New Zealand and Cook Islands Itinerary (31 Days)

This itinerary covers our month-long end-of-the-year (and end-of-the-decade for that matter) trip to both New Zealand and the Cook Islands. As far as New Zealand was concerned, this was our second visit to the Land of the Long White Cloud. And like before, we were pretty much on our own as we self-drove both the South Island and North Islands (though unlike the first trip, this time we spent more time in the South Island as opposed to the North Island). The Cook Islands was sort of our vacation away from the vacation so-to-speak. That said, we also managed to fit in short term car hires so we were also able to explore a couple of the islands on our own.

In this trip, we managed to visit some of the waterfalls that we had missed the first time around while re-visiting others that wound up in our book of New Zealand Waterfalls. We were also a little bit less waterfall centric on this trip as we mixed things up a bit with some whale and dolphin watching, hot springs, and many other excursions we weren't able to do the first time around. Finally, we returned to the site of our wedding and met up with the friendly Italian hosts who really helped to make it such a special and unforgettable experience. Indeed, we did quite a lot on this trip, which you can see the summary for yourself below...

Day Overnight Activity
1-3 Christchurch, New Zealand
Bella Vista Motel
Travel, Car Rental Pickup, Christchurch CBD, Akaroa
4 Christchurch, New Zealand
Bella Vista Motel
Ryde Falls, Lyttleton
5 Mt Cook, New Zealand
The Hermitage Hotel
Acland Falls, Emily Falls, Church of the Good Shepherd, Tasman Glacier, Wakefield Falls, Hooker Valley
6 Dunedin, New Zealand
Bella Vista Motel
Wakefield Falls, The Octagon, Larnach Castle, Sandfly Bay
7 Te Anau, New Zealand
Lakeside Motel
Baldwin Street, Purakaunui Falls, Humboldt Falls, Christie Falls and the Milford Highway Waterfalls
8 Te Anau, New Zealand
Lakeside Motel
Bowen Falls, Stirling Falls and the Milford Sound Waterfalls, Milford Sound Highway Waterfalls, Hidden Falls
9 Queenstown, New Zealand
Coronation Lodge
Queenstown CBD
10 Fox Glacier, New Zealand
Mt Cook View Motel
Fantail Falls, Thunder Creek Falls, Fox Glacier Waterfalls, Fox Glacier
11 Fox Glacier, New Zealand
Mt Cook View Motel
"Trident Creek Falls" and the Franz Josef Glacier Waterfalls, Franz Josef Glacier, Lake Matheson Walk
12 Westport, New Zealand
Westport Motel
Pancake Rocks (Punakaiki)
13 Westport, New Zealand
Westport Motel
Mangatini Falls, Oparara Basin (Oparara Arch, Moria Gate Arch), Cape Foulwind Fur Seal Colony
14 Hanmer Springs, New Zealand
Harrogate Gardens Motel
Maruia Falls, Maruia Springs, Hanmer Springs
15 Nelson, New Zealand
Chelsea Park Motel
Kaikoura Whale Station, Kaikoura Lookout, Ohau Falls, Kekerengu,
16 Nelson, New Zealand
Chelsea Park Motel
Wainui Falls, Totaranui Beach, Takaka
17 Blenheim, New Zealand
Commodore Court Motel
Lake Rotoiti, Meeting up with Kiwi friends
18 Wellington, New Zealand
Capital Gateway Motel
Inter-Islander Ferry, Mt Victoria Lookout, Queens Wharf, Wellington CBD, Beehive and Parliament House
19 Palmerston North, New Zealand
Chancellor Motor Lodge
Waihi Falls, Palmerston North CBD
20 New Plymouth, New Zealand
Coronation Court Motel
Raukawa Falls, Stratford CBD, Mt Egmont, Dawson Falls, Surf Highway, Festival of Lights (Pukekura Park)
21 New Plymouth, New Zealand
Coronation Court Motel
Curtis Falls, Mt Damper Falls
22 Whangamata, New Zealand
La Dolce Vita Motel
Omaru Falls, Waitomo Glowworm Caves, Marokopa Falls, Wairere Falls, Owharoa Falls
23 Auckland, New Zealand
City Centre Hotel
Villa Toscana, Cathedral Cove, Waiau Falls, One Tree Hill, Auckland CBD, Market Square
24 Auckland, New Zealand
City Centre Hotel
Kitekite Falls, Fairy Falls, Hunua Falls, Princes Wharf
25 Rarotonga, Cook Islands
The Little Polynesian
Car Rental Return, Travel, Car Rental Pickup, Rarotonga Beach Bungalows
26 Rarotonga, Cook Islands
The Little Polynesian
Wigmore's Waterfall, Avarua, Muri Beach and Lagoon
27 Rarotonga, Cook Islands
The Little Polynesian
Muri Beach
28 Rarotonga, Cook Islands
The Little Polynesian
29 Aitutaki, Cook Islands
Tamanu Beach
Car Rental Return, Travel, Car Rental Pickup, Aitutaki Lagoon Resort
30 Aitutaki, Cook Islands
Tamanu Beach
Aitutaki Lagoon Tour (Honeymoon Island, One Foot Island)
31 Home
Car Rental Return, Travel



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