New Zealand comprises two main islands, "creatively" known as the North Island and the South Island.
From the top of the North to the bottom of the South, is around 2,000 kilometres (around 1,200 miles).
Even though New Zealand is a relatively small nation, many parts are hilly and driving times can be longer than they may appear when looking at a map. In winter, road conditions can deteriorate due to ice and snow, which can add to travel times (and give some amazing photo opportunities).
And because New Zealand is such a beautiful, tourist friendly country, you may find yourself wanting to spend more time in certain places.
The best advice we can give you is don't rush. Take your time and experience the real New Zealand.
For these reasons, we recommend that you allow a minimum 7-10 days per island.
However, if your budget and timetable are a bit more flexible, we strongly recommend spending 10-14 days per island. That will give you time to see the best attractions, and also allow you some time to chill out.
Of course if you just plan to visit a particular region, a shorter stay might be fine.
An even better option is to take 2-3 weeks and just visit one island (and it's a great excuse to come back again and see the other one)!
You won't be disappointed!
Handy Hint 1
If you are not sure how much you can see in a given period, our free itineraries will give you a good indication.
Handy Hint 2
Our driving distance calculator will give you a good indication of driving times and distances.
And we've also included distance charts below.