14-Day Honeymoon and Couples Itinerary for New Zealand
In a land of adventure and sublime nature what better place to start life’s next biggest adventure together (or go on a romantic getaway) than in New Zealand? But how do you make the most of New Zealand’s two main islands and their incredible landscapes with limited time? We go through one of the best ways to see both the North Island and the South Island with this New Zealand honeymoon and romance itinerary for two weeks (14 days).
One thing to note is that seeing both islands in two weeks does mean that you need to be comfortable with a lot of driving. Luckily, New Zealand has plenty of reasons to make multiple stops along the way, making it easy to break up long drives. See How to Drive in New Zealand for more tips. However, we still strongly encourage anyone coming to New Zealand for two weeks to only explore one of the islands, so perhaps you’d like to consider our North Island Honeymoon Itinerary or South Island Honeymoon Itinerary.
Before we begin, don’t forget to bookmark The Honeymoon & Romantic Guide to New Zealand for even more honeymoon tips. And if you are making your honeymoon a round-the-world trip, entering NZ via a cruise is also a popular option.
14-Day New Zealand Honeymoon Itinerary: Overview
- Day 1 – Auckland
- Day 2 – Auckland to Hahei (Coromandel)
- Day 3 – Hahei to Rotorua
- Day 4 – Rotorua to Taupo & Tongariro National Park
- Day 5 – Tongariro Crossing
- Day 6 – National Park to Wellington
- Day 7 – Cruise to the South Island & Motueka
- Day 8-9 – Abel Tasman National Park
- Day 10 – Abel Tasman to Kaikoura
- Day 11 – Kaikoura to Lake Tekapo
- Day 12 – Lake Tekapo to Aoraki Mt Cook & Queenstown
- Day 13 – Milford Sound
- Day 14 – Queenstown Airport
How to Get Around New Zealand in Two Weeks
This is a self-drive two-week honeymoon and romance itinerary for New Zealand. We give tips on hiring a vehicle below, as well as additional (and alternative) transport methods to use for travelling 14 days around New Zealand on your honeymoon or romantic getaway.
- Rental car or campervan – Other than your hubby, your most important road trip companion is your rental vehicle. Use a rental company that has depots in Auckland and Queenstown where your itinerary begins and ends. Get started with your research with The Guide to Renting a Car or Campervan in New Zealand.
- Ferries – You’ll be taking the ferry between the North Island and South Island on this itinerary. Get tips on ferry travel in The Ferry Between the North Island and South Island.
- Escorted tours – If you would rather not drive yourselves around New Zealand, escorted bus tours provide an easy alternative. However, escorted tours follow their own set itineraries rather than what is listed below. Check out a range of fully-guided tours on The Best 10-12-Day Tours of New Zealand.
Plan more of your honeymoon using The Honeymoon & Romance Guide to New Zealand.
Day 1 – Arrive in 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.
Romantic Things to Do in Auckland
- Explore Waiheke Island, Rangitoto Island or Tiritiri Matangi Island
- Go up the Auckland Sky Tower (more info on Viator, Tripadvisor, Klook and KKday)
- Do an Auckland dolphin and whale watching cruise (more info on Viator, Tripadvisor, Klook and KKday)
- Walk to Mt Eden, Auckland’s highest volcanic peak
- Go shopping, try the local cuisine and more!
For more inspiration, see the 10 Romantic Activities in Auckland for Couples.
Romantic Accommodation in Auckland
- SKYCITY Grand Hotel Auckland
- Nesuto Stadium
- M Social Auckland
- Four Points by Sheraton Auckland
- Auckland City Hotel
Check out the 10 Best Romantic Hotels in Auckland for more details and options.
Day 2 – Auckland to Hahei (Coromandel)
Drive Time: 2h15mins
It’s time to get this New Zealand honeymoon itinerary for two weeks officially started by checking 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?
Romantic Things to Do in Hahei
- Check out some of the largest trees in New Zealand at Cookson 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 from the 10 Romantic Activities in the Coromandel for Couples.
Romantic Accommodation in Hahei
For more options, head over to the 10 Best Romantic Accommodations in the Coromandel.
Day 3 – Hahei to 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 pools 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.
Romantic Things to Do in Rotorua
- Check out the amazing geothermal parks in Rotorua
- Take part in a Maori cultural experience at Tamaki (on Viator, Tripadvisor and Klook), Mitai (on Viator and Tripadvisor), Whakarewarewa (on Klook, Viator and Tripadvisor) and more!
- Get gorgeous views from the Skyline Gondola, along with a romantic meal at the Stratsfare Restaurant
- Take a scenic flight to the volcano of Mt Tarawera (on Viator, Tripadvisor and Klook)
- Do white water rafting down a 7m (23ft) waterfall (on Viator, Tripadvisor and Klook)!
And there’s much more! Check out the 12 Most Romantic Things to Do in Rotorua for Couples for ideas.
Romantic Accommodation in Rotorua
- Millennium Hotel Rotorua
- Jet Park Hotel Rotorua
- Sudima Hotel Lake Rotorua
- Sport of Kings Motel
- Quest Rotorua Central Apartment Hotel
Get more inspiration for places to stay using the 10 Best Romantic Accommodations in Rotorua.
Day 4 – Rotorua to Taupo and 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 (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor). You’ll end the day in National Park Village ready to do the Tongariro Crossing tomorrow.
Romantic Things to Do in Taupo
- Sail to the Maori Rock Carvings on Lake Taupo (more info on Viator, Tripadvisor and Klook)
- Get the adrenaline going with a tandem skydive or a bungy jump
- Hit the Great Lake Trail on a scenic mountain biking tour (on Viator, Tripadvisor and Klook)
- Go white water rafting on the Tongariro River (on Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Enjoy a romantic walk along the riverside, the Botanical Gardens and more – see the 8 Best Walks in Taupo.
For more ideas, see the 10 Romantic Activities in Taupo for Couples.
Romantic 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. See Guide to the Tongariro Alpine Crossing for more information.
Due to the Tongariro Crossing’s popularity, you may find the Crossing too “busy” for that honeymoon/romantic ambience. Check out alternative day hikes in the area with arguably rivalling views of the Tongariro Crossing in our 13 Walks Around National Park Village & Whakapapa Village. For more inspiration, see the 10 Tongariro National Park Must-Dos.
Your transport or guide will return you back to your chosen National Park Village accommodation.
Day 6 – National Park to 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.
Romantic Things to Do in Wellington
- Visit the Te Papa Museum – New Zealand’s national museum
- See rare native wildlife at Zealandia (more info on Klook, Viator and Tripadvisor)
- 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 (on Klook, Viator and Tripadvisor).
Check out the 10 Romantic Activities in Wellington for Couples for more things to do.
Romantic Accommodation in Wellington
- Apollo Lodge Motel
- Quest on Lambton Serviced Apartments
- InterContinental Wellington
- West Plaza Hotel
- Sofitel Wellington
Learn more about these accommodations and more in the 10 Best Romantic Accommodations in Wellington.
Day 7 – Cruise to the South Island and 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 in Motueka and get some rest for tomorrow’s adventures in the Abel Tasman National Park.
Romantic Accommodation in Motueka
Day 8-9 – Abel Tasman National Park
Today, you’ll take a water taxi from Motueka 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 walking the Abel Tasman Great Walk and staying in one of the national park’s scenic beachfront huts or campsites. Alternatively, do a liveaboard experience with Abel Tasman Sailing Adventures. Find out more on Viator and Tripadvisor.
Romantic Things to Do in Abel Tasman
- Team up in a double kayak for a kayaking tour with Wilson’s Abel Tasman (departs from Kaiteriteri)
- Hike a New Zealand Great Walk, the Abel Tasman Coast Track
- Do a liveaboard experience with Abel Tasman Sailing Adventures (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Experience skydiving over Abel Tasman (on Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Do some extreme canyoning with Abel Tasman Canyons.
Find out more about these experiences and others in the 11 Best Things to Do in the Abel Tasman National Park.
Day 10 – Motueka to 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 in the country.
Romantic Things to Do in Kaikoura
- Walk hand-in-hand along the Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway
- Enjoy an intimate whale-watching flight (more info on Viator, Tripadvisor and Klook)
- Check out the stunning Puhi Puhi walk
- Gush over the cute lambs at The Point Sheep Shearing
- Test your relationship in a double kayak on a kayaking tour (on Viator, Tripadvisor and Klook).
Find out more about each activity in our list of 10 Romantic Activities in Kaikoura for Couples.
Romantic Accommodation in Kaikoura
- White Morph Motor Inn
- Kaikoura Gateway Motor Lodge
- The Fairways at Ocean Ridge
- Kaikoura Boutique Hotel
- Lobster Inn Motor Lodge
Get more details from the 8 Best Romantic Accommodations in Kaikoura.
Day 11 – Kaikoura to Lake Tekapo
Drive time: 5 Hours
Today is all about the drive, stopping by some romantic locations. On your drive along the coast, stop by some of the wineries of Waipara. 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, see the 10 Unmissable Things to Do in Lake Tekapo.
Romantic Accommodation in Lake Tekapo
Day 12 – Lake Tekapo to Aoraki Mt Cook and 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.
Romantic Things to Do in Aoraki Mt Cook
- Do a heli-hike on the Tasman Glacier (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Enjoy a scenic flight around Mt Cook and the glaciers (on Viator and Tripadvisor)
- 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 the 9 Most Romantic Things to Do in Mt Cook for Couples.
Romantic 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 scening flight and cruise package recommendations, see the 5 Best Scenic Flights to Milford Sound from Queenstown.
Day 14 – Queenstown Airport
It’s the sad moment when your New Zealand honeymoon itinerary for two weeks finally comes to an end. 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/romantic getaway to New Zealand that is nothing short of incredible.
Remember, if this itinerary seems too intense, perhaps you’d like to explore just one of the islands for your romantic retreat. Get inspiration from our North Island Honeymoon & Romance Itinerary: Two Weeks or South Island Honeymoon & Romance Itinerary: Two Weeks.
More About a New Zealand Honeymoon and Romance Itinerary for Two Weeks / 14 Days
That’s it for our New Zealand honeymoon and romance itinerary for 14 days. If that wasn’t the itinerary you were looking for, check out these alternative 14-day itineraries:
- North Island Honeymoon & Romance Itinerary: Two Weeks
- South Island Honeymoon & Romance Itinerary: Two Weeks
- New Zealand in Two Weeks: Road Trip Itinerary
- New Zealand Budget & Backpacking Itinerary: Two Weeks / 14 Days
- New Zealand Luxury Itinerary: Two Weeks / 14 Days
- New Zealand Foodie Itinerary: Two Weeks / 14 Days
- How to Create the Perfect New Zealand Road Trip Itinerary
Finally, get more advice on planning more of your couples’ trip to New Zealand with The Honeymoon & Romantic Getaway Guide to New Zealand.