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Please can you check my family itinerary, thanks.

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UK
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Please can you check my family itinerary, thanks.

Hi all, me and my three boys (15, 13 and 8) are coming out arriving 12th Dec.

My husband will have been working in Auckland for a fortnight before we arrive. Our return flight departs 28th December. Please could you comment on our plans.

Dec 12th Arrive Auckland (Park / Beach)

Dec 13th Drive to Matamata for Hobbiton tour then on to Rotorua.

Dec 14th Thermal park (Waiotapu)

Dec 15th Day out from Rotorua at Waitomo caves

Dec 16th Luge & travel towards Ruapehu for overnight stop.

Dec 17th Travel to Wellington

Dec 18th Te Papa etc.

Dec 19th Karori / Botanical Gardens

Dec 20th Rings Tour (via sat nav rather than guide)

Dec 21st Travel northwards to somewhere with a beach.

Dec 22nd Day on beach

Dec 23rd Travel back to Auckland

Dec 24th Rangitoto

Dec 25th Beach? or suggestions please.

Dec 26th NInety Mile beach (or is it too far?) Kauri Forest?

Dec 27th Perfect Day snorkelling Poor Knights or Goat Island?

After the 19th the plans get a bit hazy, but we'd like to include some snorkelling and a Rangitoto visit.

Any ideas?

Also is it better or cheaper to book activities when my husband gets there? We are trying to stick to a budget.

Has anyone done Goat Island and Perfect Day and can compare them for us please.

We're planning a mix of types of cheap accom. and may have use of an apartment in Auckland CBD over the Christmas week.

Thanks in advance for your comments.

Auckland, New...
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1. Re: Please can you check my family itinerary, thanks.

Hi

Check out www.wotif.com for accommodation deals.

Also www.bnb.co.nz for bed and breakfast accommodation.

You should not have too much of a problem with accommodation until the 26th and 27th December when you should make a booking.

From the 19th there is so much to see by travelling north via the west coast and south via the east coast and visit Goat Island.

Rangitoto is a great option with three children and maybe look at Tiritiri

Kay

UK
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2. Re: Please can you check my family itinerary, thanks.

Thanks Kay - that first sight is so useful!

Orewa, New Zealand
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3. Re: Please can you check my family itinerary, thanks.

Given the time of the year you are here I would look at re-organising things alittle so you can spend more time in Northland which has really glorious beaches. At Christmas time the red Pohutakawa trees are in bloom and it is magical. It is a waste of time to have "Dec 22nd Day on beach" in the Southern part of the North Island where the beaches are nowhere near as nice.

Do you have to drive back to Auckland? You would save time if you flew back. Otherwise have one less day in Wellington. On one day you could easily do Te Papa then botanical gardens and end up at Karori Sactuary for one of their Nocturnal tours. You can drive from Auckland to Wellington in a day but it takes about 10 hours with minimal stops. Instead you could stay one night in Taupo which is lovely and a good half-way point.

I'd be inclined to stay out of Auckland when you travel back just because it will be just before Christmas and like any big city things are really hectic just before Christmas. There are some lovely places with good accomodation options just north of Auckland eg Orewa or Matakana. Or stay a night on Waiheke Island.

Incidentally if you are in Auckland on December 12th be sure to take a stroll down Franklin Rd, Ponsonby in the evening. All the houses are lit with christmas lights and it is very pleasant to join the people out strolling on a balmy summer's evening.

Hope that helps. In general your itinerary looks great and with some tweeking will be fantastic.

Orewa, New Zealand
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4. Re: Please can you check my family itinerary, thanks.

Sorry I meant to say "...you can drive back to Auckland from Wellington in a day..."

UK
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5. Re: Please can you check my family itinerary, thanks.

Thanks Quicky

We'll go with your tip of spending beach days in Northland -thanks for that.

On a flying visit to Wellington a few years age, I did fall in love with the place a bit. We'd all happily spend all day in Te Papa and another in Karori and yet another in the Botanical Gardens if we could.

What we're thinking now is to travel North on 21st and stay somewhere overnight before arriving in Auckland on 22nd. Cost would prevent us flying back. Also the car gives us freedom of movement to stay a bit out of town so maybe cheaper. Budget is important, which is why we'd need to take advantage of the free apartment in Auckland if it's available.

I'm looking carefully at spending more time in Northland now, though so thanks again.

I'm off to do more tweaking!

Christchurch, New...
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6. Re: Please can you check my family itinerary, thanks.

If you are LOTR fans make sure you visit the Weta Cave in Miramar when you are in Wellington. Easy to find from the general area of the airport. It is a shop full of LOTR memorabilia with a free short film about the special effects created by Weta Workshops.

7. Re: Please can you check my family itinerary, thanks.

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