New Zealand Travel Guide
Where to Eat & Drink
Coffee Spots & Breakfast
Bespoke Kitchen - The cutest breakfast spot in Queenstown! The ingredients are so fresh here and the breakfast menu has everything from hearty (cinnamon pancakes) to healthy (avocado toast, a smoothie board) but everything is delicious. They also have fresh baked goods and doubles as a coffee shop with tasty lattes, flat whites and other coffee drinks.
Caffetteria Allpress - This was our first stop in Auckland for a cup of coffee after a very long flight! I loved the drip coffee I got and we shared a few tasty pastries. The inside decor is very sparse and modern but it's a good spot for a quick coffee stop.
Best Ugly Bagels - We stopped here to check out what bagels taste like in the Southern Hemisphere and while this hipster bagel shop gets a lot of good reviews and press we must be bagel snobs from New York and felt like the bagels couldn't even compare. But, it was still fun to check out a place like this in Auckland!
Federal & Wolfe - as
Drinks & Dinner
What to do
Where to Stay
General Travel Info
Best time of year to go
For those of us who live in the Northern Hemisphere, it's easy to forget that the seasons are reversed here! We visited in May which is the end of fall in New Zealand so we weren't sure what to expect as far as the weather especially in the North vs South Island
This really depends on how much or little you want to see of New Zealand and from how far you are coming from. For us, we only had about two weeks to work with which we knew wasn't enough to really see the North and South Islands, but felt like we wanted to squeeze in the highlights of both. With 12-14 days you can really see one of the islands, or, like us try to fit in things you most want to see in both. To truly see all New Zealand has to offer, a 3-4 weeks is a good amount of time depending on your pacing.
Where to visit
You can check out our 12 day itinerary here. But to really see all that New Zealand has to offer, aim for 3-4 weeks to tour both the North and South Islands. This length of time would take you from Auckland up to the Bay of Islands, back down to the Bay of Plenty, south to Rotorua for some history and then east to Hawke's Bay and Napier for wine tasting and sun. Head south to Wellington and check out the tiny wine tasting area of Martinborough before taking the Interislander ferry to the South Island arriving in Picton. From here, head to Abel Tasman National Park and then depending on your timing, make your way down the west coast to Franz Josef Glacier, inland toward Wanaka and then to Queenstown. From Queenstown you can take a few day trips to the Milford or Doubtful Sound, wine tasting in the Central Otago region and possibly an overnight to Te Anau. Start your road trip North heading toward Lake Tekapo and then through the Canterbury Plains to Christchurch. Make your way up the East coast from here stop at Kaikoura for whale watching and end the month relaxing in the Marlborough wine region with some sauvignon blanc.
What to bring
The climate in and North of Auckland is almost tropical and much different than the cool crisp air and mountainous regions in the South Island so come prepared for a change in temperature if you are visiting both islands.
What to know about the country
- Fun fact: For domestic flights in New Zealand, most likely, photo identification won't be necessary - this came as a big surprise to us but we did get used to it after our first flight
- Similar to the UK, here you will be driving on the left side of the road. There are a lot of one lane roads and mountainous passes with large truckers passing through so drive with caution!
- The New Zealand dollar is the currency here and there are plenty of ATMs around the country to easily withdraw money as needed