12 Days New Zealand Itinerary Including Wellington, Picton & Queenstown

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I had the pleasure of exploring New Zealand for 16 amazing days. The 12 Days New Zealand Itinerary includes south and north island, it also includes some of the most scenic places to see in New Zealand, including Milford Sound, Queenstown, Wellington, and Kaikoura.

Mildford Sound is a must one The New Zealand Itinerary

The New Zealand Itinerary stars with flying into the North Island and Wellington the capital of New Zealand with Air New Zealand is most likely going to be the most fun experience you had so far by taking a flight. When did the Kiwis decide that they were going to have fun on safety movies on aircraft? Well, thank you for the laugh, Air New Zealand.

Start your morning with finding an excellent coffee shop in Wellington. In New Zealand they have an amazing coffee culture, just like Norway. Which I love.

The New Zealand Itinerary has included a Free walking tour, which are maybe one of the best ways to see a new city when having a short time. Let’s be honest you are going to find those hidden-gems in less than 48 hours. The FREE- walking tour with YHA hostel is for a laugh and tremendous fun walking.

We walked around and looked at all the beautiful sculptures in the town of Wellington as well it’s history. Wellington City is very new because of all the earthquakes that have damaged old buildings. Wellington is supposed to be a windy city, but when I was visiting Wellington decided to show up with no wind, only sun, and love.

The ferry ride from Wellington to Picton was a genuine surprise of beautiful landscape. Maybe the best-kept secret of this New Zealand Itinerary.

BThe ferry ride from Wellington to Picton was a true surprise of beautiful landscape. Maybe the best kept secreat of this New Zealand Itinerary. Lush green forest surrounded in deep blue water. I love traveling when it gives you these kinda of unspoiled surprises. You happen to travel with a ferry that takes two boring hours, but then it end up being maybe the most scenic hours on your trip, and even better surrounded in the culture of New Zealand doing there daily life. Different cargo’s sending there sheep away to new destinations. By doing this ferry ride you are now crossing over to South Island of New Zealand, the one that people maybe spend the most time exploring.

Is there one thing I do regret from my visit to New Zealand, I that I did not stay in Picton and discovered it more as another unique place to stay in New Zealand.

I have to say Backpacker Guide in New Zealand gave a great overview of things to do in Picton. If you want to read more here.

When in Picton, I would consider adding a wine tour to your day. Because New Zealand has some amazing wines, and have you noticed how pretty the landscape is in Marlborough? Well, I think that is a reflection on how pretty the wine will taste.

My personal favorite is the Cloudy Bay Winery and it’s prestigious Sauvignon blanc that taste vibrant and mouthwatering with notes of citrus, kaffir lime, passion fruit, and white stone fruit.

From Picton you will catch the bus further on to Kaikoura, a small village that is surrounded in prestine beauty and natural rawneess coming in by the salty seawater.

I went Sea Kayaking, do to my ability of poor planning and not booking in advance for the whale watching. The Sea kayaking was an utterly cool experience fighting with the elements and getting out there to explore the marine life close from the kayak.

For dinner we went down to the local diner and had a complete mouthwatering experience of New Zealand seafood. It was tasty, it was rich and I was happy. The fish was not overcooked it was treated with respect which gave it a big bang for me!

Earthquake and Discovering French for Rabbits. I Moved on to Christchurch where I went to the Darkroom and had my first concert with the band French for Rabbits. Folk music from New Zealand that performs the most fragile voice I had heard for a long time. Half of the town area in Christchurch is lost after the massive earthquake that happened in 2011.

I spent Christchurch in way of breaking up the travel to Queenstown. Also to see the music scene that the city has, which was great.

Wake up early! And get on the morning bus. The drive from Christchurch to Queenstown in New Zealand is a stunner. Once again you are surrounded in a scenic landscape that reminds you of Narnia or hold the taught a second, it was the Lord of the Rings.

On the bus trip you will have a lunch break with a lake, it is the closes you can get to heaven on earth. Do not push that, break enjoy those 30 minutes and have a nap on the ground listen to the sounds of the nature and maybe we see you in savasana!

12 Days New Zealand Itinerary

Have the afternoon in Queenstown. Maybe you manage to do the Thunder Jet-boat Ride? Which is a crazy thriller for your stomach! Almost colliding into the canyon mountain walls, is fun right?

In Queenstown you can do many great things, below is a small selection of things to check out when being in the extreme outdoor city in New Zealand.

You need that one day where you can just relax and do anything. Can even watch Netflix if you need to catch up and charge batteries.

Milford Sound was pretty spectacular to see surrounded steep mountains coming right into the fjord. The Norwegian girl taught that 12 hours on a bus was somehow painful for seeing the beauty. It is better regretting doing something than not doing it. I would probably have regretted if I did not see it. It’s 12 hour on a bus and 45 minutes on the Fjord of Milford Sound.

Who haven’t seen the movies Lord of the Rings? That’s one of the primary way’s people discover New Zealand, and it’s jaw-dropping landscape. I’m not the biggest fan of bungy jumping, even do my dad loves it. Do not mean I have to carry on the family tradition. I went for horseback riding in the landscape to Lord of the Rings movies, which was a stunner. Maybe my favorite part of my travel in New Zealand. Because I was pretty much interacting with nature very close on the horseback.

Remember for dinner you have to have the famous Ferg Burger, it’s New Zelands most famous burger.

New Zealand Itinerary Including North and South Island, with ferries, wine tasting, sea kayaking, horseback riding, the fjord Milford Sound & Queenstown

Walter Peak High Country Farm was my dad’s highest recommendation for being in New Zealand, well he told me when I was back from New Zealand. Next time I will definitely do it!

In case you want to go and have an outstanding day and maybe your best experience in New Zealand, I have attached the tour below.

Catch an afternoon flight to Auckland or home, just before sunset. In that way, you will have an amazing fly out from Queenstown with spectacular snow-topped alps from New Zealand.

Day 13 Auckland

If you are flying out from Auckland in New Zealand, plan it at the end of your trip. Yes, Auckland is a cool big city, and is kinda like Sydney, but not. It has different interesting places to check out, including an amazing food scene.

I do have to say if you are running short on time skip Auckland and stay more at the South Island and in Queenstown or even go to Nelson which has the best pizza in New Zealand. Because I do have to say that the South Island has a pretty first-class experience when it comes to pure nature experiences.

Day 14 Travel Home

If you do decide to stay in Auckland your last day, I do highly recommend taking the ferries over to the other side of Auckland. It will get you a pretty fine panorama picture of the sky skyscrapers with the water in front.

This was the 12 days New Zealand Itinerary, which includes a bit of everything. The New Zealand Itinerary is perfect if you want to have adventure that includes exploring by horseback riding, wine tasting, sea kayaking and other fun activities. I had an outstanding time in New Zealand, I would recommend anyone to travel there. Or if you are a complete beach bum, maybe not but I’am and I also loved it.

The best part about the South Island, is the distance are pretty decent to handle, not too many long hours on the buses trough New Zealand. I was traveling as a solo female traveler and never had any concern about safety. New Zealand has an outstanding culture with kind people and beautiful landscape. The New Zealand Itinerary is Solved, now go an explore!

Time needed: 12 days, 12 hours and 12 minutes.

12 Days New Zealand Itinerary

  1. DAY

    Wellington the Capital of New Zealan

  2. DAY

    Wellington Free Walking Tour

  3. DAY

    Picton Scenic Ferry Ride

  4. DAY

    Marlborough Wine Tour – Cloudy Bay?

  5. DAY

    Traveling to Kaikoura

  6. DAY

    Kaikoura, Whale Watching or Sea Kayaking?

  7. DAY

    Travel to Christchurch and check out the Music Scene

  8. DAY

    Travel to Queenstown Outdoor Adventure Paradise

  9. DAY

    RELAXING DAY – NO PLAN

  10. DAY

    The Famous Fjord Milford Sound

  11. DAY

    Horseback Riding in the Landscape to Lord of the Rings

  12. DAY

    Finish with a Bang at Walter Peak High Country Farm

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