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Thoughts on four day Auckland/Rotorua/Taupo itinerary

Birmingham, Alabama
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Thoughts on four day Auckland/Rotorua/Taupo itinerary

We are traveling in November, leaving Auckland early on a Friday morning heading south. Have been trying to plan out an itinerary and hit some highlights without breaking the bank (which is a challenge!)

Also, we'd like to fit in several activities but also not be going-going-going all the time...

Feedback appreciated ...

Friday:

**Leave Auckland early/drive to Rotorua

**Agrodome Sheep Show/Farm Tour

**Explore Rotorua town/visit mud pools (in park?)

**Drive to Taupo -- possible Wairakei Terraces experience (staying at Hilton on points so depending on schedule we might do Wairakei on Friday, or maybe on Saturday.)

Saturday: In/around Taupo

**Riverside Saturday Market (we generally like local markets -- is this a good one?)

**Wai-o-tapu or Craters of the Moon

**Spa Park Hot Pools/walk from there to Huka falls & back

Spend night in Taupo

Sunday: leave Taupo -- drive to Waitomo

**Waitomo Blackwater Rafting (short tour)

**Drive to Kawhia for overnight (for a more "off the beaten path" experience)

Monday:

**Kawhia Harbour Tour

**Kawhia Hot pools

Drive back to Auckland -- possible stop in Raglan if we have time

Napier, New Zealand
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1. Re: Thoughts on four day Auckland/Rotorua/Taupo itinerary

Hi there Konagirl,with this itinery you will see quite a bit but IMHO I feel that you are trying to fit in too much especially on the Friday, with the amount of driving you are doing this can be quite tiring and over a few days you are going to be exhausted,I undertsand wanting to see as much as possible but I would suggest that you slow down a wee bit,maybe drop 1 activity on Friday/Saturday or just play it by ear,if you feel like its all getting a bit much

then you could take a break but if you do feel fine then go for it

cheers john

Birmingham, Alabama
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2. Re: Thoughts on four day Auckland/Rotorua/Taupo itinerary

Ha! I really did scale it back :) you shouldve seen my original list!! Any thoughts on what to skip? I don't want to us to go crazy running here to there. On the other hand, we are used to driving (a few hours isn't a big deal - we regularly drive 4.5 hours to the coast for a weekend) so I am not terribly worried about that in particular ... More about feeling like I am always in a hurry. So if there's something you'd suggest we skip or move, we're open for suggestions!

Napier, New Zealand
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3. Re: Thoughts on four day Auckland/Rotorua/Taupo itinerary

Hi again, so if this is the scaled back version the first one must have been really busy lol, so the driving times you are good with which is a big help,I dont really know what you are into but some suggestions would be to stay in Rotorua rather than Taupo (presumng you havent already booked a hotel)

Agridome is very good but you could also consider, Rainbow springs or if you like Lions Paradise Valley, they have young cubs there at the moment that you can pat, it sounds like you are into walking so an evening walk at the Redwood forest is always nice and a hot swim at the Polynesian pools on the way home will help to relax you. on the way to Taupo you could have a look at Oraki korako and maybe have lunch at Huka Prawn Park

here are some websites for you to have a look at

http://www.orakeikorako.co.nz/

http://www.polynesianspa.co.nz/

http://www.hukaprawnpark.co.nz/

http://www.redwoods.co.nz/

http://rainbowsprings.co.nz/

http://www.paradisev.co.nz/

hope this helps at least it will give you some new ideas to think about

cheers john

Christchurch, New...
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4. Re: Thoughts on four day Auckland/Rotorua/Taupo itinerary

I think Rotorua is worth more time than Taupo, at least 1 night since you want to several things. Then next morning visit Wai-o-tapu enroute to Taupo. It is right on the hway & Lady Knox Geyser "goes off" at 10:15. Then the rest of Sat & Sun morning can be as planned but I would recommend Raglan as a nicer beach destination than Kawhia.

Birmingham, Alabama
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5. Re: Thoughts on four day Auckland/Rotorua/Taupo itinerary

Thanks, checking out redwood forest and rainbow springs. Reason for staying in Taupo is free room at the Hilton, meaning more cash for activities!

Any thoughts onMaori experiences? Is the meal decent? I am thinking of these as a luau-type experience. Is that right? Is there a better way to learn about and experience Maori culture?

Napier, New Zealand
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6. Re: Thoughts on four day Auckland/Rotorua/Taupo itinerary

Hi konagirl, I fully understand about getting a free room at the Hilton and having cash to spend on other activities,I cant answer on the Luau experience as I have not personally experienced it, it is a unique cultural experience and for any overseas visitor it will be part of the New Zealand experience that you will never forget(dont forget your video/digal camera)

as for the Meal I guess you are talking about an authentic Maori Hangi? I have had many Hangi meal experiences and personally I love it,

but there is big difference between authentic done with local ingredients (watercress/wild pork/Venison/Kumara ect) by experienced people and authentic done with frozen veges/domestic pork,farm grown beef and mutton) I have been lucky enough to know the difference and again the taste is unique but IMHO go for it, try it you may be pleasantly surprised and again its only MHO but I dont think a tourist with limited time is not going to find a better experience

cheers john

Christchurch, New...
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7. Re: Thoughts on four day Auckland/Rotorua/Taupo itinerary

You won't be able to fit in a Maori cultural experience if you don't stay a night at Rotorua, as all the hangi/concert shows are in the evening AFAIK.

Birmingham, Alabama
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8. Re: Thoughts on four day Auckland/Rotorua/Taupo itinerary

Zhuhai, the option we are looking at in Taupo is Wairakei Terraces (forgive the spelling, I might have butchered it.) Anyway, we could do one in Rotorua and then drive to Taupo for the night, too, I suppose. Really, having free lodging is what will allow us to do it. In one sense we have to look at this and say, well, it might be a long time before we are back, so let's splurge a little. On the other hand, there are many, many things we want to do and the price on many of them is upwards of $100 nzd. Although we are fortunate to have enough $ to travel (and friends, miles and hotel points that save us a significant amount), we don't have endless resources, for sure!

Feilding, New...
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9. Re: Thoughts on four day Auckland/Rotorua/Taupo itinerary

As your time in Rotorua is so limited I would suggest you go to Te Puia and include a daytime Maori concert. You could also visit Ohinemutu Maori Village close to Kuirau Park and have a peek at some aspects of Maori culture and some thermal activity. Both are free although at the pretty St Faiths Church koha (donation) is expected for the upkeep (similar to most historic churches in the UK). The Rotorua Museum is also a great place to learn about Maori, the legends and history. Make sure you see all the displays available here for the one entrance fee.

10. Re: Thoughts on four day Auckland/Rotorua/Taupo itinerary

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