• Cassie Hintz

Exploring New Zealand: 7-Day Road Trip Itinerary for the South Island

Note: Before traveling to New Zealand, I completed the 100% Pure New Zealand specialist course for travel agents to learn about the country's tourism. If you want more information about anything in this itinerary, or other parts of the country, send me a message or book a travel consultation. I'll help you plan the trip of a lifetime. When my parents came to visit us in Australia earlier this year, I figured they’d want to travel around Oz, but my dad heard that New Zealand’s Fjords are the most beautiful place in the world. His heart was set on seeing them.

So, we went to Fjordland. And it was spectacular.

One of the many waterfalls in Milford Sound. Our boat got close enough for us to feel the spray

This itinerary could easily be expanded with more time in certain places, or by adding somewhere like Christchurch, but if you only have a week and want a focus on the Fjords then this is the trip for you. I've broken the days down into highlights, followed by descriptions of our trip in more detail.

Day 1: - Lunch in Queenstown at Pub on Wharf - Explore Queenstown gardens - Drive to Te Anau Day 2: - Coach/cruise/walk tour of Milford Sound - Sunset dinner by Lake Te Anau at The Moose

Day 3: - Doubtful Sound tour

- Bird Sanctuary

- Movie at Fjordland Cinema

Day 4: - Drive from Te Anau to Mount Cook area - Dinner at Ministry of Works

- Rest for hiking the next day

Day 5:

- Breakfast at Shawty's - Mount Cook National Park

- Visitor center and hiking

Day 6:

- Drive to Queenstown

- Explore nightlife

Day 7:

-Skyline Queenstown gondola and luge

- Lunch at Stratosfare Restaurant and Bar -Flight home

​​Day One:

Queenstown and Te Anau

We flew round-trip from Melbourne to Queenstown, New Zealand’s adventure capital. We retrieved our rental car, and then experienced the biggest struggle of our trip: finding somewhere to park. After an epic search, we found a spot on the side of a massive hill and wandered into town for lunch. We went to Pub on Wharf, a cozy restaurant near the water with outdoor seating. We split some killer nachos (I eat a lot of nachos, you can trust me on this one), ribs, a burger, and tried our first New Zealand beer. I went with the Green Beret IPA.