On a New Zealand girl’s getaway, you will all turn into bona fide Kiwis together – over instagram-worthy dinners, life-changing nature hikes, and dreamy beaches.
Wining & Dining
Leave those fad diets back at home. New Zealand’s beautiful scenery makes it easy to burn calories (beachfront strolls come standard). That means you can indulge in the four cornerstones of a great girls getaway: beer, wine, good food, and dessert… in no particular order.
- Speight’s Brewery: Like a little history with your beer? Upgrade a $25 tour to a lunch or dinner package at this legendary ale house. 200 Rattray Street Dunedin 9016
- Monteiths Brewery: This brewery takes walk-ins – taste the ten available beers on tap, but first coat your tummy with something to eat at the resident café. 60 Herbert St, Greymouth 7805
- Pig & Whistle Pub: Whether you come for the seafood chowder, the live music, or the conversation, this 1940s pub is a great place to recount the day. 1182 Tutanekai St, Rotorua 3010
- Hawke’s Bay Wine Trail: Of the 90 wineries you can tour, the Mission Estate Winery is a great place to start (or end up!). Red wine is king here in Hawkes Bay.
- Villa Maria Winery: This is New Zealand’s most awarded winery. Tours start at 11 am and 3 pm daily. 118 Montgomerie Rd, Mangere, 2153 – very close to Auckland International Airport – very convenient!
- Giapo Ice Cream & Research Kitchen: Can ice cream be ground-breaking? Find out for yourself – from the “organic blueberry and orange sorbet” to “organic apple and wasabi sorbet,” it’s at least a certain that it’s all fresh and delicious. 279/291 Queen Street Auckland, 1001
- Strawberry Fare: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner won’t disappoint, but make sure to save room for the show-stealing desserts, like “chocolate and English toffee pudding” and “devil’s cream cake.” 25 Kent Terrace Mt Victoria, Wellington 6011
- Blue Elephant Thai: Hungry for something exotic? This local hot spot has your number. 237 Parnell Rd, Parnell, Auckland 1052
- The White House Restaurant: This high-end restaurant has food that actually lives up to its views (of Oriental Bay). 232 Oriental Parade Oriental Bay, Wellington 6011
Getting your girlfriends together for a trip like this is no small feat. Make sure you remember it! Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone – a funny or beautiful memory, unlike a souvenir, will be shared for the rest of your lives and can even spark that long-overdue phone call years out.
- Adrenaline Forest: See what you’re made of via a real-life obstacle course. Choose from easy and difficult courses (no excuses!). There are three locations – Christchurch, Bay of Plenty, and Wellington. Admission is $39.
- Rangitoto Island: If you’re up for it, hike to the top of this centuries-old volcano (the views are a worthy reward). Or kick back with your girlfriends on the Volcanic Explorer road train tour ($60). Rangitoto Island, Auckland
- Auckland Sky Tower: The tallest man-made structure in New Zealand is also a huge attraction. The adrenaline addict in your group can earn bragging rights by base jumping at SkyJump, while the R&R seekers can grab a cup of coffee at the Sky Lounge and take in the views behind a reassuring glass partition. Auckland, 1010
- Sky City Casino: Traveling with some risk takers? Bored of the outdoors? Enjoy a game of blackjack or even bingo at this entertainment megaplex. Locations in Auckland, Adelaide, Darwin, Hamilton, and Queenstown:
- Glow Worm Caves: The dazzling, indigenous glow worms put on quite the show, and you’ve got a front row seat – on a leisurely, but no less exciting boat ride through a cave. Major crowd pleaser. 39 Waitomo Caves Road RD 7, Waitomo Caves
- Abel Tasman National Park: From sea kayaking to snorkeling, this national park offers up beachside bliss for the more adventurous members of your group. Near Nelson at the top of the South Island
- Polynesian Spa: After getting your massage, take a dip into the hot mineral pool overlooking Lake Rotorua. You can never unwind too much, right? 1000 Hinemoa St, Rotorua 3010
- Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa: Whether you come here for the fancy sounding “Alpine Aqua Detox Wrap,” the thermal pools, or the water slides (they’re heated!), it’s easy to find your inner peace – and child – here. 42 Amuri Avenue Hanmer Springs
- There are hot springs in surprising places all around NZ – watch out for some of them as you drive.
- Mission Bay Beach: Get a side of “city” with your beach. Rollerbladers and albatross are frequent visitors. Auckland
- Whale Bay: Great views and great opportunities for surfing. Near Raglan.
- Cathedral Cove Walk: The one-and-a-half-our trek through Stingray Bay, Gemstone Bay, and Cathedral Cove offers up unending eye candy. Talk about a photo op! Coromandel Peninsula in Hahei
- If there is a coastal route to go in NZ – take it, the beaches are spectacular!
- Matakana Village: On Saturday, head here for the Matakana Farmer’s Market. 2 Matakana Valley Road, Matakana
- Auckland: Whether it’s designer clothes or antiques you’re looking for, Auckland has you covered. Make sure to hit up High Street, Parnell Village, and Queen Street in particular.
- Queenstown: Feel like a splurge? Shopping in Queenstown can really drain your holiday budget, but for those who love to shop (or even just window shop), it’s worth it.
- City Mall in Christchurch: This pedestrian mall on Cashel Street was severely damaged in recent earthquakes, but it is on the mend and is quite the time sucker.
Accommodation – try a Holiday Home
If you’re traveling with ten of your best buds, where you stay really matters. It makes little sense to book a string of hotel rooms – that gets expensive and inconvenient quick. You only need one kitchen, right? Instead, consider booking a large holiday home with a full kitchen, dining area, multiple bedrooms, and possibly extra amenities like a private pool! The good news is that splitting the bill for one holiday rental is a lot more affordable than paying for several hotel rooms.