep during the night – and departure from Shanghai at midnight for arriving in Auckland 6pm – there is also a possibility to sleep a lot of hours on the plane. The flight company is the China Eastern Airlines and a 23 kg baggage allowance is included.