It's impossible to see the best of any country in just two months, but here's a breakdown of how we did it:
There are lots of ways to get around New Zealand, but we decided a rental car would be the best way for us to see some of the more remote attractions. Simply put: it's the easiest way to do it. We each had a 70L backpack to fill with out essentials. Check out their contents here!
Bringing trustworthy camping gear will take your trip to the next level. New Zealand is decked out with TONS of campgrounds in the most stunning landscapes you'll come across. It's well worth the extra few pounds to be able to pitch a tent at the base of Mount Cook.
Best Things We Brought
Camping gear to sleep under the stars.
Small luggage locks to secure our belongings in hostel lockers - they provide the safes, but you'll have to rent a lock if you don't bring your own!
Tarp/sitting blanket for a quick picnic. Doubles as a groundcloth for your tent!
Rain jacket because rain.
Hiking boots so you can climb those peaks.
External battery pack for your electronics, especially while camping.
Solar lanterns for easy lighting anywhere!
Fixed wide angle lens for landscape photography - MJ's personal favorite.
Mini bluetooth speaker to broadcast your tunes in the hostel kitchens.
Navigation app (maps.me) to get around the country. You'll thank us later.
Camping app (CamperMate) to find the best campgrounds that fit your budget.
Best Restaurants & Bars
Kaiaua Fisheries in Kaiaua
Emporium Bar & Eatery in Napier
Rata in Queenstown
Capital Nomads Bar in Wellington
Fitzpatrick’s Irish Pub in Wanaka
Lakefront pub place in Wanaka
Cowboy’s in Queenstown
Surreal in Queenstown
Crash Palace in Rotorua
Bad Jelly Backpackers in Kaikoura
Tailor-Made Backpackers in Tekapo
BASE Hostels in Wanaka and Queenstown
On the Beach Backpackers in Hahei
Things We Didn’t Get To, but Wish We Did
Tongariro Alpine Crossing
West Coast of the South Island
Abel Tasman Coastal Track
Routeburn Track (Key Summit Trail was a great substitute though!)
Another night in Wellington
Skydiving above the Remarkables
Things to Remember in New Zealand
Drive on the left side of the road!!!!!
It’s not customary to tip, but 10% is appreciated for exceptional service.
Leave No Trace. Our wild lands are worth protecting.
You probably won't see a kiwi, but give it a shot!
Always ask DOC officers for recommendations, but take it with a grain of salt. KNOW YOUR OWN CAPABILITIES!!!!!!
Book huts and campsites way in advance during peak season - everyone else knows how beautiful it is too!!!!
Be prepared for weather that’s worse than you anticipate. Always.