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10 days New Zealand

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Hello Fodor Friends, I am new to the New Zealand forum but have used the European threads to great advantage over the last 10 years. I am in the beginning stages of planning a trip to New Zealand at the end of February 2012. I am a very active 50 year old woman travelling alone. I have to do business on North Island for several days then will have 10 -12 days for touring. I want to enjoy some individual area. My ideal vacation would be 3-4 days in each of maybe three locations. I have looked at a couple of tour companies but none had the itineraries I would choose. I would like to do a 3-4 day kayaking excursion. I would also like to do some wine tasting. Have done a lot of wine touring but usually with a group where we could take turns being driver. I prefer wine tours where it is a lot about tasting the wine, not spending a lot of time touring the winery. i love to visit small and unique boutique wineries. Besides kayaking and wine drinking I like to hike in the mountains. Any suggestions of locations and/or tour companies would be appreciated. I am very comfortable driving on the left and can rent a car if that is most efficient. Kinloch
PS - Hate to admit this but would love to visit the "Shire"

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