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Planning 1st / lifetime visit to NZ

Bovingdon, United...
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Planning 1st / lifetime visit to NZ

Hi all,

My wife & I are planning our first trip to NZ and would appreciate your help.

We are thinking of visiting in October / November (can't come nuch before then due to other commitments); however is that a "good" time to visit for a once in a lifetime experience?

We both stll work part-time, but would be taking extended leave for this holiday, probably around 3 weeks.

Does anyone have an "ideal" itineray / suggestions for our trip?

Many thanks

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1. Re: Planning 1st / lifetime visit to NZ

What are your interests and how much driving are you wanting/willing to do?

Bovingdon, United...
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2. Re: Planning 1st / lifetime visit to NZ

Good point (I should add that I am 60 & my wife not quite as old). We like walking, sight seeing and yes when we are on holiday we usually hire a car, as we do like to see where we are staying. So I am thinking about a multibase / peripatic holiday, taking in as much as possible, but not to the point of exhaustion.

New Zealand
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3. Re: Planning 1st / lifetime visit to NZ

Welcome to the Kiwi forum WB :)

Nov is usually the better month if considering Oct/Nov. We can have early summer heat, late winter chills, spring rain, spring snow and everything else in-between!

There are a whole host of three week itineraries posted here on the forum to help you get started. Most visitors spend one week in the North Island and two weeks in the larger South Island.

driving is by far the best way to explore - plus we have a good variety of accommodation options from budget hostels to motels to B&Bs (ranging from moderate through to luxury) to hotels to luxury lodges.

Once you have an idea of where you hope to go post it here for our comments.

happy planning :)

St Davids, United...
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4. Re: Planning 1st / lifetime visit to NZ


My husband and I visited NZ for 3 1/2 weeks in December last year and are 30.

We only went to the North Island and spent a week in the bay of plenty with family.

I know this was a month or so later than you are planning but the weather was actually horrendous and rained most of the time where we were. Although we were told it was unusual all the locals said we should have visited in Jan/Feb for the best weather.

We also found that the time we went for was no where near enough time to see everything we wanted to. We toured the North island, starting at Auckland, went to Waitomo glow worm caves then New Plymouth via the forgotten highway (definitely recommend, but must be confident in your driving and it will take all day!) then Wellington, Napia, two places in between that I can't remember back up to tauranga, which we used as a base for Rotorua and Lake Taupo.

Although we stopped in lots of places and saw lots of amazing things as we took the scenic routes we were driving at least 4 hours every day or two until we got to the bay of plenty.

I am not sure where you are from but the roads are a lot slower and windy-er than the UK and it took much longer to get from A to B than we expected.

You really need to work out what you want to see and how long you want to stay in each place before you go, we mapped it out and did just about manage to stick to it.

Ideally if we were to go back it would be for at least 2 months, but even then I don't think we'd be able to comfortably see more than one of the islands!

Obviously this is just my opinion, but we travelled to NZ with my parents (although they went North when we went south) and they felt similar to us.


Edited: 18 December 2012, 12:47
Queenstown, New...
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5. Re: Planning 1st / lifetime visit to NZ

If you can , come in March early April.

October is a unsettled month and November is not much better.

The months of Sept. late Feb, March and April offer the best weather.

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6. Re: Planning 1st / lifetime visit to NZ

The weather was really bad in 2012 - all the traditional "good months" to visit kind of went out the window. But between your two choices of October and November I agree with the others that November would be a better bet. If you can push it into January, better still.

There's no ideal itinerary that will suit all visitors - one could easily spend the entire 3 weeks on either the North or South Island, but for your once-in-a-lifetime visit you'll probably want to try to experience some of both.

New Zealand is very easily to drive around and camp in - probably the easiest country I've ever visited in that regard. You'll need to do your research - read the trip reports here and see what appeals to you, and plan your customized itinerary around that.

Bovingdon, United...
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7. Re: Planning 1st / lifetime visit to NZ

Thanks to all the above posters. I really appreciate the time & effort people like you put in (for no reward). It makes planning a holiday so much easier.

8. Re: Planning 1st / lifetime visit to NZ

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