Planning first solo (and international) trip to New Zealand in November. Planning on spending around ~3 weeks there. Would appreciate recommendations and help with logistics!

Hi everyone!

As the title says, I’m planning on doing a solo trip to New Zealand in November. Current length of the trip is around 3 weeks long or so, but I’ve got flexibility in the length and the start/end dates. Being my first solo trip outside of the U.S., I’m obviously pretty nervous. I’ve feel like done a lot of research and have generalized what I want to do, but the details are pretty daunting. I currently live in the Northern Rockies, so stuff like prepare for 4 seasons in one day and other items one comes across during recreational activities I think I have a good grasp on . I’d be awesome to get any and all feedback on the below items, or anything else you’d like to share with me, such as any must-do’s while there!

**To start, I want to….**

* Likely spend most of my time on the South Island, as I want to do ALL the hiking
* If possible, there are some things on the North Island I’d like to do… mainly check out Hobbiton, see the Waitomo Gloworm Caves, and hike Tongariro Alpine Crossing. All optional if it seems more reasonable to spend the entire time on the South Island.
* I’d likely try out at least a couple of the more extreme activities, such as skydive, or take a helicopter flight, etc.

**Some questions and/or concerns I have…**

* Being my first solo trip, it seems like it’d be easier to have one or two hubs to stay at the entire time vs travelling to a new location to stay at every few days, is that feasible? Seems like Queenstown could be a place to stay at for 1-2 weeks.
* For hiking being a main focus, is renting a car a necessity? It’d be nice to have that flexibility, but also nice not to spend that amount of money. If I can get away without renting a car, how should I go about that?
* With regards to hiking, I have ample experience with day hikes , but don’t have much experience with overnight backpacking outside of one 3 day 2 night trip with a friend who led the way. Would buildings like the Huts help alleviate concerns and allow me to commit to overnight hikes, or should I stay away from them?

**Big items I already plan to do…**

* Fly in to Auckland. If recommendations are to go straight to South Island, I’ll just fly from Auckland there. Otherwise, find way to drive south over 2-3 day to check items North Island items mentioned above, then ferry across from Wellington.
* Planning to stay in hostels for a majority of the trip.

Ya that’s kinda it. Trying to find a balance of plan out important aspects, but also be flexible to allow myself to just join others on any random activities we come across, or just give myself a break and a day with down time. Thanks in advance for any feedback and recommendations!

Also, if you’re also gonna be there in November, let me know! It’d be awesome to meet up to do all the adventuring.

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Planning first solo (and international) trip to New Zealand in November. Planning on spending around ~3 weeks there. Would appreciate recommendations and help with logistics!