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Itinerary Review - 8 Nights

Melbourne, Australia
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Itinerary Review - 8 Nights

Hi All!

My fiancè & I have are first time travellers to NZ and will be on the North Island for 8 nights from 25th Dec.

We have a rough itinerary planned out, however I'm a little unsure about whether or not we should be staying in Taupo as opposed to Rotoura based on the activities we are hoping to fit in :)

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated - I've been reading through the forum to get some ideas, however so just after a bit of clarfication! We also have a car hired for the duration of the trip

2 nights Auckland -City sightseeing & a trip to Waiheke or Rangitoto

3 nights Rotorua - Whilst here, we want to go to Wai-o-Tapu, do white water rafting (any in particular??), visit Lake Taupo, Haku Falls & also do the Tongariro crossing... Is this achievable? If so, any recommendations as to which order? And, where would be most convenient to stay? I can easily make changes to our accommodation.

3 nights Paihia - We haven't really planned anything for this part of the trip. We've just heard that the Bay of Islands are very beautiful! We love the outdoors, water, being active - So if there are any suggestions for Paihia, they are most welcome.

Thank you!!

Rarotonga, Cook...
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for Rarotonga, Waiheke Island, Southern Cook Islands, Auckland
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1. Re: Itinerary Review - 8 Nights

Hi lextacy,

Lovely to see that you are considering a day trip to one of the Gulf islands - Waiheke has a little of everything to offer - views, beaches, wineries, arts, native bush, cafes, public transport and island tours, a range of activities.

Auckland - the Explorer bus circuit gives a good idea of the main attractions - www.explorerbus.co.nz

Taupo or Rotorua? Based upon your interests stay in Taupo 2 nights at least. Rotorua is only 1 hour drive up the road.

White water rafting:

lower Rangitaiki - grade 2 - stay either Taupo or Rotorua.

Tongariro (south end of lake Taupo) grade 3 - Taupo base

Rangitaiki - grade 5 - stay either Taupo or Rotorua

Bay of Islands - lots of water-based activities including bay cruises, dolphin swims, kayaking, parasailing, dinner cruises, yacht charter, fishing trips, swimming, snorkelling, car and passenger ferry services. Based in paihia, explore Russell, Rawhiti peninsula, Waitangi treaty house, Haruru falls, Kerikeri, Kawiti glow-worm caves, Waimate North, Matauri Bay, Aroha island, native bush, Kiwis and coastline.

Enjoy your visit.

Christchurch, New...
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2. Re: Itinerary Review - 8 Nights

If you are doing the Tongararo crossing you will want to stay much closer as it is a full days walk. See http://www.tongarirocrossing.org.nz/ has all the info on times, where to stay and transport to and from the walk. I think Rotorua is much better than Taupo, and you could see Taupo and the Hooker falls on your way to the Tongariro crossing (you drive right along the side of the lake to get there too).

Paihia is great for NZ history and day/overnight trips out to the Islands. You can also hire kayaks or bikes to see the scenery!

Have fun

Christchurch, New...
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for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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3. Re: Itinerary Review - 8 Nights

You definitely need to stay in Turangi or National Park to fit in with the TC shuttles. Rotorua is too far away. Have you allowed enough time to travel to the BoI? It is a very long day if you plan to drive from Rotorua!

Auckland, New...
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4. Re: Itinerary Review - 8 Nights

Hi

Rivers for rafting within easy reach of Rotorua are the Kaituna, Wairoa and Rangitaiki.

The Kaituna is a series of drops including a 7 metre waterfall. The Wairoa is a full on grade 4 to 5 and is an excellent run if you are looking for excitement. The excitement on the Rangitaiki is at the start with rapids such as the Fantail and Jeffs Joy and then is a very scenic bouncy bouncy run for the most part to the finish.

I have used and recommend Kaituna Cascades:

www.kaitunacascades.co.nz

They also offer tamdem kayaking down the Kaituna which you may wish to consider. No previous kayaking experience is required.

Melbourne, Australia
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5. Re: Itinerary Review - 8 Nights

Thank you for all the feedback!

I've made some changes to the itinerary accommodation to better suit our activities, and have also booked in the Kaituna Cascades - Thank you!

I've now booked a night at the Bayview Chateau pre doing the Tongariro Crossing. We're hoping to do the crossing on the 29th (weather permitting of course!) and our plan is to check in at our hotel in Paihia on the evening of the 30th, where we will stay for 3 nights.

The last thing I'm not sure of, is where we should stay on the 29th (after the crossing, but before our drive to Paihia). We'll be doing the crossing very early in the morning and are hoping to finish around 2.30 - 3pm. We don't mind driving a couple of hours after the crossing... Are there any must see destinations that are along the way? We've been toying with the idea of a stop in Waitomo, but the glow worms caves aren't really a must see for us and from what I've read, there is not much else in the area...

Any suggestions?

Thanks everyone!!

Christchurch, New...
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for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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6. Re: Itinerary Review - 8 Nights

The Crossing takes around 7 hours but I'm not sure what times the shuttle operate at peak season. You could reasonably aim for Hamilton for the 29th. It is about 3 hours and on SH 1 so well towards the Bay of Islands.

7. Re: Itinerary Review - 8 Nights

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