Planning a Trip to New Zealand

Lately, I’ve spent a lot of hours researching ideas for my 2016 winter New Zealand trip.

(It will be summer in New Zealand, but winter for me!)

I’ve wanted to go forever, but I’ve never (mentally) planned out the details, or examined the logistics of it.

I guess I didn’t want to get all excited about the trip and then find out I couldn’t go.

But …?

Now I’m getting all excited about the details.

The problem, of course, is I want to see and do so much more than I will have time for.

And …?

Coming from the United States makes it very expensive.

I’m making lists of the sights which are most important to me, and trying to prioritize them.

A travel agent friend drew up a general itinerary for me, but it wasn’t at all the type of trip I wanted to take.

(Too much hotel time and too little adventure time!)

So, I’m researching like a mad woman trying to “make” a great trip.

I know it will be wonderful no matter what,

But, I still feel like I don’t want to make any blunders as I decide what to include and what to leave out.

What if I go all the way to New Zealand finally, but don’t see The Very Most Important Thing To See In New Zealand?

For instance, I’m now trying to include Bay of Islands and I hadn’t even heard of it a month ago.

(It is *not* conveniently located near the other major things I want to see!)

It may change several times still, but right now the top nine areas I want to visit are:

1.  Milford Sound

2.  Fiordland National Park

3.  Glaciers (Franz Josef and Fox)

4.  A glowworm cave (there are several in different areas of the country – not sure which one yet)

5.  Queenstown

6.  Marlborough Sound

7.  Bay of Islands

8.  Nelson and Abel Tasman National Park

9.  Lake Tekapu and Mt. Cook National Park

If you have any suggestions or tips, I’d love to hear them.

It’s really challenging trying to figure out what to see, and how to divide up the time I’ll have there.

Also … I can only carry a light camera pack – what will I decide to take and what will I have to leave at home?

6 Responses to “Planning a Trip to New Zealand”

  1. Missy Stalcup

    Check out Viator (an app and website). Reviews, photos and you are able to purchase excursion tickets as well. Trip Advisor is also good. Have fun planning!

    • Suzanne

      I’ve been on Trip Advisor a lot … I’ll check out Viator.

  2. Pam

    Brilliant! So good to hear you’re coming to my beautiful home! And, as a Mainlander, it’s pleasing to see you’re going to spend the bulk of your time in the South Island – good choice, that’s where the real scenery is. Make sure to head to the top of the lake from Queenstown, to Glenorchy and the well-named Paradise Valley. Check out my friend Laurence’s website for some inspiration.
    Having said all that though, try to get to Rotorua in the middle of the North Island for some (admittedly touristy) Maori exposure, and some spectacular thermal activity (especially Orakei Korako). Mt Taranaki too is worth seeing if you can – our very own Mt Fuji. And yes, definitely the Bay of Islands.
    You’ll have a wonderful time. I’m already looking forward to seeing your photos!

    • Suzanne

      Thanks for all the tips.
      I had originally planned on going to Rotorua, but then I heard it was very touristy so I crossed it off my list. I guess I’ll have to see if I can put it back on? I wish I had more time to explore!

  3. julieanne

    Hey Suzanne, glad it’s coming together more and more 🙂 just on the expense and distance thing – I know it might not be viable but I was just thinking that maybe if you can, rather than doing Australia at a later date, did your travel agent friend have any rough quotes for if you were to take in at least the east coast of Australia on the same trip? would save doing the 14-hr flight again if nothing else? Just a thought 🙂

    • Suzanne

      I had always planned on doing just that julieanne.
      Unfortunately, I can’t get a big enough chunk of time to visit both places in one trip.
      It kind of worries me because, as happy as I am to be going to New Zealand, I have always wanted to also see Australia. I’m afraid of putting it off. But, for now, I have no choice except to live within the limitations I have.


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