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Itinerary suggestions for 2014

Windsor, United...
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Itinerary suggestions for 2014


My partner and I are planning a world trip starting in January next year (2014). It will be our first time in NZ so many of the major sights and attractions are a "must". We are planning to arrive in Auckland around the end of January and will spend about 28 days travelling and sightseeing in both islands, flying out from Christchurch. We are in our early 60's, enjoy beautiful scenery, beaches, marine life, snorkelling and some scuba (possibly), some walking, history and culture in towns. We plan to hire a car and stay in motel/self catering accommodation where possible. Budget is limited. We have drawn up an initial plan (daysand places). Would love to receive comments and advice. Thanks.

1 Arrive Auckland late evening

2 Auckland

3 Leave for Bay of Islands area

4 Cape Reinga

5 Kerikeri

6 Hamilton

7 Thames

8 Whangamata

9 Rotorua

10 Napier

11 Wellington

12 Nelson

13 Kaikoura

14 Kaikoura

15 Punakaiki

16 Okarito

17 Haast

18 Queenstown

19 Queenstown

20 Te Anau

21 Te Anau

22 Caitlin Forest

23 Dunedin

24 Lake Tekapo area

25 Mount Cook

26 Christchurch

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1. Re: Itinerary suggestions for 2014

You're doing a lot of packing and unpacking, almost every day is on the move. Better to eliminate some stops and spend more than one night at others. My initial thoughts are that Hamilton is worth a short stop for the Botanical Gardens, but not an overnight stay. Plus it's not on the way to Coromandel, so why stay there?

Skip Haast, there's nothing there worth stopping for. Why Okarito and not at either Fox or Franz Josef? And Lake Tekapo is worth a 30-40 minute stop between Mt Cook and Christchurch, not an overnight stay.

Your arrival at South Island starts with days of zig-zagging, which I'm sure either WanakaLakes or Zhuhai could straighten out for you once they are up.

Windsor, United...
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2. Re: Itinerary suggestions for 2014


Thank you for your interest and comments.

We are aware of lots of packing and unpacking and are looking to shorten some things and add in some more rest days. Hamilton is only an option as we wish to visit Hobbiton - perhaps we will stop elsewhere. I have read that the coast road to Franz Josef is spectacular and the stops were initially to allow time for slower driving to take in the sights. Franz Josef/Fox is definitely a place where we will do some activity so a re-schedule of that section looks in order.

Looking forward to receiving other points of view and suggestions.

New Zealand
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3. Re: Itinerary suggestions for 2014

Hmmm, you have too many days in the North Island - you really need to allow more days to cover the considerably larger South Island with it's more rugged terrain. In your current plan I see no point in stopping in 1 night in Nelson or Dunedin, both require longer.

You need to allow 4 hours for the ferry to Picton, 2 hours to drive to Nelson plus an hour for lunch - so by the time you arrive in Nelson it will be dinner and bed followed by another long trek the following day to Kaikoura.

This is my suggestion to maximise the scenic wonders;

10 ferry to Picton, drive to Nelson

11 explore Abel Tasman National Park

12 drive to Punakaiki

13 drive to Franz Josef (stop at Okarito enroute)

14 explore

15 drive Haast Pass to Wanaka

16 explore Mt Aspiring National Park

17 drive to Dunedin

18 explore

19 drive to Catlins

20 drive to Te Anau

21 explore Milford, stay Te Anau

22 drive to Queenstown or Arrowtown

23 explore

24 drive Lindis Pass to Aoraki/Mt Cook - explore Tasman glacier's icebergs

25 drive to Christchurch (with lunch in Tekapo)

26 day trip to Kaikoura, stay Chch

hope this helps :)

Christchurch, New...
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for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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4. Re: Itinerary suggestions for 2014

.... And for the NI, I'm not even sure there ARE motels at Cape Reinga. Why not stay 3 nights at the same motel in the Bay of Islands area and do a day trip/tour to Cape Reinga? You can't drive a rental car on 90 Mile Beach.

Instead of the big zig-zag in the central NI:

3. Drive AKL to BOI

4. Explore BOI/cruise etc

5. Tour to Cape Reinga

6. Drive to Coromandel area (2N)

7. explore Cormandel, Hot Water Beach etc

8. Drive to Rotorua via Hobbiton.(2N)

9. Explore

10. Drive to Napier

11. Drive to WLG

Windsor, United...
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5. Re: Itinerary suggestions for 2014


Thanks for reponse and great suggestions - we will look at altering our proposals. Staying two or three days in one place is what we now plan to do and do trips from there!

Windsor, United...
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6. Re: Itinerary suggestions for 2014


Thanks for response and great info, especially about Cape Reinga. Your suggestions are brill and we shall re-plan our days.

7. Re: Itinerary suggestions for 2014

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