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North Island Itinerary; Help Appreciated

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North Island Itinerary; Help Appreciated

I am planning an 7 day vacation in August to the North Island and had my itinerary set as follows:

Day 1: Arrive in Auckland early am; Auckland Museum and Skytown;

Day 2: Drive to Rotorua via Hobbiton

Day 3: Explore Rotorua: Wai-O-Tapu and Redwood Forest; Drive to Taupo to sleep

Day 4: Tongariro Alpine Crossing

Day 5: Explore Taupo: Huka Falls, Geothermal Power Plant

Day 6: Drive Taupo to Auckland via Waitomo

Day 7: Leave Auckland midday

I was set with this itinerary until this morning when I discovered that I can go on a 2 hour cruise in an America's Cup sailboat in Auckland. I am a big sailing fan and am now set on this idea but I don't know how I can fit it in--I am also set on the Auckland Museum. The sailing tours are only available at 1pm in the winter and run 2 hours (unless I am unaware of another sailing tour). Do I thus need to spend another day in Auckland? And, if so, can I combine any days on my trip (maybe accomplish days 3 and 5 in one day if I cut out the redwood forest)?

Any help is sincerely appreciated.

Wellington, NZ
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for Wellington
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1. Re: North Island Itinerary; Help Appreciated

If you want to do the Crossing in winter, you **must** have alpine experience and/or go with a guide. Best to go with a guide even if you do have alpine experience as they will best know how to avoid areas of avalanche danger. That way they can also provide the crampons and ice axe that you'd need.

While in Rotorua, stay at a place with a thermal pool. Bliss.

Christchurch, New...
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for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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2. Re: North Island Itinerary; Help Appreciated

You have a very rushed trip. Where are you flying in from? If further afiield than SYD do factor in jetlag! If the sailing is a priority then why not book it for day 1 afternoon; visit the Sky Tower at night and leave the Museum & until you return from Taupo mid afternoon on Day 6.

Day 4 is a very busy day. Can you not stay closer to the National Park to save the driving to/from?

I appreciate that you need a relaxing day after the tramp but there isn't really that much to see in Taupo to warrant 3 nights. You could drive to Waitomo in the afternoon of Day 5; visit the caves early on Day 6 and be in AKL by early afternoon.

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3. Re: North Island Itinerary; Help Appreciated

Huku Falls is between Rotorua and Taupo, as is the Power Station. You could make quick stops there on Day 3.

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4. Re: North Island Itinerary; Help Appreciated

Thanks everyone! All these ideas are great.

Weta- Don't worry, we are definitely getting a guide for our hike! And thanks-we will look for an accomodation with a thermal pool.

zhuhai-The guide service runs out of Taupo (although we could alternatively meet the tour at the park if we stay closer) so, although it will be a long day, at least I will not be the one driving to and from Tongariro. Originally I was planning on staying in Turangi, but I had read that it was unsafe to leave your car at the car park during the hike, as there is a lot of crime. I also thought there would be more places to eat in Taupo. Maybe I am wrong about these things or should prioritize being close to the park?

Also, I think I will use your suggestion of driving to Waitomo and doing the cave in the morning and Auckland round 2 in the afternoon! That's perfect!

Dec2259-Thank you! Thats great to know.

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5. Re: North Island Itinerary; Help Appreciated

I agree that day 4 is rushed as the Tongariro Crossing is a pretty full day, especially in winter conditions. We stayed in National Park Village at the Adventure Lodge and Motel which was reasonably priced and included transfers to the start and end of the walk. Although only a small place there were a couple of good eating optionswith the food at the Spiral Kitchen being really good after the exertions of the walk.

We also went on the Americas Cup yacht sailing and it was definately a highlight of the trip, I think you should be okay to book it for the first afternoon unless you really struggle with jet lag.

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6. Re: North Island Itinerary; Help Appreciated

Charlie -

I cannot thank you enough for that suggestion. The Adventure Lodge is perfect (and we can even book a guide through their package deal!).

7. Re: North Island Itinerary; Help Appreciated

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