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Yet another itinerary question!

Montreal, Canada
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Yet another itinerary question!

We are a couple in our 60s - still somewhat adventurous! We arrive in Auckland Friday, March 2 and fly out late afternoon Wednesday, March 7.

Accounting for jet lag and with such limited time, we figure the best we can do is stay in Auckland 2 days and head for Rotorua and surroundings for 3 days on Sunday, getting back to Auckland in time to get to the airport on Wednesday.

We've explored Kiwi Experience, Magic Bus etc but a) the timing doesn't seem to work and b) they are designed for a younger demographic. (Don't need the Ritz but passed the point of quad dorms!!) We've explored Viator and the like but they seem very expensive for what you get and bus tour restaurants aren't my idea of a good time.

Renting a car is not a great option, given the jet lag and the challenge of driving on the 'wrong side'.

So we're stuck for ideas - any suggestions welcome! Thanks.

Rarotonga, Cook...
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for Rarotonga, Waiheke Island, Southern Cook Islands, Auckland
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1. Re: Yet another itinerary question!

Hi Bubble,

A couple of suggestions - for Auckland use the Explorer hop on/off bus which operates a continuous circuit of the main city attractions. Use the ferries to reach Devonport, Waiheke Island, or other Gulf islands, or you can take a harbour cruise (morning or afternoon schedules). Some of the inner city sights you can stroll to including Skytower, Art Gallery & Albert park, the shops, Viaduct harbour and Wynyard Quarter.

To get to Rotorua, either fly domestic, or book an Intercity coach from Auckland to Rotorua. If you are a little adventurous, by the time you reach Rotorua you may be confident in hiring a car and driving yourselves around.

Montreal, Canada
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2. Re: Yet another itinerary question!

Thanks a lot for the quick reply. The 'to do's' you mention in Auckland itself are on my list! And we thought the Explorer bus makes good sense.

I should have made clear that we would like to do at least some of the various stops that bus tours to Rotorua do (Waitomo, Agrodome, Taupo, etc). and commentary and explanations would be interesting and useful. Are those stops feasible by Intercity bus? Or do you know some small, maybe eccentric bus tours that might meet our interests without being the usual tourist traps that bus tours are pretty much anyplace in the world?

Auckland
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3. Re: Yet another itinerary question!

If you go to Rotorua, do aim to stay overnight (taking advantage of an evening Cultural Show). To do this in a day is a real killer and would spoil the level of travel you know you wish to have. There are also many countryside activities to do outside of the city confines of Auckland.

Auckland, New...
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4. Re: Yet another itinerary question!

Have you looked at one of the tour companies listed under tours in things to do on Trip Advisor.

Many of them do overnight trips to Rotorua, are small and therefore more personal.

Most visitors to New Zealand tend to hire and drive so our tour companies only cater for a limited few.

Montreal, Canada
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5. Re: Yet another itinerary question!

Thanks for all the good ideas.

Calicolodge, I've looked at some of those tour companies - some look reasonable (and not a whole lot more than the party buses!) and I've written to a couple for further info. Merci encore!

Queensland...
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6. Re: Yet another itinerary question!

I cannot understand the that will not hire a car to drive on the left side of the road. I am 74 and think nothing of going for a holiday to USA and always get a rental, never had an accident. The only mistake I make is I go to the wrong side to get in, so I open the door for the wife and tell her I am being polite. You will see a lot more of the country with a car, and stop where you see somehing you like.

Christchurch, New...
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for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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7. Re: Yet another itinerary question!

Great Sights is a company that does the trip from AKL to Rotorua via Waitomo Caves. I've not used them but recommended them to many friends in the SI & believe they are reasonable value for money.

Montreal, Canada
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8. Re: Yet another itinerary question!

Thanks all. We've decided on a two-day tour with NZBR which has pretty decent reviews.

And Hervey, it's not that we won't drive on the left - we've done it in Ireland, several times in England (including London where the drivers are quite mad), and Trinidad &Tobago. It's more a concern that, just two days earlier, we'll have been on the road for almost 30 hours and be dealing with a 16 hour time change. So it just doesn't seem prudent. We will be renting cars in Australia - but that'll be a week later. And yes, I know what you mean about trying to get in the car on the wrong side! ;-)

9. Re: Yet another itinerary question!

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