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New Zealand 2017 - North or South Island first

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We are a late 50's retired couple planning our trip to NZ in Febuary and Marchbof next year.
Pretty flexible on dates, and currently are looking at leaving the US second or third week in Febuary for a trip of about five weeks. Using Auckland as arrival and departure city.

We are physically active and plan on doing mostly day hikes, kayaking, biking, and generally touring about. Will rent a car and stay at B&B's, home stays,, or hotels and motels.

We chose the end of summer and beginnig of fall in the hopes that it be be easier to get accommodations on the go and change itinerary as we go.

That being said, does it make any sense to spend our first few days around Auckland to get over jet lag, and then fly to SI and work our way back to the NI ? We are thinking that we could take advantage of the warmer weather early in the trip on the SI. Or is the weather difference in that time frame not a big difference in late Febuary early March on the SI ?

Thanks

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