My boyfriend and I are looking at doing a 7 day road-trip around New Zealand. We've been told the South Island is the best for this but I'd love to hear if otherwise? We love camping, hiking, kayaking and caves. We're looking at using Wicked Camper vans as a vendor.
If anyone has any traveller experience or MUST DOs I'd greatly appreciate your suggestions:)
Noooooooo! Don't even think about a camper van, unreliable, expensive and a huge pain in the a***e. By far the best way is to have a car and stay at motels, these can be booked ahead or you can take pot luck and turn up. Use trip advisor to pick your favourite. You need some careful planning to get anywhere in 7 days. To do the South Island you need at least two weeks. over 3 years ago
With just 7 days I'd do the loop from Christchurch through Arthur's Pass (from east coast to west coast), drive south down the west coast and over Haast Pass to Wanaka, then to Queenstown, Cromwell, and back to Christchurch via Lindis Pass (with a detour to Mt Cook village). You definitely won't cover all of the South Island, but you'll see some of the best highlights. If you've got good weather, don't miss the Mt Roy track in Wanaka - definitely my favourite NZ day walk. Everyone raves about Milford Sound, and it's beautiful, but it's a massive drive from Queenstown and might not be worth it if you've only got 7 days :) Have fun! over 3 years ago
Funnily enough this is the exact route that we are planning! We're probably going to fly in to Christchurch and fly out of Queenstown and we will definitely drive up through Arthur's Pass. We aren't 100% sure about Milford yet, but I'd love to do one of the 'sounds'.
Appreciate the advice! over 3 years ago
In a week, you cant go too far but the route above is a great recommendation. I would definately do Milford though! Allow an overnight stay down the road to milford- there are so many stunning spots. Its worth the drive, even if its raining (some say its better that way)
Camping is definately the way to go to enjoy what NZ has to offer. Look at Jucy campers too- they do loads of great deals on lots of touristy things to do too!
also, when you get to NZ download 2 phone apps: Campermate and Wikicamps .. these apps got us around when we were traveling and they are fantastic for finding hidden just off the beaten track. over 3 years agoAnswered by Tash via WorldNomads.com
We did 1 week North island and 2 weeks South Island last October.
Just some suggestions:
- if you've only got 7 days definitely South Island
- we hired a car as can be cool at night in a camper, small roads work better with a car and cheap simple accommodation/airb&b
- I could have spent 7 days just in Queenstown, we stayed about 4 days
- agree with circular routes already mentioned
Enjoy, it's certainly one of our top 3 trips ever !
Teresa over 3 years agoAnswered by Teresa via WorldNomads.com
If your flights have you arriving in Auckland then with only 7 days you are best to travel the North Island. From Auckland airport you can catch shuttle bus to city and take a ferry over to Waiheke Island and spend a night exploring the wineries. Very scenic. If you don't choose a rental car or van then public buses are an economic alternative. Naked Bus.co.nz or intercity.co.nz. You can bus/drive from Auckland to Rotorua 3hrs and see all the thermal activity and mud pools Rotorua is famous for. Stay in Backpackers, all usually very good in NZ. After Rotorua head to the Art Deco city of Napier and more wineries then continue to the Capital city Wellington. Return to Auckland via the west coast passing thru Hamilton. 7 days does not give you much time to see NZ. over 3 years ago
Hi Milly, we did a week long road trip around NZ in April. The lesson we learned was that we tried to cover too much ground. We started in Auckland and went all the way to Queenstown on the South Island. We were is a car but it was still way too much driving. If we were to go again for a week, I would recommend the South Island. Check out our blog for the details at traveltheworldbackpacking.wordpress.com. Regarding the campervan, we took a three week campervan trip around Australia and loved it. We enjoyed the freedom, the camper parks and cooking for ourselves. over 3 years ago
My friends and I rented a JUCY campervan and drove from Aukland to Queenstown in 11 days. JUCY was a great company to rent from, and we had no issues. They have multiple locations around the country where you can pick up and drop of your campervan. If you only have 7 days, I would travel around the South Island rather than the North Island, since the South Island had more hikes and adventure in my opinion. One of the hikes we did in South Island was the Hooker Valley Trail at Mount Cook which was very beautiful. It was more of a walk rather than a hike since it was fairly easy, but the views of mountains and lakes were stunning. We also spent a night at Lake Wanaka which was beautiful. We did not have time to hike or anything here, but I'm sure you can. The thing I would recommend most for South Island is Milford Sound. We took a kayaking tour around the sound which took a couple of hours and it was absolutely beautiful. The kayak tour company provides you with lots of warm clothes and gloves that you can put on right over your regular clothes. We saw beautiful waterfalls and even kayaked right up next to some seals sunbathing on the rocks. We spent our last 2 days in Queenstown which is a fun little town. over 3 years agoAnswered by Kate via WorldNomads.com
Totally disagreeeeee!!!! with Steve K. We spent a month on each island using a campervan from Cruzy campers. We had a battery go bad and they had it replaced and we where back on the road in less then a hour. We had a blow out and again we had a new tire and back on the road in less than two hours. They supplied us with maps and a courtesy cell phone at no extra charge. They made our vacation totally worry free. The biggest advantage to a campervan is, it is totally self contained, and you can park almost anywhere. We spent a lot of nights camped on a beach. If you see a sign with a tent with a red line through it you are allowed to camp there, because you have a self contained unit. A campervan will allow you to make the most of your 7 days. No having to worry about where your going to have to spend the next night is the biggest time saver of your trip. The roads are extremely curvy, especially on the south island, so you won't do a lot of miles in a day. Have a great vacation. over 3 years ago
Unfortunately, my recommendation would be to take more time and savor all that New Zealand has to offer. I was there for 5 weeks traveling both the North and South Island and feel that I didn't even scratch the surface. The best spots in my opinion are Abel Tasman, Wanaka, Milford Sound, and Queenstown...all on the South Island. There are plenty of car companies there in which to use without having to spend any money at all. They rely on people in positions such as yourself to transfer their vehicles back to where they need them. Awesome and reliable business. In all honestly though, no matter where you go in New Zealand, you're going to fall in love! Absolutely beautiful country. I would recommend soaking up as much as possible on the South Island though. Abel Tasman is stunning and gets about 33% more sunlight than the rest of the country so you can just imagine how the weather is. Not sure if you can private message members on here but please feel free to if it is an option. New Zealand is breathtaking and I will be returning there without a doubt in my mind. Safe travels!!! over 3 years ago
Hey, great plan! But 5 days??? Next time you'll go back for longer. Yes, the South Island is the one to see on limited time, and camper vans are very flexible. They also mean you don't have to pack / unpack every day. Also Haast, Wanaka & Queenstown are great spots with nice drives between, if you don't try to hurry. But, here's a *different* idea - have a look at farm stays. A lot of the 'feel' of NZ, in addition to the landscapes, is the friendly people. A farm stay is a great way to get alongside some 'kiwis' and slow down a little. There is soooo much to see that there is a danger you try to do too much. Have a great holiday, and plan a bit longer next time. over 3 years ago