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Loosey goosie first pass itinerary...whaddya think?

So. California
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Loosey goosie first pass itinerary...whaddya think?

this certainly isn't written in stone but I've never had a more difficult time figuring out what to see on any vacation in the short amount of time that we have.

Arrive on Oct 26....leave Nov 11th. (16 nights)

here's what we have for a first go round....

Let me know your thoughts and thanks in advance!

Toni

OCT 26 arrive in Auckland and drive to WAITOMO for first and 2nd night

OCT 27 WAITOMO

OCT 28 ROTORUA

OCT 29 TAUPO

OCT 30 TAUPO

OCT 31 ~DRIVE TO NAPIER stay the night (139 MILES FROM ROTORUA 4 HRS.) & FLY TO CHRISTCHURCH in the a.m.

NOV 1 CHRISTCHURCH (SEE THE CITY)

NOV 2 CC DAY TRIP TO HAMNER SPRINGS

NOV 3 GREYMOUTH (THROUGH ARTHURS PASS)

NOV 4 OKARITO ON WEST COAST

NOV 5 QT

NOV 6 QT

NOV 7QT

NOV 8 MT. COOK

NOV 9 CC

NOV 10 CC

NOV 11 FLY HOME

Wanaka, New Zealand
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1. Re: Loosey goosie first pass itinerary...whaddya think?

Hi there,

Just a few suggestions.

Shave one day of ChCh at the end and use it to break up your journey between the West Coast and Queenstown.

Secondly, stay the first night in Auckland to get over jet lag and spend just one night in Waitomo. One night will be enough.

Otherwise, it all seems fine.

So. California
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2. Re: Loosey goosie first pass itinerary...whaddya think?

thanks for your reply. Whew! Happy to know we're going in the right direction at least.

My thoughts on Waitomo were to leave Auckland asap...we arrive at 6:35 a.m. and don't want to hang around the whole day. We'd like to do the caves and perhaps a black water raft trip and didn't think just one day would allow for enough time thus getting there after lunch to scout everything out..

good idea about another day on the west coast. Not sure on where to stay and hope we can wing it on the way down....stay where every we are when we'd like to stop for the night.

thanks again

Auckland
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3. Re: Loosey goosie first pass itinerary...whaddya think?

First off: agree with the person who suggested shaving a day off of your christchurch scene to spend more time getting over to the West Coast. that's a lovely drive.

Second: What are your interests? Rotorua and Taupo are good for bases of adventuring type things but there are also plenty of things to see and do off the beaten path.

If you do go down to Waitomo the day you arrive give yourself some time to check out some of the sights on the road out to Marokopa (or just go all the way down and check out some wild and remote nz coastline!). There are a few very noteworthy stops on the drive out there. Not much to do in Waitomo once you've gotten the rafting out of the way...

FYI: There's a new cafe in Waitomo called "Huhu" that has decent coffee. It's not cheap though.

So. California
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4. Re: Loosey goosie first pass itinerary...whaddya think?

we were thinking of driving through a bit of tongariro nation park on the way to napier also.

Can you tell me a little bit about the drive to marokopa and what we might see along the way?

Wanaka, New Zealand
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5. Re: Loosey goosie first pass itinerary...whaddya think?

Umfortunately Tongariro NP is not on the way to Napier. It would be a considerate excursion, so probably not practical given your timetable.

Another thing to do in Waitomo is the Ruakuri bushwalk. It only takes about half an hour, but it's lovely.

I do understand your predicament with not wanting to stick around in Auckland, however from what I understand you are coming all the way from L.A. (am I correct?) and there's a good chance you'll be jetlagged. Learning to drive on the left side of NZ's windy roads after about 20 hours of little or no sleep is never recommended.

Perhaps reconsider spending that first night in Auckland to just relax and take in a few sights and have an early night. Then get up nice and early the next morning (say about 6am) so you can beat the morning Auckland traffic and head for Waitomo. You'll get there by mid morning and have heaps of time to do the activities you want to do. Plus you'll be able to say you've seen some of Auckland. It's a lovely city and there are plenty of options to allow you to unwind on the first day.

New Zealand
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6. Re: Loosey goosie first pass itinerary...whaddya think?

Another one to reinforce only one night needed in Waitomo, in fact if you stay the first night in Auckland, I would encourage you to continue on to Rotorua after Waitomo for the 2nd night. That way you have a full day to explore Rotorua. If not, then personally I would have two nights in Rotorua and only one in Taupo.

It's only a 2hr30 min drive Rotorua to Napier on a good day, or an easy 3hrs. I wouldn't worry about Tongariro, you won't have too much time to explore and it's just look like a whole heap of native bush and mountains. I see you don't have much time in Napier either, a pity.

This is how I would do the Nth island-

Night1- Waitomo(I know, I know, I can hear my fellow posters saying tut, tut what about jetlag but hopefully you would have slept a little on the overnight flight)

Night2/3-Rotorua

Night4-Taupo

Night 5/6- Napier

This gives you ample time to explore along the way and a wide variety of things to see and do- glow worms, geothermal, Maori culture, beautiful lakes, hot pools, native bush and great scenery, vineyards, wineries, Art Deco and beaches.

Wanaka, New Zealand
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7. Re: Loosey goosie first pass itinerary...whaddya think?

Tut Tut Zappers :-)

I have to agree though about 2 nights in Rotorua, 1 night Taupo. I think there is heaps more to do in Rotorua than Taupo, but I wasn't going to mention that as people usually disagree with me.

New Zealand
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8. Re: Loosey goosie first pass itinerary...whaddya think?

Not me Oskar, I would only stay in Taupo longer than Rotorua if I wanted to chill for a bit otherwise Rotorua is it. You just can't see much of what Rotorua has to offer with a one night stay. It's no wonder we get negative comments from those people. It's the same with Auckland, there's plenty to see and visit if you have the time, it has to be one of our most interesting and versatile cities. So much to see, so little time.

Auckland
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9. Re: Loosey goosie first pass itinerary...whaddya think?

marokopa falls - a spectacular waterfall

piripiri caves - short walk to fairly cool cave with stalagtites (bring a flashlight)

marokopa natural bridge - cool and short walk to natural limestone bridge. quite spectacular

marokopa itself isn't so exciting but a couple kms beyond that is kiritihere beach which has a lot of fossils on the south end of the beach - quite spectacular.

be warned: the road from waitomo to marokopa is *very* windy. you'll need to go slow. this is WAY off the beaten path. but a cool detour from waitomo.

if you do decide to spend a night in auckland you could always take a day trip to rangitoto or waiheke and see some of the beautiful waters around the waitemata harbour.

also: tongariro park - some would say the native bush and mountains are the MAIN reason to come to new zealand, not the towns of rotorua and taupo. of course, it just depends on what you are looking for. it is true though that exploring tongariro park would be a significant detour.

so many things to do - so little time!

just pick your most important things and stick with those... all of the options that have been suggested here are great. you can't miss.

New Zealand
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10. Re: Loosey goosie first pass itinerary...whaddya think?

<"also: tongariro park - some would say the native bush and mountains are the MAIN reason to come to new zealand, not the towns of rotorua and taupo. of course, it just depends on what you are looking for. it is true though that exploring tongariro park would be a significant detour.">

I couldn't agree with you more frownertoms, maybe you got the wrong end of the stick or I didn't word it well enough. Jasperkai just wouldn't do Tongariro National Park justice with a quick detour on such a tight itinerary schedule, there is plenty of native bush and bush walks if that's what wanted closer to hand on the route.