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Tauranga? Or extra time in Rotorua?

Fall City...
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Tauranga? Or extra time in Rotorua?

I am finalizing a 14 day NI itinerary for two adults and one child in February 2015.

Dawn of Day 6 we will be in Thames, having just finished our tour of the Coromondel Peninsula. We will check out of hotel and head to Matamata to spend the day at Hobbiton. From there, I had planned to go on to Tauranga for one night. The next day, Day 7, we would hike Mt. Manganui, go to the Waimarino Adventure Park, and then head to Rotorua for lodging. Day 8 would be spent in Rotorua, then on Day 9 go to the glow worm caves at Waitomo, before heading on to Lake Taupo.

The problem is that I'm now thinking 1 day in Rotorua is not enough. We would like to see the geysers/volcanic parks, do a zip line tour and perhaps the Zorb. Ideally we would also do a haka/hangi in the evening. I don't think it's possible to do all of that in one day. And I am sure there are plenty of other things we might like to do in Rotorua that I haven't discovered yet.

Should I ditch the night in Tauranga and go directly to Rotorua from Hobbiton on Day 6? My daughter (age 7) loves to swim so I think she would enjoy the park at Waimarino, but I might be weighting this attraction too heavily. Is Mt. Manganui/Tauranga area worth the sacrifice of an extra day in Rotorua?

Thank you for your help!

Lori

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1. Re: Tauranga? Or extra time in Rotorua?

You have a lot of zig-zagging planned. I think I would skip Tauranga. There are lots of hot ppols in Rotorua for your daughter (maybe your accommodation will have a pool). Two night stays always give you a break from early starts, packing etc & even time for laundry!

New Zealand
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2. Re: Tauranga? Or extra time in Rotorua?

Another vote to skip a night in Tauranga and add on to Rotorua.

Feilding, New...
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3. Re: Tauranga? Or extra time in Rotorua?

Yes, you will find heaps to keep you busy in Rotorua.

www.rotoruaNZ.com for further information.

There are savings to be made purchasing combined packages e.g. Mitai Combo gives a Maori cultural evening and a visit to Rainbow Nature Park at night. It would be a late night for your daughter but an experience she would remember. Pick up a Jasons brochure at the airport and look for other Rotorua brochures for discount vouchers. The Rotorua I site staff can help with packages.

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4. Re: Tauranga? Or extra time in Rotorua?

That makes 4

California
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5. Re: Tauranga? Or extra time in Rotorua?

Just to throw a wrench in the works, if you do decide to keep the Tauranga stop, your daughter might enjoy the Kayak and Glowworm Tour offered by Waimarino. If you don't have Waitomo Caves already in your plans, it would be a great opportunity for all of you to see glowworms.

But I agree that you do seem to be zigzagging quite a bit and there is lots to do in Rotorua.

Tauranga
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6. Re: Tauranga? Or extra time in Rotorua?

Hi Lori

Too many people underrate Tauranga, but before I comment further, would you please give the first six days of your itinerary? If Thames is the last place on your Coromandel visit, I wonder if you are using your time effectively there.

Tauranga
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7. Re: Tauranga? Or extra time in Rotorua?

Hi Lori

Too many people underrate Tauranga, but before I comment further, would you please give the first six days of your itinerary? If Thames is the last place on your Coromandel visit, I wonder if you are using your time effectively there.

Fall City...
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8. Re: Tauranga? Or extra time in Rotorua?

Thank you to everyone for this advice. I will take the prevailing advice and skip Tauranga.

Now you all have me concerned about the zigzagging. What optimizations would you make to the following? I will be leaving Thames on morning of Day 6 and need to arrive in Wellington by evening on Day 11.

Day 6. Drive from Thames to Hobbiton. After Hobbiton, drive to Rotorua and check in to hotel.

Day 7. Rotorua.

Day 8. Rotorua.

Day 9. Check out of Rotorua hotel and head to Waitomo (glow worm caves, bushwalk, etc.) for the day. In the evening, continue on to Taupo.

Day 10. Lake Taupo, including Huka falls.

Day 11. Check out of hotel in Taupo and do the long drive to Wellington.

How would you modify the above? Also, any advice for places to stop on the road from Taupo to Welly?

Thanks so very much,

Lori

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9. Re: Tauranga? Or extra time in Rotorua?

If you plot these on a map (I use www.aamaps.co.nz/# directions) you'll see that by dropping Tauranga, you've eliminated the major "zig" over the Kaimai Ranges. Now the "zag" remaining is Waitomo Caves, which turns a 1 hr journey into a 4:38 hr marathon. Your call. Navigation can be an issue when you start detouring from the "beaten track".

Fall City...
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10. Re: Tauranga? Or extra time in Rotorua?

Thank you for asking. Sadly, we really only have one day to tour the CP, as the majority of our early itinerary will be in the Northland. Here are the first six days:

Day 1: Arrive Auckland airport 7:15 am. Tour central Auckland; Rangitoto Island. Stay 1 night in Auckland.

Day 2: From Auckland, drive North to BoI. Hururu Falls, Waitangi Treaty Grounds, etc. Check in to hotel in Russell.

Day 3. Bus tour to Cape Reinga. Stay again in Russell.

Day 4. Leave Russell and head by car to Thames, stopping along the way for a few beaches/cave walks. Check in to hotel in Thames.

Day 5. Tour the CP, including Watergardens, Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach. Return to hotel in Thames for the evening.

Day 6. Head to Hobbiton .... (see earlier post)

I know a lot of tourists skip the Northland but for me BoI is one of the highlights of the trip. I'd be willing to just the first night in Auckland to get up there earlier but I am worried we will be tired from the long flight (coming from Seattle) and not ready for 4+ hours in the car.

Thanks for your advice.

Lori