New Zealand’s awe-inspiring scenery, fascinating Maori culture, award winning food and wine, and multitude of thrilling adventure activities mean there really is something for everyone. Make the most of your trip by seeing some of the best our beautiful country has to offer. New Zealand is compact and easy to get around so you can experience a lot in a short amount of time.
Visit Tourism New Zealand to find out how to explore the country.
New Zealand is well known for:
New Zealand's climate is mild, and ranges from subtropical in the north to temperate in the south. No matter the season, the majority of the main attractions are open year-round.
Avoid the crowds, but still enjoy the sunshine – the autumnal months of March, April & May are a great time to travel in New Zealand. With long sunny days and average high temperatures of between 18C and 25C, you’ll hardly notice summer has ‘officially’ ended. Nights begin to get chilly around mid-April. Because it’s no longer high season, you won’t encounter the busy crowds of summer.
Long, still days lend themselves to the great outdoors – Autumn is the perfect time of year to hike one of our nine Great Walks, explore a cycle trail or try fly fishing.
Salt water fishing is exceptional from March to May. Take a local charter boat or dangle a line off the coast.
Orca and dolphins visit Wellington’s coast during the Autumn months. Watch from the city’s waterfront or catch a ferry to Eastbourne or Picton.
The following 3 day suggested itineraries highlight just some of the exciting options for a short stay in New Zealand, you could mix and match elements from some of these options to cover more of the country.
Thanks to Tourism New Zealand for the content and images below, for more detailed information please click on the links below which will take you to the Tourism New Zealand site.
In three days you’ll find out why Auckland’s lifestyle is rated so highly.
Depart the city for Waiheke Island on a ferry that will have you at your destination in just 35 minutes. Efficient local transport on the island makes it easy to visit vineyards, beaches and artists’ studios. Excellent restaurants are part of Waiheke’s charm.Spend a day exploring the sights and sounds of central Auckland – from thrills and spills, to art and culture, to getting out on Auckland's sparkling harbour.
Another city escape takes you west to Auckland's wild side. Hike in the verdant Waitakere Ranges and experience the native rainforest and rugged black-sand beaches which define the west coast.
A love of fine wine will drive you to travel this signposted journey through the first leg of the Classic New Zealand Wine Trail. Start the journey with one day in Napier where vineyards are as famous for their restaurants as they are for their wine. Make a wildlife stop at Mt Bruce on your way through the Wairarapa to Martinborough.Once again, wine is first on the list of local attractions – Pinot Noir is Martinborough’s specialty. Finish your journey by immersing yourself in the coffee, cuisine and buzzing nightlife of Wellington.
While it's only 150 kilometres long, the Forgotten World Highway is a highly memorable driving journey.
Built on colonial bridle paths formed in the late 19th century, the highway is remote and mysterious to the extreme. "A bit upsy downsy" is how one local resident puts it - a classic New Zealand understatement to describe a road that hugs the rugged contours of the land to provide a natural roller coaster experience.
The Forgotten World Highway can be approached from Stratford or Taumarunui. It wriggles its way over four mountain saddles, through an eerie one-lane tunnel and along a sinuous river gorge. Fifteen kilometres of the road is unsealed gravel, and the only significant settlement on the way is Whangamomona, where the historic hotel is known for its hospitality.
This coast-to-coast route traverses the Southern Alps – an incredible showcase of pristine mountains and rivers.
Take your car or sit back and enjoy the ever-changing scenery by train.From Christchurch, the 255-kilometre route follows State Highway 73 west across river plains before rising to traverse through Porters Pass and Arthur’s Pass National Park.
Highlights include the impressive Waimakariri and Otira River gorges, driving along the Otira Viaduct and exploring natural wonders like the Castle Hill Rocks and Cave Stream Reserve. Once on the West Coast, you have the option to drive north to the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks.
The scenery on this route is simply mind blowing. Get ready for towering mountains, turquoise lakes and the sweetest little church you’ve ever seen - not to mention friendly, down-to-earth locals and rare wildlife.
Stargazing above Lake Tekapo and taking a boat ride to see the Tasman Glacier are some of the unforgettable experiences this route offers.
The road to Milford Sound is as much a scenic experience as the fiord itself. Get your camera ready for this world-renowned journey. This short road trip takes you to remote - but still accessible - locations set amongst breath taking, out-of-this-world landscapes.