14 Days DIY Travel in New Zealand

14 Days DIY Travel in New Zealand

Are you planning on a DIY trip to New Zealand? Copy this girl's DIY-style travelling tips to New Zealand in 14 days.

Contributed by Wonderlasting Miss Adventures

New Zealand has too much to offer, from city life to country-side life. I am the type of person who prefers the country-side than city Life. However, I still tried my best to give NZ the chance to show me the city life side.

So below is my ACTUAL Travel Itinerary for 14 days in NZ (including flights to and from Singapore). Majority of my activities included day hikes and walking tracks. I also covered two (but technically three) busy towns in NZ namely Auckland, Christchurch and Dunedin.

Also read: 12 Spectacular Must-See Attractions in New Zealand for Your First Trip

diy travel new zealand

New Zealand Trip Itinerary

Day 1 – 2

  • Flight SIN to KUL
  • Flight SIN to AKL (via Air Asia)

Day 2 – 4 

  • Auckland accommodation: Nomads Fat Camel
  • Auckland City Tour (Davenport)
  • Flight AKL to ZQN (via Jet Star)

Day 4 – 6

  • Queenstown accommodation: Haka Lodge
  • Airport to Queenstown proper
  • Ride the gondola
  • Eat buffet at Skyline
  • Early hike in Queenstown
  • Roam around Arrow Town
  • Travel  Queenstown to Mt. Cook (via Inter City)

Day 6 – 7

  • Mt. Cook accommodation: YHA
  • Hooker Valley Track
  • Travel Mt. Cook to Christchurch

Day 7 – 8

  • Christchurch accommodation: YHA
  • Lake Tekapo, Lake Pukaki via Inter City
  • Travel CHC to DUD

Day 8 – 10

  • Dunedin accommodation: On Top Backpackers
  • Visit the Dunedin Railway Station
  • Visit the Otago University
  • Lanarch Castle and wildlife sight seeing
  • Travel DUD to Wanaka

Day 10 – 13

  • Wanaka accommodation: Base Wanaka
  • Hike Roy’s Peak
  • Visit Lake Wanaka and Lonely Tree
  • Travel Wanaka to ZQN Airport

Day 13

  • Flight ZQN to AKL (via AirNZ)

Day 13 – 14

  • Flight AKL to SIN (via Air Asia)

So the plans is to travel from Auckland then fly to Queenstown. Then I will try to cover the nearby towns like Arrowtown, Wanaka and the Mt. Cook Village. After that I will be travelling to Dunedin to do some city sight seeing and if I still have time or energy or budget after flying back to Auckland. I hope everything will go well as planned.

Take note that I will not be driving but will be taking the Hop On Hop Off bus tour (Intercity) during my trip. If there will be some lift offer I am open for it and if my schedule permits would rather take the lift offer.


My itinerary above was followed most of the time except for the Hooker Valley Track since during my stay it was raining the whole day and I failed to reach the terminal lake.

So generally I stayed in different city as follows:

Auckland – 2 Nights
Queenstown – 2 Nights
Mt.Cook – 1 Night
Christchurch – 1 Night
Dunedin – 2 Nights
Wanaka – 3 Nights

If I were to revise my itinerary, I would choose to stay two nights in Mt. Cook because the village felt like home and staying there longer will give me a chance to see Mt. Cook, Lake PUkaki and Lake Tekapo on a sunny day. I would probably also spend just one night in Dunedin as I found that staying a bit more than a day there was quite dragging and because it had too much of a “city feel”.

diy travel new zealand

Budget and Expenses

Since NZ is one of the more expensive countries to live in just like Singapore, I planned and challenged myself to stay within my budget. My goal was to spend less than SGD3,000.

The amounts are mix of the actual and ‘estimated’ amount since I am working with two currencies, the SGD and NZD. Fortunately I was able to hit my goal. Below is the summary of my travel cost to NZ.

diy travel new zealandSummary of Budget

diy travel new zealandBudget Breakdown


If you noticed, a bulk of my budget went to transportation like airfare, land transportation and shuttle bus.

I booked the cheapest airline as possible. For my travel to/from NZ, I booked with Air Asia then upgraded my flight to Premium Flex. I would like to recommend that you also do the same guys if you will be having long flight hours. Premium Flex saved me a lot of time and gave me the convenience I didn’t really expect from a budget airline.

Since this travel had far more flights than any other travels I did before I made a separate post about the best window seat position. I am a window-flier because I like to see the view from above. I feel like I can conquer everything and it makes me excited.

So moving on, for land transportation and shuttle, had I known how to drive I would probably prefer that as it will give me more opportunity to stop at the most picturesque places. However, the good thing about taking a tour or bus is that there will be a commentary and story-telling part from the locals, such the bus driver. It makes me more appreciative of the scenery and not just be amazed by how it looks.

diy travel new zealand

Intercity Flexipass is a great way to travel around by bus. It saved me a lot of money because I was able to book a Mt. Cook tour using my remaining hours. I was also able to travel from AKL airport to CBD using Flexipass (in which I used SkyBus that costed me NZD18, one way).

Shuttle services such as Connectabus, Alpine Connexions and Atomic Travel are quite expensive. If you can do hitchhiking, then go for this option.


The food in NZ is quite expensive and, unlike here in Singapore, there is no ‘hawker’ area around where you can get a SGD3-5 meal. So what I did was every time I went to a destination, I always went to the groceries or the nearby supermarket to buy my ‘to-cook’ meals. Because of this, I was able to live below SGD25 per day.

Countdown and New World are the major supermarkets in NZ. You can buy almost everything inside. They also have ready-to-eat food, such as the NZ pies.


I stayed in hostel and dormitory-type places. It will save you a lot of money to take this backpacker-friendly places rather than taking AirBnB or a solo room. I recommend staying at YHAs and avoiding any Base Backpacker Branch.

YHA hostels give off a homey feeling and most of them have complete kitchen wares so you can cook. On the other hand, Base is a bit messy and feels very much like a college dormitory.

Another place I would like to recommend is the Haka Lodge in Queenstown  — the bed is superb! Additionally, one should take note that it is quite safe to share rooms in NZ. I think everyone is doing the same thing.

diy travel new zealand


The only tours I took were the following:

  • Mt. Cook to ChristChurch (thru intercity)
  • Dunedin Larnache Castle + Wildlife sightseeing (thru Monarch Travels)

Be careful as the tours will really cost a lot. For example, a paragliding trip will cost you more than NZD250.

However, some tours can be really worth the price especially if you do it when the weather is great. I even considered doing paragliding but, while I was in Wanaka, there was a day where it just rained constantly.

Also read: My 2-Week Expenses and 5 Essential Tips for Backpacking New Zealand


Miscellaneous things involved most of my souvenirs. I bought a fridge magnet, tshirts, accessories, key chains, chocolates and a lot of cheese. All these costed me around NZD300.

This also included my expense for a SIM card. I bought a 2Degrees SIM card and topped it up with 1Gb data.

More Tips:

  1. You may want to consider flying from Auckland to Christchurch for cheaper airfare.
  2. Be brave and try hitchhiking! That is, if you do not have a tight schedule and you just wanna go free and easy.
  3. Cook, cook, cook.
  4. Take public transportation. It doesn’t make sense to take a taxi in NZ.
  5. Explore the hiking and walking trails. New Zealand really has a lot more to offer.

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