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Going NewZealand end November - North Island

Singapore, Singapore
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Going NewZealand end November - North Island

Hi all,

seeking some advices for places to visit in NewZealand NorthIsland, thanks in advanced

We are planning to for 11 days. A group of 8 includes 3 young kids (smallest is 4 years old) and my dad 75 years old. Planning to rent a 8 seaters car. We will be landing in Auckland airport midnight of Nov 28.

Any recommendation on which car rental company has good rate and decent services?

Is Waitomo caves worth a visit?

We like scenery, places such as Snow Capped mountain with lakes.. any such places in North island? (I read about Milford sounds but it is in the South)

I also read about Sandboarding on the Sand dune, may I know is it worth a trip too?

Also planning for a Dolphin Watching Boat Trip, any recommmendation would be very helpful !

Also lookign for info such as great Farm Stay, and Orchard/fruit farm visit...

thanks

IM

Whangarei, Northland
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1. Re: Going NewZealand end November - North Island

Hi there

For cars, you can get 8 seater Toyota Previa or similar from quite a number of companies - one that I often recommend is APEX.

BUT, an 8 seater is actually going to be a very tight squeeze for 8 of you, not so much for the seats, but with all seats taken there is very little luggage space. Think about that carefully before you decide, you may be better off with a minibus, or 2 cars.

There are fantastic lakes and snow capped mountains in the north island, Rotorua, Taupo and National park areas in the central plateau. There may not necessarily be much snow left by November though !!

You need to spend a few days in Northland - you can do great dolphin watching trips from Paihia in the Bay of islands, and sandboarding near Cape Reinga or at the northern end of the Hokianga.

Christchurch, New...
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for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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2. Re: Going NewZealand end November - North Island

If you spent 4 days driving north of Auckland, to the Bay of Islands and Cape Reinga, that leaves you with 6 days for a circuit to Rotorua (2N), Taupo, Tongariro National Park ( I suggest you stop on the way and do the short Lake Rotopounamu hike) -2N; then Waitomo Caves and back to AKL.

Singapore, Singapore
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3. Re: Going NewZealand end November - North Island

Thanks Andy !

I google and found a few Dolphin Boat Trip operators at PaiHai, is there any recommendation which operator is good or have you use any of them before?

Singapore, Singapore
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4. Re: Going NewZealand end November - North Island

ZhuHai

thanks for your feedback, yep will do the circuit of Rotorua - Taupo - Waitomo caves

However may skip Tongariro for Hobbiton tour, or Napier/Hastings - is it where the fruit/Orchard is besides winery?

Also I read about this Putangirua Pinnacles, Wairarapa - not sure if this is a good option?

Again thanks !

IM

Putangirua Pinnacles, Wairarapa

Length: 4.15 km, 2-3 hours return

Difficulty: Easy - medium

Location: Aorangi Forest Park. Entrance off Cape Palliser Road.

Known simply as “The Pinnacles”, this walk meanders through bush and takes you right into the Putangirua Pinnacles – large, crumbly rock stalagmites rising tens of metres into the air. The Pinnacles played a starring part in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, forming the backdrop for the eerie Army of the Dead scenes in The Return of the King. You’ll also enjoy excellent views of Palliser Bay and Lake Onoke as you look out towards the South Island.

Whangarei, Northland
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5. Re: Going NewZealand end November - North Island

Have had good experience with ExploreNZ for dolphin encounter trips in the Bay of Islands

explorenz.co.nz/Dolphin-Discoveries/index.ht…

Singapore, Singapore
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6. Re: Going NewZealand end November - North Island

Thanks Andy !

Will be looking up for a trip with ExploreNZ :)

Ballarat, Australia
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7. Re: Going NewZealand end November - North Island

You can go to Hobbiton on the way from Auckland to Rotorua, so no need to give up another place to see it.

Napier does have orchards but November will be too early for most tree fruits. The earliest are cherries which become available during December.

Putangirua Pinnacles is a good walk but I don't think you should go that far south unless you drop Northland - it will make the trip way too rushed, with too much time spent on the road. In two weeks you can either do a loop of the North Island from Auckland to Wellington and return, or do Northland and a loop as far as Tongariro. I would go to Northland for preference.

Singapore, Singapore
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8. Re: Going NewZealand end November - North Island

Thanks a million Jeans,

your feedback has helped me to rule out Putangirua Pinnacles and would not be hunting for fruit farm, that is greatly helpful !

Please help comment on the below trip planning :

1. Auckland - 1 night

2. Auckland-Hobbiton - Rotorua- Night at Rotorua

3. Rotorua thermal land full day - Night at Rotorua (Maori Cultural show with Hangi)

4. Lake Taupo - Night at Taupo (Agrodome etc)

5. Taupo- Waitomo Cave - Auckland - Night at Auckland

6. Auckland - PaiHia (Dolphin watching trip) - Night at Paihia

7. Cape Reinga - 19 miles beach - SandBoarding at the Dune at Tepaki - Night somewhere?

8. Visit - Waipoua Forest Tane Mahuta - Giant Kauri Tree - back to Auckland

Sydney, Australia
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9. Re: Going NewZealand end November - North Island

The first time I went to the North Island of New Zealand I was about ten and the two places I remember most clearly were Rotorua (the geothermal activity nearly scared me to death) and Waitomo Caves. We did a rafting trip through the caves and the glow worms were so spectacular I'll never forget it, so the short answer is yes, Waitomo Caves are worth it! I've been back to Rotorua since and just loved it. The geothermal fields are great and the town itself is quite cosmopolitan now with great markets and shops and accommodation. We stayed at the Wai Ora Lakeside Resort which was really nice (choicehotels.com.au/en/clarion-collection-ho…) but there are heaps of great hotels around for a range of different prices. There are also plenty of adventure sports in Rotorua if you're that way inclined so make sure you've got a couple of days there at least.

Singapore, Singapore
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10. Re: Going NewZealand end November - North Island

Dear Tracey

Thanks very much! That helps firm up our visit to Waitomo Cave !! thank you.

I just check out WaiOra Lakeside resort - I think I love it :)

Yes I think we will also do Agrodome, and Hangi Maori Cultural show when we are around Rotorua.

Not too sure yet about Skyline and Rainbow Spring yet....

thanks

IM