Here is a quick fire list of my favourite places we visited in New Zealand in December 2017/January 2018.
Right at the top of the North island. Stay at the DOC campsite at Tapotapotu Beach just a short 5 minute drive from the lighthouse at Cape Reinga. Get up early to grab a photo and take in the views before everyone else arrives.
Cathedral Cove walk – Coromandel Peninsula
Take your beach gear with you and spend a few hours soaking up the rays on these gorgeous beaches. There are about 4 or 5 bays along the walk so you are sure to find a spot to chill out.
A great place to walk about. Climb the 1,130 steps up Mount Manaia for a great workout and great views.
There is so much to do here. White water rafting, natural hot water streams, Skyline, Huka Falls, Craters of the Moon. Yes it does smell a little funky but I came across landscapes here I had never seen before.
Lord. Of. The. Rings. (I shall say no more)
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
Put your hiking boots on and challenge yourself to this 19.4km walk. Just spectacular. Stay at the Plateau Lodge. They give you a free 30 minutes in their jacuzzi and have great wifi!
Kayak past Split Apple Rock, hike and camp in the national park and hang out on the beach. Check out Wilsons who provide cruises and water taxis.
Drive through Bruce Pass – Mt Cook
It was swelteringly hot but the mountains were covered in snow. Magical.
We hopped on a boat with Jucy Cruise to check out the sights up close including the seals! The drive from Milford Sound to Te Anau is awesome so it is worth taking a cruise in the morning so you can spend the afternoon taking a slow drive home.
This place was so busy and full of people but I still loved it! Campsites are limited so book in advance in high season. There is lots to do in Queenstown but my number one recommendation is the jet boat and scenic tour with Skippers Canyon Jet. The drive was amazing.
A cute little town with a French influence. Quaint shops and restaurants galore. I loved it here and had an amazing meal at The Little Bistro for my birthday. The drive here is fantastic too.
This is, of course, by no means an exhaustive list. There is so much to do in New Zealand and we were limited by time, money and the weather.
We’d love to know your favourite places in New Zealand. Comment below!