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40 days in New Zealand

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40 days in New Zealand

I am planning a trip to NZ with my husband. We are arriving in Auckland October 26 flying out December 5 (we were thinking of flying out of ChCh).

We have about 40 days to tour the North and South islands. We have already booked 5 nights in Nelson/Mapua Nov 12-16 but all other days are open.

We would welcome any route or itenary advice. We are in our early 30's.

Thanks so much!

Swindon, United...
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1. Re: 40 days in New Zealand


Firstly, well done on picking NZ. We went there for 3 weeks in 2008 and fell in love with the place and are heading back in early 2011 for another 4 week trip.

This forum is one of the friendliest on Tripadvisor, so you wont have any issues getting the info you require, but I would suggest you detail a little more about your interests eg wildlife, adrenalin activities, scenery etc.

We all have different takes on what makes a great holiday - I would also suggest taking time to investigate NZ more, either by visiting sites such as the ones below or reading others itineraries and picking out the bits you want to include in your trip.



That way, you will have ideas of where you want to go, things you want to see/do, and the more experienced NZ travellers/residents can help peice the jigsaw together by offering routes etc so that you get the most of your time.

As a guide I have always been advised to do a 60/40 split between the North/South islands, with more time being spent on the South to accomodate the extended distances.

You are in for a reat treat - the place is simply wonderful

Below is a copy of my 3 week review for you to read - it may help.


Happy planning, be prepared to make some tough decisions, there is so much to do and see :-)


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2. Re: 40 days in New Zealand

Sorry I guess it was very vague...

Here is our rough self-drive itenary:

Oct 26 Auckland (5 Nights) We will use Auckland as a base to (Rest, Rent Car - Waikeke Island, Karekare, Piha, Beach)

Oct 31 Pakiri (2 nights) Horse back riding.

Nov 1 (3 nights) Rororua -Te Puke - Kiwi 360 - Hot Springs

Nov 5 (2 nights) Tongariro

Nov 7 ( 2 nights) New Plymouth

Nov 9 (3 nights) Wellington - Town Centre, Te Papa Museum, Cable car Mount Victoria, Ferry to Picton, Driving to Nelson/Mapua

Nov 12 (5 nights) Nelson/Mapua - Kayaking, Walking Able Tasman National Park

Nov 17 (5 nights) Christchurch

Nov 22 (3 nights) Mountcook

Nov 25 (1 night) Wanaka

Nov 26 (4 nights) Queenstown

Nov 30 (???) Te Anau

need advice

Dec 5 - Fly-out

Christchurch, New...
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for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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3. Re: 40 days in New Zealand

You are lucky to have such a leisurely trip. Well done with your planning so far. My suggestions for the last week or so would be:

25 Nov Mt Cook to Te Anau (2-3 nights)

27/28 Te Anau to Queenstown (2-3 nights)

30 Nov Wanaka (2 nights)

2 Dec Wanaka to Franz Josef Glacier (2 nights)

4 Dec Glaciers to Christchurch (possibly by taking a day off Chch on the 21st you could add a night at Punakaiki on the 3rd)

New Zealand
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4. Re: 40 days in New Zealand

Five nights in Chch is a very long time... and driving Aoraki/Mt Cook to Te Anau is a long day's drive.

You might consider;

Aoraki/Mt Cook to Queenstown

to Te Anau

explore Milford

to Wanaka :)

to Franz Josef

to Punakaiki

to Chch

hope this helps :)

2 Dec Wanaka to Franz Josef Glacier (2 nights)

4 Dec Glaciers to Christchurch (possibly by taking a day off Chch on the 21st you could add a night at Punakaiki on the 3rd)

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5. Re: 40 days in New Zealand

Hi Canadian01Voyager

WOW - 40days - having that much time to travel here is great. You look like you have a lot of your trip sorted.

As to Wanaka's comment re 5 days in CHCH - yes that may be a bit long -BUT as I am from CHCH I am a bit biased so it depends on what you want to do. If this time included a day trip (or over night stop) to Akaroa and maybe a day trip on the Transalpine train then no - you could fill it with no problems. Include a day exploring the city including the art centre (esp if that is on a Sat or Sunday when the outside market is on).

BUT looking at your plan it may be that you are more into the out doors - are you going to walk the whole ABLE TASMAN or part - if only part you might want to walk part of the QUEEN CHARLOTTE TRACK which you can also like the Able Tasman - get dropped into by boat.

On your drive From Picton to Nelson there is the wonderful Queen Charlotte drive.

I don't see from your itenary any mention of the West Coast - THAT IS A MUST SEE.

While I see you are driving is it in a car or campervan?

Not being an expert on the NI I would suggest any thing there but try something like this for the south. Arrive Picton. Explore Malbourgh Sounds including Queen Charlotte. Then onto Nelson/Maupu and do the Able Tasman. Then down the West Coast exploring as you go. Through the Haast Pass to Wanaka. Then onto Queenstown. From Queenstown to Te Anau (do milford either by yourself or take a day tour). Then from Te Anau through to Dunedin and up the Coast to CHCH or back past Queenstown and through the wonderful McKenzie basin to Mount Cook then through to CHCH.

I won't suggest timing - do a bit more research on each area and decide what you want to do in each area - and then decide how long you want in each spot - BUT don't miss the West Coast what ever you do.

Have a great trip.



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6. Re: 40 days in New Zealand

Thank you so much everyone!

I will take all your tips and suggestions into consideration when tweeking my itenary. I am thrilled to finally be taking this trip and want to do it right.

I am sure I will enjoy every minute of it. I love the outdoors, horses and crafts so will fall deeply in love with NZ!


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7. Re: 40 days in New Zealand

When doing your 3 days from 01 Nov. around Rotorua, including Kiwi 360, do have a look at Mt. Maunganui for its excellent beaches and its mount. You'll soon realize while many Canadians love returning here year after year for January to usually mid March.

palmerston north NZ
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8. Re: 40 days in New Zealand

hi mr and mrs canadian voyager

i just want to say that we (my partner and i are in our early 20's and have done 90% of nz) obviously with our age we may have different interest from you and there will be people who will agree or disagree with my our suggestions but remember it is your holiday and only you can decide what you really want.

i hope you enjoy your trip no matter what you do or do not do.

here is our suggestion and please forgive the long post.

OCT 26- arrive in auckland and get over jetlag if you have it

OCT 27- trip to waiheke island

OCT 28- auckland museum, kelly tarltons

OCT 29- drive to paihia (bay of islands), go on swimming with dolphins tour or hole in the rock tour

OCT 30- drive to cape reinga,(this is the top of the north island there is a lighthouse and a awesome walk down to the beach. great driving views along the way. drive back to piahia.

OCT 31 AND NOV 1- piahia to pakiri- horse back riding

NOV 2- auckland zoo and rainbows end

NOV 3- piha and karekare stay at the karekare beach lodge

NOV 4- drive to hamilton- hamilton gardens and hamilton zoo

NOV 5- drive to waitomo caves-do caving, blackwater rafting or do some of the glow worm tours.

NOV 6- go to rotorua- go on gondolas and luges then do the lumberjack show

NOV 7- do a geothermal tour-zorb- journey through the ages maori tour

NOV 8- go to te puke and do the 360 tour if you have time stop in tauraunga and see the beach's (return to rotorua)

NOV 9-drive to tongariro national park and do a tramp

NOV 10- skip new plymouth and go to wellington (theres nothing really i can think of to do other than look at rocks and crabs) do the afternoon cable cart.

NOV 11-wellington town center, tepapa museum

NOV 12- as you would check in in the afternoon at nelson catch early morning ferry to picton, check out picton aquarium or do a queen charlotte sounds boat tour then drive to nelson.

NOV 13- farewell spit guided tour from nelson

NOV 14- take a picnic and catch the Haulashore Ferry to boulder bank and light house,

NOV 15- Wilsons abel tasman walk

NOV 16- go to cable bay 20min drive and go on a kayaking tour (check their site http://www.cablebaykayaks.co.nz/

NOV 17- drive to kaikoura- stop at ohau point seal colony not long before kaikoura, on the right hand side of the road is a ten min walk to the baby seals at the bottom of the waterfall, take a tennis ball to throw in of you like. on the left hand side of the road is the adult seals swimming and sun bathing. once in kaikoura get some fish and chips and watch the seals at the main colony in kaikoura locals can give you directions.

NOV 18- go to kaikoura lookout- book a whale watch or a kayaking with the seals tour from the information center. if you like pizza order some great gourmet pizza from the shop in town, or be sure to try the crayfish from the road stalls.

NOV 19- drive to christchurch in morning and go to orana park and then the antarctic center ( book the lion encounter at orana park before you go)

NOV 20- have a look at the gardens and city center, go punting on the avon, go on the tram.

NOV 21- go on the gondola and to the tamaki heritage village tour

NOV 22- go on the trazalpine return day tour to greymouth its winter when you come so it will be awesome views you can book this threw tranzrail nz.

NOV 23 & 24- mountcook for 2 nights

NOV 25-drive to ashburton go ice skating ashburtondistrict.co.nz/newzealand/product/… then drive to wanaka do the siberia experience(http://www.siberiaexperience.co.nz/)

NOV 26-go to stuart landsborough's puzzling word and the lake wanka cruise and bushwalk (lakelandadventures.co.nz/pricelist_lakelanda…) then drive to queenstown.

NOV 27-go to the snow and ski or learn to ski if you don't no how or just play in it :)

NOV 28-southern discoveries small boat nature or encounter cruise and then double decker bus tour you also get to experience arrowtown this way (doubledeckerbus.co.nz/timetable_prices.htm)

NOV 29- cannons skipper jet ltd or go to http://www.ultimatehikes.co.nz/ to find a nice walk to do

NOV 30- Drive to te anau

DEC 1- drive to bluff and try nz bluff oysters, and do the stewart island experience tour.

DEC 2-drive to dunedin see the royal albatross colony and center and a half day elm wildlife tour and visit aquarium

DEC 3- do the taleri gorge railway half day tour and visit larnach castle drive to timaru visit the gardens or have a picnic at beautiful caroline bay

DEC 4- drive to christchurch take a slow drive to akaro and take a look around or swim with the dolphins or just spend some time relaxing before the flight.

Wow this just took me 2 hours hehehe time for bed i think hmmm (looks at time) 1:18AM nz time.... this is just an idea of what we would do if we had 40 days.(remenbering you never said what things you would like to do and how much driving resting time you would like) it takes you from the top of the north island to the bottom of the south island and two other nz islands stewart and waiheke, with a variety of things to do including what you have already booked or suggested you wanted to do, and also leaves you places to go for if you ever come back such as the north islands coromandal and east coast aswell as taupo and new plymouth. and in the south island it leaves you the west cost, and queen charlottes sounds.

DEC 5- fly out

we both wish you the best of luck for trip and hope you have a wonderful time here in new zealand.


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9. Re: 40 days in New Zealand

Oh yikes, please don't follow the above itinerary.

Nov 25th suggests you drive 3.5 hours to Ashburton, iceskate (?), then drive 5 hours to Wanaka before going on a 4 hour tour.

The ski season ends early Oct, so nope, no skiing in Queenstown late Nov.

palmerston north NZ
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10. Re: 40 days in New Zealand

sorry i was half asleep ashburton was ment to be a brake from driving from chch to mount cook and they have an indoor skating rink there.

as for snow and skiing when we came down last year in mid nov there was snow and i emailed the same people we went threw last year and they said due to climate change it was more than likely to still have the snow in november as winter is starting later. as i stated at the start of my first post i said some may or may not agree and obviously your don't which i understand please take in mind i am going by my past and personal experiences and own research only, and by all means you are from there (south island) and could possibly be right but i just wanted to clear up what i ment.

thank you for bringing this up

Edited: 03 July 2010, 02:29