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Please Help my New Zealand 10 days trip Itinerary...

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Hey all..

I need helps for planning my trip to New Zealand on October 2013.. I have never been there before and I would appreciate any suggestion...

First, what is the weather like during October? What do I need to pack during that season?
Second, I will only travel on the north island, and do you have any suggestion on the places, cities, or events that I should visit? Just FYI, I am looking forward to find authentic food, great sceneries, and great wines (and places to shop too). I will be there for 10 days and I am looking forward to have great experience.
Third, is the prices of goods and service in New Zealand expensive? Like for transportation and food.
Fourth, should I take the public transportations, or should I rent a car?

Thank you for any assistance.. I really do not know where to start in planning because New Zealand is new to me... Help please....

Regards,

Julie

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