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itinerary--are we crazy?

Saint Paul...
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itinerary--are we crazy?

My husband and I are planning a 15 day trip to New Zealand in November. Do you think this itinerary is reasonable? We want to see the country, but we also don't want to spend too much time in the car. We're in our late 20s, love hiking and exploring...and of course, we're on a budget. Thanks in advance for your help!

Day 1: Arrive Auckland early afternoon and drive to Coromondel National Park, stay in Coromondel

Day 2: Drive to Rotorua, stay in Rotorua

Day 3: Drive to Lake Taupo, stay in Taupo

Day 4: Tongarino Alpine Crossing, then drive back to Auckland

Day 5: Fly from Auckland to Dunedin, explore Dunedin

Day 6: Drive to Curio Bay via Southern Scenic Route, stay in Curio Bay

Day 7: A.M. surf lesson at Curio Bay, then drive to Te Anua

Day 8: Milford Sound, then drive to Queenstown

Day 9: Queenstown

Day 10: Queenstown

Day 11: Queenstown

Day 12: Mount Cook National Park, stay near Mt. Cook

Day 13: Drive to Christchurch

Day 14: See Christchurch, then fly to Auckland

Day 15: Fly home

Do you recommend more time in the North Island (Coromondel, Taupo, etc)? Our international flight arrives and departs in Auckland. I'm wondering if we have too much time in Queenstown that maybe we should divide elsewhere....thoughts?

Thanks so much for your time and for your advice!

new zealand
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1. Re: itinerary--are we crazy?

hi emfoxx, day 4 sounds like a big day! The alpine crossing takes approx 7hrs plus your travel time from Taupo. Then drive back to Auckland

Saint Paul...
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2. Re: itinerary--are we crazy?

Good point, we hadn't realized that the crossing would be a drive from Taupo. We'll take your advice and stay maybe in National Park Village or Ohakune?

new zealand
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3. Re: itinerary--are we crazy?

Parklands motor lodge at turangi is very good & they can organise a pick up & drop off service from there. They have an early service that gets ahead of the crowds so to speak as well.

New Zealand
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4. Re: itinerary--are we crazy?

Yes you are crazy however with TA help you'll be okay!!!

Day 1: Arrive Auckland early afternoon and drive to Coromondel National Park, stay in Coromondel

- it is not advisable after long haul international flights to drive day of arrival. Suggest you stay in Auckland day 1 evening. Spend the afternoon perhaps at Waiheke Island or doing the Hop On Hop Off Auckland tour bus.

Day 2: Drive to Turangi for Tongariro Crossing, stop off in Taupo for late lunch or afternoon tea. Suggest you visit tourist attractions along the way before stopping in Taupo for a break, this will save you time on day 4 in getting to Rotorua.

Day 3: Tongariro Crossing, possibly drive to Taupo late afternoon and stay in Taupo for night.

day 4: leave Turangi or Taupo - drive to Rotorua, leave 9am to arrive Rotorua 10am-ish so you will have most of the day to do the sights of Rotorua.

Day 5: look into flying Rotorua to Chch rather than Dunedin or driving back to Auckland??

if you really want to do Coromandel then perhaps look at skipping Tongariro Crossing or add another two days to the North Island.

A constant driving holiday is not a holiday, take time to actually enjoy NZ rather than trying to see and do it all in such a short time and through a car window - particularly your North Island itinerary1

Dare I suggest you think about doing one island only??!!!

New Zealand
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5. Re: itinerary--are we crazy?

Yikes, far too intense! It takes a minimum of 3 weeks to cover the basics of both islands and you are trying to cram too much into a mere 2 weeks.

have you been to NZ before? driving here is not like at home - you will find our roads narrow, steep and twisty - especially in the more rugged South island.

My suggestion - ditch half the planned activities in the North Island, you haven't allowed sufficient time to do them. And please - don't even think of driving while jet lagged. There have been some horrific accidents. Spend the first day and night in Auckland.

For the South Island -

5 fly Rotorua? to Dunedin

6 explore

7 drive to Catlins

8 drive to Te Anau

9 explore Milford, stay Te Anau

10 drive to Queenstown

11 explore

12 more

13 drive to Aoraki/Mt Cook

14 drive to Chch

15 fly to Auckland and home

safe travels :)

new zealand
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6. Re: itinerary--are we crazy?

Maybe you should ditch the tongariro crossing its just erupted :)

New Zealand
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7. Re: itinerary--are we crazy?

Why not fly Rotorua to Queenstown, then to Te Anau and Milford Sound from there. Following that, choose either Dunedin-Catlins-Christchurch or Mt Cook-Christchurch.

In the North Island, choose either the Coromandel or Tongariro Crossing.

I can understand that you want to see a bit of both islands, but I think you have crammed far too much in, and with a lot of time spent just getting from A to B.

Saint Paul...
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8. Re: itinerary--are we crazy?

Thanks for your advice. We took out a few stops...

Day 1: Arrive Auckland

Day 2: Drive to Turangi

Day 3: Tongariro Alpine Crossing, stay in Taupo

Day 4: See Taupo (Huka Falls, Crater of the Moon)

Day 5: Rotorua (Zorbing, Polynesian Spa), stay Rotorua

Day 6: Drive to Auckland and fly to Dunedin (flights from Rotorua were quite a bit more expensive...plus the added expense of dropping off the rental car in a different location)

Day 7: Explore Dunedin

Day 8: Drive to Curio Bay via Southern Scenic Route, see penguins!:), stay Curio Bay

Day 9: Drive to Te Anau, stay Te Anau

Day 10: Milford Sound, then stay Te Anau

Day 11: Queenstown

Day 12: Queenstown

Day 13: Queenstown

Day 14: fly to Auckland from Queenstown

Day 15: fly home

Do you think it's worth cutting out Mt. Cook? Is Queenstown worth 3 1/2 days?? Will we be missing out on anything by cutting out Christchurch?

Yes, this will be our first time in New Zealand, not sure when we'll be able to make it back to visit again. So we appreciate your advice!

Saint Paul...
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9. Re: itinerary--are we crazy?

Just saw your post, Selsy, thank you!! You're right, we're going to have to make some choices....

10. Re: itinerary--are we crazy?

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