TAKE MONEY! I thought Australia was expensive...until I went to New Zealand. When we were in Queenstown we ate at Furgburger for the simple fact it was $16.00 for a burger that fed us both. On average I saw fish and chips $30.00. None of our hotels had kitchens. I should have researched that a bit more. Gas was also outrageous. We rented a Toyota Corolla, it coast $73.00 to fill up.
Climbing the glacier and white water rafting all required us to wear their gear all the way down to their shoes.Be prepared to wear their clothes. If you are a germaphobe take a chill pill and just put on their clothes. Look at this as a positive though, less to pack.
Just drive. If you have free time just hop in car and drive. The scenery was amazing. We could not believe what we would see just driving around. Now saying just drive, be prepared to get there slow. In the area we were in didn't have many straight parts on the road. Allow yourself plenty of time. Stop at the lookout points, there is a reason they made a stop there. We couldn't pick up many radio stations but we had our cord and iPhone and had a blast jamming down the road making memories.
Be prepared to go outside. New Zealand is full of adventure go experience it. There were many free trails that were marked great around every town we visited.
Be flexible. Most of the time our tours and adventures were late, but make sure you are on time. The companies don't mind running late but one of our guides said it best. "We don't care if you make the tour or not, you made the booking." Allow a lot of time in between each tour, none of our adventures ended on time.
Wear layers. Every day we were in New Zealand we experienced all four seasons. Don't forget the most important layer, a rain coat.
Bring lotion. The air was much dryer than we are use to. Our skin was really dry.
Bring a good camera, the sights are amazing. Make sure you enjoy your family and surroundings. Don't waste it looking through a camera. Stick in a ziplock bag that your camera will fit in. It can start raining out of no where. Someone else shared this tip, hang your camera around your neck and put bag around camera tucking in the open side to your body, or put in day pack with ziplock closed. This worked perfect for us.
If there is something you really want to do, book it before you go. If there is stuff you would like to do but wouldn't be disappointed if you missed them, book when you get here. Most tours we saw were completely packed, but did see some last minute openings. Check Groupon, Living Social, and Grab One for local deals, there were some good specials when were there.
Most important have fun and go make memories!!!