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

New Zealand Luxury Itinerary: 2 Weeks / 14 Days šŸ· [2023]

© 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: 2 Weeks and South Island Luxury Itinerary: 2 Weeks for alternative itineraries. Better yet, we show you how to plan this itinerary the EASY way (or curate your own) with First Light Travel – more on that at the bottom of the itinerary.

New Zealand Luxury Itinerary for 2 Weeks (14 Days): Overview

  • Day 1 ā€“ Auckland Airport to Rotorua (via Waitomo)
  • Day 2 ā€“ Explore Rotorua
  • Day 3 ā€“ Rotorua to Taupo
  • Day 4 ā€“ Taupo to Napier
  • Day 5 ā€“ Explore Napier
  • Day 6 ā€“ Napier to Wellington
  • Day 7 ā€“ Explore Wellington
  • Day 8 ā€“ Wellington to Christchurch
  • Day 9 ā€“ Christchurch to Greymouth
  • Day 10 ā€“ Greymouth to Franz Josef Glacier
  • Day 11 ā€“ Explore Franz Josef
  • Day 12 ā€“ Franz Josef to Queenstown
  • Day 13 ā€“ Explore Queenstown
  • Day 14 ā€“ Explore More of Queenstown or Fly to Milford Sound + Departure

New Zealand Luxury Itinerary: Two Weeks / 14 Days šŸ·© THL

How to Get Around New Zealand in 2 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 Campervan

Renting 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 The Guide Renting a 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: 2 hrs 30 mins (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, 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 10 Luxury Experiences in Waitomo.

Luxury Experiences in Waitomo

For elaboration on each experience and more, see the 10 Luxury Experiences 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 20 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 and Klook) or gain a greater insight into the Maori culture of New Zealand on a private tour with Kahukiwi Experiences.

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 Experiences in Rotorua

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

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 or check out the town’s eclectic dining scene. We list recommendations in The Luxury Guide to Taupo.

Luxury Experiences in Taupo

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

Luxury Accommodation in Taupo

For elaboration on our top recommendations, see the 15 Best Luxury Accommodations in Taupo.

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

Day 4 – Taupo to Napier

Travel time: 1 hr 50 mins

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 Vines and Views Tours.

Luxury Accommodation in Napier

For more information on our top recommendations, see the 10 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 either a group or private 4WD tour of this hard-to-reach site.

Luxury Experiences in Napier

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

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

Day 6 – Napier to Wellington

Travel time: 4 hrs 20 mins

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 Food 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 and Klook) to its whisky bar and craft brewery scene.

Luxury Accommodation in Wellington

Find out more about each accommodation in our 15 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 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 Experiences in Wellington

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

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

Day 8 – Wellington to Christchurch

Travel time: 1 hr 5 mins 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 on a private luxury tour with Legend Tours and Travels or getting over your flight with a luxurious spa treatment at Lotus at Siam Thai Day Spa or Moss Spa.

Luxury Experiences in Christchurch

See the 10 Luxury Experiences 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 worldā€™s most scenic railway journeys. Starting from the Christchurch Railway Station, the journey featuring ā€œScenic Plus Classā€ carriages with panoramic windows takes you through the expansive Canterbury Plains to the mountainous wilderness of the Arthurā€™s Pass National Park. Book tickets on Viator 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 of the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks.

Luxury Experiences in Greymouth

  • See the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks, Hokitika Gorge or other highlights with Explore West Coast
  • Cycle the West Coast Wilderness Trail
  • Play a round at one of the local golf courses
  • Fly and land in the majestic Southern Alps with Anderson Helicopters
  • Do some boutique shopping and gallery browsing in town.

For more details on each experience, see the 10 Luxury Experiences 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: 2 hrs 10 mins

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 & Zipline.

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 and Klook). Alternatively, join a group tour to do a heli-hike on the glacier with Franz Josef Glacier Guides and The Helicopter Line (on Viator and KKday).

If you catch yourself in Franz Josef in bad weather, you can always soak the disappointment away at the Waiho Hot Tubs or be pampered at the Amaia Luxury Spa of the Scenic Hotel Franz Josef Glacier.

Luxury Experiences in Franz Josef

For more details on each experience and more, see our 10 Luxury Experiences in Franz Josef.

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

Day 12 – Franz Josef to Queenstown

Travel time: 4 hrs 45 mins

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 Experiences 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 of Waiatoto River Safaris.

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 Food 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 20 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 such as with Alpine Heliski. Explore the infamous Skippers Canyon road on an exclusive private tour with Off Road 4X4 Queenstown.

And, the list goes on between the 10 Luxury Experiences in Queenstown and the 10 Things to Do in Queenstown.

Luxury Experiences in Queenstown

For more information on each experience, check out 10 Luxury Experiences 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 + Departure

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!

New Zealand Luxury Itinerary: 2 Weeks / 14 Days šŸ· [2023]© First Light Travel

Plan This Luxury Itinerary with First Light Travel

If you like this New Zealand luxury itinerary for two weeks but don’t like the hassle of planning everything yourself, then there’s a way to lighten the load. First Light Travel is an online travel agent specialising in luxury itineraries in New Zealand. Plus, using their service is super simple:

  • First, send First Light Travel an enquiry by completing their online form
  • Then, you’ll receive your customised luxury itinerary
  • Review your itinerary and work with your First Light Travel agent on perfecting it
  • Finally, First Light Travel will organise the rest including the bookings.

First Light Travel has access to more than 20,000 travel products, including almost all the tours and accommodations featured on this list (and more). With that and their local expertise here in New Zealand, they will create a well-catered luxury itinerary to meet your needs while also suggesting some dream travel experiences that you may have never heard of. They only work with companies where their past clients have had positive experiences, so you know you’re in good hands.

What’s more, all of the bookings are arranged by First Light Travel, so instead of having to contact each individual accommodation and operator should your travel plans change, any amendments can be done through your FLT agent – easy! Did we mention the service is at no extra cost to you?!

For more information on planning your own New Zealand itinerary, see How to Create the Perfect New Zealand Road Trip Itinerary. Or better yet, jump on firstlighttravel.com and start making your own itinerary there.

More About a New Zealand Luxury Itinerary for 2 Weeks / 14 Days

That’s the end of our New Zealand luxury itinerary for 14 days. If this itinerary didn’t take you fancy, see our alternative 14-day itineraries:

Finally, if there’s anything we’ve missed, you’re likely to find it in The Luxury Travel Guide 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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