New Zealand 22 days road trip – Itinerary and budget #english

New Zealand is one of those countries that you should add at your bucket list despiste the high cost of the whole trip. It doesn’t mean the country is expensive, prices are similar than in Europe but you need at least 20 days for a full experience. Flights from Europe to New Zealand aren’t cheap at all although you can find good prices if you book your flight between 5-6 months in advance. A campervan is probably the best option to travel across the country, we booked ours from Campervan Republic  and the price was reasonable.

New Zealand has a big list of incredible places to see and interesting activities to do therefore you should plan the route a bit in advance as it will help you to have a clear overview of the whole trip. Do not book any activity or accommodation before you arrive as you probably will change your plans everyday; the weather is so changeable and unpredictable and activities can be cancelled the same day due to bad conditions. Do not forget to allow more time than usual in New’s Zealand roads, unexpected and beautiful places can be found along the way. My best tip to you? Just go with the flow.

Under my recommendation, download Campermate in your phone, this ultimate app will be your best friend during the trip. Use its interactive map to find information about accommodation, places to see, things to do, petrol stations among others. You can also save money by booking dozens of activities from Bookme

you will probably change your plans everyday

This article is written to give you an idea of “what to see and do” in both islands. Also to provide information about accommodation, food, activities and petrol prices, basically a total budget. Find map link to see how our journeys were. We missed interesting things that can be added at your list and we also visited places that you might not have in mind. Three activities were cancelled due to the bad weather therefore we had to change plans few times. Hope you find this article useful for your next New Zealand experience, have a look and check out how our trip ended up.

#DAY 1  Auckland – Waitomo Caves

Distance: 184km (map)

Time: allow 2h 30′ + stops

Accomodation in Waitomo: Waitomo Top 10 Holiday Park –  18NZD

Waitomo Caves: Combo two caves – 89NZD

Waitomo Glowworm Caves

#DAY 2  Waitomo Caves – Hobbitton – Rotorua

Distance: 182km (map)

Time: allow 3 hours + breaks

Accommodation in Rotorua: Holdens Bay Holiday Park: 15NZD

Hobbiton Movie Set Tour: 79NZD

Hobbiton Movie Set

#DAY 3  Rotorua – Waiotapu Volcanic Valley – Taupo Lake – Tongariro NP

Distance: 216km (map)

Time: allow 3 hours + breaks

Accommodation in Tongariro NP: Whakapapa Holiday Park – 20NZD

Rotorua Lake – FREE

Waiotapu Volcanic Valley –28NZD

Taupo Lake – FREE

Rafting in Rotorua – 45NZD (activity cancelled)

Waiotapu Volcanic Valley

#DAY 4  Tongariro NP –  Queen Elizabeth Park – Wellington

Distance: 402 km (map)

Time: allow 5 hours + breaks

Accomodation in Queen Elizabeth Park (Paekakariki) – 18NZD

Tongariro Alpine Crossing (7hrs hike) shuttle – 30NZD (activity cancelled)

Tongariro Walk – FREE

Queen Elizabeth Park walk – FREE

Tongariro National Park – Mordor in The Lord of the Rings

#DAY 5  Wellington – Ferry South Island – Picton – Nelson Lakes NP

Distance: 286 km (map)

Time: allow 6hrs 15′ + breaks (ferry included)

Ferry Wellington – Picton: 320NZD (2 adults + campervan) – 160NZD

Accommodation in Nelson Lakes NP (Murchison): Riverside Holiday Park – 16NZD

Beautiful views from ferry when arriving to south island

Wellington city centre tour – FREE

Mount Richmond Scenic Road

Nelson Lakes NP Scenic Road

Nelson Lakes N.P. hikes – FREE

Views from Ferry North Island to South Island

#DAY 6  Nelson Lakes NP – Buller Gorge – Paparoa NP – Bunner Lake

Distance: 214 km (map)

Time: allow 3h 30′ + breaks

Accommodation in Lake Brunner (Moana): Lake Brunner Motel Campsite – 33NZD 

Buller Gorge: scenic road + the old ghost road track (1h) – FREE

Paparoa NP hike: Porarari River (2h) –FREE

Paparoa NP walk: Pancakes Rocks (30′)FREE

Brunner Lake & River walk: FREE

Paparoa National Park

#DAY 7  Brunner Lake – Artur’s Pass NP

Distance: 124km (map)

Time: allow 2 hours + stops

Accommodation in Artur’s Pass NP (Jackson): Jackson´s Retreat Campervan Holiday Park – 23NZD

Arthur’s Pass NP hike: Jack’s Hut track from Bealey (4-5h) – FREE

Arthur’s Pass NP hike: Devil’s Punchbowl Waterfall track (1h) – FREE

Arthur’s Pass NP Scenic Road

Arthur’s Pass National Park

#DAY 8  Arthur’s Pass NP – Hokitika – Franz Josef Glacier

Distance: 201km (map)

Time: allow 2h 30′ + stops

Accommodation in Franz Josef: Rainforest Retreat Campsite – 23NZD

West Coast Scenic Road

Bruce Bay Beach Walk (1h) – FREE

Hokitika wildlife centre (kiwi experience) – 25NZD

Franz Josef Glacier Valley track (2h) – FREE

Franz Josef Glacier

#DAY 9  Franz Josef Glacier – Mt Aspiring NP – Wanaka

Distance: 287 km (map)

Time: allow 4 hours + stops

Accommodation in Wanaka: Lakeview Holiday Park – 20NZD

Heli – hiking at Franz Josef Glacier (3hrs) – 449NZD (activity CANCELLED)

Mt Aspiring Scenic Road

Mt Aspiring NP hike: Blue Pools (1h) – FREE

Hawea & Wanaka Lakes

Wanaka lakeside and high-street

Wanaka Lake

# DAY 10  Wanaka – Queenstown – Glenorchy

Distance: 138 km (map)

Time: allow 2h 30′ + stops

Accommodation: YHA Hostel Kinloch – 35NZD

Cycling in Wanaka (2h) – 20NZD

Wanaka – Queenstown scenic road


Glenorchy lakeside

 Isengard Walk – The Lord of the Rings scenario (Glenorchy) – FREE


#DAY 11  Glenorchy – Manapouri Lake

Distance: 216km (map)

Time: allow 3h 30′ + stops

Accommodation: Manapouri Motels & Holiday Park –  35NZD

Mt Alfred Summit track (5h) – FREE 

Scenic Road Glenorchy – Queenstown

Manapouri Lake Walk (2h) – FREE

Sunrise at Manapouri Lake

#DAY 12  Manapouri Lake – Doubtful Sound Fjord – Te Anau – Milford Sound Fjord

Distance: 139km (map)

Time: allow 2h + stops

Accommodation: Milford Sound Campsite – 40NZD

Kayak Doubtful Sound Fjord (8h) – 255NZD

Te Anau Lake

Te Anau – Milford Sound Scenic Road (considered one of the World’s most beautiful scenic road) 

Kayaking in Doubtful Sound Fjord

#DAY 13  Milford Sound Fjord – Curio Bay (South-end)

Distance: 395km (map)

Time: allow 5h + stops

Accommodation Curio Bay Campsite – 20NZD

Milford Sound Fjord Cruise – 45NZD

Milford Sound Scenic Road

Fjordland Scenic Road

Dolphins, seals and penguins experience in Curio Bay

Milford Sound Fjord

#DAY 14  Curio Bay –  Catlins Forest – Dunedin – Oamaru

Distance: 291km (map)

Time: allow 4h + breaks

Accommodation (Oamaru): Harbour Campsite – 20NZD

Catlins Forest park Scenic Road

Dunedin city centre tour – FREE

Penguin experience in Oamaru (penguins show up at the harbour-side at the night)

Curio Bay

#DAY 15 Oamaru – Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park

Distance: 397km (map)

Time: allow 5 hours + breaks

Accommodation in Mt Cook NP: Glentanner Holiday Park – 22NZD

Oamaru Town walk tour (2h) – FREE

Pukaki Lake

Mt Cook NP scenic road

Pukaki Lake and Mt Cook

#DAY 16 Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park

Accommodation in Twinzel: Twinzel Holiday Park – 20NZD

Hooker Valley Track (4h) – FREE  *Mt Cook view, glacier view, lake & iceberg views (100% recommended)

Blue Lakes and Tasman Lake & Glacier Track (2h) – FREE

Tasman Lake & Glacier

#DAY 17  Aoraki/Mt Cook – Lake Tekapo – Edoras (LOTR scenario)

Distance: 242km (map)

Time: allow 3h 30′ + breaks

Accommodation in Edoras: Mt Potts Lodge & Campsite – 20NZ

Lake Tekapo walk – FREE

Burkes Pass scenic road

Kakatere Conservation Parl scenic road

Burkes Pass town

#DAY 18  Edoras (LOTR scenario) – Christchurch

Distance: 160km (map)

Time: allow 2h 30′ + breaks

Accomoddation in Christchurch: Amber Kiwi Holiday Park – 20NZD

Mt Sunday summit (2h) – FREE  *Edoras scenario in The Lord of the Rings

Mt Hutt scenis road

Christchurch Botanic Garden – FREE 

Views from Mt Sunday – Edoras scenario The Lord of the Rings

#DAY 19  Christchurch

Accommodation in Christchurch: North South Holiday Park – 15NZD

City centre walk tour FREE

Canterbury Museum FREE 

Akaroa Peninsula scenic road (3h)

Christchurch city centre

#DAY 20 Christchurch – Auckland

Drop off campervan at the Christchurch Airport

Flight Christchurch – Auckland – 49NZD

Accommodation in Auckland: Grafton Backpackers Hostel – 23NZD person/day

#DAYS 21 & 22 Auckland

Auckland city centre – FREE

Auckland Harbourside – FREE

Auckland´s Museums – FREE

Auckland Sky Tower – 29NZD


This is how our road-trip ended up across New Zealand. As I said before, you can’t plan the whole trip at all although it’s interesting to have a clear overview of the route as well as the things you want to see and do. Budget can change depending the activities you want to add at your list. Below you can find information about how much money we have spent in petrol, food shopping, restaurants, flights and campervan; basically find below the total budget for a full experience in New Zealand.

Total km: 4199km

Flight London- Auckland return: 650 GBP

Flight Christchurch – Auckland one way – (49NZD) – 25.23GBP

Campervan 20 days + full insurance: 1,020 GBP/ 2 people: 510GBP

Ferry North Island to South Island – (160NZD) – 82.39GBP

Petrol – 947.40 NZD 2 people – (473.20 NZD) – 243GBP

Food shopping/ restaurants – 1138NZD 2 people – (569.21NZD) – 293.18GBP

Activities – (541 NZD) – 278.61GBP

Accommodation – (479NZD) – 246.65GBP

Total in GBP –  2329.06/ person

Total in € (current currency rate at 20.11.17) – 2623.82/ person

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