Flying into Auckland pick up car need a recommendation of hotel reasonably priced to stay at overnight.
How long will it take to drive from Auckland to Rotorua then from Rotorua to Wellington. Secondly, from Picton to Franz Josef Glacier. Thirdly, from Mount Cook to Queenstown. Forthly, Queenstown to Dunedin. Finally, Dunedin to Christchurch.
hope you don't plan to drive Picton to Franz in one day!!
we don't have the wide, easy cruising roads you will be used to. Lots of wriggles and actual mountains in your roads. best not plan any drive over 4 hours as once you add sightseeing etc, that 4 hour drive can take all day. Example - Franz to Wanaka can be done in 4 hours but visitors average 6 hours so for all thos who take 4 hours, an equal number take 8 hours.
also how do you plan to get from Franz to Aoraki/Mt Cook? take a look on the link above - you have to drive 483kms to get from one to the other!
Took us about 4hrs to drive from Auckland airport to Rotorua with a gps. Roads were good and min traffic. Stopped on the way at a cafe for a burger.
I also suggest maybe staying at a airport hotel for your first night and picking up the car the next morning to start your trip. No reason to pick up the car and then pay for parking on arrival
Richard, unless you plan to spend at least 2 nights at each location you mention, you are going to be spending your entire vacation in the car with those drives.
Use the link above for drive times and roadmaps and remember, less is more.
<<We will be traveling for 12 days. Should we split 6 for each island or more days in the North or South?>>
Our first trip to NZ was a "lets see what its like" so we spent 4 nights in Rotorua, flew to Dunedin for 3 nights and then to Christchurch for 4 nights. Found out that NZ was too big and beautiful a place to do it in one trip. Second trip was just Dunedin>Te Anu>Milford>Queenstown. This Christmas trip is Christchurch>Glaciers>Queenstown and there is still so much to see.
If you can, I would try to minimise the car travel and send more time in each place as lightening fast visits usually mean you want to revisit for the stuff you missed
I will say that I really liked Rotarua, the mud pits and thermal springs were a hit with me but NZ is a beautiful country so it will be hard to be disappointed with whatever route you pick.
What do you consider cheap?
After arriving in Auckland ( October 9th) 5.30pm, picking up a car we thought of driving to the Epsom area for accommodation. The next morning 8am leaving for Rotorua (4hour drive). Staying in Rotorua overnight then heading down to Wellington. How long will this take and staying near the ferry terminal. We have made the decision to spend most of our time in the South Island (7 days flexible) and leave from Christchurch on October 20th
Youre not planning on staying in Rotorua? What a shame, I have a soft spot for the place. The mud pits, thermal park, hot springs then the silly stuff like zorbing. All to be enjoyed
If you are going to spend most of your time in the south island, can you fly directly there and save yourself a few days?
Actually we have changed our plans. Drive out of Auckland(10) to Hamilton then to Waitoma Caves, Rotorua, Lake Taupo, Palmerston North and then be in Wellingtom October 12. Is this to much or should we arrive in Wellington October 13th. I guess it is a case of what we would like to see. That leaves us with 8 days in the south. How does this sound.