11 Days in New Zealand - Auckland and Queenstown

By Appin · May 2, 2016

Perth, WA
New Zealand (Auckland and Queenstown)
Main mode of transport
Cost per person
$1000 - $2000
It was a trip with my mum, so she organised for us to stay at the Hilton right on the Quay when we were in Auckland. I was in charge of the accommodation in Queenstown so I found a little cabin/holiday home rental.

Our Experience

Appin in New Zealand

I’m really glad we went this time of year. Being a pom living in Aus I really miss that kind of climate and all the beautiful wildlife that goes with it. I’m definitely more of a country girl, and I can’t rate Queenstown high enough. We managed to get a little house on the hill over the lake in Queenstown - I found it on Airbnb but for some reason it’s much cheaper on holidayhouses.co.nz. It was perfect, pretty simple, with amazing views, and we could cater for ourselves (which I love, I’m a vegetarian coeliac - aka worst dinner guest ever - so a lot of the time it’s pretty awkward for me to eat out, and I’m much more comfortable catering for myself).

When staying in Queenstown it’s definitely worth visiting Lake Wanaka. Glenorchy is also beautiful (the drive from Queenstown to Glenorchy fringes the lake the whole way, which is stunning). Despite my moaning about the Milford Sound trip, the company I chose had a glass ceiling coaches, and the coach driver provided great funny and informative commentary the whole way there. I went with Real Journeys: realjourneys.co.nz. They do big coach groups, and if I do it again I would find a company that took out smaller groups. It’s worth getting a coach there, as the drive is really long, and it’s so beautiful I’d much rather be watching the scenery than concentrating on the (windy and narrow) roads.

Appin in New Zealand

We stayed at the Hilton in Auckland, which was amazing, and had great views over the water and the docks. It’s worth checking if they’re going to have a cruise ship coming in while you’re staying. We paid more for a room with a view, but on the third day, that view was actually a cruise ship bedroom! The hotel is literally right on the dock, so we were about 10 metres away from the ship. They slipped us a courtesy note through the door the evening before that the ship would be coming in at 7am the next day, so there wasn’t much we could really do about it. On the positive side, it was interesting to watch them manoeuvre the boat in, and it didn’t stick around for too long. It did swell the tourist population by about 2000 people though, so when hopping onto boats going to the islands in the bay, some good advice we got was to get onto the earliest boats possible, before they get booked up by people from the cruise ships! An evening trip to Devonport is a worthy mission, it’s really quaint with an old style beach walk and cute little restaurants. Ferries go between Devonport and the main dock pretty frequently until late, so if you miss a boat you can easily hop on the next one.

Appin in New Zealand

All in all it was a great trip, everyone told me how beautiful it was, and I didn’t want to get my hopes too high, but I did have to pinch myself a lot in Queenstown! I only wish I had gone for longer and I would hire a camper van so I could stay in the various villages around Queenstown rather than needing to drive back each night.

We flew with Air New Zealand, which do something called the Skycouch. You buy three seats between two people and the leg backs fold up to form a mini bed. It was perfect for my mum, who needed to lie down most of the way back because of her dodgy back. The staff were also really helpful and patient, getting new ice packs for her back and helping me carry her bags, so I would definitely fly with them again!

Appin in New Zealand

Best Bits

Most definitely visiting Queenstown and the surrounding area - but I am definitely a country girl rather than a city girl. We were really lucky with the weather, and the scenery was mind-blowing. I felt like someone had placed a postcard over my eyes the whole time.

Worst bits

I ended up on a trip to Milford Sound on my own, as my mum injured her back the day before (golfing - she is an avid golfer and was blown away by the courses around Queenstown). Milford Sound itself is jaw-droppingly beautiful, but I was part of a big group of tourists, who were constantly butting me out the way to get selfies and letting their litter fly into the water. I’m not a people person, and I let it ruin my experience.

Trip Dates and Comments — November. It was a perfect time because it was spring, meaning wildflowers and lots of cute lambs!

Arrival Logistics — Landed at Auckland airport, didn’t research properly and took a taxi. In hindsight I would have learned a bit more about the city, as the airport is ages away and there is a super cheap bus that runs between the airport and the city!

General Route — We spent 2-3 days in Auckland first, then 6-7 days in Queenstown before flying back to Perth via Auckland.

Food and Drink Highlights — Amazing wine selection! I’m a massive fan of Marlborough wine and so is my mum, so we made the most of the selection of wines from that region that were available in the bars and restaurants!

Essential Packing for this Trip — I took shorts, but never used them, having been in Perth beforehand, it felt very cool in comparison! I also took a bikini in case I wanted to go swimming in the lakes… that also never happened, I think I got as deep as my ankles!

About The Traveller

Gender & Age Range
Female, 25 - 35

I’m from
Jersey, Channel Islands

My favourite trip as of late
This one!

Travelling Style
Leave it all to the last minute, then panic book online.

I like to go on the following types of trips
4x4, Beaches, Hiking, Boat Trips, Relaxing , Sportcations, Watersports, Scuba Diving, Camping.

It’s a dealbreaker when
My accommodation is dirty.

Continent I know the best
Australasia / Oceania

First Last Name

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.

I’m from Perth, Western Australia

My favourite trip as of late is New Zealand, solo travel in lots of nature for a soul-refresher.

My travelling style is to Book the first night, then wing it from there!

It’s a dealbreaker when I’m stuck around large groups of package tourists.

Continent I know best is Asia.

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