An Epic New Zealand Road Trip 🚐👫

in #travel3 years ago (edited)

I believe a road trip in New Zealand should not be the first road trip you go on because it will leave you spoiled rotten. The island country offers so much variety and such diverse experiences, that any road trip you go on in the future will simply leave you yearning for more. @kwlvarun and I spent 15 days driving through the country, and you have to believe us if we say it's absolutely true!

My trip to New Zealand was made up of a lot of firsts. It was my first ever international holiday, my first ever road trip, and the first trip the husband and I took together (it was our honeymoon 🙂). We hired a campervan and drove through the entire length and breadth of the South Island for about 15 days (NZ is divided into two parts - North Island and South Island).


This was seven years back. Ever since that first extraordinary road trip, we have gone on several other road trips in various parts of the world, but one thing that stays common is that we always end up comparing our road tripping experience to that in New Zealand. I love going on road trips essentially because of the scenery and in that sense, New Zealand is road-trippers' heaven. Kiwi-land definitely has some of the prettiest landscapes. I wouldn't say it's the best place on this planet because well, I have yet to see a lot. But what I loved most about New Zealand is the variety it offered - picture-postcard like panoramas to heart-pumping adventure!


While I might not be able to give you an in-depth account of our New Zealand road trip (it was seven years back and I wasn't that big into planning then), I would definitely like to share the highlights of our trip. So here you go:

Adventure sports in Queenstown, the adventure capital of New Zealand

We did our first sky dive and bungee jump in Queenstown, New Zealand. I don't think we've had a more heart pumping experience before or after that. We also did the Shotover Jet, a thrilling white water ride where our jet boat sped over 10 cm deep water (pretty shallow) along the Shotover river and deep into the river canyons. Queenstown was all about thrill and adrenaline rush!



Celebrated our sky diving victory with some amazing burgers at Fergburger

Our campervan experience which was our home for entire length of the trip

I think deciding to hire a campervan for our New Zealand road trip was the best decision ever! It made our New Zealand experience truly memorable. Whenever someone tells us that they are planning a trip to New Zealand and asks for suggestions, the first thing we tell them is to go for a campervan or motorhome. That is the ultimate way to see and experience the country! New Zealand is a road trippers paradise and there's something to stop and see at every corner. Since the country is pretty safe too, we had the freedom to drive as many miles as we wanted and then stop whenever and wherever we wished too. I remember waking up to a new and gorgeous view every morning. There are lots of campervan parks too where you can choose to park and stay for the night. If we ever go back to New Zealand, we would definitely do this all over again!

Loading our campervan with groceries for the trip ahead

We would wake up at scenic spots like this and have our morning coffee right by the water


Drives and Hikes Around Queenstown

I cannot emphasize enough how beautiful, scenic, and unspoilt New Zealand is. The drive is so breathtaking! Every turn you take will leave you awestruck.




The cities in the South Island are not far from each other but it does take a lot of time just because you would want to stop every two minutes to take pictures. There are plenty of look out points and you'll get to see a bit of everything - ice-capped mountains; glistening, serene lakes; lush forests; quaint villages; stunning, empty roads.

As far as cities go, Queenstown was handsdown our favorite. It's not just the adventure capital of New Zealand, but also a beautiful city where you can spend a leisurely day exploring everything it has to offer, including the gorgeous, oh-so-blue, Lake Wakatipu. We took the sky gondola ride in Queenstown and the picturesque views left us astounded! There are plenty of short hikes too.



The Serenity and Untouched Beauty of Lake Tekapo

Seven years back when we went to New Zealand, it was still a comparatively untouched country tourism-wise. The drive was easy because of literally empty roads, and you could enjoy the scenery all by yourself. At the gorgeous Lake Tekapo, we were the only two souls taking in the beauty of the serene lake and its surroundings. Hard to believe right?

lake tekapo-3.jpg


Wine Tasting in the Marlborough Wine Region

We woke up in Blenheim, the sunniest town in New Zealand, also known as the gateway to the wineries in Wairau Valley.


It's the ideal place for a stopover if you want to explore the local wine and food culture in and around the region. We decided to explore the Marlborough Wine Region (largest wine making region in NZ) and spent a leisurely day wine tasting and lunching at Highfields Winery. In case you don't want to splurge at a winery, you can always pack a picnic since there are lots of picnic opportunities in the region.

new-zealand-marlborough wine-region-girlinchief.png


I feel immensely lucky that I got an opportunity to experience one of the most breathtakingly gorgeous parts of the world. And what a destination to check off that wish list right? Back then, we were amateurs when it came to traveling (especially international) and I'm sure if we did this trip now, the experience would be different altogether. Regardless, it is one of those trips that will always be remembered fondly. Who knows, we might relive the experience when we turn 60! 😀

Which is that one trip or destination that you would want to do again? Why? Tell me in the comments below. I'd love to know.

If you like this post, please show some love! I regularly post about my travel adventures across the world. So if you're looking for some travel inspiration, follow along!

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Cool roadtrip!

It indeed is the coolest road trip I've done so far!

This is blogging! Love it! RESTEEMED!

Glad that you liked it! Thank you so much @qurator 🙂 Really appreciate it!

awesome post and breathtaking photos. my brother is traveling through new zealand at the moment. we traveled australia up and down a few times already. lloking forward to see some more posts from you. upvoted and resteemed your post

Thank you so much! That is a lot of encouragement to create good posts. I bet your brother is loving every bit of his time in NZ. I really want to visit Australia too!

Touring through NZ in a vehicle has always been a dream of mine. Love the pictures that you took =)

@nicolexu1337 A lot of people have said the same thing to me...that a road trip in NZ is their ultimate dream vacation. I'm not surprised! Thank you for stopping by and for the appreciation! :)

Awesome Clicks! Mesmerizing New Zealand <3

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That looks like such a great journey! I love seeing people jumping with a parachute. I can't wait to feel the adrenaline by myself too! :)

Yes, this trip is really close to our heart. Lots and lots of amazing memories. You should definitely try skydiving once. It is an experience unparalleled. Thanks for stopping by! :)

It's on my "to-try" things! :D

what a beautiful day, photos,enjoyment with nature, I am Indian and always dreaming to visit newzeland. thank you for sharing your photos.

A wish from me.

Thank you for stopping by! Hope you can make your dream come true soon! :)

Amazing... i like post you @girlimchief

Thank you!

Very good, detailed and positive post. Well, it is almost a guide! :) Fascinating land and awesome photos, you and your husband look absolutely happy :) If NZ wasn't on my wishlist I should definitely add it. Follow. Thank you!

Thank you so much! I'm so happy you liked it. New Zealand definitely is everything a traveler can dream of. Thanks for stopping by! Following you back! :)

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Congrats to you lovely and happy couple. :-) Nothing beats natural beauties that one can find in New Zealand.

How long did you averagely drive each day?

Hehe thanks...but we got married almost seven years back. New Zealand definitely is one of the most beautiful of all places. On an average, I think we drove for about 4 hours every day. But the time it took to travel from one place to another was more because we made lots of stops on the way - to explore places, small towns on the way, eat, take pictures, and simply soak in the beauty of the place.

4 hours a day was ideal, NZ always has lots of natural wonders to offer. I can imagine how fun and fulfilling your trip was.

Count me in next time and I'll be your driver and porter. Chuckling :-)

It is lovely to read how much you enjoyed our country, even back then. :)
go kiwi! :D

@ravenruis Your country is such a beauty! I would love to go back! :)

Wow, it looks like an incredible experience. Never thought about a vacation in a campervan but it actually seems like loads of fun. It lets you have a freedom of going and sleeping almost anywhere you want.

Thanks for stopping by! It indeed was the most amazing experience. Having a campervan definitely added to the whole appeal. We were a little apprehensive in the beginning since it was our first trip together, first time driving such a big vehicle, and that too in a foreign land. We even had a small accident of sorts on the very first day. Thankfully, it was just a parked car! But beyond that it was nothing but fun! I wouldn't do NZ any other way! We've been contemplating doing a similar road trip in the US or Canada. Let's see if we can make that happen now. :)

What a fantastic way to spend honeymoon! I went last summer for about 2 weeks and it really wasn't enough to experience NZ properly. But it seems like you have packed a lot in your honeymoon!

Haha yes! Definitely not how honeymoons usually are! We totally loved it! I agree that even two weeks are not enough for a place like NZ. I would love to go back!

You mentioned about reliving the experience when you are 60, and for me, probably i can only make the trip when I am 60years old. Now practically stucked at home due to parenting and 2nd son is having some condition too. I basically had thrown the idea of travelling out the window but by reading your post, it sort of giving me desire to travel again. Thank you for sharing this. I love all of it. 😁

@iamjadeline Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with me. I really appreciate it! While I can't say that I truly understand your challenges, what I would say is to never stop dreaming. This life can surprise us in so many ways we can't even imagine. Who would know this more than a mother! I'm so happy to know that this post rekindled in you the desire to travel. You can make it happen! And I always say that it's not about checking places off your bucket-list. As long as you're having new experiences, it's great! :)

Great, well-composed post with many amazing photos. New Zealand must be sweet. Especially for a nature lover like me :) Awesome job. Happy to upvote it.

Thank you so much for your encouraging words! Yes, New Zealand is simply breathtaking. More so for an adventure and nature lover! :)

A road trip through America is usually what people think of when someone says road trip. However, we think you have convinced us to do a road trip when we visit New Zealand. Obviously, it was LOTR that put New Zealand as a travel destination on our maps, otherwise we would have been happy with a trip to Australia and that's it.
The natural beauty, easy going life and the food and wine, if you combine it all = perfect holiday! Thank you for your post @girlinchief

Yes! You absolutely should do a road trip when in New Zealand. Trust me, no other way will do justice to the stunning beauty that the country is. It'll be a truly fulfilling experience that you'll remember for the rest of your lives! Perfect in all ways for couples especially.
A big American road trip is definitely on our minds. For now, we're trying to cover the US one road trip at a time. This country is just too big! Thanks for stopping by! :)

We'll take your recommendations and when we do the road trip, we won't forget who influenced us :) thanks @girlinchief looking forward to your next post

You've done the mother of all road-trips .... or any trips. You can just stay home from now on, you've seen it all. Hehe ...!!!

It looks like you had an incredible time!!!!

Haha...if only that was possible! It's such a big world with so much to see! And that scratch map hanging in my living room doesn't make it easy to sit at home. I find myself staring at it so many times in a day!
But yes, I'm so so happy that I got to experience New Zealand, and how! So fulfilling!

we were in new zealand for the whole month of december doing both the north and south island...
It was indeed a magical experience. I have had enough material to write a post about every day, sometimes multiple posts... we did soooo much and still felt fully recharged when we got home

It seems like your trip was magical as well

Wow, that's great! I'm definitely going to check out your posts! There is definitely something magical about that country. It just leaves you gobsmacked!

I love everything about this post! Follow you for more. Your blogging style, writing, and photos are gorgeous. This was a delight to read and look at from start to finish. Going to New Zealand is one of my biggest dreams and your adventure there looks perfect. Hope it was the honeymoon of your dreams!

Thank you so much for those lovely words! It definitely was the best honeymoon we could ask for. Unique, fulfilling and memorable. Thanks for stopping by! :)

Hiya, just swinging by to let you know you're being featured in today's Travel Digest!

Oh wow! This is incredible! Featured in the main posts after two honorable mentions! Woohoo! Thank you so much! :)

You chose a great location for your honeymoon It looks you had a magnificient experience. UnfortunatelyI have not been to New Zeland. Many peoples said to me the best way is to visit by car or by van.

That's absolutely true! No other way will do justice to the beauty that New Zealand is.

Great information and trip. I disagree, you should only go on trips that leave you yearning for more. This is now a trip I must ponder myself.

Yes, that's another way of looking at it! :)

Enjoyed reading your blog. Road trips are always the best, you have more freedom and no need to have any plan specially if you have a camper van.

That's true! We are big fans of road trips for the same reasons. There's so much more you can discover and experience when you're on the road. We're contemplating doing a similar campervan road trip in Canada. Is Canada big on those or it's a rare sight?

Yes you can get a Campervan or an RV or a Jeep with Tent on top too :)

We did a 4 week roadtrip in NZ (after 2 months in Oz) 2 years ago, stayed in caravan park motels but desperately want to return for 2 months to caravan, because we realized like you that it would give more flexibility and allow us to see a lot more spots. The plan was to come back this year but we've had to delay due to some minor health issues - hopefully next year. You can find the posts of that roadtrip on worldmap, may give you some ideas if you ever go back. Thanks for sharing - being younger you got to do some things (like bungee jumping) that we would not attempt! Safe travels. Following.

Yes, you should definitely try to go back for a caravan road trip. Hoping you can make it happen soon! I feel so happy to see young-at-heart people like you traveling. It is such a big inspiration. I'm definitely going to check out your NZ posts. Following back! Take care :)

I feel you are really in love with this country... and it doesn’t matter, that you wanna go there again... you should really try rooftop tent camping in NZ! It will blow your mind much more than with a campervan... you can rent many tents there including the car...

Feel free to ask me if you need more informations 😎

What a great record of an exciting expedition. thanks for sharing.

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