Stunning scenery, glaciers, skydiving and glow worm caves – it’s no wonder New Zealand is near the top of our travel wish-list. When it came to planning the itinerary for our round the world trip, New Zealand came first for a number of reasons. Firstly, it’s an English speaking small-ish country that’s simple to get around in, so we can ease ourselves into our new travelling lifestyle. Since we’re leaving in March, it also makes sense to stop in New Zealand first to catch the end of their summer before we travel on to Australia and Asia.
What to do in New Zealand
There are so many New Zealand attractions to visit and cool, adrenaline-filled activities to take part in that it’s going to be a pretty full-on month – here are some of the things we hope to do:
- The Rock Boat tour around the Bay of Islands, recommended by GQ Trippin and Answering Oliver
- Visit the Glow Worm caves in Waitomo
- Check out the thermal springs in Rotorua
- Climb the Tongariro Alpine Crossing (aka, Mount Doom)
- Take on the Franz Joseph Glacier hike – complete with helicopter ride
Our New Zealand Itinerary
Although we generally favour the idea of travelling slowly, we’ll only be in New Zealand for a month so we’ll be moving around pretty quickly. On the 3rd March 2013 we’ll fly to New Zealand for the start of our incredible travel adventure! After that here’s how our itinerary looks:
- Auckland – two nights
- Paihia – three nights (including one night on the Rock Boat)
- Auckland – one night
- Cathedral Cove – two nights
- Waitomo – three nights
- Rotorua – five nights
- Tongariro – three nights
- Wellington – three nights
- Kaiteriteri – one night
- Franz Joseph – three nights
- Queenstown – two nights
- Dunedin – two nights
- One night in Christchurch before we fly to Melbourne on the 5th April 2013
Our New Zealand Budget
Although March might be the best time to visit New Zealand weather-wise, it’s probably not the best time budget-wise. We always knew that New Zealand and Australia would be the most expensive stops on our trip, but choosing to travel in summer when prices are higher and guesthouses are full isn’t exactly helping to keep costs down.
However, we didn’t spend years planning, dreaming and saving for this trip to skimp on our experiences – we want to make the most of our time in New Zealand and if that means blowing the budget a bit, then hey, we’re ok with that. We know that once we hit Asia we can slow down our spending and set a £1,000 per month budget.
To try and keep costs down we’ve decided to spend only a month backpacking in New Zealand and we’ll try and save our money as much as possible by cooking our own food and staying in the cheapest places we can. To make sure all the best New Zealand hostels aren’t booked up in peak season we’ve already made reservations and sorted out our car rental.
Here’s what we expect to spend during our month in New Zealand (our flights cost £540 per person but we’re including them in our pre-trip costs instead):
- Car rental = £380
- Fuel = £230
- Interislander ferry = £125
- Accommodation = £840
- Food = £300
- Activities = £910
- Total cost = £2,785
*Thanks to GQ Trippin, who shared the cost of their month-long New Zealand trip with us via email and in this post to help us budget.
What do you think of our plans – did we miss anywhere?