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10 days New Zealand

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Sep 22nd, 2012, 09:16 PM
  #1
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Join Date: Jul 2012
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10 days New Zealand

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"
Kinloch is offline  
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Sep 22nd, 2012, 10:37 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
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What is the 'shire'? I guess you are staying in Auckland a few days, if so a day trip to Waiheke Island and a minibus tour to some of the wineries is a great way to sample some of our best wines. The island has a big reputation for wine and a lot of the wineries have restaurants where a stop is made for lunch. The tour picks up at the ferry wharf and drops you off there for the 35 minute boat trip back to Auckland. For the kayaking part Abel Tasman National Park seems to be the favoured area and there will be companies listed on the internet you can contact for this. To cut down on driving time you might find it more convenient to fly to your chosen destinations and pick up a car then if necessary. Our cost of flights is very reasonable now with Air New Zealand or Jetstar.
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Sep 22nd, 2012, 11:41 PM
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I assume shire is a LOTR reference?

You'll be spoiled for choice when it comes to wineries. Marlborough (Blenheim area) is well known for it's Sauv Blanc and the region is chock-a-block with wineries and cellar doors. Very easy to get a tour there, some operators cater to small groups and encourage guests to choose the wineries they'd prefer to visit.

Marlborough and Abel Tasman are relatively close to one another, so easy to combine your major interests of wine and kayaking. Nearby Queen Charlotte Sounds offer kayaking too and of course the Queen Charlotte Track for tramping.

Nelson is another wine region within easy access of Abel Tasman. You might Google Upper Moutere for some boutique winery options.

Central Otago (Cromwell/Bannockburn/Alexandra)is known for it's wonderful pinot noir and some fantastic dry riesling. It's within relatively easy reach of Queenstown and Wanaka, and is a good stopover in it's own right.

You can also kayak in Milford and Doubtful Sounds, both of which offer overnight cruises.

Lots of options.
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Sep 23rd, 2012, 05:00 PM
  #4
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
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Depending on where you'll be on the North Island, it shouldn't be too hard to get to Matamata. If it doesn't work in your schedule, pick up a copy of Ian Brodie's The Lord of the Rings Location Guide. We found it to be really helpful.

Lee Ann
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Sep 24th, 2012, 01:02 AM
  #5
 
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Sounds like spending your time Nelson and Marlborough would meet your needs, like already mentioned both offer a wide variety of wine, hikes and excellent kayaking.

The Marlborough Sounds is less exposed to the open sea then Able Tasman, so would be less likely to have your plans ruined by the weather.

For something a little different, visit Nelson Lakes National park, Kayak to the head of Lake Rotoiti then do a few hikes before kayaking back. Although I read that the hire company there does not do solo hires.... Still plenty of short and not so short hikes to take. The Parachute rocks is a nice day walk.

If you prefer river paddles, then look into Kayaking down the Whanganui River which is located a couple of hours north of Wellington.
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