We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

What to do in NZ for 3 weeks Dec 2010 - Jan 2011

Detroit, Michigan
Level Contributor
64 posts
1 review
Save Topic
What to do in NZ for 3 weeks Dec 2010 - Jan 2011

If I can get flights in my price range I would like to visit NZ from somewhere around Dec 28, 2010 to Jan 19, 2011. It would be me, my wife and our five year son. He is able to hike several miles just as we are and is a fairly good traveler. With that in mind, what places in NZ should we try to see the most? We would be flying 22 - 29 hours to get there (from the USA) so we will stay in Auckland for a day or two after we arrive to recover.

From there hotels, campsites or farms are all possible. We would like to see as much of NZ as possible, without turning our trip into a marathon. We love nature, but we will not be bringing sleeping bags and tents due to the nature of air travel. We can afford hotels, but sometimes camping is more fun, so how might we do this? Where is it really worthwhile?

So what should we be looking at to get started planning and what are the no miss items? We may never get to NZ again, so we want to make the most of it.

Rarotonga, Cook...
Destination Expert
for Rarotonga, Waiheke Island, Southern Cook Islands, Auckland
Level Contributor
13,323 posts
112 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: What to do in NZ for 3 weeks Dec 2010 - Jan 2011

Hi otts,

I suggest you split your visit roughly 50/50 between the North and South Isles. There is plenty to see and do with a young child in mind, and the key is not to push yourselves too far trying to undertake too many activities for the time available.Self catering accommodation in holiday parks (cabins/lodges), Kiwi-style motel accommodation (very good standard), or several holiday homes in premier spots might appeal - and will c ertainly support the budget to stretch further.

Start out in Auckland enjoying the 'city of sails' with its maritime and land attractions, then hire a rental car and explore Northland and the Bay of islands. Return south through Auckland for Coromandel, and Bay of Plenty region. Waitomo caves can be fitted into a visit.

Fly south from Rotorua to Christchurch, collect anotherr rental car to explore city surrounds (Akaroa/Lyttleton) before driving north to Kaikoura, Marlborough Sounds, Nelson, Tasman bay. Either return to Christchurch via Hamner OR fly from Nelson to Auckland if your international flights depart from this airport.

There are many alternative possibilities including a vist to Napier on the way south to Wellington (capital), and crossing the Cook Strait via car-ferry to Picton then continue to explore the Sounds, Blenheim, Nelson, West Coast, Southern Lakes, Queenstown etc. Im inclined to suggest you remain with a tighter itinerary with shorter stops between towns and attractions for your first visit to NZ; and with a 5 year old in mind.

Late December for the great Kiwi lifetsyle is very much about the beach and enjoying the outdoors. Beaches around Northland, Coromandel, Bay of Plenty lend themselves well towards family rest and relaxation to see the New Year in. www.newzealand.com; www.aatravel.co.nz; www.top10.co.nz; www.holidayhomes.co.nz.

Auckland, New...
Level Contributor
1,080 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: What to do in NZ for 3 weeks Dec 2010 - Jan 2011

There are so many possibilities for your holiday.

Remember it is peak season 26 December to 17 January so you may have to book some places.

With a five year old a farm stay could be a great option. www.bnb.co.nz has many farm stays listed.

Auckland Zoo, Auckland Museum and a ferry boat trip to Rangitoto would my suggestions while in the Auckland area.

Detroit, Michigan
Level Contributor
64 posts
1 review
Save Reply
3. Re: What to do in NZ for 3 weeks Dec 2010 - Jan 2011

The flights I had seen for this time of year only appeared in my price range for one day and as I was booking the price went up substantially, so it appears I will not be making the trip unless the price drops again. Nonetheless, I fully intend to make it to New Zealand eventually, so I still want to keep learning about where to go when there. The main reason for choosing Dec - Jan was that appears to be the time when the weather is warmest. I am more of a warm weather person. Perhaps that is why Dec 26 to Jan 17 is peak season. With that in mind, does visiting at other times have advantages, aside from off peak prices?

Auckland, New...
Level Contributor
1,080 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: What to do in NZ for 3 weeks Dec 2010 - Jan 2011

Our warmest weather is February March if the last few years are any to go by.

Peak season is because it is Christmas, schools and universities are closed, factories and many offices like lawyers and accountants are closed for their summer holiday. It is the time when traditionally New Zealanders go to the beach but it is not usually the best weather. But in saying that remember that New Zealand can have four seasons in a day even in February. We are islands and therefore subject to the vagaries of the surrounding ocean.

Keep watching for thoses special air fares.

5. Re: What to do in NZ for 3 weeks Dec 2010 - Jan 2011

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 11 March 2011, 07:31