hi, me and two other students (age 19) are planning to visit new zealand during march for 10 days. we are open to both south and north island ideas however flights to the north island see to be far cheaper (auckland specifically and also wellington is an option). we will fly from sydney to NZ then fly back to australia afterwards.
we would like to experience something different to the usual bus trip to each location and would prefer a more physical, outdoor experience. by the sounds of it the kiwi experience is the opposite to what we are looking for? we wouldnt like to be stuck on a bus all day and would like to experience as much of the outdoors as possible whilst covering the major sites. with this in mind we think covering the north island in 10 days would be the best option? although i hear the south island is supposed to be better?
we are backpacking so cost is something we need to consider and would ideally want to spend around $1000 NZ dollars to cover the north island properly (including accomodation, food trips etc). we really like the sound of the following trip:
however it is over our budget. what else could people recommend similar to this hike covering most of the top sites? any advice would be welcome even if it is off topic about NZ because it will be our first time visiting the country. thanks for your help in advance :)