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New Zealand Winter Itinerary for a 2 Week Family Trip

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I'm looking for some help on an itinerary for NZ this winter. We'll be there for either the first two weeks of July or the first two weeks of August. This will be part of a larger six-week Australia & NZ trip. We could do first three weeks in July I suppose, but we'd have to steal a week from the Australia trip. Considering that (for work reasons) we'll be in Melbourne for a whole week in late July, I am thinking that we'll need four weeks in Australia (tell me if you think otherwise).

We're two mid-forties adults, a fourteen yro girl, and a six yro boy. Fairly active. We do ski, but aren't really itching to ski on this trip. We enjoy good scenery and some hiking (the boy can manage about four miles probably); other activities would be fun, although we probably won't get very extreme. Wildlife is big with the kids. Exposure to some Maori life might be interesting. We enjoy NZ wine, but probably won't do any winery visits on a trip with the kids. The kids are so-so on museums. We have cousins in Wellington, so that's a must on the itinerary. We're from northern California.

The first big questions are 1) do we limit ourselves to either the North Island or the South Island (with a few days in Wellington also), or do we do both islands? And 2) if we do only one island, do we do the North or South (with consideration for the fact it will be winter)? I think there's a good chance we will be visiting NZ again in the future (given that we have relatives there now), so I don't feel that we have to do everything. Plus, although we do like to do a lot, we don't want to spend the trip with eight hours of driving a day.

Any suggestions? I think once we nail this down, we'll then turn to the detailed itinerary. Thanks!

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