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North and south Island trip advise! (LOTR influenced)

Brisbane, Australia
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North and south Island trip advise! (LOTR influenced)

My boyfriend and I (we are 25 and) will be going to NZ anytime in July between 1-15. We will be flying into Auckland and flying out of Queenstown, staying in NZ for 10-11 days. We have decided we wanted to rent a campervan and travel down the North Island, hop on a plane in Wellington to Christchurch for a rugby game, there we will be renting a car to drive to Queenstown. Our budget is between 1500-2000 everything included.

Things that are set in stone:

- Hobbiton- I'm not too excited about staying in Auckland so we will probably move to Matamata as soon as we are off the plain

-Rugby game in Christchurch- on the 12th

-Bungy jumping in Queenstown

Things we need advice on:

-Where to go between Auckland and Wellington

-Where to go between christcurch and Queenstown

-Any must see LOTR scenery/attractions

-Anything that I can do to surprise him with? (he is a big LOTR fan)

Thank you so much in advance I really appreciate everyone's help!

Brisbane, Australia
3 posts
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1. Re: North and south Island trip advise! (LOTR influenced)

sorry that's 1500-2000 each

Blenheim, New...
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2. Re: North and south Island trip advise! (LOTR influenced)

I suggest after Matamata, head to Rotorua for a day or two. Could even be possible to drive from Auckland, visit Matamata and finish the first day in Rotorua, Although would be a long day including the flight.

Lake Taupo is worthy of a couple of hours.

The desert road is very scenic, thats basically SH1 between Turangi and Waiouru. In the distance you would get to see Mt Ngauruhoe during the drive which was used for Mt doom in the movies. During the summer you could of done the Tongariro Alpine Crossing and gotten a much closer look.

Between Waiouru and Wellington, these nothing overly exciting. Mostly just flat or rolling farm land intersected with the occasional river. . My favourite city in that part of the North Island is Whanganui, it is a lower Socioeconomic town but its quite pretty with wide parks surrounding the river and is right on the coast. Can also go on a escalator which is inside a mountain. Although many people choice to drive from Rotorua/Taupo as a single long day.

In Wellington you would get to see the Weka Cave which is a lotr attraction I believe.

Between Christchurch and Queenstown, I suggest staying at Mount Cook, or maybe Tekapo if you want to view the night sky.

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3. Re: North and south Island trip advise! (LOTR influenced)

You might have issues trying to rent a campervan one way to Wellington. Also, consider how chilly it's going to be in the dead of winter. A car and motels might be a better option for that time of year and your routing.

Much of the great scenery shown in LOTR was shot around Glenorchy and Paradise. They are located at the end of Lake Wakatipu, about a 45 minute drive from Queenstown. Perhaps surprise him with a horseback tour there? Check out Ride of The Rings here: http://www.dartstables.com/riding-options

Between Christchurch and Queenstown the logical stop is Mount Cook. It has wonderful hiking and scenery. I don't think you have time to route yourself down the West Coast. ETA - oops, seems like thmswalsh already stated that.

Edited: 24 May 2014, 18:17
Rarotonga, Cook...
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for Rarotonga, Waiheke Island, Southern Cook Islands, Auckland
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4. Re: North and south Island trip advise! (LOTR influenced)

Between Waiouru (south on the Desert Road) and Wellington you'll encounter a rural town called Taihape. The Rangiteiki River near Taihape was used as the main scene for the River Anduin. You can walk across the one way bridge to get better views into the river below. The Rangiteiki ism also one of the North Island's popular white water rafting spots.

Besides having Weta Cave, Wellington city and region was also the location for several other LOTR scenes including Mt Victoria which is very accessible.

Jervis Bay...
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5. Re: North and south Island trip advise! (LOTR influenced)

We did the north island late in October in a campervan and it was freezing. I don't understand the attraction if a campervan. Rates are expensive in caravan parks and the hassle of driving one and getting water etc is insane. Then you have to pay for showers on top of it all at a lot of places. Caravan parks have cheap cabins (ensuite!) and at that time of year you would have no issues with driving up with no bookings.

If you do go with a campervan ask for 2 extra blankets EACH. It will be COLD.

Jervis Bay...
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6. Re: North and south Island trip advise! (LOTR influenced)

You could consider a round trip of the north island from Auckland then fly from there to Christchurch or Queenstown.

Wellington, NZ
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7. Re: North and south Island trip advise! (LOTR influenced)

If you are LOTR fans, you are in for a treat when you fly out of Wellington airport.

Christchurch, New...
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8. Re: North and south Island trip advise! (LOTR influenced)

I agree with both deS & Aussie girl that you might find it hard to drop a CV in WLG AND it will be freezing. Suggest you reconsider getting a car & staying in hostels or motels depending on your budget.

For the SI I suggest you fly to CHC around the 10th or 1th;

11th. You could visit Akaroa

12th. Explore Chch; rugby game (wrap up warm!)

13th. Drive to Mt Cook

14th. Drive to QTN; pm explore Arrowtown.

15th. Fly home (can you extend by a day or so to visit Glenorchy?)

9. Re: North and south Island trip advise! (LOTR influenced)

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