Great itinerary ideas for a summer holiday in New Zealand
By Amy Hanson
New Zealand, “the land of the long white cloud” is a special place to spend a summer holiday. Why? Because of our temperate climate, long balmy evenings, extensive coastline, wildlife and many outdoor activities. It’ll give you a sense of freedom and discovery like no other summer experience.
New Zealand prides itself on the diversity of what we have to offer. From beautiful mountains, flora and fauna, beaches, geothermal activity, national parks, cosmopolitan cities, culture and cuisine you will find it hard to beat.
So, if you’re wanting to get a taste of what a trip to New Zealand could look like, take a sneaky view at this Two-Week Itinerary of New Zealand’s North and South Islands.
So, when is the best time to visit New Zealand?
Officially, New Zealand’s summer is from December through February, opposite to the northern hemisphere. However, our best weather is typically from January through April.
Being a long, narrow country our weather varies enormously from top to bottom. While the far north has a subtropical summer, other parts of the country have drier heat and sometimes cooler temperatures. The average summer temperatures range from 21 degrees Celsius (70 F) to 28 degrees Celsius (82 F), with high sunshine hours.
Highlights to get you thinking about your New Zealand summer experience
If you are thinking about visiting New Zealand here are some activities that’ll get you excited. The spectacular 15,000 km (9,400 mile) coastline means many summer activities are water based.
Swimming with the dolphins
We are lucky to have an abundance of dolphins in our ocean. They are playful and inquisitive and love to swim with humans, but it’s important to be respectful particularly when they are with calf or feeding. Book with a tour operator that specializes in ‘swimming with the dolphins,’ either in the Bay of Islands where the water is warm or Kaikoura, where you could possibly see a lot more wildlife than just dolphins.
Kaikoura is the place to go whale watching. Take a tour and get close up to these amazing mammals. Pods of resident giant sperm whales have made the Kaikoura Coast their home. The coastline is abundant with wildlife and it is possible you’ll also see orcas, fur seals, dolphins and seabirds on your whale-watching boat tour.
Cruising the Bay of Islands
The Bay of Islands, north of Auckland is an enclave of more than 140 subtropical islands. These islands are best accessed from either Paihia or Russell. Depending on what your interests are, whether it be finding a deserted beach, game fishing, island hopping or sailing you can find a cruise to suit.
Walks and hikes in our National Parks
New Zealand has 13 National Parks with the most stunning and beautiful landscapes. Within these National parks are nine great walks including the famous Milford Track, the coastal walk in the Abel Tasman National Park and the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. This day walk is rated one of the best day walks in the world.
The best of New Zealand’s 100’s of beaches
With an extensive coast line, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to beaches, whether you are looking for a stunning city beach like Oriental Parade in the capital or Takapuna beach in Auckland.
Our west coast beaches tend to be more rugged, while our east coast beaches are calmer. However, whatever part of the county you are in, you’ll find beautiful, unpopulated beaches you can enjoy.
Fly-fishing in our rivers
If you are a fly-fisherman or would love to try this sport there are spectacular rivers which rainbow and brown trout abound. In the central North Island the Tongariro River is famous for its trophy fish, along with its many tributaries. In the South Island, there is good fishing in Nelson, Canterbury and Queenstown rivers that can be reached by foot or helicopter, if you want a really remote location.
Another favourite summer destination is the Coromandel Peninsula. This peninsula has a huge coastline of golden, sandy beaches as well as a couple of other attractions well worth seeing. Take a hike to Cathedral Cove and enjoy the beauty of the rock formations, then head to Hot Water Beach. At low tide dig yourself a pit in the sand and let it fill with hot water from the spring.
If you’re interested in traveling to New Zealand, feel free to contact MoaTrek New Zealand Small Group Tours. They’d love to hear from you and help plan your great New Zealand experience.
This travel inspiration for “the land of the long white cloud” is brought to you by MoaTrek.