New Zealand
Honeymoon Guide

New Zealand, also known as Aotearoa, meaning the land of the long white cloud, is fantasy on earth. Home to breathtaking glaciers, epic mountains, volcanoes, pristine grassland, idyllic beaches and never-ending farmland, New Zealand’s ethereal allure sends many tourists heading its way every year. Many films, like Lord of The Rings, have used New Zealand’s majestic beauty as its backdrop. This honeymoon destination is one of limitless options & has something for everyone, whether it’s romance, adrenaline, adventure, nature, culture, or culinary experiences.

Welcome to New Zealand

Landscape

New Zealand’s  geographical diversity never fails to amazes visitors from all around the world. New Zealand comprises of 2 main islands, North and South Island, which are then surrounded by 600 tiny islands. 

Culture & Language

New Zealand was first settled by the seafaring Maori people from the Pacific. In places like Rotorua (North island), where Maori influences are still strong, you can experience their culture and heritage. You’ll find in New Zealand, many greenstone and jade pendants. Rugby is also a very big sport in New Zealand, and they always perform the famous Haka before a match. 

English and Maori are the official languages of New Zealand. Almost everyone speaks English and New Zealanders are very friendly (they are the nicest people I’ve met!), so you will have no trouble getting around. 

Food & Drink

The food scene in New Zealand is growing. It’s cooking and food, largely influenced and inspired by different parts of the world.- Europe, Asia, Polynesia. In recent years, the main cities like Wellington and Auckland have opened many gourmet restaurants, chic cafes and bars. The coffee culture in New Zealand is strong, so be sure to hit the local coffee shop to grab a cuppa. Many craft beer and wineries dot the island, so getting a drink would be no problem. 

Nature

The nature in New Zealand is what makes this place so special. It’s striking, breathtaking and picturesque all at once. Get ready to go on plenty of nature hikes, forest trails & glacier walks. 

Best Time to Visit New Zealand

New Zealand, despite having four seasons, is an all-year round destination. That means, it has something special to offer you each month of the year, depending on your interests. If you love skiing, the winter season (June to August) is great for you for it has tons of winter sport activities. Fair warning though, the South Island can get very cold. 

The high season in New Zealand is during summer, which is December to February. This would mean busy crowds and higher prices, though weather would be perfect for just about anything. 

As you probably know, we love to visit places during their shoulder seasons. This means good weather yet lower prices. Visit New Zealand during Fall (March to May) and Spring (September to November). The cheapest month for flights is March. 

We visited the South Island of New Zealand in September 2019. As Winter just ended, the mountains are still snow-capped and incredibly beautiful. 

North Island Honeymoon Destinations

Known for its volcanic activity, geysers and being a geothermal wonderland, the North island is rich in Maori heritage & culture embedded in the many villages and historic sites. The cosomopolitan cities feature many museums, arts and cuisine for you to indulge in.

You will also find nature walks in beautiful ancient forests (Waipoua & Te Urewera), and relaxing coastal resorts in the Bay of Islands & Coromandel. Auckland is the primary gateway to the South, though you can also fly to its capital, Wellington. The weather is generally warmer here than in the South. 

Here are the top destinations to visit in the North Island.

Romantic Getaways in the North Island

The Farm at Cape Kidnappers

Set on 6,000 acres of stunning pastures in Hawke's Bay. Experience world-class service, 180-degree ocean views, wine cellar, open fireplaces and an inftinity pool with a hot tub.

Wharekauhau Country Estate

Located in Wairarapa set amid a 5,500-acres of rolling fields, lakes, woodland and rugged coastline, you will find luxury cottage suites which even the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge have stayed in.

Huka Lodge

Located in Taupo, Huka Lodge is set on 17 acres of countrside on the banks of the Waikato River. Boasting private terraces and lovely river views, it is a jewel to be discovered.

SO/ Auckland

For city lovers, this avant-guard luxe urban hotel features bold and extravagant interiors and is situated in the heart of Auckland. Views overlook Auckland's Waitemata Harbour.

South Island Honeymoon Destinations

Also known as Te Waipounamu, which means the water of greenstone, the South Island of New Zealand is road-trip heaven. The Southern Alps stretches almost the entire length of the island, making any drive as scenic as it can be.

Notable sights like Arthur’s Pass, Milford Sound, Lake Tekapo, Mount Cook and the Wanaka nightskies are not to be missed. Picton & Christchurch are the main gateways of the South Island, though you can also fly to Queenstown, the adrenalin capital of the South.

Here are the top destinations to visit in the South Island.

Romantic Getaways in the South Island

Matakauri Lodge

A 10-minute drive from Queestown will take you to Lake Wakatipu, where Matakauri Lodge overlooks snowy peaks and one of the most beautiful alpine lakes.

Blanket Bay

This hunting lodge-style hideaway in Glenorchy, Otago, ticks all the boxes for a secluded, romantic retreat. Located on the eastern shore of Lake Wakatipu, it is surrounded by majestic, snow-capped mountains.

The Marlborough Lodge

In the heart of the famous and romantic Malborough wine region, you wil find The Marlborough Lodge. This new ten-room heritage hotel near Blenheim is set in delightful gardens and a perfect spot for touring the wineries.

Otahuna Lodge

This 19-Century Victorian estate, a 30-minute drive from Christchurch, surrounds an ancient volcano. Beyond the trimmed gardens and sweeping lawn, you will see the snow-capped Southern Alps. This place is so special, it is listed on the New Zealand Historic Places Trust.

Top Activities in New Zealand

Powered by our travel partner Klook, find out what are the top things to do in each region.

New Zealand Travel FAQ

New Zealand, despite having four seasons, is an all-year round destination. That means, it has something special to offer you each month of the year, depending on your interests. If you love skiing, the winter season (June to August) is great for you for it has tons of winter sport activities. Fair warning though, the South Island can get very cold. 

The high season in New Zealand is during summer, which is December to February. This would mean busy crowds and higher prices, though weather would be perfect for just about anything. 

As you probably know, we love to visit places during their shoulder seasons. This means good weather yet lower prices. Visit New Zealand during Fall (March to May) and Spring (September to November). The cheapest month for flights is March. 

We visited the South Island of New Zealand in September 2019. As Winter just ended, the mountains are still snow-capped and incredibly beautiful. 

When traveling New Zealand, keep a close eye on the weather forecast. Weather changes are quite unpredictable and one day it’s sunny the next it would be raining, of which you may want to avoid especially if you are going to be hiking. Download the MetService app prior to your trip.

One of the top questions asked about New Zealand is should I visit the North or South island? It does depend on what you like, though the South Island is more popular among tourists because of its spectacular landscape and plenty of Instagrammable spots. 

The North Island is known for its geothermal landscape (volcanoes, geysers), as well as its rich Maori heritage. Its cities are also a great way to experience arts, cuisine, culture. The North Island is home to ¾ of New Zealand’s population.

South Island, on the other hand, is renowned for its majestic scenery – mountains, lakes, glaciers, fjords, valleys, waterfalls are a common sight here. If it is your first time visiting New Zealand, and you can only visit one island, I would suggest starting with the South Island. It is more beautiful and very scenic, also perfect for campervan road trips. 

New Zealand is not a quick getaway type of destination. There is just so much to see and discover here!

I would suggest a minimum of 14 days to see both islands (1 week for each), though get ready to be in a hurry. 3 weeks would be more comfortable, if you can afford the time off. If you are only visiting one island, 10 days would be great. 

We visited in September, and spent 2 weeks touring the South Island only. Even so, we could not cover everything. I believe it is important to manage your expectations based on the timeframe you have. I prefer slow-paced travel, so if you are like me,  it’s best not to be ambitious about checking everything off the list. 

Sharing our favourite itineraries below: (we’ll be publishing our own very soon!)

Prior to our trip, I asked many friends about New Zealand and they all said the same thing – you must hire a campervan to tour the island.

After my own experience, I have to say that is 110% true. Not only can you tour the island at your own leisurely (or rapid)  pace, you can stop anywhere to see the sights and take your Instagrams. Living out of a mobile home also makes for quite an experience. 

For our trip, we decided to rent from Kiwi Motorhomes. We picked the 6 Berth Automatic Bella, which was roomy for the 4 of us. It was nothing short of AWESOME. The beds too were surprisingly comortable. Their service is great (thanks Chris!), and they offered us a lot of travel advice prior to the trip. They were the ones who asked us to download the apps Campermate and MetService prior to our trip. We will be writing a lengthy review on the experience soon, but meanwhile, be sure to check out their campervan honeymoon package here.

On average, a daily budget per person will be S$200 – $250. This all-inclusive budget will be relatively comfortable. You can opt to do a more budget trip. (The Travel Intern did a 2 week trip under $2,500)

For our 14-days trip, we spent about ~$3,000 per person. That includes our flights, campervan rental, paid campsites for some days, meals and activities. We frequented supermarkets often and cooked our meals, though we had the occasional visits to restaurants. 

Here is the budget breakdown:

1. Flights: $1,000 – $1,200 (see tab below)

2. Accommodation: $150 – $300 per night for 2 pax if you are booking a hotel or apartment. 

3. Car rental: Renting a car will cost about $20 – $30 per day. A campervan will cost about $200 – $300 / day, to be spilt among your travel buddies. Eventual cost will depend on the model. 

If you rent a campervan, powered campsites (for you to charge your battery, do refilling and dumping) costs about $20 – $25 per day, though this can double during high season. There are shower and kitchen facilities at these powered campsites. 

Gas costs about NS$2.50 per litre. 

***Important: Make sure to get insurance that covers the minimum excess when you rent. Insurance is very important, I cannot emphasise this more. 

3. Transport: If you are renting a car or campervan, you might not incur this cost. Buses are the cheapest, most common mode of public transport for traveling between towns or cities. Intercity and Naked Bus are the two main providers, and fares start from NZ$10. 

4. Activities / Tours: This largely depends on what you wish to do. Our main expenditure for tours was skydiving, and that was about S$300. There are many other exciting paid activities that you can do, so you may want to set aside about $1,000 – $1,500 for activities. That being said, hiking is free! 

5. Food & Drink: This depends on whether you are cooking or eating out. A regular meal at a restaurant will range $20 – $30 per person. If you cook, it will probably be about $10 – $15 per person. 

6. Insurance: We got ours from FWD for S$31.50/pax. 

At time of writing, 1SGD = 1.15NZD

The cost of flights will vary depending on the season, airline and arrival city you choose. All things aside, I would set aside ~S$1,000 – S$1,200 for flights. 

From Singapore, flying to Wellington and Christchurch would be the cheapest, and it is likely you will have a layover in Australia. You can also fly to Auckland or Queenstown. 

Remember, shoulder months are when you’ll get better prices. Summer (Dec – Feb) is the high season so prices will likely double. Cheapest month for flights is March or August. 

On this note, Matt is amazing at finding flight deals. For our Sept 2019 trip, we got a deal for return tickets to Wellington (North Island) for ~$650 and transited through Sydney. From Wellington, we took an hour’s domestic flight to Christchurch (South Island) for ~$100+. We then picked up our Kiwi Motorhomes campervan from there and got started. 

Below are the estimated flight times for various destinations:

Auckland to Singapore: 10 hours 30 minutes

Christchurch to Singapore: 10 hours 40 minutes

Wellington to Singapore: 12 hours 40 minutes

Queenstown to Singapore: 12 hours 55 minutes

There is a wide range of accommodation in in New Zealand to cater to all types of travel, from hostels, apartments, chain hotels to luxury lodges. 

Accommodation averages between $100 – $350 per night for 2.

However, if you are getting a campervan (which I highly encourage! Check out Kiwi Motorhomes), then you’ll be staying out of your mobile home. While there are free campsites that you can park at, you would have to occasionally park at paid campsites in order to use their charging facilities and refilling/dumping stations. During low season, paid campsites go for about S$20+ per person/night, and can double during the high season. 

Yes!

Driving around New Zealand is very easy, and using GPS or Google Maps will get you to places you need to. Drivers are on the left side. Roads will get you to places, though some places can be bumpier than others. Take note that the speed limit is very, very strict. Especially so for campervans. If you’re visiting for a few months or more, buying a car could be a cost-effective option for you.

If you don’t wise to self-drive, bus, train or ferries are also easily accessible. Buses are the cheapest and most common form of transport when travelling between towns and cities. You can use this travel calculator to calcuate your travel time and distance. 

Apart from beautiful scenery and gorgeous landscapes, here are some things to expect. 

Language: New Zealand’s official language is English and Maori. Almost everyone speaks English, so you do not have to worry! 

Currency: New Zealand Dollar. As of time of writing, 1SGD = 1.14 NZD

Payment: Visa or Mastercard credit or debit cards are widely accepted in supermarkets, restaurants. 

Plugs: The plugs in New Zealand are different from Singapore. They are type I whereas ours is type G.

But the voltage and frequency are same as Singapore at 230 V and 50Hz. 

Safety: New Zealand is safe, but with the occasional petty theft happening. Do take care of your belongings, and always remember to lock up. 

Discover New Zealand

Check out our most popular articles on New Zealand.

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