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ptmullins Jan 4th, 2009 11:16 AM

14 days in New Zealand Auckland/Queenstown

Arriving on the 17th of February in Auckland and leaving the 2nd of March from Queensland with a rental car. What are the sites not to miss? Travelling solo and enjoy driving and hiking. Long days don't bother me for driving.

Any help is appreciated.

ElendilPickle Jan 4th, 2009 01:26 PM

You can see how we spent 10 days on the North Island in April 2004 at

Lee Ann

Jed Jan 5th, 2009 08:21 AM

Long days driving may not bother you, but it may take away significant time to enjoy the country. Consider flying the long distances when possible.

Have you read some of the trip reports here? ((*))

mlgb Jan 5th, 2009 08:28 AM

It really isn't a lot of time. I would not spend time in Auckland, in fact I would depart Auckland airport on day of arrival (chances are you will get in very early, and will feel more awake in the mornings).

On the North Island, typical sights might include the Bay of Islands area, or Rotorua and National Park (the volcanoes). You might take a few days to see one or the other.

On the South Island, major sights include Abel Tasman, Kaikoura, West Coast Glaciers (Fox/Franz), Mt. Cook and the Queenstown/Milford Sound/Te Anau area. I recommend doing one of the "tourist loops" around the Southern Alps.

How are you getting between the North and South Island? You might consider flying one way if it's within your budget.

There are lots of suggested itineraries and links on (the official tourist website). You're going to have a hard time narrowing things down. Don't worry, it's all beautiful. Just don't spend too much time in Auckland, it's a fine place but not why people rave about NZ.

ptmullins Jan 17th, 2009 12:17 PM

Thanks all for your responses. I don't fly out of Auckland until 7:30 pm at night back to USA. Not planning on spending any time in the city except for last day.

I have a car for most of the time so far I plan on leaving Queenstown then heading up the central part then down towards Omaru then along the coast south towards Dunedin over to Invercargill up to Milford Sound then back to Queenstown to do a bungy jump then up the west coast to Greymouth then over to Christchurch up to Picton over to Wellington then west coast to New Plymouth over to Taupo then to Roturau then up to Tauranga then as far north as possible before leaving Auckland.

Sounds like a lot is there items in the journey that would be a better route I would appreciate the help.

Thanks again

Melnq8 Jan 17th, 2009 02:24 PM

Do I understand correctly that your tour of the SI will begin in Queenstown and end in Picton?

It looks as if you have 12 full days (I don't count arrival and departure days as full days). That's barely enough time to hit the highlights of one island, let alone both. I highly recommend you pick one island, you're trying to do way too much.

Your suggested SI route will definitely cover the south of the SI, but it involves a lot of driving and leaves very little time to actually see the areas you'll be visiting.

I suggest you decide what exactly you'd like to see. For instance, Invercargill isn't on the wish list of most first time visitors - it's basically an agricultural town. Not a whole lot to see there.

Same with Greymouth, it's basically a place visitors pass through on their way to/from the glaciers. Same with Oamaru - it's a town that happens to have a penguin colony and some interesting buildings, but that's about it.

The highlights of the SI usually include Milford and Doubtful Sound, Westland National Park (the glaciers), Mt Cook, and Lake Tekapo.

That's not to say that there isn't a heck of a lot more to see, but these places are usually what visitors try to fit into their itineraries.

I suggest you take a look at drive time and distances:

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