Julie New Zealand 10 Comments

On our first visit to New Zealand in 2015, we were absolutely amazed and the landscapes we saw as we drove through New Zealand. In this post, I share some of our favorite photos from our three and a half week road trip.

Our family fell in love with this small but incredibly beautiful country. We were immediately transfixed by this place, from the moment we stepped off of the airplane at the Queenstown airport. For three and a half weeks we toured New Zealand, bottom to top, and in that time we hardly scraped the surface of what this country has to offer. Since this trip, we returned to New Zealand a second time, this time devoting 5 full weeks to an epic road trip. And it was just as wonderful the second time around.

New Zealand has to be one of the best countries in the world for a road trip. The scenery is stunning, the roads are well paved and very safe, there is little traffic on the streets, and around every turn is another gorgeous view. Normally, the thought of a four to six hour drive would be torture for us. Not in New Zealand! We looked forward to these drives. Of course, the four to six hour estimate would get lengthened as I was always popping out of the car to grab some more photos.

The South definitely wins in the spectacular scenery department but there is a lot of beauty on the North Island as well.  For first timers coming to New Zealand, I would recommend starting in Auckland and working your way down to the bottom of the South Island.  This way, your views keep getting better and better.

I took thousands of photos in New Zealand, a lot of them while on the road traveling from place to place. Here are some of my favorite photos taken from the side of the road.  Enjoy!

New Zealand in Photos

Our rental car and the road from Queenstown to Te Anau…

New Zealand Road


Driving to the Milford Sound on a very cloudy morning…

New Zealand on the road


A misty morning on our way to Wanaka…

New Zealand in the mist


Autumn colors just outside Wanaka…

New Zealand April


The Ahuriri River, driving from Wanaka to Mt Cook…

New Zealand Autumn


Another view of the Ahuriri River…

New Zealand in April


Driving to Aoraki Mt Cook along Lake Pukaki…

Aoraki Mt Cook


Sheep along the road on our way to Aoraki / Mt Cook…

Sheep in New Zealand


A rainbow and blue skies…

New Zealand Rainbow


Lake Pukaki…

Lake Pukaki


Driving from Twizel to Lake Tekapo…

Lake Pukaki New Zealand


A New Zealand road…

Driving New Zealand


The town of Akaroa on the Banks Peninsula, not far from Christchurch…

Banks Peninsula New Zealand


Railroad crossing…

Kiwi Rail


They herd cows with dirt bikes here in New Zealand…

Sheep Herding by Motorcycle


Here is “The Shire,” the bucolic countryside near Matamata and Rotorua…



Goodbye, New Zealand!  We’ll miss you…


We have TONS of information about New Zealand in our New Zealand Travel Guide, including Auckland, Queenstown, Wanaka, Aoraki/Mount Cook, Franz Josef, Christchurch, Wellington, Taupō, and the Milford Sound.


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Comments 10

  1. Avatar for Shankar Ramadas
    Shankar Ramadas

    Hi Julie, I just stumbled across this site while I was looking for guides for our NZ trip in April 2023 and i must admit that i’m stoked with the wealth of Information. We are planning for 14 days to cover both North and South Island by road do you think this will be tight ? I wish we had more time but unfortunately not. Shankar

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hello Shankar. Thanks for writing in. Yes, 14 days is tight for both islands but it is doable, you will just have to give up a few things. Using our 3 week New Zealand itinerary, I recommend condensing your time on the North Island (combining Taupo and Rotorua into one day, combining Waitomo Caves and Hobbiton into one day or skipping them all together, combining days 8 and 9 into one day, and then skipping a day at Abel Tasman). That should get you in around 14 days and you’ll still see the best of New Zealand, which in my opinion, is the final week of our itinerary, the sights in and around Queenstown. Cheers, Julie

  2. Avatar for Jean

    Hello! What is your favorite lens for shooting your travel photos like the ones in this post, please? We will be visiting South Island soon.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
  3. Avatar for Vinod Sharma
    Vinod Sharma

    It has been a while since you last heard from me.
    As ever I am in awe of your epic journeys.

    I have not been to New Zealand, but it has always been on my wish list.

    You must be nearing the end of your travels.Do you have many places left to see?

    Whatever is left i look forward to hearing about.

    Best Wishes

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hello, Vinod!
      We are in Australia now, and have three weeks left here before moving on. Not that it is a secret, but we still have five more countries to visit before our grand global tour comes to an end. We will travel for a total of 13 months, heading back up into Asia before flying to the US. I don’t want to spoil where we are going next, so keep reading! We are all very excited about our final few countries!

  4. Avatar for Naomi

    Hi Julie and Tim –
    I’m part of the group of Kiwi’s that you met in Fiji (Castaway and Cloud Nine). So great to see you made it to NZ and it sounds like you enjoyed it!
    All the best for a safe, interesting and fun journey as you make your way home…

  5. Avatar for kim duff
    kim duff

    Your pictures are stunning!! New Zealand is on our list to visit in a few years. Enjoy Australia…. It is an amazing, beautiful place. I spent a few weeks there awhile back and it ranks as one of my favorite trips.

  6. Avatar for Dee

    Julie, your pictures are gorgeous!! They all could become postcards in New Zealand stores. You could definitely put together a coffee table book of your travels.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

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