We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Flying into NZ next weekend for 6 days

San Jose, California
5 posts
Save Topic
Flying into NZ next weekend for 6 days

Hi all!

My friends and I will be flying into Auckland next Monday, May 24, and are needing suggestions for itineraries. This is a very last minute trip as we got great airfare from the States on Air New Zealand. $399 r/t US dollars from San Francisco.

We'll be in NZ May 24-29. I understand that isn't nearly enough time to see all or even most of it.

Where should we focus most of our attention? We get in 5AM Monday morning, so we can fly straight to Queensland or CHC to be based out of there.

Our interests are scenery and hiking. We don't party or drink. We'd like to go swimming somewhere hard to reach and possibly camp most of the nights. Would it be possible to split half/half North and South? In the North we would do Bay of Islands and just hang around Auckland. South we would fly to CHC or Queenstown and drive from there.

Thanks!

Rarotonga, Cook...
Destination Expert
for Rarotonga, Waiheke Island, Southern Cook Islands, Auckland
Level Contributor
13,323 posts
112 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Flying into NZ next weekend for 6 days

Congratulations on picking up this amazing airfare! Unbelievable value - I couldn't believe the price when I saw this advertised late last evening.

With only 5 days in NZ, I suggest you focus primarily on one area. Since I live near the Bay of Islands, of course Im going to be a parochial Kiwi and invite you north! Our entire region has fabulous scenery and very diverse. You may like to consider a day cruise swimming with dolphins in BOI, or do an overnight or sailing cruise from Paihia. Most definitely do the Cape Reinga trip -either by coach along 90 Mile Beach, or flying with Salt Air from Kerikeri. See both sides of the northern region including the Waipoua Forest, and Hokianga harbour. Depending on how many in your party, hiring campervans from Auckland to tour Northland/BOI would be an option- combining the camping idea within your transport.

End of May isnt really camping weather. Although we have been most fortunate so far in North Isle to escape wintry onset, temps could suddenly plummet over next couple weeks heading into winter proper on 1st June. It's not swimming weather late autumn, except for the hardy who are used to seasonal water temps. How about a soak in a natural thermal pool instead? Here in Northland we do have a couple of thermal pools, based in Ngawha Springs not to far inland from the BOI coastline. Swimming with dolphins and snorkelling in the organised cruises includes using wetsuits.

Happy planning for this incredible adventure!

Northen CA
Level Contributor
62 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Flying into NZ next weekend for 6 days

Thanks so much for this post. We, too, found this deal and are contemplating a trip. I need to book tickets - eek! But I don't know how long we should go for. Knowing absolutely NOTHING about NZ, I wasn't sure if 6 days in Auckland would be too long. But it sounds like day trips, or car trips to other places nearby for a night or 2 are feasible? There will possibly be 2 couples traveling in our mid-30s.

Auckland, New...
Level Contributor
1,531 posts
47 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Flying into NZ next weekend for 6 days

Hi

With only 6 days and given the time of year with shorter days I would seriously consider staying in the Auckland Region where there is more than enough to fill 6 days including the activities you have mentioned.

The Explorer Bus is a good way to get an overview of the city:

www.explorerbus.co.nz

Viaduct Basin or Mission Bay for cafes and restaurants. The Viaduct Basin is more lively than Mission Bay and the Maritime Museum is located there. Mission Bay is more relaxing and has nice views across the harbour towards the volcanic (extinct) island of Rangitoto.

If you would like to experience Maori Culture then I suggest that you visit the Auckland Museum where daily there is an excellent Maori concert/cultural performance (4 performance each day in summer months). Have a look at:

www.aucklandmuseum.com

Sky Tower - there is revolving restaurant at the top but in my view you go there for the views rather than the food.

Shopping – small boutique type shops in Parnell or for larger shops and Malls just up the road in Newmarket, arguably Auckland’s best shopping area.

Ferry - either across the harbour to Devonport 10 - 15 minutes or to Waiheke Island (40 minutes) The trip to Waiheke is a good way of seeing the harbour.

For the scenery and hiking I would suggest that you look at the Waitakere Ranges and area of exceptional natural beauty under an hour from the city centre and airport. There is a camping ground at Piha Beach. There are secluded beaches out here on the west coast. However be aware that the sea can be very dangerous so you would be well advised to take great care and swim in patrolled areas where possible.

Auckland, New...
Level Contributor
1,080 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Flying into NZ next weekend for 6 days

With only 6 days you cannot see all of New Zealand.

I would suggest either staying in the Auckland area or if you wish to drive the Bay of Islands would be a great adventure. Drive north up the West Coast and south on the east coast to view the best of our scenery.

Camping at this time of the year is not the best idea, it is the start of our winter.

Check out www.wotif.com for great deals on accommodation. They have real bargains in and around Auckland at present.

California
Level Contributor
2 posts
17 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Flying into NZ next weekend for 6 days

Got the same amazing deal out of SFO, different dates. We're flying to Christchurch a few hours after landing in Auckland. Flights on Virgin/Pacific Blue were approx US$110 Roundtrip. 1 day train trip on the Transzalpine looks fun. tranzscenic.co.nz/services/tranzalpine.aspx

Doing a total of 4 days in South Island, then back to Auckland for 4 days and flying home. Co-worker recommended Quadrant Hotel in Auckland...Executive 1 bedroom with kitchen and free WiFi is US$76.

California
Level Contributor
2 posts
17 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Flying into NZ next weekend for 6 days

Forgot to mention...deal at the Quadrant was found on Expedia. Was significantly more on the Quandrant website. Have fun!

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
Level Contributor
28,297 posts
81 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Flying into NZ next weekend for 6 days

Hi Sultan, it would be a shame to miss seeing some of the stunning scenery for which NZ is famous. You could;

1 arrive Auckland, fly to Queenstown

2 explore, TSS Earnslaw cruise and farm tour www.realjourneys.co.nz/Main/TSSEarnslaw_WP/

3 bus/cruise Milford Sound, bus or fly back to Queenstown www.realjourneys.co.nz/Main/MilfordSound/

4 hike

5 fly to Auckland

6 explore

7 fly home

hope this helps :)

New Zealand
Level Contributor
5 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Flying into NZ next weekend for 6 days

Hi, I hope you have great time when you get here,

I think that you'd want to get out of Auckland as quickly as possible,(I live there and Love it) and as suggested head to the Bay of Islands or to Qeenstown/Milford sounds.

For hiking and scenery, probably the latter,

As the others have mentioned, camping is not a great option, it's getting cold.

Try Standbycars for relocation deals on a campervan, or holidayrentals for accomadation options.

Enjoy, and welcome to NZ

San Jose, California
5 posts
Save Reply
9. Re: Flying into NZ next weekend for 6 days

Thank you so much for all theses suggestions. I'm leaning towards taking a flight straight to Queenstown or CHC and basing out of there.

Would there be enough time to fly to CHC and then drive to Queenstown and then see the Milford Sounds? I would fly back out of Queenstown.

Is it feasible to drive to Milford? I see mostly the fly/cruise options, but they seem to be pretty pricey. Thanks so much ...

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
Level Contributor
28,297 posts
81 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Flying into NZ next weekend for 6 days

yep, you can drive to Milford Sound in May. But from Te Anau, not Queenstown. The round trip from Queenstown is 13 hours, which is why a bus is recommended. If driving from Te Anau, do take care on the road as there are lots of accidents - caused mainly by driver fatigue, driver inattention and failing to drive on the left.

You could;

1 arrive Auckland, fly to Queenstown

2 drive to Te Anau, glow worm caves

3 explore Milford, stay Te Anau

4 drive to Queenstown

5 drive to Aoraki/Mt Cook or Tekapo

6 drive to Chch

7 fly home

or...

4 drive to Queenstown

5 explore

6 drive to Chch (6.5 hours)

7 fly home

Edited: 16 May 2010, 03:16