Here is a very tentative itinerary for our mid July trip. I thought it best to circulate the rough draft to get ideas at a fairly early stage; you may see it is already influenced by my reading of this forum (thanks). We have 18 days in NZ, with days two through four required for a meeting in Auckland. However, we have the arrival day as well as all but the evening of another of these days for side excursions near Auckland.
Things important to us include:
Enjoying a variety of typical New Zealand experiences
A few wineries; nice dinners, etc
Hiking (probably up to half day hikes; We’re in good shape in our early 50’s)
Skiing two days
Sailing – we’ve bareboated before – maybe a lesson or a ½ day trip on a sailboat where we can help crew
Seeing beautiful beaches, beautiful mountains
Relaxing is more important than seeing everything; quality is more important than quantity (I'm pretty sure we'll be back sometime to see the summer.)
With all that in mind, I’d appreciate thoughts on the following itinerary.
I have many specific questions including the best routes for the middle of the trip (Mt. Cook?; Arthur’s pass, etc.) but I will wait until I hear ideas from the group.
1 Arrive Auckland 7 am; pick up a car
2 Meeting in Auckland; do 1/2 day side trips
3 Meeting in Auckland;
4 Meeting in Auckland but free during the day; Waiheke Island returning for evening meeting
5 Drive to Rotorua/Te Puia – stay somewhere in the area
6 Drive to Thermal Attractions/Naiparo
9 Wellington – drop off car
10 Pick up another car drive to Nelson
17 Queenstown/or back to Auckland to avoid chance of bad weather
18 Fly back to the states