Discovering New Zealand: An Epic 10-Day Road Trip

A trip to New Zealand is a lifelong dream for many, and for good reason. This magical country offers endless natural beauty and rich cultural experiences. Recently, our team embarked on an epic 10-day road trip, starting at the island’s northern end and concluding in some of the most enchanting parts of the south. Inspired by our exciting journey, we’ve created the ultimate guide for fellow explorers. This guide is packed with practical tips, hidden gems, and suggestions for unforgettable experiences that will make your trip to New Zealand truly unique.


Day 1: Departure to Auckland

Our day started very early. The nearly 24-hour flight allowed us to rest before our big adventure. Before leaving El. Venizelos Airport, we made a necessary stop to convert euros into New Zealand dollars at one of the 14 ONExchange branches. Our journey began in Auckland, the country’s largest city, where we rented the car that would serve as our mobile home for the next few days.

To kick off our trip, we drove to the Sky Tower for a panoramic view of the city and its harbors. We then visited the Auckland Museum to learn more about the Maori, the country’s indigenous population. To wrap up the day, we spent our remaining energy exploring the bustling streets of Viaduct Harbour, enjoying a street hot dog and the tunes of street musicians.


Day 2-3: Geothermal Rotorua

A new day means a new destination for our group, and what better place to explore than Rotorua, the famous geothermal region at the southern end of the Okataina Volcanic Centre? The drive itself was picturesque, setting the tone for the days ahead. Upon arriving, we were mesmerized by the spectacular landscapes of the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, with its colorful hot springs and bubbling mud baths, capturing countless photos to remember the beauty.

Though the day’s adventures left us exhausted, our excitement remained high. In the evening, we attended a traditional Maori ceremony, where we were welcomed with genuine hospitality. We feasted on local delicacies and immersed ourselves in the rich cultural experience, feeling a deep connection to the traditions and warmth of the Maori people.


Day 4-5: Wellington – The Bohemian Capital

Our next stop was Wellington, the vibrant capital of New Zealand. After several hours of driving from our last destination, we were relieved to explore the city on foot. We began our adventure at Te Papa Tongarewa, the country’s national museum, which offered us a deep dive into New Zealand’s history and culture.

Next, we took the Wellington Cable Car to enjoy a breathtaking sunset with stunning views of the city and harbor. As night fell, we found ourselves on the diverse and lively Cuba Street, known for its trendy cafes, bars, and impressive street art. Here, we sampled more local delicacies, met friendly locals while sipping expertly crafted old-fashioned cocktails, and soaked in the artistic and bohemian atmosphere through the performances of street dancers and painters.


Day 6-7: Queenstown – For Adrenaline Lovers

We spent the next two days in Queenstown, the adventure capital of New Zealand. This vibrant city offered us a variety of exhilarating activities. From the heart-pounding thrill of bungee jumping to the breathtaking experience of skydiving, Queenstown was a paradise for our group of adrenaline lovers.

To balance out the excitement, we took a peaceful day cruise on Lake Wakatipu aboard the historic steamer TSS Earnslaw. This serene experience provided a perfect counterpoint to our high-adrenaline activities. The next day, eager to explore more, we drove to the nearby Fiordland National Park. The wild landscapes and majestic fjords offered a tranquil escape, allowing us to fully appreciate the natural beauty and peaceful contrast to Queenstown’s fast pace.


Day 8-10: Christchurch – The Garden City

Our final stop was Christchurch, aptly known as the “Garden City,” and it was easy to see why. We began with a relaxing walk through the beautiful Botanic Gardens, which immediately eased the weariness from the countless miles we had driven over the past week. The landscapes were so enchanting that we decided to spend the remainder of our trip here.

The next day, we enjoyed a serene boat ride on the River Avon, immersing ourselves in the city’s tranquil atmosphere. In the afternoon, we explored the city center, where vibrant street art and outdoor exhibitions left us in awe with their stunning graffiti and live performances. A particularly moving experience was visiting the Cardboard Cathedral, a symbol of Christchurch’s resilience and ingenuity following the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes.

On our last day, we wandered through the city’s charming streets, savoring traditional New Zealand fish ‘n’ chips and the popular kiwiburger. As evening approached, we reluctantly dropped off our beloved car-home and headed to Christchurch Airport for our marathon flight home, carrying with us unforgettable memories of our epic New Zealand adventure.



As our epic road trip comes to an end, we hope you enjoyed this wild adventure as much as we did. Our journey through New Zealand, from Auckland to Christchurch, was filled with countless breathtaking landscapes, unforgettable moments, and vivid memories that will stay with us forever.

Until next time, we wish you safe and happy travels! Don’t forget to visit our website for more travel blogs, follow ONExchange’s Instagram page, and share your own New Zealand adventures by tagging us. We look forward to seeing your stories and being inspired by your travels!