10 Day Amazing Australia & New Zealand Itinerary
If you have school going kids, limited time off, do not have the luxury to travel slowly, and you are sick of reading about how you need weeks to explore the Oceania, we are here to tell you differently. We just returned from an amazing trip to Australia and New Zealand in under ten days.
Be ready to be on top of your game, hit the hot spots and move on. If we can do it with kids, you can too :) Here is our ten day Australia & New Zealand itinerary:
Day 1 - Fly to Australia
Australia is a long flight from most of the world. It is down under after all. Arrive in Sydney on an early morning flight and keep in mind you have probably crossed the international dateline, lost a day or more, and jetlag will take its toll especially if you dont force yourself to sleep on the flight. My best advice to fight jetlag is to ignore it.
Day 2 - Explore Sydney
With no time to waste, head straight to Circular Quay and walk around the Central Business District. The Quay is the main transport hub of Sydney and home to the most iconic Syndey landmarks - the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. Visit the Royal Botanic Gardens and Mrs. Macquaries’ chair and enjoy a lunch at Cafe Sydney with harbour views.
After lunch head over to the Pylon look out for a cheaper alternative to the Syndey BridgeClimb experience for unobstructed views across the harbour. Later that evening enjoy a relaxing ferry ride to Manly beach and back and have a wonderful dinner on the waterfront and call it a night and sleep like a baby.
Day 3 - More of Sydney & Sydney to Brisbane
After a good night’s rest and all refreshed head to Bondi Beach and do the Bondi to Bronte coastal walk. Return to The Rocks area or Darling Harbour for some pub style grub and souvenir shopping. Head to the airport for an early evening flight to Brisbane. Arrive in Brisbane and after dinner head on over to Mount Coot-tha for evening views of the Brisbane skyline before you hit the bed.
Day 4 - Hug a Koala, hang out with kangaroos & Brisbane to Christchurch
After breakfast head straight to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane. Get tickets and get in line for the most adorable photo opportunity ever with a koala bear. Hang out with dozens of kangaroos and wallabies and dont forget to check out the Tasmanian devils. After lunch head to the Story Bridge Park for wonderful views of the Brisbane skyline up close. After a short but productive stay in Brisbane you are ready to hop on a flight across the pond to Christchurch, New Zealand.
Day 5 - Christchurch to Lake Tekapo to Mt. Cook
Rise & Shine and be prepared to make the most of your day one in spectacular South Island of New Zealand. Drive to Lake Tekapo, an aquan beauty and visit The Church of Good Shepherd for more amazing views of the lake. Drive a little further up to the summit of Mt. John for even more amazing views, and a quick bite at Cafe Astro.
Atfer lunch continue the scenic drive along Lake Pukaki with plenty of photo stops with the amazing wild Lupins and on to Mount Cook/Aoraki Village as your final stop for the day. It might seem like a lot of driving, but trust us, it is spectacular beyond words. You can choose to stay at one of the limited options in the Mt. Cook/Aoraki village or just stay for some drinks and snacks, enjoy the views like us and head to a nearby town called Twizel for the night.
Day 6 - Mt. Cook to Wanaka to Queenstown
After a relaxed morning, drive to Wanaka - a laid back lakeside town for lunch overlooing the lake. Walk aorund the quaint town, shop for some souvenirs and continue the scenic drive towards your next stop and heavanly hub for the next few days - Queenstown. After some down time, tidy up and take the Skyline Gondola ride to the top for the most amazing views of Queenstown and dinner at the Stratosphere restaurant overlooking the city. Sleep early tonight for a super ealry start the next morning.
Day 7 - Milford Sound
Set your alarm clock for a super early start to your day to get to Milford Sound in time for a 10:45 am cruise with Cruise Miflord. Take in all of the beauty of Milford Sound as the cruise takes you to the edge of the Tasman Sea, up close and personal to some neat waterfalls, and if you are lucky like us you might encounter some wild fur seals and dolphins as well. After the hour and a half cruise drive back to the town of Te Anau for a late lunch at one of the cafes. Drive back to Queenstown, and enjoy a relaxing evening overlooking the lake followed by dinner in the city after a long but rewarding day.
Day 8 - Bungy Jump & Queenstown to Auckland
Today is the day you put the Queenstown tag of adventure capital of the world to the test. A mid day bungy jump at the original A J Hackett Kawarau Bridge Bungy will literally take your breath away. Be prepared for the most exhilarating experience of a lifetime. After the jump, enjoy lunch by the lake and pinch yourself to make sure you actually did it. Take an early evening flight to Auckland. After checking in, enjoy an evening walk to see the city’s main sights like the Sky Tower followed by a relaxed dinner overlooking the harbour.
Day 9 - Waitomo Glowworm Caves, The Hobbiton & Auckland to Sydney
Kick start early and drive to Waitomo to take a morning tour of the Glowworm caves and be prepared to be amazed. They actually glow in the dark. Promptly after the tour continue your drive to Matamata and arrive at The Hobbiton movie set. Enjoy an hour long very organized and interesting tour visiting hobbit holes, big and small, and the Green Dragon Inn. The tour is sure to entertain everyone regardless of being a Lord of the Rings fan or not. Grab lunch on the way back to Auckland before you catch an evening flight back to Sydney.
Day 10 - Fly back home
Enjoy one last breakfast in Sunny Sydney before you catch an afternoon flight back home with countless memories and pictures to share.
Is there lots more to see in Australia and New Zealand? Absolutely. This itinerary is suggested for those on a tight schedule and hope to see most of the region’s highlights.
Thoughts on this 10 day itinerary? What would you do differently on a 10 day trip to this glorious part of the world? We would love to hear.
*More detailed posts from the trip to follow. Stay tuned. If you enjoyed this post, be sure to let us know in the comments section. And as always, please share with other travel lovers.