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Week in North Island taking shape, few more tips!

Glasgow, UK
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Week in North Island taking shape, few more tips!

Hi everyone,

We'll be in the North Island for part of our honeymoon from April 22nd to 29th (landing at 6am and leaving close to midnight so we really will have eight full days).

Here is our current itinerary. Any comments? We will have a hire car for the whole time.

1) Russell, two nights. Drive there on the coast road and back on the main road. Staying at Arcadia Lodge. Mostly vegging, a bit of walking maybe.

2) Auckland, one night. Get there early afternoon, wander around for the day. Stay at a nice B&B (tba). Dinner at The French Cafe.

3) Bay of Plenty, two nights. Including particularly Rotorua and the White Island boat tour. Accommodation not yet planned.

4) Napier, two nights. Staying at Cobden Garden. Lunch or dinner at Mission; a few winery tours.

I do have some specific questions.

- Any recommendations for Auckland B&B? Peace and Plenty looks great but $300+ is a bit steep for us - around $200 would be ideal (sorry I know I have already posted this question but now I am trying to keep everything together).

- Any recommendations for somewhere in the Bay of Plenty area? Preferably fairly close to where the boat goes to the White Island. Happy with good B&B or a hotel or whatever.

- Anything we should definitely think about doing that I haven't specifically listed above?

Thanks everyone!

New Zealand
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1. Re: Week in North Island taking shape, few more tips!

I'm assuming you have the nights listed as you plane to do them- I would stay the first night in Auckland or drive SH1 to Russell. The coast road is very long and winding and needs your full attention (possible jet-lag) Better to drive that on the way back.

I'd stay in Rotorua and do a day trip to Whakatane (1hr)for the boat trip unless you really want to chill out- there are not many services in the area. Rotorua has so much more to do. Take some sort of sea-sickness remedy, the trip the White island is over an hour long over open ocean- you won't want to be feeding the fish!

Napier to Auckland is quite a long drive 6+ hours.

San Jose, California
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2. Re: Week in North Island taking shape, few more tips!

Hello Amanensia, I have just begun to research my first trip to New Zealand and came across a Bed and Breakfast that looks wonderful. It's the Auckland No 1 House B&B. It's located 8 minutes from Auckland City Center by ferry or car.

http://www.nz-homestay.co.nz/index.cfm

Glasgow, UK
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3. Re: Week in North Island taking shape, few more tips!

Thanks for the replies. Good point about the coast road Zappers - we'll drive up the main highway I think after all, and maybe go back down on the coast road - is it worth doing, in terms of being really pretty etc? If it's not really out-of-the-ordinary maybe we'd be better doing the highway both ways.

We'll look to stay in Rotorua I think as you suggest. Just a little bit nervous about the sulphur smell!

Thanks for the tip about the length of the drive back from Napier to Auckland. Hopefully we'll be OK as our flight isn't until 11.30pm, so we'll leave late morning and take it easy, and stop a couple of times on the way.

Very much looking forward to this trip - starting to get really excited now :-)

New Zealand
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4. Re: Week in North Island taking shape, few more tips!

Don't worry about the smell, really it just isn't a problem- how to you think 65,000 people get on living there.

Make the decision to drive the coast road when you're there. It is a lovely drive and has some awesome views and scenery, lots of secluded bays and beautiful beaches but you may have seen enough in the area before you head down.

Tauranga
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5. Re: Week in North Island taking shape, few more tips!

Hi

Just remember that Friday 25 April is ANZAC day and is a puplic holiday. Most shops and attractions are not allowed to open until after 1.00pm.

Enjoy your holiday.

Glasgow, UK
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6. Re: Week in North Island taking shape, few more tips!

Oh! I didn't realise we would be there during ANZAC day. I don't suppose anyone has any idea whether the White Island tour will operate? That Friday is the day I had pencilled in for it.

I'll give them a call tonight - the window for speaking to NZ from the UK is pretty small!

New Zealand
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7. Re: Week in North Island taking shape, few more tips!

If you can't reach them let me know and I'll give them a call for you- you'll be using PeeJay tours no doubt?

Feilding, New...
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for Rotorua
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8. Re: Week in North Island taking shape, few more tips!

Hi,

Just checked with Peejays. White Island shuttle from Rotorua operates Anzac Day. The cost goes up on 1st April to $175 and the cost of the shuttle is $60.

You could take a helicopter trip from Rotorua and land on White Island if you don't like being in a small boat for an hour or so each way.(flies over Mt Tarawera & Hell's Gate Thermal area) The cost of this is $665p.p.from Rotorua & return. You could do the helicopter over White Island without landing for about $200 less.

Have a look at www.athomeinrotorua.co.nz for B & Bs in Rotorua or www.travelbug.co.nz for general accommodation.

Glasgow, UK
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9. Re: Week in North Island taking shape, few more tips!

Thanks Zappers and ValGee - yes, using PeeJay, and we're booked on the Anzac day tour now, and will be staying at their White Island Rendezvous motel the night before (seemed the easiest thing to do).

The helicopter trip was tempting but we both quite like being on boats (neither of us get seasick) and it's a lot cheaper! Not that I am trying to be a skinflint but the overall trip is five weeks long and the budget is finite :-)

Christchurch, New...
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for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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10. Re: Week in North Island taking shape, few more tips!

Looks like you are cutting out Auckland on the way south (22nd & 23rd in Russell and 24th in White Island Motel?) That is a long drive, from Russell to Whakatane.