[All content and prices updated October 2013]

Adding New Zealand to your multi-stop flight

New Zealand is the perfect destination to add to a longer, multi-stop trip. Since it's so out of the way for most travelers, and because of the high cost of actually getting there, adding New Zealand to a longer trip makes perfect sense. It allows you to take advantage of the time you have and maximize the costs of getting there.

Below is a sample multi-stop itinerary with New Zealand as a backbone. If you want to add New Zealand to your trip, no matter the length, become a BootsnAll member, and you can take advantage of all Indie's features - search, price, customize, and book your trip - completely online.

Why you should add New Zealand to your Indie/RTW trip

Home to 40 million sheep and 4 million people, New Zealand is one of the most sought after travel destinations in the world. But high costs and long travel times keep the masses away, which allows those who do make it there to enjoy this picturesque wonderland.

  • New Zealand is home to amazing, awe-inspiring beauty, especially on the remote South Island.
  • There's nowhere better for getting off the beaten path:
  • It's super easy to get around - the infrastructure is great, resources plentiful, and people friendly.
  • Kiwis do a lot of domestic travel, so you end up running into a good mix of locals and foreigners at campsites
  • New Zealand is fraught with distinctions: it was the first country to allow women to vote, Wellington is the southernmost capital in the world, and New Zealand is the first nation to see each new day.
  • There is nowhere else in the world you can have lunch on the beach and then be hiking up a glacier before dinner.
  • If you're a wine lover, you've come to the right place.

Indie travel tips for New Zealand

  • Wellington. No one comes to New Zealand for the cities, but it would be a real shame to miss this one. It only takes one day immersing yourself in the café culture, taking a stroll along the waterfront, watching the street performers on Cuba Street, and perusing the national museum (free admission!) before you’re sold on the cool, little capital.
  • The Backcountry. You don’t have to hike one of the famous Great Walks (which are beautiful, but often crowded and expensive), but you should definitely take in the natural beauty of the country with a hike. Check out the Department of Conservation’s website for tramps that haven’t been featured in an in-flight magazine.
  • Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers. Where else can you go to the beach, hike through a rainforest, and visit a glacier all before dinner? It’s free to walk the trails to see the ice, but options about for guided hiking trips, helicopter tours and probably the coolest sky dive jump on earth.
  • Rotorua. Visit in the summertime and you’ll be elbow-to-elbow with tourists of all nationalities (including a lot of New Zealanders) but there’s a reason for that. Between the trippy colors of natural hot pools, the Maori cultural tours, the shining lakes, and myriad opportunities to roll around in giant hamster balls, you definitely won’t get bored.
  • Milford Sound. Rudyard Kipling considered Milford a wonder of the world. It’s not exactly off the beaten path, but a boat tour of the Sound is an experience like no other. Keep your eyes out for seal, penguins and dolphins.
  • Doubtful Sound - Though closer to the jumping off point of Te Anau, Doubtful Sound sees far fewer tourists than Milford. It's a bit more expensive, but you may want to consider a trip here instead.
  • You really should get your own wheels if you have the budget for it. And if you do, make sure you drive the inland scenic route south out of Christchurch - one of the most picturesque drives not only in the country, but the world.

Transportation

Most travelers fly into Auckland. BootsnAll can help with flights. Once there, domestic flights can be surprisingly cheap. Book ahead through Jetstar or Air New Zealand, and you can often fly between the cities for around $60. Just don’t wait until the last minute—prices do tend to shoot up into the hundreds.

Long-haul buses are a good ground transport option and can be cost-effective. InterCity Coachlines and Naked Bus both offer ever-elusive $1 fares, but even the regular fares are tolerable: $50-70 from Auckland to Wellington; $35-55 from Christchurch to Dunedin.

The easiest way of getting around New Zealand is to self-drive. For short-term trips, cheap rental cars run around $15-25/day while long-term visitors should look into buying a vehicle or renting a campervan. You can pick up an old for a few thousand dollars and, if everything goes well, sell it for a similar price at the end of your trip. Gas is pricey here though, often hovering around $2.25/liter (that’s about $8.50/gallon) so be sure to factor that into the budget.

Accommodations

Accommodation in New Zealand is wide ranging and can fit any budget. Shoestring travellers can look into Couchsurfing or WWOOFing, both of which have active communities for such a small country. Another great option is to get a campervan or a tent (check Trade Me, New Zealand’s answer to eBay, for some good deals) and camp. Campsite prices range from free to about $30/person at holiday parks.

There are backpacker hostels around every major town and tourist attraction, so finding a bed when you need one is usually no problem. BBH and YHA operate outlets up and down the country, plus there are a number of independently-owned hostels scattered around.

If you’re traveling with a group (or accumulate one as you go), Book-a-Bach has some good deals on holiday homes all over the country—a great option if you want to hang out for a while.