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23 days in New Zealand

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23 days in New Zealand


I have booked flights to new zealand flying in and out of Auckland ( i have friends there). I would like to see as much of NZ as possible. I am travelling with my girlfriend in August. I have read so many things that I am now getting totally confused. I would love for people to suggest itineries for us to follow as well as answering the following:

1. Should we use public transport or hire a car?

2. Should we take the ferry or fly to the south Island and back?

Bearing in mind that the budget is not extensive!!

3. Should we prebook hotels/hostels and any tours that we want to go on?

Please help!!

Thanks Gareth

Lower Hutt, New...
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88 posts
29 reviews
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1. Re: 23 days in New Zealand

You have a decent amount of time so definitely take a car to make it easy to see the great nooks and crannies that public transport will miss.Take the ferry (it may be a little choppy) so you can view Wellington, and the Sounds from another angle.It is not high season or school holidays (the school term is July to September) so no need to book. Doing it this way you can stay longer at places you are enjoying.

Rotorua New Zealand
Destination Expert
for Rotorua
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1,540 posts
38 reviews
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2. Re: 23 days in New Zealand

Travelling by car in most parts of New Zealand is interesting with changing scenery along the way. As you are from the U.K. you do not need to adjust to driving on the 'other' side. As with the U.K., we have a small land mass but lots to see and do and the best way to do this is to drive and stop a night or two at interest points en route. We do not have the narrow 'lanes' that I remember from travelling around parts of Britain but we do have two laned,winding, steep and slow roads in some parts, especially in the South Island. There are some cheaper car rental firms but bear in mind the cars will be older but all must be issued with a current warrant of fitness.

The ferry trip is well worthwhile for the scenery alone as one hour is taken up departing Wellington Harbour, the next hour in the Cook Strait and the third hour is through the picturesque Marlborough Sounds. With most rental car firms, the N.I. car is left in Wellington and the S.I. car picked up in Picton although there are a couple of firms that allow you to keep the same car in both islands. I would recommend travelling down the country, taking the ferry and, if time is running out for you,flying from Christchurch to Auckland.

Booking should not be necessary in August unless there is a special event taking place where you are planning to stay.

Hope this is some help.

Sussex, UK
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57 posts
35 reviews
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3. Re: 23 days in New Zealand

We have recently returned after 3 weeks there. This is our itinarary if it helps:

1 night in Auckland (to recover from the journey)

Next day picked up hire car & drove to Russell for 3 nights

2 nights Coromandel

1 night Rotorua

1 night Taupo

2 nights Napier

1 night Wellinton before crossing to South Island by ferry

4 nights Abel Tasman staying with friends

1 night Punakaiki

1 night Fox Glacier

1 night Wanaka

2 nights Te Anau

2 nights Queenstown

1 night Lake Tekapo

1 night Christchurch before flying up to Auckland to return home.

3 posts
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4. Re: 23 days in New Zealand

I am slightly concerned about driving in the south Island in the winter. Do you know what this will be like? Also, will i need to book places to stay in Queenstown? I hear that it can be very busy in August.

I am also concerned that attractions like cruises, glacier walks etc will not be available during August. Do you know if this is the case?


5. Re: 23 days in New Zealand

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