Two weeks in NZ - What are your top tips?

I’m in NZ for two weeks for my honeymoon in mid Jan, flying into Auckland, out of Christchurch.

The plan is to hire a van, hike and camp-out with a fairly open itinerary. What are your top tips for day hikes, POI, a cheeky MTB ride, accommodation etc?

Taking a bike or you’ll hire one?

Would be a hire for this trip

I did heli-mtbing at Mt Pisa. That was pretty ace. And the MTB trails in Wanaka are good, not to mention the scenery.

Book restaurants in advance, they all book out quick

Wanaka is great if you can get that far south. Great town centre, mountains all around, summer swimming spots, mountain biking everywhere. Good camping/van spots nearby at Albert Town (the campsite near the swing bridge, not the one close to the main road).

Albert Town is connected to Wanaka by some of the best bike path / single track you’ll ever find (Hikuwai Forest / the Outlet Track) and right next to Dean’s Bank, which is a purpose built loop through forest looking out over the river.

Great half-day walks and longer walks in every direction. Some of my favourites are the Rob Roy Glacier track (out towards My Aspiring) and the Sawyer Burn track, looking over the north side of Lake Hawea. A short but great (3hr?) loop closer to Wanaka is the Rocky Mountain track, starting from Diamond Lake.

Honeymoon, huh? I can think of one thing…

Not sure if you’re going anywhere near it but we drove Auckland to Wellington then did the train back, scenery was amazing.
The Weta Workshop in Wellington is worth it if you’re a film fan.

Cool. Well I’d hire bikes in Rotorua if your going thru and the Christchurch MTB park. Makara peak in Wellington is good riding but the hire bikes from nearby suck so unless your gonna rent a better MTB from the city and ride/drive to the Park I wouldn’t bother.

Walking wise can do a day on the Queen Charlotte Track, take a water taxi from Picton and get picked up further along the track.

Also recommend a days walk on the Abel Tasman also use water taxis, can have lunch at Awaroa Lodge that is on the track.

On both those tracks you can camp/book accommodation and stay a night but that time of year I’d be looking at booking any DoC ( Department of Conservation) sites or huts now.

Do a walk around Aoraki/ Mount Cook, even the 30min walks get you up pretty close to the glaciers, better than the West coast one’s in my opinion.

The walk up mount John from Tekapo is great on a nice day and a fairly easy walk with coffee at the top and great views.

A walk along the crater rim walkway is pretty sweet in CHCH if you’ve got nice weather, great views of the Harbour, City and mountains.

There are heaps of 2-3 hour walks around Arthur’s Pass and Lewis pass to.

Maruia hot springs are better than Hanmer if you want something like that

Jam and cheese (and a pint) at the Cardrona Hotel.

This is awesome. Thanks all, I’ll digest over the weekend.

Speights Gold Medal stubbies!