For our honeymoon in 2003 we decided to head for the other side of the world. Not particularly drawn to the idea of a beach-side getaway where we would do nothing for 3 weeks, we rather wanted a nice combination of comfortable exploration, a bit of hiking in more simple conditions and then a last few days at the beach that were a little more luxurious.
We picked the South Island first and chose the Routeburn Track which seemed pretty iconic and challenging enough without being too touristic or physically demanding. Even if the track conditions were fairly basic, with communal bunk room style accommodation in the huts, some of our best memories from the trip are from our trek.
New Zealand offers so many different hiking tracks that it would be a shame not to do one during your honeymoon. We also made the most of the fiord region with Milford Sound, Fox and Franz Josef glaciers and the fabulous Abel Tasman National Park, before moving on to the North Island; catching the ferry over to Wellington and then heading towards the volcanoes of Tongariro National Park and the capital of all things geothermal, Rotorua. A total of 17 days to traverse a big part of Aotearoa.
While we would have liked to have had more time it was a good introduction, and we fell so hard in love with this country that we would return 6 years later with our children.
For seaside activities the North Island is best as the water is a little warmer than in the South where the sea can be chilly even in summer. With the Coromandel Peninsula, the Hauraki Gulf and the region of Northland there are a multitude of options to finish off your honeymoon with a bit of lounging around by the seaside in the North. If you’d prefer to cut short your stay in New Zealand and try out the exoticness of Fiji, Samoa or the Cook islands, they’re only a few hours away. (We can organise that part of your trip too, just let us know.)
Thanks for your arrangements for our trip to New Zealand, Carolyn. What a fabulous place and great people! The b&bs were terrific, particularly Carol and Craig in Lake Tekapo. T... - John Larson, USARead all reviews