My husband and I are planning our first trip to NZ. We are looking at about three weeks, and in Feb 2013. We have friends that live 1 1/2 hours out of Auckland. We were planning on having them show us around the North Island for a few days, and then possibly we do the South Island on our own. Then we have friends in the Sydney we wanted to fly up to and see. All the air flight are expensive though, and i would like to ask the following.
1. Should we just focus on the North Island, and skip the South Island? Or is there so much to see in the South Island?
2. Would it be better to try and do a cruise out of Sydney around New Zealand? Would we see more, or less?
Any recommendations would be appreciated. We have always heard how beautiful new Zealand is. Thank you