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5 Day North Island/12 Day South Island Help Appreciated!

New York City, New...
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5 Day North Island/12 Day South Island Help Appreciated!

This is our first NZ trip. Any thoughts on the proposed itinerary would be greatly appreciated.

We fly into Auck 5/25 and fly out 5/14. We ended up with a last-minute plan and already made ticketing and car rental errors that cannot be undone (like flying in and out of Auckland!). We plan to mix accommodations: hotels, B&Bs and tent camping. We are in our late 40's, reasonable shape, interested in hiking and photography. We need about 3 more months to scratch the surface of what we want to do!

2/25 Arrive Auck 5:30, pick up car, sleep in airport hotel, try to recover from jet lag.

12/26 supplement camping gear, see Auckland

12/27-12/29: Head to Taupo/Turangi/ Rotura. Should we base ourselves in Taupo? Tongariro Crossing is priority on 12/28 with 12/29 as back up date. Not sure where to stay yet – maybe tent camping. No caves planned but will see the other sites.

If we do crossing on 12/28, 12/29 we will drive to Napier, O/N there and then get to Wellington on 12/30. If we end up 12/29 with crossing, we will drive to Wellington in one day on 12/30. O/N Wellington

12/31 – 9am Ferry to Picton [car ferry ticket sold out] Pick up new car in Picton, short hike on Charlotte Queen Track, stay at Okiwa Bay Lodge in Anakiwa on NYE.

1/1-1/3 We are deciding between extra day hikes on CQT and 2 days 1 night in tent in AT or 3 day AT hike, 2 night tent camp. Any thoughts on that plan and where we should base ourselves? Also, are there transport services to take our gear and drop it at the camps in between hikes that do not cost hundreds of dollars? The guided trips seem great but extremely expensive..

1/3 O/N Nelson after AT hike?

1/4- Drive to Punakaki ,Greymouth, etc. O/N in Punakaki

1/5 If Haas pass is ok by January, head down the west coast to Wanaka/QT. If Haas pass is not ok, we will skip Fox and instead drive Arthur's Pass. If the latter where should we stip between Nelson and Wanaka

1/6 -1/8 Should we base at Wanaka, Queenstown or Arrowhead?

1/9 -1/11 O/N at Te Anau - do Milford Day Hike, Routeborn Day Hike, Doubtful Sound Cruise or Milford sound cruise or 2 day Routeburn in tent if weather permits, skip Milford Sound. Is it worth it to do both sounds or try to do Milford Day Hikes?

1/11 Maybe fit in morning hike and drive to Mt Cook O/N

1/12 - Mueller Ridge Day Hike O/N Mt Cook

1/13 Drive to CC, 5:30 Flight cc to auk, stay at airport hotel, home 9am 1/14. Fly home

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New Zealand
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1. Re: 5 Day North Island/12 Day South Island Help Appreciated!

Welcome to the forum :)

Punakaiki to Wanaka is a seriously long drive!

Visitors average 6 hours to drive just Franz to Wanaka.

Best write out a day by day plan rather than bunch into several days with lots of activities.

Also no need to write dates 1/11 etc - that is 1 Nov here!

You have the makings of a good trip - it just needs refining :)

Ballarat, Australia
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2. Re: 5 Day North Island/12 Day South Island Help Appreciated!

Yup, be careful with dates when making bookings or you'll end up booked on the wrong days! Remember everything is upside down or back to front Down Under.

Rarotonga, Cook...
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3. Re: 5 Day North Island/12 Day South Island Help Appreciated!

For the Tongariro crossing, better to base yourselves closer to the departure point. At Whakapapa village on the mountain there is a mix of accommodation, including affordable lodge style. Same goes for National Park village nearby. Turangi is further afield from the park, while Taupo is some distance away again.

De Bretts at Taupo would make for a great après-crossing stopover with its range of accommodation styles and thermal bathing; before you head over to Napier. Suggest you firm up your itinerary and book accommodation fairly smartly for December - January visit.

On the day you arrive into NZ, I suggest you have a mix of a cat-nap followed by gentle exercise during daylight to help reset your body clock. Otherwise it takes longer to adjust to our time zone. If staying near Auckland airport there is open countryside to explore nearby including Villa Maria winery for lunch, and Mangere mountain and Ambury Park for a stroll. For city accommodation the Viaduct harbour and Wynyard Quarter are interesting inner harbour areas to explore on foot, with Mt Eden summit close to the city centre (requires transport to reach).

Edited: 22 November 2013, 17:43
New York City, New...
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4. Re: 5 Day North Island/12 Day South Island Help Appreciated!

Thank you very much! I will revisit the plan and re-post:

5. Re: 5 Day North Island/12 Day South Island Help Appreciated!

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