I've been reading through most of the itinerary topics in this forum, you guys are so helpful! I would love any input/insight you guys might have on my upcoming trip. My bf and I are coming from the US to visit a friend in Wellington, but also want to make the most of our visit. I mostly have the first half of the trip planned but could use help for the last half.
We're leaving LA March 22, arriving in Auckland March 24.
- Day 1: Arriving early morn on the 24, staying overnight in Auckland.
- Day 2: Renting a car --> driving to Rotorua via Matamata (Hobbinton tour). Stay the night in Rotorua (Would love to see a Maori feast and the thermal springs).
- Day 3: Explore Rotorua -- Drive to Taupo (Stay night?) -- or drive on to Wellington
- Day 4: Either drive from Taupo to Wellington or if already there Explore city.
- Day 5: Wellington.
- Day 6: Wellington. (Return car rental) Fly to Queenstown and stay overnight.
- Day 7-12: Want to see Milford Sound, Te Anau (Glow worm caves), Franz Josef Glacier, and Wanaka. Just unclear how best to divy up this time. Would appreciate any suggestions of itinerary/planning or additions/etc. (We'll be renting another car for this half of the trip as well.)
-Day 13: Fly Queenstown to Auckland. Then fly Auckland to LA on evening flight.
More info about us: We're both adventuresome and don't mind driving to take in as much as possible. We love hiking, cultural experiences, nature, great food, and seeing things you can't see/experience anywhere else! We don't have the biggest budget, but would like to avoid backpacker/hostels when it comes to night stays and we'll probably try to prepare meals where we can.
Questions we have:
-What kind of clothes should we prepare to bring with us for end of March? ..like essentials?
-We want to experience the glow worm caves, but not fans of big touristy crowds. Is it better to tough it out with Waitomo caves or should we try the caves in Te Anau? It would be awesome to float through them. (We've done a couple dry underground walks of caves and some abseiling...more interested in the glow worm sections.)
-Is there a preferred car rental company? We've heard of companies that will sometimes pay people (fuel/cost) to drive a car to another city...is this something anyone on the forum has done?
-Would love any recommendations on places to stay in the above places!
Thanks in advance for your help!