Spectacular natural scenery and stunning diverse landscape, like imposing mountains, epic glaciers and volcanoes, never-ending farmland and grassland, as well as gorgeous beaches are some of the things you will fall in love with when honeymooning in New Zealand.
Whether you are interested in an adventurous New Zealand itinerary, a romantic getaway, or a memorable cultural experience, New Zealand promises you and your loved one the holiday of your dreams. But, to make sure you have the ultimate escape with your special someone, continue reading this article and find out when it’s the best time to go to New Zealand and how to get around the country.
Best time to visit New Zealand
New Zealand is an all-year-round destination, and the best time to visit it depends on your interests. If, for instance, you love winter sports and activities, honeymooning during the wintertime in New Zealand, between June and August, is a perfect choice. If summer is your favorite season, the best time to visit New Zealand is between December and February. Keep in mind that, though the weather is warm and nice, summer also brings crowds of travelers and high prices.
To avoid large groups of visitors and enjoy both lower prices and fine weather, plan your New Zealand honeymoon during the shoulder seasons, wither in autumn, between March and May, or in spring, between September and November.
How to Get Around
Whether you are are an adventurous couple or you are planning a romantic and relaxing honeymoon, the best way to get around breathtaking New Zealand is to rent a car or a camper van and enjoy a memorable road trip together. This way, you can properly visit this beautiful country, experience its scenic hikes, explore its most hidden gems, and enjoy all the amazing activities available, in a laid-back, fun way.
In case driving is not your cup of tea, you can use InterCity, the only fully national coach service in New Zealand, that offers cheap bus tickets, connecting most towns and cities. Renting a car or a camper van, however, remains the best option of getting around and properly exploring spectacular New Zealand.
Top New Zealand Honeymoon Destinations
New Zealand is full of amazing spots for a romantic getaway or honeymoon. You can find fun exploring a city, have an adventure discovering Hobittown, relax on the beach or spend time discovering the many natural wonders that have inspired so many. To help you get started, here are 11 places to explore during your honeymoon. The best part, you don’t have to pick just one!
Dunedin is the ideal city to visit in New Zealand for a honeymoon, whether you’re the adventurous type or just want to relax in a beautiful place. There are so many things to do in Dunedin, including visits to deserted beaches, stunning coastal hikes, romantic viewpoints above the city, waterfalls and scenic drives. After visiting some of the sights, you’ll probably want to eat some good food or chill out in a bar – Dunedin has you covered there too!
Head to the Octagon (Dunedin’s version of a town square) where you’ll find heaps of bars with outdoor seating and some great cafes and restaurants. Dunedin is New Zealand’s most interesting (and photogenic) city and the scenery just outside of town is special – you definitely won’t run out of things to do. Add in some interesting day trips (to the unspoiled beaches and waterfalls of the Catlins or the historic town of Oamaru) and you have the perfect New Zealand honeymoon destination.
Jon Algie – Jonistravelling.com
Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city is located on the west coast of New Zealand on the North Island. The city is a popular travel destination because of the city’s mild temperatures and lack of extreme climates. The city is also known as the City of Sails because of the numerous yacht marinas and sailboat harbors that often dock offshore.
One of the well-known harbors, Viaduct Harbor and is not only a beautiful coastal view, but the area also offers bars, restaurants, cafes and other things to keep travelers entertained. Auckland is also home to The Sky Tower, which is the tallest tower in the southern hemisphere. There is also a casino and restaurant with a 360-degree view of the observation deck that provides some of the most beautiful sights in the city. The award-winning hotel Hotel DeBret has a wonderful ambiance. The hotel and bar are well rated and the entire property is well surrounded by alternate restaurants and shopping.
Rotorua is one of my favorite destinations in New Zealand North Island. The connection with raw nature at the various geothermal fields will intensify your emotions on your honeymoon.
Geysers, painter’s palette features, fumaroles, mud pools, silica terraces… and do not forget the famous Champagne pool at Wai-o-tapu!
But Rotorua is more than just volcanic activities and spa, you can deep dive into Maori culture, enjoy adrenaline producing activities or appreciate other sides of the famous NZ nature: redwood forest, green and blue lakes, crystal clear water springs… Unforgettable moments to start your life together!
Rotorua has a large selection of accommodations by the lake or in town. Just note that the geothermal activity can generate sulfur smell. If that can bother you, I recommend staying at the charming Lake Taupo just 1h drive South of Rotorua.
Claire – ZigZag On Earth
Takaka is, in my eyes, one of the greatest honeymoon spots on New Zealand’s South Island. This stunning little town is nestled in the northwest of the island and provides easy access to some of the country’s main attractions.
Indeed, Takaka is in the heart of Golden Bay- a region that lives up to its name! It’s renowned in the southern hemisphere for pristine waters and golden sands that back onto lush forested areas. I recommend heading straight to the beach! Rent a kayak to find your own private paradisiacal islands to explore, before paddling back to shore.
There’s the mightily impressive northernmost point of South Island, Farewell Spit, just up the road too. On the way, stop off at Pupu springs, which boasts some of the clearest waters in the entire world. Once you hit the end of the road, keep going on to the wild and wonderful Wharariki beach. Here, you’ll see baby seals frolicking in the pools, with only white sands and rolling dunes for company.
Oh, and don’t forget Abel Tasman National Park! This mighty reserve has one of NZ’s Great Walks for all to enjoy, though there’s an abundance of hiking to do all over. Be sure to pack a good quality backpacking camera. There’s beauty around every corner!
Takaka itself is worth exploring too. It’s tiny, yet wonderful in its own right. There’s a lovely community feel, with a laid-back bohemian vibe, and a liberal light to the air. All sorts of colorful souls abound, hanging out in the trendy bars, cafes, and restaurants along the high-street.
To go to Takaka once is to fall in love all over again. I can’t recommend it enough for your honeymoon.
Danny – www.whatsdannydoing.com
Queenstown is located in the southern lakes region of the South Island of New Zealand. It is surrounded by the majestic Remarkable mountains and alongside Lake Wakatipu. It is known as the ‘Adventure Capital fo the World’ and people come here for the many adventurous activities on offer. There are over 200 adrenalin activities to try – from bunny jumping, skiing and jet boating in some of the most scenic locations in the world. Perfect for your honeymoon if you’re an adventure-loving couple.
Ride the Skyline Gondola and toboggan down the mountain-side, bungee jump in the home of bungee jumping, speed through Skippers Canyon on a jet boat or parachute off the Remarkable mountains. After all, that adrenalin, grab yourself a gourmet burger (Queenstown is well known for its burgers) and taste some of the amazing wine that’s on offer in this part of New Zealand.
Queenstown would make an ideal honeymoon destination for those that love a bit of adventure!
Nicky – GoLiveYoung.com
Hobbiton in Matamata
This well-known attraction draws travelers from all over the world to see where Peter Jackson filmed the Lord of the Rings movie. Hobbiton gives tours of real Middle-earth and the movie set. The Alexander family sheep farm was a huge influence on the director- Peter Jackson- and his interpretation of Tolkien’s famous works.
The tour guides you around the 12-acre set while pointing out how the movie magic was created. Once you get into the Green Dragon Inn, you’ll also receive a complimentary hobbit beverage. Lake Karapiro is a beautiful resort close to Hobbiton. The property is an upscale lodge that is set in a mansion overlooking Lake Karapiro. The lodge has a formal restaurant and wine cellar along with an outdoor pool and hot tub.
No phone reception, total seclusion…just you and your loved one, sipping bubbly while sitting in an outdoor bathtub that overlooks the beach. Sounds perfect? Well, it is!
Only about an hour southwest of Auckland, above Karioitahi Beach, lies the romantic Castaways Resort. It comes with all the facilities you could wish for in a honeymoon hotel.
Your experience, however, will be even more special. You are given a golf cart with which you drive to your glamping tent. This glamping experience is unlike any other camping or even glamping you’ve done before. The “tent” is solar-powered, comes with a big bed, bathroom, heater and a stereo system where you can play your own music or listen to the provided playlist.
The fully equipped kitchen comes with a fridge full of goodies, just waiting to be prepared with the provided recipes, the wine already cooled (or you can bring your own).
And the outdoor bathtub! The place where you’ll most likely spend most of your time in!
You can use the resort’s facilities and book yourselves in for a massage, go for a walk on the beach or simply enjoy each other’s company. In any case, it’s an experience not to be missed on your honeymoon in New Zealand!
Alex – WeekendKiwis
Abundant with vineyards, lined with sandy coves, and with a cool yet low-key ambiance, Waiheke Island is a romantic honeymoon destination in New Zealand’s Hauraki Gulf. Spend your days touring the Island’s award-winning wines, treating yourself to a luxurious spa treatment, or soaking up the sun on a pristine beach. Those wanting a more adventurous honeymoon could rent bikes to explore the island together, kayak the coastline, or get your thrills by ziplining above the vines! A popular day-trip destination for Aucklanders, the island is also well equipped with trendy cafes and bars, so you can eat well after a day’s activities – whichever way you’ve worked up your appetite!
Getting to Waiheke is easy with the regular ferry service running from Auckland, or to arrive in style, you can charter a helicopter for a modest price. Book into the boatshed for a luxurious stay with a classic kiwi twist, or indulge in the Delamore Lodge for the best views on the island.
Nadine – LeLongWeekend.com
While everyone flocks to Queenstown, enjoy a quainter side of South Island – Wanaka and Lake Tekapo!
Wanaka is a blessed with a milder climate as compared to Queenstown. The town is strategically located right next to Lake Wanaka which is surrounded by mountains. It makes Wanaka be extremely instagrammable at every angle – perfect for you to keep those beautiful memories for you to reminisce that you have had such a wonderful trip in New Zealand. If you in Wanaka during the summer, you are in luck! There is an unreal lavender farm in Wanaka. Do lookout for the blooming season but it’s relatively consistent, ranging from the first bloom in late October till the fading of the lavender in March. If you are feeling more adventurous, tackle the 6-hour hike at Roy’s Peak where you enjoy a perfect hawk-eye view of the lake and the town. More of a wine connoisseur? The region’s best wineries are conveniently located around the town.
Lake Tekapo is known as the best town to stargaze on South Island. It’s so good that the University of Canterbury even built a professional observatory on Mount John, which is a short drive away from the town center. You can even see Aurora Australis if you are lucky! Imagine gazing under the phenomenal sky with your loved one – what else could you have asked for!
Looking for an alternative? Check out the Ultimate 10-day Tasmania Itinerary! It’s a charming island to have an amazing honeymoon trip too!
Aaron Chin – AaronGoneTravel.com
The Coromandel Peninsula is one of the most epic places to visit on New Zealand’s North Island and makes a memorable destination on an adventurous honeymoon. Hop in a campervan or rental car and get ready for a trip of a lifetime!
For an off the beaten path experience, kayak to Whenuakura Island just off the coast of Whangamata. This donut-shaped island is sacred for the Maori people and can only be entered by kayak through a small passageway. Continue the adventure as you head north to Hot Water Beach where you can dig your own personal “Jacuzzi” in the sand during low tide. Hot water seeps up from an underground spring, creating a unique type of honeymoon soak!
Catch the sunrise at Cathedral Cove before heading down the west coast of the peninsula. If you and your honey are up for a hike, the 3-hour journey up to the Pinnacles is one of the most epic treks on the North Island. While not exactly typical honeymoon accommodation, the Pinnacles Hut makes it easy to catch both sunrise and sunset — both of which this view is known for. Plus, it’ll be a honeymoon experience you’ll be talking about for years to come! After returning from your hike, pamper yourselves with a stay at this beautifully secluded Airbnb.
Katie Diederichs – TwoWanderingSoles.com
This beautiful fjord in New Zealand is described by the famous poet and author Rudyard Kipling as the eighth wonder of the world. Milford Sound was carved out of the earth by glaciers during the ice age. Regardless of the weather, these views will not disappoint. There is also plenty to do at Milford Sound. Tall waterfalls to view will leave travelers speechless.
Another great option is a boat tour. They’re offered day and night are a great way to experience the Sound. Travelers can also sea kayak, dive or flight. If you’re interested in what’s inside the water, the observatory at Harrison Cove is full of black coral and 11-legged sea stars. The QT Museum Wellington is a luxury resort full of art, scenery, and culture. The harborside views are a great compliment to the Sound and their restaurant, Hippopotamus has excellent reviews.
If peaceful, remote bays and rolling scenery sounds appealing for a honeymoon, then Akaroa is the perfect place for you. Just a 1.5-hour drive from Christchurch, it’s an idyllic location to enjoy quality time and some gentle activities exploring the area.
Known for being home to the endangered Hector’s dolphins, you can take a trip out to the Pacific Ocean to watch these playful creatures splash around in their natural habitat, or even get into the waters with them. Along the way, you can spot seals, albatross, and more.
Back on dry land, you can enjoy all the quirks of this French-inspired town with local art, beautiful outdoor spaces along the harbor, and a visit to the Giant’s House – the most flamboyant spot in Akaroa! Even better, this wonderland of color is a Bed & Breakfast. Who else can say they’ve stayed in artwork on their honeymoon?
When you’re done with your day’s activities, you can enjoy beautiful sunsets across the bays around the Banks Peninsula, creating a magical, romantic setting best paired with a glass of locally produced wine from a nearby vineyard.
Suzy – Suzystories.com
Fox Glacier or Te Moeka o Tuawe is a temperate maritime glacier located in Westland Tai Poutini National Park on the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island. It was named in 1872 after a visit from the prime minister at the time. The awe-inspiring glacier will blow your mind. There are plenty of ways to experience the glacier. It was named in 1872 after a visit by the then Prime Minister of New Zealand Sir William Fox.
Ice climbing is popular at Fox Glacier and reports indicate that the end of hike after challenging yourself is euphoric. If you want something a bit more chill, the Browne Fox hike goes through Chancellor Ridge, which is a great lunch stop on the hike. This is where you’ll find New Zealand’s highest mountains. There are also helicopter rides above the glacier that provide beautifully scenic views. Distinct Fox Glacier is an upscale hotel that is close to Lake Matheson. The cozy and luxury lodge has a fireplace and library that will make sure travelers relax.