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New Zealand Virgin Trip !

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New Zealand Virgin Trip !

Hi all NZ experts - your assistance please !

Having talked about experiencing Christmas and New Year on the other side of the world for the last few years, we're biting the bullet and going for it this year!! I want to start planning now and need your help with suggestions/advice/recommendations.

We will be a family of 4, Mum & Dad (young at heart mid 40's) 2 daughters who will be 23 and 19. As a quick overview, we love spectacular scenery, wildlife, sea, beaches,live music (rock,indie,dance)pubs, clubs, food, drink, shopping, socialising, football, travel and history/culture.

Not so keen on classical ballet, theatre, vineyards, cricket, walking/hiking miles, basic accomodation and isolation!

Due to work constraints we can only take 3 weeks holiday and wish to go end Dec 2008 spending Christmas and New year in NZ and returning to the UK Jan 2009.

1. Will this give us enough time to visit both Islands?

2. Flights - airlines, prices - Is Singapore Airlines really the best - How do Cathay Pacific, Emirates and Air new Zealand compare both on quality/service and price ?

3. Suggested itinerary or must see places for maximum wow effect !Should we fly in and start in Aukland ?

4.Cost of living compared to UK ?

5. Would we be mad hiring a luxury campervan to travel/sleep in whilst touring or are hotels/motels a better option?

6. Is NZ safe to travel - Are there 'no go' areas

for naive 'Brits' to avoid?

7. Any poisonous snakes/spiders etc to worry about?

8. Temp in Dec/Jan and clothing to suit

9. Anything else we must do/ should know

Thanks in advance


Brisbane, Australia
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1. Re: New Zealand Virgin Trip !


This thread should get you started.

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2. Re: New Zealand Virgin Trip !

Porge - Nice one ! Certainly answers lots of my questions. Will defo carry on with the thread and glean as much useful info as I can along the way.

Where would we be without Trip Advisor Forums - they have become my travel bible !


New Zealand
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3. Re: New Zealand Virgin Trip !

A few answers that may help you;

1)Yes, I would suggest 1 week in the North and 2 weeks in the South. Consider maximising your time by flying from Rotorua to Christchurch or Queenstown. You can buy super saver domestic AirNZ airfares quite reasonably well ahead of flight date. BUT no exchange or refund so be certain on your dates.

2)Can't help you with price but from personal experience my airline rating is AirNZ & Singapore 1st equal, Cathay 2nd and Emirates, a long way off at 3rd.

3)Consider some or all of these; Auck-Northland/Bay of Islands-Waitomo-Coromandel-Tauranga-Rotorua-Taupo-Napier. Then fly from Rotorua or Napier to ChCh. Then travel the usual tourist circuit of the Sth Island- ChCh-Queenstown-TeAnau-Wanaka-West Coast-Arthurs Pass or Lewis Pass-Hanmer-Kaikoura.

4)Having just spent 8 weeks in the UK- cheap!

5)You will cover more distance and places hiring a car and staying in motels- most are clean and tidy if a little dated but very reasonable from $80-130 a night for 4. Of course there are more expensive and flasher motels available. Every NZ town and city has an abundance of motels.

6)Totally safe NZ wide but normal safety precautions should be observed, the main one, don't leave anything in view when your car is parked at tourist spots or walking tracks etc.

7)No snakes at all and only one poisonous spider that is very rare and only hangs out in one area of Hawkes Bay.

8)Variable temps ranging from 7-8c up to 25c depending where you are. It can be unsettled with frequent rain in areas. But you may strike it lucky and have glorious weather the whole time. Layer your clothing so you can strip off as the day heats up. Lightweight rain jacket would be advisable.

9)Relax and enjoy yourselves, you'll have a ball.

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4. Re: New Zealand Virgin Trip !

You guys will have a ball.The boys have given you some excellent advice.Ron Laughlin in particular is most helpful,check out his page,lots of great advice.

Would agree dont worry about your family's safety,the place is safe if not safer than anywhere and the people generally will go out of their way to help you out.Added to this well maintained and signposted quiet roads,you can't go wrong.

For the best night out in my experience go to Wellington on a weekend night..It has a superb nightlife.Great bars and restaurants,nightclubs and all within a small area around Courtney Place.

Also would recommend a day trip to White island,a volcanic island about an hour's boat trip away from the town of Whakatane on the east coast of north island.

This island is the main volcanic vent for the south pacific.It's smouldering/sulphurous/full of acid lakes and if you do go will get to eat yellow sulphur !! Wear crappy clothes otherwise they will become permanently infused with a horrible sulphur smell !! It is an awesome natural experience and you will be glad the boat is still there after your trip to take you back to civilisation !!

Have fun

New Zealand
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5. Re: New Zealand Virgin Trip !

transcendental- "The boys....." A..ahem, I wear a skirt and a bikini(sometimes)!

Also nothing wrong with eating sulphur, as a child I was given a weekly dose of crunchy sulphur on a spoon with malt to disguise it's taste. Good for the constitution, not so good for passing wind.

Wellington, New...
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6. Re: New Zealand Virgin Trip !

Sorry, I can't agree that NZ is as safe or safer than anywhere else. We have a large crime rate and tourists are ripped off more often than we care to like or admit unfortunately. Visitors must be careful and not park camper vans in places other than camp grounds or camp parks. It is not advisable to walk around at night in some places on your own and you should always be aware of your personal safety. Please don't let your guard down just because you think NZ is safe.

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7. Re: New Zealand Virgin Trip !

I’m so jealous! You will have a fantastic time. As soon as you land you will notice the difference in people’s attitude compared to the UK. Practically everybody we met was pleasant. People seem to want to make sure that you enjoy your visit to their country 100% and will go out of their way to make sure you do.

The highlights for us were the people the scenery, you run out of words to describe it in the end. We found the South Island particularly beautiful, and empty! We would recommend doing a cruise on Milford Sounds, the area around the glaziers was lovely as well.

In the North Island we had an amazing time at Rotorua and Taupo, visiting the thermal parks.

There is so much to do and the time just flies by. I would recommend taking internal flights so cut down on the driving you have to do, although compared to driving in the UK it’s a doodle.

The choice of accommodation on offer is excellent, with 1 or 2 bedrooms motels costing the equivalent to the price of a Premier Travel Inn for the night in the UK. As they have a fully equipped kitchen it means you don’t have to eat our every night if you don’t want to.

We found the Visit New Zealand website really helpful and also the Rough Guide.

Have a great time planning your visit.

8. Re: New Zealand Virgin Trip !

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