Before we start this New Zealand travel itinerary, remember that it is divided into 3 parts and that this is the third part. To see the other parts, go back to the previous page after finishing this one.
8 days in NEW ZEALAND ITINEARARY
- Fifteenth Day: Lake Tekapo, Drive to Mt Cook
- Sixteenth Day: Aoraki Mt Cook
- Seventeenth Day: Roys Peak Track, Wanaka
- Eighteenth Day: Drive to Te Anau
- Nineteenth Day: Milford Sound
- Twentieth Day: Queenstown
- Twenty-first Day: Queenstown
- Twenty second Day: Fly Home
Fifteenth Day: Drive to Aoraki Mountain. COOK
Total driving distance: 332 km
Total travel time: 4.25 hours
It may seem like another long day, but you’ll see some beautiful scenery along the way. Lake Tekapo is beautiful and a great place to get out and stretch your legs.
It’s also nice to drive along Lake Pukaki as you approach Mount Cook.
Here are some great ways to kill time in MT. chef
Hike the Hook Valley Trail. If you’re doing one thing here, it’s going this way. It’s 5km long and almost completely flat, making it perfect for people of all ages and skill levels. The trail is a mix of gravel trails and boardwalks. The return journey takes 3 to 4 hours and you will enjoy beautiful views of Mount Cook along the way.
Take a scenic flight over Aoraki Mount Cook National Park. For the best views of the park, take a helicopter or plane ride. Flights depart from Lake Tekapo Airport or Mount Cook Airport.
Go for a helicopter hike. For the ultimate adventure, take a helicopter ride to the Tasman Glacier and hike.
Go stargazing Aoraki Mount Cook is located in the Mackenzie Dark Sky Reserve, one of the best stargazing locations in the world.
Sixteenth Day: AORAKI MT COOK and WANAKA
Total driving distance: 210 km
Total driving time: 2.5 hours
Enjoy yourself at Mount Cook before driving to Wanaka. Upon arrival in Wanaka, check in to the hotel.
Seventeenth Day: HIKE ROYS PEAK TRACK
For one of the best views of Wanaka and Mount Aspiring National Park, hike to the top of Mount Royce. It’s a tough uphill hike, but you’ll get stunning views.
The hike back to 16 kilometers takes five to six hours.
Then spend the rest of the day in Wanaka. Photo #ThatWanakaTree, spend some time at Lake Wanaka or watch a movie at Paradise Cinema and eat hot cookies.
Eighteenth Day: DRIVE TO TE ANAU
Total driving distance: 225 km
Total travel time: 3 hours
Milford Sound is one of New Zealand’s must-see attractions. It’s a 4 hour drive south of Queenstown, so it’s possible to do a day trip from Queenstown, but it’s a long, long day. Instead, place yourself in the quiet, closer town of Te Anau.
Today you drive directly through Queenstown to Te Anau. Going straight to Te Anau might sound weird, but there’s a reason for that. This saves you an extra hotel booking and another day of packing and unpacking. Plus, your journey will be an unforgettable few days in Queenstown.
It takes only 3 hours to drive from Wanaka to Te Anau. So if you want, you can stop for lunch in Queenstown or even go bungee jumping or jet boating for lunch. Another great idea is to spend part of the day in Arrowtown, a charming town just a short drive north of Queenstown.
There’s not much to do in Te Anau. Visit Glowworm Caves or spend time in Lake Te Anau.
Nineteenth Day: THE MILFORD SOUND & KEY SUMMIT
Total driving distance: 240 km
Total driving time: 3.5 hours
The drive from Te Anau to Milford Sound takes approximately 2 hours. There are various viewpoints to visit along the way. We gave ourselves 3 hours to reach Milford Sound and extra time to stop at these lookouts.
There are several companies that offer Milford Sound cruises. We use JUCY because of its low cost. All cruises do the same loop through the fjords, so whatever company you choose, you’ll see pretty much the same on your cruise. However, some companies also offer kayak tours.
Cruises last 1.5 to 2 hours. Before or after your cruise, you can take a short easy trail along the fjord.
On the way back to Te Anau, you can choose to hike to Key Summit. This is a 3 hour hike along part of the Routeburn Track. Honestly, we enjoyed this hike better than the Milford Sound cruise.
You can stay in Te Anau or drive all the way back to Queenstown. 180 miles from Milford Sound, approximately 4 hours. We slept in Te Anau.
Twentieth Day & Twenty-first Day: QUEENSTOWN
Spend two days in Queenstown and you’ll have plenty of time to go crazy and indulge in all the exciting activities the city has to offer. The list includes bungee jumping, jet boating, paragliding, mountain biking, skiing and hiking. Grab a burger at Fergburger, ride the Skyline Gondola for stunning views of Queenstown, and then climb back up to take in the views. Day trip to Glenorchy or Arrowtown.
Twenty second Day: FLY HOME
Time to pack your bags and fly home (or head to your next destination).