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Inviting comments for North & South Island Itinerary review

Ohio
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Inviting comments for North & South Island Itinerary review

Itinerary is for total 34 days in North and South Islands of New Zealand. I don't see a forum for North Island, so I am posting here - but inviting people from both islands to comment. Please pardon any miss spellings. Also note the daylight will be long and I'm taking advantage of that. Welcome over all comments, routing comments, towns to sleep in enroute, if you think some days can be combined, and any and everything else. Also- do you think we need Auckland zoo since we see alot of animals on rest of tour? And do you think Nov 26 is impossible?

Many of you have answered my prior questions on forum. Some of that info has been used in this tour. My apologies for the good info given to me that I have not been able to include. I have only so much time. Hopefully it will benefit others who read this forum.

Thanks to all.

Nov 21 -arrive 6AM. See downtown Auckland-walking self tour

Nov 22 - sail harbor or Waiheke Island

Nov 23 - Auckland Museum - highlights tour, maori exhibit, cultural performance. If time-zoo for native animals.

Nov 24 - drive to Northland, stops Matahoke museum, a beach - maybe Mangawai cliff walk and beach, esp if low tide, Kauri Park in Whangarei

Nov 25 - Perfect Day Ocean Cruise w snorkel out of Tutukaka

Nov 26 - Cape Reinga, walk to Pandora Beach, see 9 mile beach,( if possible Kauri Forest at twilight)

Nov 27 - drive to Waikato Country -short stops in northern Kings Country, maybe see Cambridge, be at Maungatautari Island for evening tour

Nov 28 - morning at Maungatatautari Island, then drive to Rotorua, maybe evening cultural experience

Nov 29 - Rotorua - thermal village, Wai-O-Topu, hot baths

Nov 30 - drive to Waitomo Caves area, see caves, maybe other stuff in area. Maybe drive to New Plymouth or else drive in AM.

Dec 1 - New Plymouth bike coast, see downtown

Dec 2 - hike Taranaki if not cloudy. If cloudy, drive south and go up Whanganui River Road

Dec 3 - Wellington downtown

Dec 4 -Te Papa

Dec 5 - give back car, take ferry, get car...

Dec 6 - Abel Tasman - Sea Kayak - A Fab Tour

Dec 7 - Abel Tasman -water taxi to northern point of park, hike and return beaches north of Totaranui, return water taxi

Dec 8 - Marlborough Sounds mail tour or boat to Ships Cove. Drive to Blenheim afterwards, or in next morning.

Dec 9 - wineries.

Dec 10 - drive to ChCh via Kaikoura, stop for whale watch / beach walk in Kaikoura.

Dec 11 - see ChCh downtown and restoration tour, prep for tomorrow, return car

Dec 12 - AM - Tranzalpine Rail to Greymouth, get car, drive and Hotikia shops, museum, gorge

Dec 13 - finish Hotikia, drive to Fox glacier, land tour or self land tour of glacier

Dec 14 - Fox heli in AM, afternoon at Lake Matheson (hike, cafe)

Dec 15 - Drive to Queenstown with stops enroute.

Dec 16 - Queenstown -gondola and bike down

Dec 17 - try to see large sheep farm - Nikomai.

Dec 18 - Drive to Milford Sound with stops enroute, hike enroute, then late kayak (Rosco twilight) or late boat cruise (Mitre, around 4:30PM), drive back to Te Anua to sleep

Dec 19 - Doubtful Bay overnite cruise

Dec 20 - AM - return from Doubtful overnite, PM -drive to Catlins, some stops and be at Curio Bay by twilight.

Dec 21 - Drive thru Catlins w many stops

Dec 22 - Drive to Dunedin. Drive low and high roads to Otago Peninsula, See albatross center.

Dec 23 - Drive to ChCh ( probably via Oamaru to Route 83 to Route 8, passing lake area)

Dec 24 - Fly ChCh to AKL, depart 7:30PM AKL to SF, etc.

Christchurch, New...
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for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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1. Re: Inviting comments for North & South Island Itinerary review

Wow, you are going to need a holiday after this trip! You have done a lot of planning but I am still not quite sure where you are sleeping some nights, and you are doing some backtracking in the central NI.

25th Are you staying in Whangarei for 2 nights?

26th Cape Reinga is a long way to drive in one day from Whangarei - and where are you sleeping that night? If you are returning to Whangarei or going to the Kauri Forest you are looking at a 7 hour drive, not counting stops. If you are stopping at Paihia it is less, but gives you a longer day on the 27th.

27th. Where are you staying? You have a long day just to reach Cambridge from Norhtland - no time to detour to the King Country, unless you dropped the night walk and drove directly to Waitomo & stayed there.

28th. Unless you have serious bird-watching planned, this day is light. If you stayed at Waitomo the night before you could do the visit to Maungatautari this afternoon & evening. You do realise it an "ecological island" not a real island, don't you?

Ohio
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2. Re: Inviting comments for North & South Island Itinerary review

Yes, the Northland is a problem. I would like an additional day there, but I don't know where to take it from. That is one of the reasons I submitted this itinerary to this forum. If I can not find another day somewhere, then I have to remove something from Northland itinerary, and I don't know what to remove. I am waiting for suggestions regarding this.

California
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3. Re: Inviting comments for North & South Island Itinerary review

You are more likely to get mirror views on Lake Matheson in the morning. I don't mean the crack of dawn, but mid-morning. You need the sun up high enough to cast some light on the mountains, yet the air still enough to reflect them. If you go too early, you get nothing but silhouette, too late and the wind picks up.

If you take the twilight kayak tour on Milford, will you be driving back to Te Anau in the dark? That's not a good idea. Looks like you're still mulling that over, but wanted to point that out.

New Zealand
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for South Island
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4. Re: Inviting comments for North & South Island Itinerary review

For the North island - take a day from Auckland; you can easily fit the museum and a walking tour into one day.

for the South - i would skip the TranzAlpine - the road is the far more scenic option and far easier to keep the one car rental.

Plus best add Wanaka - visitors average 5.5 hours to drive Fox to Wanaka with a couple of short stops.

Are you planning to stay Nokomai? It is halfway to Te Anau

Doubtful Sound is a fiord, not a bay ;)

best not drive out the Milford Road so late in the evening after such a full day - tired drivers make mistakes - and the Milford Road has a high accident rate

my suggestion;

10 drive to Kaikoura, continue to Chch

11 explore, afternoon drive to Arthur's Pass

12 drive, explore Hokitika Gorge, continue to Fox

13 explore

14 drive Haast Pass to Wanaka

15 drive to Queenstown

16 explore

17 drive to Nokomai - stay Nokomai or Te Anau

18 drive to Milford, kayak or cruise, stay Milford

19 drive to Manapouri, Doubtful Sound overnight cruise...

Ohio
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5. Re: Inviting comments for North & South Island Itinerary review

Ok, this sounds great. So I will add Auckland Museum to the day with downtown walking tour. And I assume there will be a reasonable way to get to the museum from downtown, correct?

So, can you help me with ordering and a reasonable driving plan for Northland? Is Nov 24 plan OK, and is Mangawai a good choice for a beach? I think we can sleep in Tutukaka so we will be ready for next perfect day. Then Nov 26 will be divided into 2 days. I know Cape Reinga and Pandora's beach go together. How do I do 9 mile beach -can we just go ourselves, or do I need a tour of some sort?And where do you suggest we sleep?

Wellington, NZ
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6. Re: Inviting comments for North & South Island Itinerary review

You aren't allowed to take rental cars onto 90 mile beach - I wouldn't even take my own! A tour is best, and there are a couple that leave from Kaitaia for $50/person.

7. Re: Inviting comments for North & South Island Itinerary review

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