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35 day (+ / -) ITINERARY Rough draft. Please advise, help

Tucson, Arizona
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35 day (+ / -) ITINERARY Rough draft. Please advise, help

My hubby and I are planning our one & only trip to N.Z. late October - late November, 2014. We are age mid-60's and enjoy scenic drives through natural nature, National Parks, short walks (up to 45 - 60 minutes due to health constraints), and we just can sit & stare at mountains, trees or coastlines for hours. (without sandflies !) We are hiring a campervan, and will drive, sleep and cook in our own unit. Our flights both arrive and depart from Auckland, and most of the routes I've seen leave here leave from Christchurch, but we'll have to drive back to Auckland upon return. We also try to AVOID cities, preferring to visit the smaller villages instead. Please give me your honest advice on my first rough draft of our dream trip. I appreciate your hellpfulness. Thank you kindly.

My Ideas (so far)

• Day 1

• from:Auckland Airport

• to:Hamilton City

• sleep 1 night

• time: 1 hour 29 mins

• distance: 112km

• Day 2

• from:Hamilton City

• to:New Plymouth

• sleep 1 night

• time: 3 hours 24 mins

• distance: 240km

• Day 3

New Plymouth

• to: Opunake

Sightsee Surf Hwy

• • time: 1 hour 2 mins

• distance: 61.7km

• :Opunake

• to: Hawera

Sightsee Egmont Nat’l Park

Sleep 1 night

• • time: 42 mins

• distance: 43.7km

• Day 4

• from:Hawera

• to:Stratford

• sightsee Egmont Nat;l Park

• time: 31 mins

• distance: 31.1km

• Day 5

• from:Stratford

• to:Wanganui Town

• sleep 1 night

• time: 1 hour 43 mins

• distance: 120km

• Day 6

• from:Wanganui Town

• to:Wellington City

• sleep 1 night

• time: 2 hours 45 mins

• distance: 192km

:

Day 7 Ferry to Picton: 3 ½ hours:

Picton to Blenheim

• Day 7

• from:Picton

• to:Blenheim

• sleep 1 night

• time: 26 mins

• distance: 28.4km

• Day 8

• from:Blenheim

• to:Christchurch City

• sleep 1 night

• time: 4 hours 23 mins

• distance: 309km

• Day 9

• from:Christchurch City

• to:Arthurs Pass

• sleep 1 night

• time: 2 hours 20 mins

• distance: 153km

• Day 10

• from:Arthurs Pass

• to:Punakaiki

• sightsee Pancake Rocks

• time: 2 hours 2 mins

• distance: 140km

• from:Punakaiki

• to:Hokitika

• sleep 1 night

• time: 1 hour 10 mins

• distance: 83.0km

• Day 11

• from:Hokitika

• to:Fox Glacier

• sightsee Frzna Josef & Fox

• Sleep 1 night

• time: 2 hours 14 mins

• distance: 157km

• Day 12

• from:Fox Glacier

• to:Haast

• sleep 1 night

• time: 2 hours 0 mins

• distance: 121km

Day 13

from:Haast to: Wanaka Town

• sleep 2 nights

• time: 2 hours 23 mins

• distance: 141km

• Day 15

• from:Wanaka Town

• to:Te Anau

• sleep 3 nights

• Doughtful sound overnight

• Milford Sound

• time: 3 hours 19 mins

• distance: 227km

• Day 18

• from:Te Anau

• to:Glenorchy

• sleep 1 night

• time: 3 hours 7 mins

• distance: 218km

l

• Day 19

Glenorchy

• to:Twizel

Sleep 2 nights

• • time: 3 hours 27 mins

• distance: 245km

• Day 21

• from:Twizel

• to:Geraldine

• sleep 1 night

• time: 2 hours 0 mins

• distance: 146km

• Day 22

• from:Geraldine

• to:Kaikoura

• sleep 1 night

• time: 4 hours 21 mins

• distance: 311km

• Day 23

• from:Kaikoura

• to:Nelson Lakes Area

• sleep 2 nights

• time: 3 hours 19 mins

• distance: 232km

• Day 25

• from:Nelson Lakes Area

• to:Picton

• sleep 1 night

• time: 1 hour 52 mins

• distance: 129km

Day 26 take ferry 3 ½ hours

• Day 27

• Sleep 1 night near Wellington

• Day 28

• from:Wellington City to:Turangi

• sleep 2 nights

• time: 4 hours 22 mins

• distance: 321km

• Day 30

• from:Turangi

• to:Rotorua City

• time: 1 hour 46 mins

• distance: 132km

• Day 31

• from:Rotorua City

• to:Auckland Airport

• depending on time, sleep 1 night

• time: 2 hours 57 mins

• distance: 224km

Days 32 - 35 to be used as your suggestions and advice offer.

Rarotonga, Cook...
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1. Re: 35 day (+ / -) ITINERARY Rough draft. Please advise, help

Hi Ellen,

What day are you arriving into NZ? If it's on day 1. which shows you driving from the airport to Hamilton, I suggest that if you are flying long-haul into NZ the same day it isn't a good idea to do any driving. There is a campervan park located at Auckland airport for this reason, should you need to pick up your vehicle on day 1.

For day 2. you could drive beyond Hamilton to Waitomo area instead. Visit the caves and attractions before setting off to New Plymouth on the morning of day 3.

New Zealand
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2. Re: 35 day (+ / -) ITINERARY Rough draft. Please advise, help

Hi Welcome to the NZ forum!

I will leave comments re campervan to the TA Campervan experts! (particularly OZFlyer!! Love his sense of humour!!)

For North Island return trip to Auckland, consider the following :

Day 27 : drive to The Wairarapa drive time 1hr .... http://www.wairarapanz.com

Day 28 : Wairarapa to Hawkes Bay (Napier) drive time 4hrs ..... http://www.hawkesbaynz.com

Day 29 : Hawkes Bay (Napier)

Day 30 : Hawkes Bay to Turangi (national park) drive time 3hrs

Day 31 : Turangi (national park)

Day 32 : Turangi to Rotorua drive time 2hrs

Day 33 : Rotorua

Day 34 : Rotorua to Auckland drive time 3 1/4hrs

Day 35 : Auckland

California
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3. Re: 35 day (+ / -) ITINERARY Rough draft. Please advise, help

I have a basic question. Is the campervan already booked? I think it would be much more efficient to get an internal flight and connect in Auckland. They are frequent and fairly inexpensive to or from Christchurch. Yes, you'll have to pay the one-way drop off fee for the campervan, but otherwise, you are paying for the ferry crossing twice!

If you do this, you'll have more time to do a leisurely trip. All I see now are one night stays.

Christchurch, New...
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for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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4. Re: 35 day (+ / -) ITINERARY Rough draft. Please advise, help

Yes, i see lots of 1 N stays, but these are not a problem with a campervan (the only good thing about a CV is you don't have to pack & unpack! I'm puzzled by some of the odd choices for 2 night stays eg Turangi. Are you going fishing there?

There is also a very odd crossover in the northern SI where you pass through Kaikoura without stopping on day 8, only to backtrack that entire stretch of SH1 on day 22, but still allowing long enough for a tour. Similarly the backtracking to Nelson Lakes - plot it on a map & see what I mean. Better to go west from Picton to Nelson, then Punakaiki, then Glaciers on days 7-11

5. Re: 35 day (+ / -) ITINERARY Rough draft. Please advise, help

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Jervis Bay...
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6. Re: 35 day (+ / -) ITINERARY Rough draft. Please advise, help

We had a campervan for 7 days driving just about every day. My dh hated it and said it was no holiday for him. He wanted no less than 2 night stays everywhere just so he didn't have to drive long distances everyday.

Remember you have to allow time to wash clothes etc as well as sightsee the places you visit.

I would seriously consider a one way rental from Auckland to Christchurch.

Edited: 14 February 2014, 06:02
Tucson, Arizona
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7. Re: 35 day (+ / -) ITINERARY Rough draft. Please advise, help

Hello All who offered positive suggestions. I'll reply to each of you so far, starting with our arrival will be in Auckland about 8 in the morning. We thought we''d go grocery shopping and drive just a short distance to Hamilton, but agree we need to remain in Auckland first day. We'll consider flying from Christchurch. Yes, I'll also go via Hawke's Bay and Napier to Turangi. The reason I have 2 nights there, is I thought I could spend 1 of those days in Tongariro National Park. Would it be better to stay closer to Tongariro instead of Turangi ? And the reason I'm backtracking the entire stretch of SH1 back to Nelson Lakes instead of doing it straight off the ferry, is that I thought I wanted to get East to West via Arthur's Pass (staying 1 night there), and if I went to Westport from Nelson area, I'd forego the Arthur's Pass route from Christchurch. I understand how exhausting driving with 1 night stops seems, but we drove to Alaska in our own caravan for 9 weeks, and are still married ! ! I appreciate the suggestions and will be sure and re-check my map routes for alternatives you offered. Please continue to offer your advice, and if anyone who has not yet replied or has other ideas, please feel free to add them. I feel like I need all the help from the experts and fellow travelers that you are able to give me will be highly regarded.

New Zealand
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8. Re: 35 day (+ / -) ITINERARY Rough draft. Please advise, help

Your visit is really limited by planning to drive through the North Island twice. Plus the ferry crossing is expensive - it won't cost any more to fly to Chch and begin there, driving back to Auckland.

Plus it nicely fills in the arrival day when you are itching to begin travelling but can't drive due to jet lag.

My suggestion;

1 arrive Auckland, fly to Chch

2 explore

3 drive to Kaikoura

4 drive to Arthur's Pass

5 drive to Punakaiki

6 drive to Franz Josef

7 explore

8 drive Haast Pass to Wanaka

10 explore

9 drive to Te Anau

11/12 explore fiords

13 drive to Glenorchy

14 explore

15 drive to Queenstown

16 explore

17 drive Lindis Pass to Aoraki/Mt Cook

18 explore

19 drive to Akaroa

20 drive to Hanmer Springs

21 drive Lewis Pass to Nelson and Abel tasman National park

22 explore

23 drive to Picton

24 ferry to Wellington...

Christchurch, New...
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9. Re: 35 day (+ / -) ITINERARY Rough draft. Please advise, help

Backtracking in a CV from Turangi to TNP & back to Turangi is unnecessary -that is why you have a camper - so you can stay the night wherever you end up:

28. Wlg to Ohakune or National Park

29. Explore TNP; stay there or drive on to Turangi or Taupo depending on weather etc.

30 TNP to Rotorua

10. Re: 35 day (+ / -) ITINERARY Rough draft. Please advise, help

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