New Zealand Luxury Itinerary: Two Weeks / 14 Days
New Zealand Luxury Itinerary: Two Weeks / 14 Days

New Zealand Luxury Itinerary: Two Weeks / 14 Days 🍷

© Unsplash

14-Day Luxury Itinerary for New Zealand

Drive, fly, drink, skydive, hike, taste, treat and pamper your way through the North Island and South Island with this New Zealand luxury itinerary for two weeks. If you have the luxury to splurge on a treat-yourself vacation but don’t have the luxury of time, then this 14-day luxury New Zealand itinerary will help you plan an eventful trip across both of the country’s main islands. However, we strongly recommend that you use your two weeks to explore just one of the main islands rather than both. That way, you can incorporate plenty of relaxation into your luxury New Zealand vacation too.

See our North Island Luxury Itinerary: Two Weeks / 14 Days and South Island Luxury Itinerary: Two Weeks / 14 Days for alternative itineraries.

How to Get Around New Zealand in Two Weeks

The below luxury itinerary has been specially designed to be self-driven. It also incorporates a few other transport methods such as a train journey and connecting flights. Transport to consider using for this two-week luxury itinerary for New Zealand includes:

  • Rental car or campervanRenting a car or a motorhome is the easiest way to achieve this itinerary. Use a rental company that has depots in Auckland and Wellington, then Greymouth and Christchurch, as you will be swapping rental vehicles between the TranzAlpine train journey. Start your research using The Guide to Renting a Car or Campervan in New Zealand.
  • Train – This itinerary includes a one-way train journey on the TranzAlpine between Christchurch and Greymouth. Find out more on the Train Network in New Zealand.
  • Domestic flights – The below itinerary begins in Auckland and ends in Queenstown. Both cities have international airports and are well connected with domestic flights. If you’re leaving from Auckland, you will need to consider booking flight connections.
  • Escorted tours – If driving and/or organising your own trip is something you’d rather leave to the professionals, then consider taking an escorted tour of the country. Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours and APT offer 10-14-day tours of both islands of New Zealand with accommodation, some meals and some activities included. Note that they follow their own set itinerary; not the one listed below. Find out more in The Best 10-12-Day Tours of New Zealand.

Finally, if you’re new to the whole road-tripping thing, make sure it runs smoothly by following the 10 Ways to Relax on a Road Trip.

New Zealand Luxury Itinerary: Two Weeks / 14 Days© NZPocketGuide.com

Day 1 – Auckland Airport to Rotorua (via Waitomo)

Travel time: 2h30mins (via Waitomo: 4 hours)

Welcome to Aotearoa New Zealand! With only two weeks to explore both islands, you, unfortunately, don’t have much time to relax. Pick up your rental vehicle and leave Auckland for Rotorua. While you could drive straight to Rotorua and stop by the picturesque Hamilton Gardens (more info on Klook, Viator and Tripadvisor), we recommend taking a wee bit of a detour to Waitomo… This is a road trip, after all!

Waitomo is home to New Zealand’s most famous glowworm caves, a subterranean wonderland with magnificent limestone formations decorated with glowworms. There are many ways to experience the caves, from private caving tours to boat tours. Compare your options in the 8 Best Waitomo Cave Tours and the 9 Luxury Activities in Waitomo.

Luxury Activities in Waitomo

  • Delve on an exclusive private tour of Waitomo’s caves with Glowing Adventures (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor)
  • Abseil, float and scramble through the caves with The Legendary Black Water Rafting Co. (on ViatorTripadvisor, Klook and KKday)
  • Hike the private Waitomo Great Walk
  • Indulge in a spa treatment at Waitomo Adventures
  • Fish for rainbow and brown trout with Waitomo Boutique Lodge.

For elaboration on each experience and more, see the 9 Luxury Activities in Waitomo.

Your final stop today is Rotorua, which has a wealth of exciting experiences that we’ll get into tomorrow. For now, check-in at one of the geothermal city’s premium accommodations.

Luxury Accommodation in Rotorua

Browse the 10 Best Luxury Accommodations in Rotorua for elaboration on our top recommendations.

New Zealand Luxury Itinerary: Two Weeks / 14 Days© Volcanic Air - Destination Rotorua

Day 2 – Explore Rotorua

You have the entire day to explore Rotorua along with its geothermal wonders and immersive Maori culture. Fly onto one of the nearby volcanoes on a unique helicopter tour with Volcanic Air (more info on Viator, Tripadvisor and Klook) or gain a greater insight into the Maori culture of New Zealand on a private tour with Kahukiwi Experiences (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor).

After the day’s adventure, retreat to your accommodation or book a table at Mokoia Restaurant (at the Wai Ora Lakeside Spa Resort) or The Regent Room (at the Regent of Rotorua) for indigenous New Zealand cuisine.

Luxury Activities in Rotorua

  • Visit Rotorua’s geothermal and volcanic highlights with Elite Adventures Rotorua Tours (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor)
  • Fly onto the Mt Tarawera volcano with Volcanic Air (on Viator, Tripadvisor and Klook)
  • Enjoy an authentic Maori tour with Kahukiwi Experiences (on Viator and Tripadvisor)
  • Drive the 4WD challenges at Off Road NZ (on Viator and Tripadvisor)
  • See one of the most stunning and off-the-beaten-track forests with Foris Eco-Tours (on Viator and Tripadvisor).

For more details on each experience, as well as other ideas, check out the 10 Luxury Activities in Rotorua.

New Zealand Luxury Itinerary: Two Weeks / 14 Days© NZPocketGuide.com

Day 3 – Rotorua to Taupo

Travel time: 1 hour

While it’s only a short journey from Rotorua to Taupo, break up the journey with a visit to the bubbling and colourful landscape of Orakei Korako. Find out more on Viator and Tripadvisor.

After exploring the geothermal wonderland, your final destination is Taupo on the shores of New Zealand’s largest lake. Relax your road trip aches in one of the town’s premium hot pool complexes (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor) or check out the town’s eclectic dining scene. We list recommendations in The Luxury Guide to Taupo.

Luxury Activities in Taupo

For more information on each experience and more, be sure to check out the 10 Luxury Activities in Taupo.

Luxury Accommodation in Taupo

For elaboration on our top recommendations, see the 11 Best Luxury Accommodations in Taupo.

New Zealand Luxury Itinerary: Two Weeks / 14 Days© Pxhere

Day 4 – Taupo to Napier

Travel time: 1h50mins

This morning, travel over the hill to Napier. The main hub of the Hawke’s Bay region, Napier is famous for being New Zealand’s oldest wine region, as well as for its art deco architecture.

Discover more about the Hawke’s Bay wine region by jumping on a premium wine tour with Bay Tours and Charters on Viator and Tripadvisor or Vines and Views Tours, also on Viator and Tripadvisor. We’ll go over more of Napier’s attractions tomorrow.

Luxury Accommodation in Napier

For more information on our top recommendations, see the 8 Best Luxury Accommodations in Napier.

New Zealand Luxury Itinerary: Two Weeks / 14 Days© Unsplash

Day 5 – Explore Napier

For those who prefer to connect with nature, a fantastic experience is witnessing New Zealand’s largest mainland gannet colony and the dramatic cliff formations of Cape Kidnappers. Join Gannet Safaris Overland for a private 4WD tour to this hard-to-reach site. Find out more on Viator and Tripadvisor.

Luxury Activities in Napier

  • Tour Napier in a vintage vehicle (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor)
  • Take a private art deco tour with the Art Deco Trust (on Viator and Tripadvisor)
  • Get the real Maori experience with Waimarama Maori Tours (on Viator and Tripadvisor)
  • See New Zealand’s largest mainland gannet colony with Gannet Safaris Overland (on Viator and Tripadvisor)
  • Do raft fishing on the Mohaka River with Raft Fish NZ (on Viator and Tripadvisor).

Find out more about each experience and its location in the 10 Luxury Activities in Napier.

New Zealand Luxury Itinerary: Two Weeks / 14 Days© Unsplash

Day 6 – Napier to Wellington

Travel time: 4h20mins

Your North Island journey continues today with a drive down the Hawke’s Bay region through the Manawatu Gorge complete with stunning walks through lush native forest. Stop by Ashhurst or Palmerston North for a road trip snack, where we list recommendations in The Luxury Guide to Palmerston North and The Foodie Guide to Palmerston North.

Finally, you’ll finish in New Zealand’s coolest little capital, the city of Wellington. There’s something for just about any city-lover here, from the renowned Te Papa Museum (more info on Viator, Tripadvisor, Klook and KKday) to its whisky bar and craft brewery scene.

Luxury Accommodation in Wellington

Find out more about each accommodation in our 10 Best Luxury Accommodations in Wellington.

New Zealand Luxury Itinerary: Two Weeks / 14 Days© WellingtonNZ

Day 7 – Explore Wellington

Wellington offers an array of experiences, from movie set tours to golf courses and much more. Those who prefer the wilderness will certainly get a sense of it at the Zealandia Ecosanctuary and its special night tours to see kiwi birds. Check out Viator, Tripadvisor or Klook to find out more.

Remember to return your rental vehicle in Wellington, as tomorrow you’ll be taking a flight to Christchurch.

Luxury Activities in Wellington
  • See Wellington from a helicopter tour (more info on Viator, Tripadvisor or Klook)
  • Play at one of Wellington’s prestigious golf courses
  • Explore Wellington’s designer boutiques
  • Join a wine tour of the Wairarapa wine region (on Viator and Tripadvisor)
  • Try fine whisky at the city’s reputable whisky bars.

Find out more about each experience and much more in the 10 Luxury Activities in Wellington.

New Zealand Luxury Itinerary: Two Weeks / 14 Days© Nancy Zhou - ChristchurchNZ

Day 8 – Wellington to Christchurch

Travel time: 1h5mins flight

With only two weeks in New Zealand, you’ll have to skip the top of the South Island and head straight to Christchurch. Take a flight from Wellington to Christchurch then take a taxi, airport transfer or shuttle to your accommodation. If your flight is in the morning, you’ll have time this afternoon to explore the South Island’s largest city. You could be touring the city in a vintage VW Combi (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor) or getting over your flight with a luxurious spa treatment.

Luxury Activities in Christchurch

  • See the sights of Christchurch in a VW Combi (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor)
  • Treat yourself to a Waipara wine tour (on Viator and Tripadvisor)
  • Feast on a four-course dining experience on the historic Christchurch Tramway Restaurant (more info on Viator, Tripadvisor or KKday)
  • Take a timeout with a luxury spa day
  • Discover the fine dining scene in the city centre.

See the 10 Luxury Activities in Christchurch for elaboration on each experience.

Luxury Accommodation in Christchurch

For more details on our top recommendations, take a look at the 10 Best Luxury Accommodations in Christchurch.

New Zealand Luxury Itinerary: Two Weeks / 14 Days© KiwiRail

Day 9 – Christchurch to Greymouth

Travel time: 4 hours train

This morning, jump aboard the TranzAlpine for one of the world’s most scenic railway journeys. Starting from the Christchurch Railway Station, the journey featuring “Scenic Plus Class” carriages with panoramic windows takes you through the expansive Canterbury Plains to the mountainous wilderness of the Arthur’s Pass National Park. Book tickets on Viator, Tripadvisor or Klook.

Once you arrive in Greymouth, you’ll be able to pick up a new rental vehicle and head to your chosen accommodation. You will also have time to take a swing at one of the local golf courses, do some boutique shopping, or drive/take a guided tour to the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor).

Luxury Activities in Greymouth

  • See the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks, Hokitika Gorge or other highlights on a guided experience with Explore West Coast (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor)
  • Sample cycling on the West Coast Wilderness Trail
  • Play a round at one of the local golf courses
  • Fly and land in the majestic Southern Alps on a helicopter tour
  • Do some boutique shopping and gallery browsing in town.

For more details on each experience, see the 8 Luxury Activities in Greymouth.

Luxury Accommodation in Greymouth

Find out more about each accommodation in the 5 Best Luxury Accommodations in Greymouth.

New Zealand Luxury Itinerary: Two Weeks / 14 Days© westcoast.co.nz

Day 10 – Greymouth to Franz Josef Glacier

Travel time: 2h10mins

If the weather is good but it is forecast to be wet for the next couple of days, drive straight to Franz Josef if you plan to do a helicopter flight. That way, you won’t miss out on these tours that get regularly cancelled. Otherwise, take your time on the way down to Franz Josef, perhaps to admire the vibrant blue pools of Hokitika Gorge or experience the New Zealand rainforest from a different perspective on the West Coast Treetop Walk (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor).

We’ll talk more about what to do in Franz Josef tomorrow. For now, you have some fabulous accommodations to choose from.

Luxury Accommodation in Franz Josef

For more details on our top recommendations, take a look at the 5 Best Luxury Accommodations in Franz Josef.

New Zealand Luxury Itinerary: Two Weeks / 14 Days© Unsplash

Day 11 – Explore Franz Josef

Most travellers visit Franz Josef to set foot on the famous glacier itself. One of the most accessible and private options is a scenic helicopter flight complete with a snow landing, such as with HeliServices.NZ (more info on Viator, Tripadvisor and Klook). Alternatively, join a group tour to explore the ice caves on a heli-hike with Franz Josef Glacier Guides and The Helicopter Line (on ViatorTripadvisor and KKday).

If you catch yourself in Franz Josef in bad weather, you can always soak the disappointment away at the Glacier Hot Pools (more info on Viator or Tripadvisor) or be pampered at the Amaia Luxury Spa of the Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier.

Luxury Activities in Franz Josef

  • Hike on the ice of the Franz Josef Glacier with Franz Josef Glacier Guides and The Helicopter Line (find out more on ViatorTripadvisor and KKday)
  • Catch salmon or brown trout at Lake Mapourika with Franz Josef Wilderness Tours (more info on Viator, Tripadvisor and Klook)
  • Do one of the country’s most scenic skydives with Skydive Franz Josef & Fox Glacier (on Viator, Tripadvisor and Klook)
  • Indulge in a spa treatment at Amaia Luxury Spa
  • Be treated to degustation dining amidst the rainforest at Te Waonui Forest Retreat.

For more details on each experience and more, see our 8 Luxury Activities in Franz Josef.

New Zealand Luxury Itinerary: Two Weeks / 14 Days© NZPocketGuide.com

Day 12 – Franz Josef to Queenstown

Travel time: 4h45mins

If you didn’t get the chance to fly over the glacier yesterday, try again this morning. Otherwise, pray that the weather will change once you arrive in Haast where the tiny town has its own array of helicopter and fixed-wing excursions. Learn more in the 7 Luxury Activities in Haast. Otherwise, cruising down the Waiatoto River into the unspoiled Mt Aspiring National Park is a fantastic rainy day activity thanks to the all-weather jet boat design. Find out more on Viator and Tripadvisor.

Down the Haast Pass, you have an array of short walks to stunning waterfalls and blue pools to enjoy independently, as listed on the Department of Conservation website.

Stop for dinner with glorious lake views in Wanaka, where we provide plenty of dining recommendations in The Luxury Guide to Wanaka and The Foodie Guide to Wanaka.

Then, enjoy a scenic drive over the Crown Range and the Cardrona Valley to the “Adrenaline Capital of New Zealand”, Queenstown. You have plenty of time to experience its tours in the upcoming days.

Luxury Accommodation in Queenstown

Find out more about each premium accommodation in our 10 Best Luxury Accommodations in Queenstown.

New Zealand Luxury Itinerary: Two Weeks / 14 Days© Destination Queenstown

Day 13 – Explore Queenstown

Whatever your vibe is, Queenstown is likely to have it: adrenaline, food, wine, golf, scenery, spas… In summer, tee off at some of New Zealand’s most prestigious golf courses, while winter is when the mountains beckon for heli-skiing (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor). Explore the infamous Skippers Canyon road on an exclusive private tour with Off Road 4X4 Queenstown (on Viator and Tripadvisor). And, the list goes on between the 10 Luxury Activities in Queenstown and the 10 Things to Do in Queenstown.

Luxury Activities in Queenstown

For more information on each experience, check out the 10 Luxury Activities in Queenstown.

New Zealand Luxury Itinerary: Two Weeks / 14 Days© C Scott - Destination Fiordland

Day 14 – Explore More of Queenstown or Fly to Milford Sound

Book your flight out of Queenstown for the late afternoon or evening so that you have plenty of time to do more Queenstown experiences or take a scenic flight to Milford Sound and back.

What usually takes around four hours to drive to by car or bus takes just 35 minutes by plane to get to Milford Sound. What’s more, you’ll get outstanding views of glacier-carved valleys, mountains, alpine lakes and vast forest. Once you arrive in Milford Sound, you can enjoy one of the two-hour cruises through the fiord, before returning to Queenstown Airport and connecting with your flight.

There are connecting flights from Queenstown Airport to Auckland and Christchurch. Queenstown also has connecting flights to Australia. Find out more in The Travellers’ Guide to New Zealand Airports.

Then, after two luxurious weeks, it’s goodbye to New Zealand!

Author

Laura S.

This article was reviewed and published by Laura, editor in chief and co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. Since arriving solo in New Zealand over 10 years ago and with a background in journalism, her mission has been to show the world how easy (and awesome) it is to travel New Zealand. She knows Aotearoa inside-out and loves sharing tips on how best to experience New Zealand’s must-dos and hidden gems. Laura is also editor of several other South Pacific travel guides and is the co-host of NZ Pocket Guide’s live New Zealand travel Q&As on YouTube.

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