Wheres good to fly between in NZ?

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific Wheres good to fly between in NZ?

1. Posted by happy1 (Full Member 63 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Our rtw tickets allow us to book a flight within NZ and just pay the tax. We dont want to miss the scenery in NZ but dont want to waste the opportunity of a free flight. Can anyone recommend where it would be good to book a flight and you wouldnt miss out on seeing too much. Was thinking maybe a flight from Christchurch to Queenstown, but having never been to the country Im not sure?

2. Posted by FionaNZ (Respected Member 903 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Hi Hayley,

You don't say how you are travelling otherwise, so I assume its public transport? That flight would be a good option, but I would make it from Queenstown to Christchurch.. get to the South Island on the ferry from Wellington & then travel right down the West Coast to Queenstown & you will see the best NZ has to offer then you can make your way back up the East Coast from Christchurch, stopping at Kaikoura for a bit of whale watching, swimming with dolphins, or just walking with the seals in their colony.. where do you fly into & out of?

Let me know if I can be of help with anything.


3. Posted by happy1 (Full Member 63 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Hi Fiona, thanks for the help We will be getting public transport, for the rest of the time, looks like the bus most the time. We can book our flight out of NZ from Queenstown so we will be leaving from there. Kaikoura sounds great, so we could do that on the way to Christchurch. Is there a lot more to see on the West coast of the South Island than the East? Such a lovely country by the looks of things we dont want to miss bits

4. Posted by FionaNZ (Respected Member 903 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

The only answer to that is... you can't come to NZ & not see the West Coast of the South Island... it has the best scenery in the country!
Wild rugged coastlines that seem to go on forever, the Glaciers, rivers, lakes, the pancake rocks, whitebait fritters


Not sure how much time you have, but an option would be to use the flight in the North Island instead. I take it you fly into Auckland? Go overland down as far as Taupo & then fly from here to Wellington (you won't miss too much this way) hopefully the weather will be nice in Taupo & you get to see the mountains from here..

Then take the ferry from Wellington to Picton, this is an amazing trip, the Marlborough Sounds are gorgeous. Then Picton - Kaikoura - Christchurch where you could then take the Tranz Alpine train to Greymouth, this is some of the most stunning scenery to be seen through the Arthurs Pass & is highly recommended. You could then take a bus down to Franz Josef to see the glaciers and then a bus through the Haast (one of my favourite drives in the world) to Queenstown.

You will love it wherever you go


5. Posted by Sander (Moderator 5311 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Quoting happy1

Was thinking maybe a flight from Christchurch to Queenstown

You'd miss two of the most beautiful places in New Zealand - Mt. Cook and Lake Tekapo. Plus a generally absolutely awesome drive, showing so much variety in scenery. The green Canterbury Plains, the rolling hills around Geraldine, up to the yellow MacKenzie Country with its awesome views of the Southern Alps, Lindis Pass, and then the drive down to Queenstown, through the Kawarau Gorge. All things you really absolutely don't want to miss.

Face it: New Zealand just packs way too much beauty in too short an area to make flying a good idea when you don't have to. If you're flying in and out of the same place, then by all means, fly back after doing a one-way route, but otherwise, you'll want to see it all from ground level. (Although any flight over the Southern Alps shows quite stunning scenery as well of course.)

6. Posted by weddes (Budding Member 6 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Tempted to say do the North Island from Auckland as a base - do overnight to Rotorua, a couple of days in Northland, maybe a 3 day to Taupo / Central Plateau (depends on your time) - then fly Auckland to Wellington.
Alternatively, head to Napier and fly Napier to Wellington - use the free ticket on some of the more expensive routes??

Agree with the post above the flying Christchurch to Queenstown means you will miss what I think is some of the most spectacular scenery around Tekapo.

7. Posted by snatterand (Travel Guru 454 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Yeah, exactly! What's wrong with the North Island??? To me, the South Island just looks like a mix between Norway and Scotland which isn't very exotic if you're Scandinavian...! ;)

No just kidding. It's awesome. But I really like the North Island too. Esecially Cape Reinga! You can't really go to NZ without visiting both islands!!!

My suggestion is to fly between Auckland and Christchurch, then you don't have to pay for the quite expensive ferry between the two islands.