New Zealand in August

We made a trip to New Zealand in August 2018. (I started writing this post in 2018, and finished it 2 years later ;p) I was 4 months pregnant and we spent 10 days mostly in the South Island – Arrowtown, Queenstown, Wanaka and Wellington. We took it slow and splurged on comfort to make travelling more comfortable for my sore back. We chose to flew between cities instead of making long drives – the longest drive we did was 1 hour. I had bad morning sickness throughout my early trimester and it surprisingly stopped the day we arrived NZ! It couldn’t be a better timing. WE ABSOLUTELY LOVE NZ! Now at hindsight, we would have spent a few extra days in Wanaka. We would love to go back to New Zealand one day again, with Hailey! Kindly note that our itinerary is a pregnant-friendly, slow and easy holiday with extra splurges on comfort. I highly recommend you to visit New Zealand when you get a chance to. I hope our itinerary will give you some insight into the places we visited.

We flew with AirAsia from Kuala Lumpur to Aukland with a 3.5-hour layover in Gold Coast. If you are pregnant, remember to get a doctor’s letter beforehand. They will require it from you at the airport check-in counter. They were nice to offer us a seat upgrade when we asked. For domestic flights, we were recommended to fly with Air New Zealand over EasyJet. There were no delays, the seats were comfortable and the famous Cookie Time cookie is a snack option on the flight. I hear that they serve wine during night flights!

Car Rental
It was winter in August, and to prepare in case of heavy snow, we rented a 4WD (instead of a sedan) from Apex Car Rental along with their GPS. It didn’t snow while we were there, but we were so glad we did because it eased travelling up very steep roads during our trip. Would definitely recommend renting a car over relying on their public transportation to get around.

If you have an old, laminated Malaysian driver license, you will need to have an English translation on your identification. New Malaysian driver license (like myKad) doesn’t need one. If you do not have yours translated before the trip, you can do it on the spot with a more expensive fee and wait 40 mins. Be aware of their speed limit and signages in New Zealand. We did go over just 20km/h unknowingly and we received a fine of NZD170 mailed to us after our trip. So be careful!

We used Roamingman. We had good and stable internet access throughout our trip shared between two mobiles. They have super easy pick-up and drop-off options in airports which make it very convenient.

We spent approx 20k on this trip. Breakdown: RM4.9K on international flights, RM2.7k on domestic flights (so pregnant me will not have to spend too long commuting on wheels), RM4k on accommodations (we stayed with our cousins for 4n, RM1.1k on car rental and we spent about 4k on activities. We def splurged on our choice of travel and accommodation to provide the best comfort for my aching back. We spent the least on food as most of their food portion are large and enough for us to share.

Save money
It’s worth browsing through Klook Travel to see what they offer in the city you will be visiting in New Zealand. They have a long list of outdoors activities, cruises and tours – a good money saving tips if you are travelling in groups.

Weather & temperature
It’s winter in August with a temperature of 0-7°C. Although it did not snow while we we were there, it was really cold and chilly all-day. We were told we had one of the best sunniest weather all winter and that was already very cold for me.

Clothing essentials
I get cold very easily so we wore our Uniqlo Heattech on EVERYDAY and I wore it as my leggings the entire trip. It was super comfortable with my belly and it kept me warm too. None of my old winter jackets could zip up during our trip (growing belly) but with the Heattech underneath, layering it with a knitwear / hoodie and a jacket over was sufficient. At nights when we are out, I would need a scarf and GLOVES!! It was toooooo cold to be outdoors without them and ALWAYS MAKE SURE your accommodation has good heating. I brought along some DAISO heat pack warmers in my pockets and they were very useful! We also brought a pair of boots and sneakers throughout our travel – I wore Superdry boots (old model) most of our travels and only wore sneakers when it was warmer in Wellington.


We flew into Queenstown, collected our rental car there and drove to Arrowtown. The 20-mins drive was beautiful! We decided to stay in Arrowtown instead of Queenstown as we loved a quieter town. It is a very small town and it’s true when people describe it as a one-street-shop town. I did not regret spending 3 nights here after our long flight. At hindsight, we could have done 2 nights instead and spend the extra day exploring Wanaka.

Here in Arrowtown, we stayed at this lovely cottage. It was our fav AirBnb accommodation to date! It was a street away from all the stores, but we drove most of the time instead of walking when the weather was chilly. TOTALLY RECOMMEND THIS COTTAGE! There is also a larger supermarket called Four Square Supermarket just a few minutes drive away from this cottage.

Food Favourites
1. Arrowtown Bakery & Cafe – They are 2 shops side-by-side and their pies are exceptional. We had most of our meals here.
2. Provisions of Arrowtown – Great selection for breakfast.
3. The Fork and Tap – Their pastas and apple dessert are tasty!
4. Patagonia Chocolates – Go for their ice-creams!
5. The Gold Miner – Half price pizza ($10) on Tuesdays
6. Remarkable Sweet Shop – Their local made fudge is definitely a must-try! We bought lots of them back as souvenirs.
7. Schweppes Classic Ginger Beer – Best ginger beer we have ever had! Available in every city, but it gets more expensive as you travel further south!

Places to visit
1. The Arrow River Walk
2. The Chinese Village
3. Gibbston Valley – This winery is 12mins drive away from Arrowtown. We did the Cave Tour and had their cheese platter for lunch after.


The next morning, we drove back to Queenstown. It was about a 20-mins drive – beautiful drive and we parked near Queenstown Garden. It was tough finding a parking so we went there early in the morning! There is also a bus service available from Arrowtown to Queenstown, and back if you rather not drive! We love walking in the garden and walked around the city and eat along the pier. There was nothing much to see unless you have planned some outdoor activities. Some of our friends love Queenstown 🙂 We spent just half a day and headed back to Arrowtown. Would definitely recommend packing lunch and eat it at the pier 🙂

Food Favourites
1. Fergburger (check out the shop next door)
2. Cookie time (try their milkshakes and cookies)

Places to visit
• Eat at the pier and enjoy the beautiful view
• Queenstown Garden – Their ducks, park, trees…. definitely my fav place 🙂
The Remarkables – We did not visit there but I definitely would have if I wasn’t pregnant


This was definitely our favourite place. If you like a quieter scenic town and do lots of walking, you will love Wanaka, From Arrowtown, we drove an hour to Wanaka. We spent 3 nights and wished we had an extra 2 days here. Since it was winter, we signed up for dog sledding (45 mins drive from the town) and took the famous Milford Cruise by flight (8 mins drive from the town to the “airport”). This town had a great mix of things to do – walking around the lake, diff walking paths, lots of lil interesting shops in the city and also interesting activities to do nearby. If you are into taking walks, you will love their walking trails and view.

We stayed in this lovely house which street was only 1 minute from the city. It was quite a hike uphill to the house, so we drove around the town on all the days. This home was lovely – it had an extra room for us to put our luggages and had amazing heating ( a plus especially during winter). It wasn’t too much shops to see around the town itself but there were many amazing places to eat nearby.

Food Favourites
1. Red Star Burger Bar – good burgers!
2. The Cow Restaurant – Pizzas and Pasta are great! Interior is amazing too!
3. The Doughbin – Ham & Cheese Pie fav (we had breakfast here every day)
4. Erik Fish & Chips (we would buy home to eat + Netflix)
5. Food from the Artisan Market (it’s a super tiny one under a tree)

Places to visit
1. Lake Wanaka (freeeeeeezing cold at night, but you get the most beautiful low exposure shot there when it’s pitch dark)
2. Snow Farm / Underdog NZ (super fun, especially during winter – definitely one of our greatest highlight there. The drive there was a steep 30-40mins uphill, and suddenly the landscape changes and you start seeing snow! hah pretty magical, I must say! They were booked out so early in advanced and we barely got a slot for Ming Han. They were really nice to let me hang out and play with the huskies while Ming Han was sledding with his pack of huskies)
3. Milford Cruise / Southern Alps Cruise (made it day trip instead of driving 6 hours)
4. Badrona, The Cardrona Bra Fence


From Wanaka, we drove back to Queenstown (1 hour drive) to return our rental car and took a domestic flight to Wellington. We stayed with my cousins there and explored the city in the daytime when they worked 🙂 We love the city very much and spent alot of time just exploring different cafes and checking out the stores.

Food Favourites
1. Charley Noble – Brussel Sprouts (Never love brussel sprouts but these from CN were the best. This place is fancy but food is good.)
2. Pravda’s – Signature King’s Cut (I’ve never tasted such buttery steak in my life. This place is super fancy and was a splurge… but so worth it)
3. Memphis Belle Coffee House (MingH says good coffee!)
4. Scopa – Hot chocolate is to die for! Tip: Get the smallest one. It’s super KAO.
5. Tommy Millions – Pizza (they always have a buy 1 free 1 promo)
6. Lucky – Try their burgers!!

Places to visit
1. Cable Car – Wellington Botanic Garden (it’s a huge garden, but very lovely to walk and have a picnic there)
2. Wind Turbines Farm (it was close when we wanted to drive up, but we saw from a distance)
3. Graphic – Comic Book Store (All comic lovers will want to stop at this store and buy something home)
4. Mount Victoria Lookout Point

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We purchased our home in 2019. Without an ID hire, we sourced our contractors, materials and did our own DIY home projects...

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