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Finally! Our New Zealand Travel Plans | Don't Ever Look Back

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Finally! Our New Zealand Travel Plans

Finally! Our New Zealand Travel Plans

Things are finally starting to look up.

After we posted a month ago about why we had been so quiet, we’ve barely had time to think. Without going into too much detail, we’ve both been working some crazy hours (including a couple of 15-16 hour days!) while trying to plan our upcoming New Zealand vacation but fortunately that’s all over now.

We’re on holidays.

We have Internet.

And Don’t Ever Look Back is back!

So as promised, here is a rundown of our exciting plans for New Zealand. There won’t be too much time for relaxing; we’re doing as much as we possibly can!

Our New Zealand Travel Plans

New Zealand Road Trip Map

We’ll be starting our journey in Dunedin by picking up our rental car and paying visits to Cadbury World and Speight’s Brewery. Chocolate and beer – two of our favorite things in the world and the perfect way to start any holiday!

It’ll then be a short drive north to Oamaru to see the two penguin colonies where hopefully we’ll get some good looks at the yellow-eyed penguins and blue penguins. How cute!

Little Blue Penguins

Little Blue Penguins

We then head to Christchurch for an authentic Maori cultural experience at Ko Tane followed up by a visit to the Orana Wildlife Park where we’ll get up close with some lions! Can’t wait to share that video.

We’re planning on incorporating a brief stop in Kaikoura before bringing in 2013 in the Marlborough region where we’ll be staying in a vineyard drinking world-class wine and eating great food. This is something we’re very excited about!

Marlborough Wine Region

Marlborough Wine Region

The road trip then gets serious with the longest drive of the journey from Blenheim to Franz Josef Glacier where hopefully we’ll get to explore the ice. A photo stop at the Pancake Rocks of Punakaiki is a must!

By now we’re halfway through our journey and will head on to famous Queenstown. We know that we’ll be going on a cruise in stunning Milford Sound but what else should we do in the adventure capital of the world?

New Zealand Milford Sound

Milford Sound

At this stage we’ve got a free day so we’re tossing up between river surfing, jet boating, the Skyline Luge and dare we say it, bungy jumping. Actually, on second thought, scrap that last one!

Our time in the South Island comes to an end with one last stop at Aoraki/Mount Cook, the highest mountain in New Zealand. We might check out some more glaciers here and if we’re lucky, touch an iceberg!

Mount Cook

Mount Cook

The final drive of our South Island road trip will be back to Christchurch where we fly out for three final nights in Wellington where our plans are still to be confirmed.

So that’s a summary of what we’ve got to look forward to and obviously we’ll be sharing all of this with you via Facebook, our other social media channels and right here on the blog. An action-packed adventure that we can’t wait to embark upon!

What else should we do in New Zealand? If we’ve missed anything let us know in the comments below!


  1. Posted December 22, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    Great itinerary! I’m so jealous!!

    While you’re in Dunedin, also be sure to visit Baldwin Street, which is the steepest street in the world!

    With that free day in Queenstown, I’d recommend jet boating if you’re not up for bungy jumping. Or take an afternoon drive to nearby Arrowtown, which is super cute.
    Amanda recently posted..Where am I Ringing in the New Year? At #Blogmanay in Edinburgh!

    • Posted December 23, 2012 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      If you think it’s a great itinerary then we’re definitely doing something right! 🙂

      Thanks for the tip about Dunedin – we’ve got Baldwin Street in our notes and are planning to run up it on our first day in NZ. Whether we make it all the way to the top will be the challenge!

      Jet boating is probably our top choice so it’s likely we’ll get to do that. And will definitely check out Arrowtown if we have time!

  2. Claire
    Posted December 23, 2012 at 2:42 am | Permalink

    From Queenstown, if you want to do jetboating – the drive to Glenorchy is stunning, and you can do a jet boating tour when you get there… It was one of my favourite things in NZ.

    Try to stop off at Lake Tekapo on the way from Mt Cook to Christchurch – it’s one of the classic South Island views not to be missed. I think you drive right through it.

    There’s some good trails to take at Mt Cook as well.

    Have fun!!

    • Posted December 23, 2012 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      Cool, cool… so that’s two for jet boating!

      Yeah we’ll try to stop at Lake Tekapo but we’ve been told that Lake Pukaki is just as pretty! Can’t wait! 🙂

  3. Posted December 23, 2012 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    Advance welcome to NZ!

    Make sure you do the Truman Track when you’re at Punakaiki. It’s short and worth it – especially at sunset.
    Kate @ 30Traveler recently posted..Why Move to New Zealand – A Guide for Americans

    • Posted December 23, 2012 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      Thanks Kate! 🙂

      And great advice, we didn’t know about the Truman Track and will go for a stroll along it when we get there.

  4. Matthew Cheyne
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Hi Guys 🙂 Hope you had a great Christmas. One of the other travel blogs I’ve been following is http://dimensionalhearttraveler.com/ . He’s done New Zealand extensively this year going from the top of the North Island to the most southern tip of the South Island. You should find plenty of tips over there.

    • Posted December 27, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Matthew! We’ll check that out and hopefully get some good advice. 🙂

  5. Posted December 26, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    You will love New Zealand, we’ve been here for 3 months now – and still have so much to explore! Feel free to take a look at our travels for some inspiration – we’re based in Queenstown – so I’d be happy to recommend restaurants and bars, etc. Have fun!
    Elle Williams recently posted..A Queenstown Christmas

    • Posted December 27, 2012 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Elle, we’re loving it so far! About a week away from Queenstown so definitely going to check out your blog and if you have any tips or secrets then we’d love to hear them. 🙂

    • Posted December 27, 2012 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

      Ohh yes 🙂 Here are some quick recommendations…

      – Flame Restaurant is AMAZING if you like steak or ribs. Literally the best meat I’ve ever had.

      – I’d recommend the Jucy Eco tour for Milford Sound which leaves from QT – it has a glass roof, so you can see everything when you’re driving there. The tour guide was really cool too.

      – Try checking out http://www.bookme.co.nz/bookings/queenstown/home – they do discounts on all the major QT attractions – sometime like 99% off if you grab the tickets quick enough.

      – Winnies Pizza is awesome for drinks and pizza (of course). It’s a super cool little bar upstairs, and you can eat too.
      Elle Williams recently posted..A Queenstown Christmas

  6. Posted December 27, 2012 at 4:05 am | Permalink

    Try getting up to the North Island and doing the Tongariro Circuit. I went 10 years ago and saw no one for three days. You might have it a little different now, considering what The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit are doing for tourism to NZ. Either way, the South Island is a blast. Rent bikes in Queenstown and ride above the canyons. It costs like $10 for the day and you can go out without a guide. One of the few ways to enjoy QT on your own.
    Noah recently posted..Tsunami in Thailand: Remembering the Devastation of 2004

    • Posted December 27, 2012 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

      Hey Noah, unfortunately we won’t have time to do too much on the North Island excluding Wellington but no doubt we’ll be back in this country sooner rather than later. That’s a good tip for Queenstown and we’ll see if we can make it happen (weather permitting!).

  7. Posted December 29, 2012 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    It’s great to have you back guys! Your itinerary looks great…a mix of a little bit of everything just like any good trip should have; can’t wait to read all about it so I can sneakily make notes for my eventual trip to NZ.
    Exciting times for the end of your year 🙂
    Toni recently posted..Instead of looking back at 2012, I’m looking forward…

  8. Posted January 1, 2013 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    I just came back from NZ yesterday, and I absolutely loved it!!! In Queenstown, we did the river boarding; so much fun, I can totally recommend it!

    • Posted January 1, 2013 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Bernadett – we’ll be in Queenstown in 3 days and the river boarding does look awesome, hopefully we’ll be able to squeeze it in!

  9. Posted January 4, 2013 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    I know you are right in the middle of your trip but I just wanted to say I am drooling over this itinerary! Can’t wait to read about your adventures in detail once you have returned:-).
    Rebecca recently posted..Alaska – The Stars At Night, Are Big And Bright….

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