How to plan this New Zealand Honeymoon Itinerary
We know that planning an exceptional honeymoon can be a time-consuming and stressful process especially on top of your wedding planning. While we try to provide you with inspiration for a New Zealand honeymoon itinerary, there’s an easy way to plan and book your honeymoon. First Light Travel is a free online travel agent specialising in self-drive itineraries in New Zealand. In fact, you might just like their 14-Day New Zealand Honeymoon for Nature Lovers self-drive itinerary that is very similar to the one we suggest below.For more information on how online travel planners like First Light Travel work seeHow to Create the Perfect New Zealand Road Trip Itinerary.
Day 1 – Auckland
Before jumping on the road, take the time to relax together in New Zealand’s most romantic city, the ‘City of Sails’. A walk along the Viaduct as the sun goes down is a great way to spend the evening, watching the city light reflections glistening in the harbour waters. The Viaduct is also teeming with fabulous eateries and bars. If you have more time in Auckland, check out some of our suggestions.
Things to Do in Auckland
- Explore Waiheke Island, Rangitoto Island or Tiritiri Matangi Island
- Go up the Auckland Sky Tower
- Do an Auckland dolphin and whale watching cruise
- Walk to Mt Eden, Auckland’s highest volcanic peak
- Go shopping, try the local cuisine and more!
For more inspiration, see10 Auckland Must-Dos.
Honeymoon Accommodation in Auckland
Day 2 – Hahei (Coromandel)
Drive Time: 2h15mins
It’s time to hit the road and check out some of the most stunning beaches in New Zealand. Feel the sand between your toes beneath the white cliffs of Cathedral Cove or on a more secluded beach like New Chums. Or how about digging your own private hot pool at Hot Water Beach?
Things to Do in Hahei
- Check out some of the largest trees in New Zealand at Cookson’s Kauri
- Walk, kayak or take a boat tour to Cathedral Cove
- Discover hidden beaches like New Chums Beach
- Dig your own hot pool at Hot Water Beach
Get more inspiration from15 Coromandel Must-Dos.
Honeymoon Accommodation in Hahei
Day 3 – Rotorua
Drive Time: 4 hours
Now that you’ve seen some of New Zealand’s beautiful coastline, it’s time to dive into the heartland of the North Island! Rotorua is New Zealand’s cultural and geothermal hotspot with a wonderful array of geothermal parks, hot pool and Maori cultural experiences. It’s likely that you’ll want to experience a few activities here, which you’ll also get time to do tomorrow.
Things to Do in Rotorua
- Check out the amazing geothermal parks in Rotorua
- Take part in a Maori cultural experience at Tamaki, Mitai, Whakarewarewa and more!
- Get gorgeous views from the Skyline Gondola, along with a romantic meal at the Stratsfare Restaurant
- Take a scenic flight to the volcanos of Mt Tarawera or White Island
- Do white water rafting down a 7m waterfall!
And there’s much more! Check out10 Rotorua Must-Dosfor ideas.
Honeymoon Accommodation in Rotorua
Day 4 – Taupo & Tongariro National Park
Drive Time: 4 hours
After squeezing in one last romantic hot pool session, make your way to the volcanic landscapes of the Tongariro National Park. Along the way, you’ll pass through the towns of Taupo and Turangi with their own set of attractions, from geothermal hot spots to the magnificent Huka Falls to white water rafting on the Tongariro River. You’ll end the day in National Park Village ready to do the Tongariro Crossing tomorrow.
Things to Do in Taupo
- Sail to the Maori Rock Carvings on Lake Taupo
- Take a helicopter flight over the volcanoes of Mt Tongariro, Ruapehu and Ngauruhoe
- Get the adrenaline going with a tandem skydive or a bungy jump
- Hit the Great Lake Trail on a scenic mountain biking tour
- Go white water rafting on the Tongariro River
Honeymoon Accommodation in National Park Village
Day 5 – Tongariro Crossing
See some of the most breathtaking scenery on the North Island along the Tongariro Crossing. This 19km one-way hike features volcanic craters, vibrant lakes and Lord of the Rings scenery. There are options to either hike it yourself or go with a guide. Either way, booking transport to and from the walking trail is mandatory for this one-way hike. SeeGuide to the Tongariro Alpine Crossingfor more information.Due to the Tongariro Crossing’s popularity, you may find the Crossing too “busy” for that honeymoon ambience. Check out alternative day hikes in the area with arguably rivalling views of the Tongariro Crossing in our13 Walks Around National Park Village & Whakapapa Village. For more inspiration, see10 Tongariro National Park Must-Dos.Your transport or guide will return you back to your chosen National Park Village accommodation.
Day 6 – Wellington
Drive time: 4 hours
Your drive today takes you through interesting Kiwi towns and hugs the coastline of the Kapiti Coast on your way to the capital city. Wellington is a diverse city that you’ll want to leave plenty of time to explore while feeling its creative and eclectic vibes.
Things to Do in Wellington
- Visit the Te Papa Museum – New Zealand’s national museum
- See rare native wildlife at Zealandia
- Check out the eateries and shops on the bohemian Cuba Street
- Take the Wellington Cable Car to the Wellington Botanic Garden
- See how The Lord of the Rings was made on the Weta Workshop Tour
Check out10 Wellington Must-Dosfor more things to do.
Honeymoon Accommodation in Wellington
Day 7 – Cruise to the South Island & Motueka
Drive Time: 2h20mins
Not just a ferry crossing from the North Island to the South Island, the Cook Strait ferry is a scenic cruise from the Wellington Harbour through the stunning Marlborough Sounds. You’ll arrive in the quaint harbourside town of Picton where you’ll travel through the Whangamoa Saddle to the sunny Tasman district. After a scenic drive, take it easy in your chosen accommodation and get some rest for tomorrow’s adventures in the Abel Tasman National Park.
Honeymoon Accommodation in Motueka
Day 8-9 – Abel Tasman National Park
Today, you’ll take a water taxi into the Abel Tasman National Park, an isolated area at the top of the South Island famous for its golden sand beaches backed with lush forest. There are several options to enjoy your two-day adventure in the Abel Tasman National Park, by mixing walking the Abel Tasman Great Walk with kayaking and staying in one of the national park’s scenic beachfront campsites. Book your romantic 2-day Abel Tasman experience, including gourmet camping and food, as part of your honeymoon itinerary with First Light Travel.
Day 10 – Kaikoura
Drive time: 4 hours
Hit the road again and travel past rows and rows of vineyards as you make your way through the Marlborough region. As you reach the east coast of the South Island, you’ll reach the little town of Kaikoura nestled between the mountains and the Pacific Ocean. Kaikoura is a mecca for marine wildlife and offers some of the most memorable wildlife encounters of the country.
Things to Do in Kaikoura
- See the ocean giants on a whale watching cruise
- Swim with New Zealand fur seals
- See the whales from another perspective on a whale watching flight
- See the world’s largest seabirds on an albatross cruise
- Try the local speciality of crayfish
Find more activities in10 Kaikoura Must-Dos.
Honeymoon Accommodation in Kaikoura
Day 11 – Lake Tekapo
Drive time: 5 Hours
Today is all about the drive, stopping by some perfect honeymoon locations. On your drive along the coast, stop by some of the wineries of Waipapa. You’ll also discover quaint Kiwi towns to stop by for lunch, such as the town of Geraldine and Fairlie before you hit some of the stunning alpine scenery as you edge closer to the Southern Alps. Your day ends on the shores of the vibrant blue waters of Lake Tekapo with a backdrop of snow-capped mountains. This is definitely a place to just soak up the scenery, maybe even soak in the local hot pools, and enjoy each other’s company.However, if you are keen to do more, see10 Unmissable Things to Do in Lake Tekapo.
Honeymoon Accommodation in Lake Tekapo
Day 12 – Aoraki Mt Cook & Queenstown
Drive time: 3h50mins
This morning, head along the milky blue waters of Lake Pukaki to Aoraki Mt Cook National Park. Here, you have a multitude of ways to experience the grand alpine scenery of this national park, from flights to hikes. After you’ve had your experience under New Zealand’s highest peak, Aoraki Mt Cook, enjoy a scenic drive to Queenstown through the iconic Lindis Pass.
Things to Do in Aoraki Mt Cook
- Do a heli-hike on the Tasman Glacier
- Enjoy a scenic flight around Mt Cook and the glaciers
- Do a kayak or boat tour on the Tasman Glacier Lake
- Hike the Hooker Valley Track
- Do a 4×4 tour along the Tasman Valley
For more inspiration, see 10 Unmissable Things to Do in Mt Cook.
Honeymoon Accommodation in Queenstown
- Alexis Motels & Apartments
- Copthorne Hotel & Apartments
- Wyndham Garden Queenstown
- Hilton Queenstown Resort & Spa
Note: Return your car rental to the car rental depot in Queenstown on this day, as you will no longer need your car for the rest of the trip!
Day 13 – Milford Sound
Today, swap the road for the skies on a special and intimate experience to one of New Zealand’s most scenic landmarks. Enjoy a scenic flight to Milford Sound, flying over the wild and wonderful Fiordland National Park, before landing for a scenic cruise. The cruise takes you under towering glacier-carved mountains, waterfalls and often includes viewings of seals and dolphins. Transfers to and from your hotel are usually included.For our top flight recommendations, see the 5 Best Scenic Flights to Milford Sound from Queenstown.
Day 14 – Queenstown Airport
Enjoy a final leisurely breakfast in New Zealand before catching your flight to the rest of your lives together. And there you have it, a honeymoon in New Zealand that is nothing short of incredible.Feel free to research and book this itinerary for yourself with the links provided throughout this itinerary. Alternatively, cut out the hassle and make your own bespoke honeymoon itinerary with First Light Travel and their free self-drive planning service.