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We get asked this question a lot, but our recommendation for how long you should spend in New Zealand is two weeks or more. Two weeks allows you to take in the best the country has to offer and tick off most of those New Zealand bucket list items you may have! Although we must warn you, there will be places you simply don’t want to leave, and you’ll already be planning your next visit on the plane home!
Naturally, there's a lot to consider when planning your travel such as what style of travel you like, how much you would like to spend, how you would like to get around and more.
This one is often a personal preference, however in New Zealand, there is so much to see and do everywhere you go it's best to travel by road so you can take it all in! This means that a self-drive vacation or joining a guided tour are both great options for getting around. Self-driving gives you the freedom to create your own exact itinerary and also the flexibility to change it on the fly. If there are any particular places, you would like to visit it is also a great way to spend time in more out of the way locations.
The other popular option is to join a guided tour, New Zealand has a fantastic range of guided tour companies for travellers of all budgets and preferences. Boutique, small group tours have become popular in recent years as they offer the flexibility to customize your experience, yet take all of the stress out of travelling as everything is looked after for you! The other significant benefit is that your local guides always have the best knowledge to get off the beaten path all while offering our legendary Kiwi hospitality!
Two weeks is our recommended minimum, it’s the perfect amount of time to fit the majority of the country into your vacation and really get an in-depth experience. With this time, you’ll be able to cover both Islands and visit all of our top destinations like Auckland, Rotorua, Taupo, Tongariro, Wellington, Marlborough, Abel Tasman, Mount Cook/Aoraki, Wanaka, Queenstown and Milford Sound. You will only have a day or two in each place if you decide to cover the whole country. Still, It's enough to have an enjoyable visit full of warm hospitality, breath-taking sights, awesome activities, and a healthy dose of relaxation. (this is where our natural geothermal pools are fantastic!)
Check out the image below to get a better idea of what a two-week New Zealand visit might include and be sure to get in touch with us for help planning your New Zealand vacation! My brother and I have grown up exploring New Zealand’s stunning environment and now love to share it with visitors through our company, Sole Ventures. So we certainly know how to plan the ultimate visit to New Zealand!
If you can't manage a minimum of two weeks, that's no problem! You can still have an incredible time; you'll just have to pick and choose which areas of the country where you would prefer to spend your time. If you only have a week or so our recommendation is to choose one island so you can do it justice, hopefully, you can revisit us and explore the other Island in the future!
If you like the sound of the North Island, you’ll be able to fit a whole bunch into a week such as the Bay of Islands, Auckland, Rotorua, Taupo, Tongariro and Wellington to start with. A seven(ish) day visit to the South Island could include Queenstown, Milford Sound, Franz Josef, Hokitika, Abel Tasman and Christchurch. However long your time in New Zealand is, you'll still have a fantastic visit. If you're planning a shorter vacation, be sure to have a look over our 3 – 10-day tours for itinerary ideas.
If you have more time, lucky you! Now you can really dig into all New Zealand has to offer and spend a little longer in all the places you love plus explore as much of the country as you like. It definitely pays to do more in-depth research or talk to a local expert so you can make the most of your time and tick off all the places you would love to see. With three or more weeks you could include the whole lot – Bay of Islands, Auckland, Rotorua, Taupo, Tongariro, Wellington, Abel Tasman, Kaikoura, Christchurch, Tekapo, Mount Cook, Wanaka, Queenstown, Milford Sound and more. There’s also some more out of the way locations that are well worth visiting if you have the time such as Cape Reinga, Tutukaka Coast, Coromandel, Taranaki, West Coast, Catlins Coast and Stuart Island.
Whatever your plans are, be sure to get in touch, and we'll give you the local knowledge you need to make the most of your visit!