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We two and our two lil' ones - need your help

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We two and our two lil' ones - need your help

Folks, we are planning a 2 week trip to North Island in December - from 15th to 31st. We are four of us - 18m old kid, 4yr old kid and missus and me. Am trying to limit to 3 places, max 4 places so that I can reduce the number of check-ins and check-outs. Flying in and out of Auckland. Ideally would love to drive but open to take an overnight train, if that makes sense for any leg.

Here's what my questions are and need your expert guidance:

1. What 3 places would you recommend that will allow us a mix of kid friendly activities and good scenery/nature?

2. Which 3 places in your view are best to base our selves so we can cover interesting places within 2 hr drives and almost cover 6 out of 10 must dos in North Island?

3. While I prefer bigger resorts/hotels when traveling with kids, I have heard rave reviews about some independent cottages/villas/B&Bs in NZ (my friend does not remember the name:( ). Will love to get some recommendations on these hidden gems as well.

Thanks much for taking time out to help me plan the trip.

Christchurch, New...
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for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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1. Re: We two and our two lil' ones - need your help

Welcome to TA. It would help if we knew a bit more about your interests, budget etc. NZ doesn't really have the big holiday resorts of some other destinations. We prefer to keep things small and low-key! There certainly are Luxury Lodges, but neither they nor B& Bs are suitable for small children.

How far are you prepared to drive or fly between your 3-4 destinations? You do know that this is absolutely the peak of the summer season so most popular destinations would have been snapped up 6 months ago?

The Bay of Islands is probably a good chocie, IF you can find any availability as it is also popular with NZers.

Rotorua is another popular choice as is the Coromandel Peninsula, from Whitianga north. You could look at www.bookabach.co.nz. A "bach" is a NZ holiday home - sometimes slightly rustic, but often in a fabulous location.

Rarotonga, Cook...
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for Rarotonga, Waiheke Island, Southern Cook Islands, Auckland Central
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2. Re: We two and our two lil' ones - need your help

Another site for holiday homes around NZ is http://www.holidayhomes.co.nz. www.wotif.com is another site and is useful for last minute accommodation.

Bay of Islands, Coromandel or Bay of Plenty beaches, and the thermals around Rotorua and Taupo offer a nice mix of attractions and varied family interests. Book your rental car, and accommodation ahead if possible.

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3. Re: We two and our two lil' ones - need your help

We have just spent two weeks in the north island with two kids - 8 & 6 in a campervan. Rotorua and Auckland have heaps to do. We paid $90 for the family to go on the hop on hop off bus in Auckland. We visited the zoo, museum and Kelly Tarlton's sea aquarium.You get a discount if you tell them you went on the bus. In Rotorua there is the Agrodome, the gondola, we went to the Tamaki Maori hangi and it is not far from Taupo

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4. Re: We two and our two lil' ones - need your help

Thanks guys. I have expanded the trip to do both the islands. Am gravitating towards 4 days in Auckland with a day trip to Coromandel via ferry, 4 days in Rotorua and then to South Island. Thanks again for all the suggestions.

Calgary, Canada
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5. Re: We two and our two lil' ones - need your help

Rotarua has a ton of activities and lots of hotel options with good prices. Although the city is not really scenic and has a smell of sulphur...there would be lots of activities for kids and lots of nice day trips you could do if you were based there for a few days. Lake Taupo is not far and it has beautiful scenery - a great place to spend a day.

On the North Island, my favourite place was Napier ... it's just a neat city to walk around in.

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6. Re: We two and our two lil' ones - need your help

Folks, need another help... am looking for good accomodation in Westcoast... budget is not an issue... whatever are the best places in Fox/Franz Josef/Mt Cook/Greymouth....

You help is much appreciated...!!

7. Re: We two and our two lil' ones - need your help

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