New Zealand trip suggestion

This was an itinerary that I suggested to a friend of mine today who is planning to visit New Zealand with her parents and son from Sydney for about a week. Putting it out here in case someone else finds it useful.

Note, this is for someone who will be travelling the country for about a week, entirely using public transport, and do not intend to take part in any challenging sporting activities. If you can drive, and even take part in skiing or other activities like bungy jumping or balloon riding, I highly encourage you to do so. New Zealand is just beautiful so try to be there for longer trip if you can. But for someone short on time, I think my suggestions work.

South Island


Main highlights:

1. Helicopter flights to top of any mountains (Mt. Cook/Fox Glacier)

2. Milford sound lake cruise

3. Lots of lakes on the way



1. Land at Christchurch, and stay overnight.

2. Take a trip to Queenstown

Take a helicopter ride to top of Mt Cook during the trip. The trip says you can organize with them for the helicopter. Otherwise, look at

3. Stay at Queenstown for 2 nights

4. Go on a Milford Sound cruise

There is a really nice lake, recommended to travel there and take the cruise. The tours usually include the cruise in the lake.

Intercity sometimes has $1 fares to some of the destinations if you book early  🙂

5. Fly to Auckland from Queenstown the next day.


1.  Fly to  Christchurch, and stay overnight

There isn’t anything specific to see here, just a nice small NZ town, but a good starting point

2. Travel to Fox Glacier

(all trips start really early in the morning, hence need to stay overnight for 1)

Option 1:

1.       TRANSALPINE scenic rail to travel from Christchurch to Greymonth  – nice train ride   Around $200 NZ pp

2.        Greymonth to Fox Glacier – via bus

Option 2:

Go directly to Fox Glacier via bus:

3.  Stay at Fox Glacier

4. Fox glacier helicopter flight

highly recommended, starting at around $200 per person

check or similar sites

5. Travel to Queenstown via bus

6. Stay at Queenstown for three nights

7. Queenstown to Milford sound day tour:

take bus tours like ones here:

There is a really nice lake, recommended to travel there and take the cruise. The tours usually include the cruise in the lake.

8. Fly to Auckland  the next morning




1.       Natural caves

2.       Natural hot water springs at Rotarua

3.       Hobbits village as was shown in Lord of the Rings

4.       Lot of nice view on the way

5.       Auckland and Wellington are nice cities, but are like any other cities in Australia, and are not really the highlight of NZ if you are mostly into nature in my opinion. You can spend a few hours going around Auckland and Wellington though.

Take some tours from Auckland:



I would personally take the tour to the caves and the hobbits place, and spend the night at Rotarua,  and enjoy some time soaking in the hot water the next day, it’s quite nice.

You could then travel back to Auckland, or travel towards Wellington, to fly back to Aus.

Again, intercity bus has a trip available for this trip


The above image shows most of the places I mentioned, just to give you an idea and was taken from

When I travel overseas, I usually use Expedia ( to find me the best flights and even hotels.