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14 days to explore- Recommendations, please.

Boulder, Colorado
5 posts
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14 days to explore- Recommendations, please.


I've been browsing the North Island vs. South Island forums, and there is a lot of great information there. Thanks for all of the advice.

I'm traveling to NZ for 14 days at the end of October/early November with my mother. We are trying to prioritize our planning in terms of what to see and do.

We live in Colorado, so we get plenty of time in the mountains. I'd love to see some things that we don't have regular access to such as beaches, caves, thermal hot-spots, etc.

We are flying in to Auckland, and we have to spend 3 days in Auckland toward the end of the trip for a conference. I'm 30 and in good shape, and my mother is in her 60s. She's in great shape, but I don't want to drag her around the North and South Islands too much. I want to also be able to relax.

Obviously, 14 days is not enough time to experience NZ fully.

Should we fly into Auckland, and then grab another flight to somewhere on the South Island after a days rest? If we stay on the North Island, and I missing out and should make the trek South? In order to really experience each stop and relax, should we just stay North?

Thanks in advance!

Christchurch, New...
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for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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1. Re: 14 days to explore- Recommendations, please.

It sounds like you should spend all, or most of your time in the North Island. Just to get things clear - is it 14 days travelling PLUS 3 days in AKL or 14 days total?

Do you plan to self-drive or use public transport?

3-4 days could be spent travelling to Northland/Bay of Islands - cruise the "Hole in the Rock"; take a tour to Cape Reinga etc

Heading south of Auckland the usual circuit for about a week would be Waitomo Caves-Rotorua (stay 2-3N)- Taupo-Napier (wineries/art deco architecture)-Wellington-Fly back to AKL.

If you dropped Northland & spent the entire time south of AKL you could include Coromandel -Hot Water Beach-Cathedral Cove.

While in AKL (perhaps on day 1 to overcome jet-lag) you could take a ferry to Waiheke Island for a wine tour & nice lunch in a vineyard.

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2. Re: 14 days to explore- Recommendations, please.

Zhuhai has offered some great options. It would be much more relaxing to stay on North Island and NI also seems to tick all the items in your wish list.

Do be aware, that when you leave the US for New Zealand, if you leave on the first of the month, you will arrive on the 3rd. There's this pesky int'l date line to be crossed. On the upside is when you return, you may find that you arrive at home before you've even left NZ! ;)

I find it easier and clearer to know how many nights one will be in New Zealand, rather than days.

Boulder, Colorado
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3. Re: 14 days to explore- Recommendations, please.

Thanks so much for the help.

Should I rent a car? My mom is not going to want to drive, but I'm a little more adventurous and don't mind. Price wise- is it cheaper to just use public transport? What are some good websites to check out for both options?

Boulder, Colorado
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4. Re: 14 days to explore- Recommendations, please.

Forgot to mention that the trip is 14 days total. I wish we could stay longer.

5. Re: 14 days to explore- Recommendations, please.

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