From 10 December 2016 until 14 January 2017 my boyfriend and I are visiting New Zealand, probably the journey of our lives! We’re planning the trip from A to Z all by ourselves. In these posts I’m taking you through our preparations and personal tips.

Missed the previous parts?

Our route through New Zealand

After booking our flights, we fixed our route through the country of Kiwis. Because we’re staying there for almost 5 weeks we thought it would be nice to get to know both of the islands.

Motorhome or accomodations?

The first thing we needed to decide on was whether we were going to travel through the country in a motorhome or choose for a hired car and accomodations. New Zealand is loved by motorhome travelers and if we could, we probably would have chosen for a camper as well. But the high season was of great influence for our choice: the most basic type of camper was ridiculously expensive. So we choose to hire a car and travel around the country, staying at other people’s homes. Sometimes it is a more expensive way to travel (not in our case), but you’re sure of a comfortable room and a good breakfast to kickstart your day. Kiwis are known to be one of the friendliest and most accommodating hosts in the world, so that is something to look forward to 🙂

North and South Island

The two islands of New Zealand are different in numerous ways.

The northern part has a subtropical climate and is the ideal place to get to know the Maori culture, geothermal baths, volcanoes and enjoy its beautiful beaches.

The South Island is supposed to have the purest landscapes and enjoys a moderate, maritime climate. You can visit wineries and the dramatic Fiordland or go skiing in the towering alps in winter.

It’s only natural we want to get to know both of the islands, right?

Our route

So based on the information we gathered through travel guides like Lonely Planet, Rough Guide, National Geographic, wegwijzer.be (Dutch) and New Zealand’s tourist website, we lined out our route.

We will start off in Auckland and drive through the North Island via Taupo and Napier, all the way to Wellington where we will cross Cook Strait with a ferry. This strait is considered one of the most dangerous and unpredictable waters in the world 😮 we said we want adventure, right…?

Once in the South Island we will travel all the way to Fiordland National Park via Christchurch and Dunedin. We will drive back north via Queenstown, Franz Josef Glacier and the Abel Tasman National Park. Then we will try our luck with the Cook Strait again 😉

In the last part of our trip we will drive all the way to the upper region of Northland with Bay of Islands as our final destination before heading back home. The perfect place for beaches and water activity lovers. We booked all our accomodations via Airbnb, at people’s homes, and Booking. One tip: when choosing your Airbnb accommodations, make sure you have a few options per location. Some of the hosts declined our applications because they didn’t plan as far ahead as we did.

Discover our complete route in this map.

What’s next?

For the moment we’re deciding on what activities we will do in the land of adventure and extreme sports. So more on that in my next update! If you have any tips, please drop a note below!