10 days NZ-crusie or land??

Old Nov 21st, 2016, 09:24 AM
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10 days NZ-crusie or land??

Help with 14 day trip Australia/NZ. We planned a trip in Nov trip to Sydney, Auckland and Bay of Plenty/beach areas.We are now going in Jan2017& have a few more days to spend there, so need advise on plans.We are beach people but want to mix in food&wine/scenery/culture. Think Sydney should make the list while we are there too. Everyone raves about NZ, so we are thinking of doing that instead of great barrier reef&outback. There is a cruise that leaves from Sydney and gives us a good snap shot of NZ but many downsides. Feedback please. If we do the cruise, we'll stay in Sydney then fly to Milford sound to meet the boat there instead of spending days on sea. Not very interested in Christchurch/Dunedin area, but it offers an easier way to see both milford sound, Wellington/Picton, but tie on land seem limiting and only allows for city exploration. Debating the cruise or just do Sydney3-4 days, then 3 days QT/Fjords or then fly to Napier and do pacific highway to auckland or fly direct to Auckland and spend beach time in bay of plenty and/or Coromandel, then do Rotura, Lake Taupo and Auckland. Thoughts?? The cruise info is below. another option would be to cut of QT altogether and spend 10 days in North Island. Cruise is 1700p so that would leave us 3400 budget for a land trip. I have comments below on the cruise.
1.Sydney, Australia Depart 6:30 PM
2. At Sea
3. At Sea
4. Milford Sound Arrive 7:00 AM Depart 8:00 AM
4. Fjordland National Park, New Zealand
5. Dunedin, New Zealand Arrive 8:00 AM Depart 6:00 PM
6. Christchurch, New Zealand Arrive 7:00 AM Depart 6:00 PM
7. Picton, New Zealand Arrive 10:00 AM Depart 8:00 PM
8. Wellington, New Zealand Arrive 8:00 AM Depart 4:00 PM -What do we do here? Don't think this enough time for trip to Picton/Abel Tasman National Park?
9. Napier, New Zealand Arrive 7:00 AM Depart 2:00 PM- short time for a winery tour or beach day?
10. Tauranga, New Zealand Arrive 9:00 AM Depart 7:00 PM- is this beaches or hot springs or Maroi culture?
11. Auckland, New Zealand Arrive 8:00 AM Depart 6:00 PM
12. Bay of Islands Arrive 7:00 AM Depart 2:00 PM
13. At Sea
14. At Sea
15. Sydney, Australia
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Old Nov 21st, 2016, 09:28 AM
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sorry for the typo Its Cruise not crusie. Also, we are in our thirties& have done a similar trip across the world to Thailand, not overly concerned with jet lag, etc.
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Old Nov 21st, 2016, 11:22 AM
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January is the busiest tourist month for both Australia and New Zealand. Locals are all on annual holidays, school kids are on holiday and tourists are here because it's the best weather.
Book something right now is my advice. Some places you will not get accommodation at all.
A cruise is not the best way to see NZ. Too much time on the ship getting from port to port. There was a major earthquake in Kaikoura last week so I am not sure if the cruise ship would stop in Picton. There was some damage to the ferry/cruise ship wharves from the earthquake. It should be fixed by January but the cruise line would have to have a back up plan.
Abel Tasman National Park is not a day trip from Picton.
How do you fly to Milford Sound? Curious to know. Surely this involves leaving from Queenstown to do this?
Your 3-4 days Sydney, 3-4 days Queenstown and 3-4 days at a beach/beaches is the best idea.
Napier's beach is rocky and exposed. Bay of Plenty or Coromandel beaches are better and closer to Rotorua if you want to look there.
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Old Nov 21st, 2016, 02:51 PM
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I'm confused - you're planning to take a cruise, but not take the cruise?

Curious why 30 somethings are interested in such a doddering cruise? You're young - get out there and do it right - explore!

On the ship, off the ship, but no time in between to experience the places you've gone so far to see. It's a crying shame.

The problem with cruises to NZ is that you only see the edges. The best bits lie within IMO.

<<8. Wellington, New Zealand Arrive 8:00 AM Depart 4:00 PM -What do we do here? Don't think this enough time for trip to Picton/Abel Tasman National Park?>>

A day trip from Wellington to Picton to Abel Tasman in eight hours? Ummm, no freaking way.

You have just enough time to see Te Papa in Wellington, the museum of NZ. And possibly have lunch. Or, you might want to visit Zealandia. Or take the Wellington Cable Car for some nice views. walk back down through the botanic garden and have lunch at a nice pub.

Assuming you mean to explore Abel Tasman on Day 7 from Picton, still no freaking way. You might have time to walk a section of the Queen Charlotte Track, but that's wholly dependent on water taxi schedules and possible special shore excursions offered through the cruise line.. You'll have time to take an organized wine tour to Blenheim, assuming you book ahead of time.
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Old Nov 21st, 2016, 03:40 PM
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I hate to be part of the pile-on, but I'm going to be quite frank.

There are people who love the cruise ship culture and the destinations are secondary. They love the days at sea and cruise ship food. I'm not one of those people. And I really don't think the destinations at New Zealand should be considered secondary.

Most of our more memorable highlights of New Zealand were things we experienced on the road. We've been in a few ports where cruise ships dock and planned around their schedules. At Paihia, when a cruiseship was in port, we headed east of Russell where no cruiseship patrons would venture, etc.

So if you have the choice of experiencing New Zealand by road or by cruise, do yourself a favor and rent a car and make a roadtrip out of it. You will not be sorry.

The only herds you should be experiencing are those of sheep, not those of fellow cruise ship passengers.
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