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North Island Itinerary Review and Assistance

Greenville, South...
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North Island Itinerary Review and Assistance

North Island Itinerary Assistance

We will be spending 13 days in New Zealand and want to cover as much of the countries premier sites as possible. We are arriving in Auckland and will be ending the visit in Christchurch, returning to Auckland by air. This may sound a bit ambitious to some but when we travel, we like to move around and see the sights.

We are just developing our North Island itinerary and could use some comments/suggestions from the experts! Are being too ambitious?

Day 1 Arrive Auckland, Airbus Express to The Langham Auckland, Explore Auckland

Day 2 Auckland/Devonport

Day 3 Late Morning Fullers Ferry to Waiheke Island and transfer to the Te Whau Lodge, rent scooter and explore the island.

Day 4 Late AM ferry to Auckland, Pickup vehicle at Apex, drive to Coromandel Town, Harbor View Motel

Day 5 Driving Creek Railway, wander the peninsula, drive to Lake Taupo, Hilton-Lake Taupo.

Day 6 Would like to drive the Forgotten Hwy to the New Plymouth area and Mount Taranaki. Would overnight and then continue on to Wellington the following way through Whanganui.

Rarotonga, Cook...
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1. Re: North Island Itinerary Review and Assistance

Hi gonetropo,

Your itinerary looks good. Go for it, and enjoy your explorations!

New Zealand
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2. Re: North Island Itinerary Review and Assistance

I think you need an extra night between Coromandel & Taupo especially if you plan to head over to the east coast of the peninsula then down and onto SH2 through Mt Maunganui and onto Rotorua then SH5 to Taupo. This is by far the best route to take to Taupo but would mean you don't have much time to explore on the way. There's plenty of places to visit along the way including the many sights of Rotorua.

Wanaka, New Zealand
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3. Re: North Island Itinerary Review and Assistance

Hi there,

I agree with Zappers. If time is an issue, I personally would substitute day 2 in Devonport for a day in Rotorua. IMO, Rotorua will tell you quite a bit more about our country than Devonport and has more exciting things to do and see.

Also, be prepared for some very long driving days on Day 6 and Day 7. I am a huge fan of the Taranaki region and plug it more on this site than anyone else. However, by the time you get through to New Plymouth it will probably be late afternoon/evening, and there won't be much time to explore all the great public parks and coastal walks etc before nightfall (depending on the time of year). Perhaps rather than driving up to New Plymouth, you could spend the night in Stratford or even Egmont National Park. There is a place near Dawson Falls which I've never stayed in, but looks quite nice (www.dawson-falls.co.nz/index.htm). And this will give you a bit of time to squeeze in some short bush walks.

Also, take your time the next day driving down to Wellington and stop at the Tawhiti Museum if you happen to strike it on one of the days that it's open. The new Traders and Whaler's ride is awesome and a great insight into NZ history.

www.tawhitimuseum.co.nz

Edited: 25 May 2010, 05:49
Wanaka, New Zealand
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4. Re: North Island Itinerary Review and Assistance

Incidentally when are you traveling? Over the Summer, New Plymouth holds the Festival of the Lights. This is a great nightly event, and is worthy of an evening spent in New Plymouth.

Greenville, South...
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5. Re: North Island Itinerary Review and Assistance

Thanks to each of you for providing us some valuable information.

We thought we may be pushing it from Coromandel to Taupo. Both places look interesting to us as does Rotura.

We have the time so we will alter the plans so that we have an extra day from Coromandel to Taupo and also take the advice of staying in Stratford versus driving through to New Plymouth.

One other question? What sites would you NOT MISS on the South Island?

Greenville, South...
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6. Re: North Island Itinerary Review and Assistance

OskarNZ

Thanks for the recommendation. Had not come across any interesting accomodation in the New Plymouth area. Have sent an inquiry off to the Dawson Falls property!

Kansas City
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7. Re: North Island Itinerary Review and Assistance

Tropo,

With only a week to see the South Island you are biting off a big chunk. You might consider flying from Wellington to Queenstown to jumpstart the second week. Otherwise it will be a mad dash and not nearly as much fun.

here is the south island part of my blog from last year. travelblog.org/Oceania/…blog-378962.html Sorry the pics are missing from the first entry.

Greenville, South...
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8. Re: North Island Itinerary Review and Assistance

Thanx Skinner

Will have a peek at the blog. Appreciate the suggestion!

Edited: 26 May 2010, 20:36
Wellington, New...
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9. Re: North Island Itinerary Review and Assistance

busy busy, good on you. You will miss alot but by the same token see alot. Overnight in Paraparaumu or Waikanae prior to heading into Wellington. If you have time book a trip to Kapiti Island, go to Southwards car museum or Nga Manu Nature Reserve.

Avoid going into Wellington at peak traffic time.

Palmerston North
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10. Re: North Island Itinerary Review and Assistance

You're embarking on a very scenic trip with some long driving days. In terms of the drive between Taupo and New Plymouth the shortest option is to drive via SH3, which is 281km and would take just under four hours. Much of this trip is coastal, giving you good views on route. There are two other options which take slightly longer going via Ohura Road or via River Road. All three options can be explored via Google Maps by creating a My Map from Taupo to New Plymouth and also selecting, Get Directions.

Leaving New Plymouth the next day will take you past Mt Taranaki, and you can drive up the mountain via Stratford if you like. If you're not planning to visit the mountain, then I suggest taking the Surf Coast Highway. It's only 20 minutes longer and has less traffic.

If you can time your visit to Whanganui on a Saturday morning you'll have the opportunity to mix with the locals and explore the market by the river, go on a steam boat ride and see glass blowing in action at Chronicle Glass. Boutique and antique shops are a feature of this town, as are the lush green spaces. The first that you will pass - Lake Victoria, is actually a crater lake...and the walk around it is lovely. Also take time while you're in the CBD to walk up the hill to the art gallery...lovely views and a lovely place. For the best viewpoint though, go up Durie Hill via the elevator and climb the tower www.teara.govt.nz/en/building-stone/5/3

From Whanganui travel to Sanson. Perhaps also stop there for an ice cream or a coffee before turning right onto SH1 and heading to Wellington. Keep an eye out for Waireka Honey (bright yellow shop) on the way for homemade honey ice cream and all things honey. Delish!