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2 Weeks North and South Island Itinerary

Singapore, Singapore
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2 Weeks North and South Island Itinerary

We are a couple in our late 20s and we have a 2-week trip planned for late October this year. We have been to the South Island earlier this year and have done Christchurch, Mt Cook/Tekapo, Queenstown, Milford Sound and the West Coast Glaciers.

This time we would like to do an overnight cruise to Doubtful Sound plus couple of places that we have not been to before. Ideally we would prefer to be in South Island but since our international flight lands in Auckland, we thought why not just drop by a few places for a couple of days to get a feel of the Maori culture and stuff.

Understandably we are short of time so our plan is to take a domestic flight to Queenstown after the first couple of days in North Island. We still have't been to the Northern part of the Soutern area, Nelson, Picton and Kaikoura etc but guess we will have to do it another time.

Our current thoughts on itinerary is something like this - any advice and helpful tips on our itinerary are very much appreciated:

Day 1 - Flight in. Touch down Auckland, collect rental car and drive to Matamata for the Hobbiton tour, drive to Taupo to stay for the night

- Initially we were going to stay at National Park Village but read on the forum that there are more accommodation options at Taupo with more amenities, also it saves us an hour of driving and help us reach hotel earlier for rest after a long, 10 hour flight. Does that make sense or should we stick to our original plan?

Day 2 - Drive to Tangariro National Park and back to Rotarua to stay for the night

- The plan is to explore Lake Taupo along the way but probably not spent too much time there

Day 3 and 4 - Rotorua

Day 5 - Drive from Rotorua to Auckland to catch domestic flight to Queenstown, stay at Queenstown

- Ideally we would like to fly from Rotorua but when I checked for airfare it seems that there are a lot more flights from Auckland and some are direct while those from Rotorua require 1 or 2 connections so even though it takes 3 hours to drive from Rotorua to Auckland, some of it is compensated by the shorter flight time. Might be cheaper to also collect and return rental car at same location

Day 6 - Doubtful Sound overnight cruise depart from Queenstown

Day 7 - Doubtful Sound overnight cruise return to Queenstown

Day 8 - Collect rental car from Queenstown, spend the day at Glenorchy

Day 9 - Drive from Queenstown to the Catlins area, passing by Invercargill. Probably stay at Curio Bay

Day 10 - The Catlins

- Should we be staying at Curio Bay or Kaka Point or somewhere in between for that night?

Day 11 - The Catlins

- Should we be staying at this area (Kaka Point?) or drive an additional 1.5 hours to Dunedin to stay there? IDunedin is our last destination

Day 12 - Dunedin/Otago Peninsula

Day 13 - Dunedin/Otago Peninsula

Day 14 - return rental car (any recommendations for car rental that lets you pick up from Queenstown and drop off at Dunedin?) and catch domestic flight from Dunedin to Auckland.

Day 15 - Flight out from Auckland

Thanks!

New Zealand
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1. Re: 2 Weeks North and South Island Itinerary

..."Day 1 - Flight in. Touch down Auckland, collect rental car and drive to Matamata for the Hobbiton tour, drive to Taupo to stay for the night"...

First and most obvious advice is do not drive to Matamata/Taupo after 10 hour flight. Spend the day/night in Auckland. Therefore your Day 1 becomes Day 2. Can definitely recommend night in Taupo - being October (daylight saving) look for motel that is on the waterfront, some have large balconies overlooking the lake - stunning with a nice takeaway meal and glass of NZ wine!!! Would even suggest two nights in Taupo followed by two nights in Rotorua.

Christchurch, New...
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for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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2. Re: 2 Weeks North and South Island Itinerary

You really don't have time for Tongariro NP in this schedule, unless you shave a day off Queenstown or Dunedin. Also going AKL-Matamata-Taupo is not sensible given that you are going to be driving right past Matamata on your trip from Rotorua to Akl:

1. Arr AKL, rest;

2. Akl to Taupo (could go via Waitomo Caves) or continue on to Tongariro if this is important to you.

3. Either Taupo to Tongariro & back to Taupo day trip or explore Tongariro & drive to Taupo

4. Drive to Rotorua & explore

5. Rotorua to Hobbiton to AKL; late afternoon flight to ZQN.

3. Re: 2 Weeks North and South Island Itinerary

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