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Appreciate review of our 13 day itinerary

Denver, Colorado
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Appreciate review of our 13 day itinerary

We would like feedback on our 13 day itinerary in NZ from Oct 8th-20th, 2010. This time of

year can we wait to book motels 2 or so days ahead of time so we don’t get too locked in

to a specific schedule ?

Day 1 & 2

Arrive Queenstown (from Cairns) - get a rental car

Gondola up to Bob's Peak

Queenstown Art & Craft Mkt & Steamer Wharf complex

Day 3

Day trip to Milford Sound by way of Te Anau

Day 4 (&5) ** this is where we really need advice**

Drive from Queenstown to Lake Wanaka and then up thru Haast

Pass to Fox/FJ glacier – in which area should we spend the night?

Day 5

Drive from Fox/FJ glacier area to Christchurch by way of Hokitika on Rt 6-then pick up Rt 73 thru Arthur’s Pass into Christchurch

Day 6

Christchurch sights:

Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna O Waiwhetu

International Antarctic Ctr

Drive to Sumner via Ports Hill Rd thru Lyttelton Harbour &

head west back to Chrstch via Cass Bay & Dyers Pass Rd

(if time permits - Christchurch Gondola)

Day 7

Drive from Chrstchrch to Wellington via Picton/ Intrslndr Ferry

***** is it ok to wait until we get to NZ to buy the Intrslndr Ferry tickets? *****

Day 8

Wellington sights

Te Papa Museum

Cable car to Botanical Garden (w/Carter Observatory)

Parliament Bldgs

Stroll waterfront area at Oriental Parade

Day 9

Drive from Wellington to Rotorua (by Taupo) & spend night

Day 10

Drive from Rotorua to Auckland via Waitomo

Glowworm Caves including the Cathedral

Day 11

Auckland sights

Auckland Museum

Day 12

Drive north to Paihia in Bay of Islands OR east to Coromandel Peninsula?

Day 13 Depart Auckland

Thanks in advance for info you may provide

australia
Destination Expert
for New South Wales, Noosa
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1. Re: Appreciate review of our 13 day itinerary

I'd think you'd be fine booking accommodation as you go - you might check a site like wotif that allows you to see availability for a range of properties to be confident no local events are causing heavy bookings anywhere.

With InterIslander ferry (and Bluebridge the alternate ferry company) some sailings are heavily pre booked. I'd book and lock yourself into a travel date.......question. Are you renting from a company that swaps you into a new vehicle on North Is, or will you take the car on the ferry - car on ferry not cheap, but a lot feel more convenient.

I am expecting the NZ experts will tell you, too many kilometres in too few days.

On the North Island I would be inclined to drop Bay of Islands/Coromandel option for day 12 and add the extra day for the travel Wellington-Auckland. Both Taupo and Rotorua areas have much to see/do.

Denver, Colorado
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2. Re: Appreciate review of our 13 day itinerary

Thanks so much for your input - we'll follow up on your suggestions !!

Sydney Australia
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3. Re: Appreciate review of our 13 day itinerary

Yes, I would also say far far too many kms in the time. Don't be misled by the km distances, driving in NZ is quite tiring. Certainly compared to driving here, and what I've experienced of Colorado.

I'm not that into tour groups, but if you want to see that much of the country in that amount of time, IMHO you would be better off joining a group and letting someone else do the driving.

New Zealand
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for South Island
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4. Re: Appreciate review of our 13 day itinerary

You haven't allowed sufficient time to do more than sit in your car, driving, all day. This itinerary is best suited explored over three weeks. You could;

1 arrive Queenstown

2 explore

3 bus/cruise Milford, bus or fly to Q'town

4 drive to Franz - long drive

5 explore glacier, drive to Hokitika

6 drive Arthur's Pass to Chch

7 explore

8 drive to Picton, ferry to Wellington

9 explore

10 drive to Taupo

11 drive to Rotorua, explore

12 drive to Auckland

13 fly home

You won't need to prebook anything, though I would book all your accommodation now. Spending all day driving and then arriving in a new town and having to look for accommodation late in the day can be exhausting.

Check www.wotif.com for good discounts.

Happy travels :)

Feilding, New...
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for Rotorua
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5. Re: Appreciate review of our 13 day itinerary

Driving from Wellington to Rotorua will take you most of the day especially if you want to stop and sightsee en route. You will have time to see and do very little in and around Rotorua especially if you are heading to Auckland via Waitomo the next day. The Rotorua Museum is worth a visit but will you have time? It takes time to walk through the thermal valleys, to soak in hot pools, to watch bubbling mud pools. If you go to a Maori cultural dinner & show on the one night you are in Rotorua, you may not want to get up early enough the next day to see the caves & then continue to Auckland. Daylight saving will be in place by the time you travel but it is still almost three months away from the longest day so some of your travelling may most likely be in the dark and that is(or should be) slower when you don't know the road. Don't like painting a negative picture but by trying to fit in so much, you miss out on such a lot.

Denver, Colorado
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6. Re: Appreciate review of our 13 day itinerary

Thank you so much for your feedback. We'll have to review some of the days. We're not planning on doing the outdoor activities along the way (hiking,biking etc)since we do those in CO. We want to see the different types of scenery and visit the most interesting sites in each city. We enjoy

long, scenic drives but will review the length of some of our days. What would be your "must not miss" scenic areas and sites (museums,exhibits)

with our limited time ? Thank you !

Denver, Colorado
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7. Re: Appreciate review of our 13 day itinerary

We'll be getting to Christchurch around Oct 13th - do you think I should

revise our travel plan due to the earthquake ? From the US it's difficult to determine how much of a problem travel in the Chch area will be in another

month. Thank you for your opinion !

P.S. If you had to list a few "MUST SEE" scenic areas in NZ, what would be

your top 5-10 spots ? (I know this is tough given the beauty of all of NZ)

Auckland Central...
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8. Re: Appreciate review of our 13 day itinerary

Hi

With regard to the north island I think you are trying to fit too much into too short a time and will need to make some choices so as not to be driving all the time.

Day 8

You could easily spend the whole day at Te Papa. If you are interested in the natural history of New Zealand them Zealandia may also be of interest. You can get there easily by bus.

Day 9

I would suggest that you drive to Taupo on Day 9. If you managed an early start from Wellington you could be there early afternoon which would give you time to look around.

Overnight Taupo

Day 9

Short drive from Taupo to Rotorua

Overnight Rotorua

Day 10

Rotorua

Overnight Rotorua

Option 1

Day 11

Drive from Rotorua to Auckland via Waitomo

Overnight Auckland

Day 12

Auckland Region

Overnight Auckland

Day 13 Depart Auckland

Option 2

Day 11

Drive from Rotorua to Coromandel

Overnight Coromandel

Day 12

Coromandel

Overnight Coromandel or depending on time of flight on following day drive back to Auckland

Overnight Coromandel or Auckland

Day 13 Depart Auckland

I don’t really think you will have time to go to the Bay of Islands. If you are looking for beaches the Coromandel options will meet that requirement as will indeed the Auckland option.

You should have no difficulty finding accommodation by calling a day or two ahead. Personally I would book the ferry. You will almost certainly be able to get on a ferry but it may not be the one you want and with your tight timetable you would not have to wait around until there is availability

Hope this helps

Rarotonga, Cook...
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for Rarotonga, Waiheke Island, Southern Cook Islands, Auckland Central
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9. Re: Appreciate review of our 13 day itinerary

As much as I love seeing visitors itineraries that include Northland/north of Auckland in their travels I also suggest you focus on enjoying sights south and including Auckland ahead of your departure. I too suggest you only drive as far as Taupo on the Wellington to volcanic region on the long but highly interesting scenic drive. Stay overnight Taupo before continuing on to Rotorua. There are many attractions to be discovered just between Taupo and Rotorua alone.

10. Re: Appreciate review of our 13 day itinerary

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