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Itinerary advice for North and South islands

Nottingham
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Itinerary advice for North and South islands

I have been doing some research for a trip my partner and I have planned for New Zealand.

We have about 17 days from July 5th 2014 onwards starting from Auckland.

I was planning on hiring a car for the North island but the conditions didnt sound ideal for driving on the south unless anyone suggests otherwise? We will also not have any issues with jet lag as we are hopping over from Melbourne.

Day 1 Waiheke island wine tour 10-5pm, dinner in the sky restaurant, wander round Auckland overnight auckland

Day 2 Drive to Te Kuiti (2 hr 40) for glow worm caves and black abyss caving tour overnight te kuiti

Day 3 Drive to Hobbiton (1 hr 45) for the tour then onwards to rotorua, explore and overnight rotorua

Day 4 Waimangu geothermal hike overnight rotorua

Day 5 Kaituna white water rafting, half day biking in redwood forest overnight rotorua

Day 6 Drive to Ohakune early (3 hrs), afternoon intro to skiing Mt Ruapehu, overnight Ohakune

Day 7 Skiing / exploring, overnight ohakune

Day 8 Drive to wellington (4hrs) Te Papa museum, overnight Wellington

Day 9 Zealandia and???, overnight Wellington

Day 10 Fly to Christchurch Lake Pukaki, Overnight Christchurch

Day 11 Transalpine express to Greymouth then on to Fox glacier, overnight fox glacier

Day 12 Glacier hike, overnight fox glacier

Day 13 Fox glacier to Queenstown, overnight Queenstown

Day 14 Skiing, overnight Queenstown

Day 15 Milford sound day tour, overnight Queenstown

Day 16 Skiing, overnight Queenstown

Day 17 Flying Out

I know its a bit jam packed but I think the first half flows quite nicely but the South island seems so much travelling all on public transport. Any comments on the pace or anything i'm missing? I was told most of the usual hiking routes are hazardous at this time of year.

I wouldn't mind seeing either milford and doubtful sounds or staying over but this seems quite costly/ I also wouldn't be too opposed to hiring a car in Queenstown as long as the roads aren't treacherous.

I hope it doesn't sound too ridiculous and I look forward to your input

Thanks

Rich

Blenheim, New...
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1. Re: Itinerary advice for North and South islands

I would drive the South Island section. Pubic transport is slow, and you can fit a lot more in by driving yourself. The central part of the North Island is as cold as most inhabited parts of the South. I suspect Nottingham would have much colder winters then most of the South Island so you should at least be experienced with such conditions.

Day 10 you say fly to Christchurch but also mention Lake Pukaki, that is quite a long day trip if you intend to visit it.

Depending on when you plan to leave Auckland, It might even be possible to combine day 2 and 3.

New Zealand
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for South Island
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2. Re: Itinerary advice for North and South islands

You have some long days of travel in the South Island so taking the bus makes sense.

Forget Pukaki - it's an 8 hour round trip from Chch and you can't get there or back by bus - Pukaiki is a lake, there is no town or bus stop there.

You won't need a car in Queenstown if staying in a central location - you can walk to the restaurants and the ski shuttle will get you up the mountain.

safe travels :)

Jervis Bay...
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3. Re: Itinerary advice for North and South islands

You can drive the South Island in June but I'd do a bus tour from Queenstown to Milford at that time of year. The roads out there are narrow and windy and the days are short at that time if year.

Rarotonga, Cook...
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for Rarotonga, Waiheke Island, Southern Cook Islands, Auckland Central
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4. Re: Itinerary advice for North and South islands

Day 2 - instead of driving south to Te Kuiti, only to drive north again on day 3, there is accommodation in/around Waitomo village, or stay in Hamilton for the night which is very handy to Matamata.

Days 4 & 5 could be switched around with a night in Rotorua on day 4, then visit Waimangu Valley on day 5 with a stopover in Taupo. Saves backtracking.

Day 6 - have you thought about skiing on Ruapehu from the Top O the Bruce area above Whakapapa village on the northern slopes? Happy Valley is good for beginners, but also the Turoa side ( accessed from Ohakune) can become windy with the skifield there closed at times. Possibly spend a day in each separate area. But also, Taupo has some interesting attractions to explore, making Turangi - Whakapapa - National Park handier options for your first snow encounter.

New Zealand
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5. Re: Itinerary advice for North and South islands

With the spare time in Wellington, possible options are the cable car and botanic gardens, Weta Cave, spending a bit longer at Te Papa, or visiting Wellington Museum of City and Sea.

Nottingham
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6. Re: Itinerary advice for North and South islands

Thanks for all your help, based off this I have decided to put the transalpine express - grymouth - coach to fox glacier back in as its ever so slightly cheaper and I think it will be nicer than flying into queenstown and a return coach to fox glacier.

Is Waimangu a full day attraction? any recommendations for rotorua? at the moment I compressed it into two nights accommodation with a half day biking and white water rafting and waimangu on the second day.

For skiing I had thought Ruapehu was a good bet looking at their website and I thought Ohakune was a good place to base this from?

Thanks for the Wellington info I have added them.

For the South island I was planning on hiring a car and driving to Te Anau and booking a full day sea kayak tour with transfers from Te Anau as its only 60 dollars for 2 people. How is the road driving from Te Anau to Queenstown?

All your replies were really useful thanks

Rich

California
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7. Re: Itinerary advice for North and South islands

>>>...and booking a full day sea kayak tour with transfers from Te Anau as its only 60 dollars for 2 people.

Where have you found this? Even Rosco's 2-hour kayak is $99/pp and does not include transfers.

Nottingham
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8. Re: Itinerary advice for North and South islands

This was Roscos, I meant the transfer component of the kayak was 60 dollars i.e. if I drove to Milfod its $149 each or if they pick us up its $179

Sorry, probably bad wording.

9. Re: Itinerary advice for North and South islands

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