3 Week Itinerary for New Zealand and Australia

Jun 26th, 2007, 11:24 AM
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3 Week Itinerary for New Zealand and Australia

We are planning stops in Bed and Breakfasts every 3 days . Any suggestions for places to see, activities, and bed and breakfasts?
RTR1944 is offline  
Jun 26th, 2007, 02:34 PM
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Can you tell us a little bit more about your interests? It will help people to give you more specific advice.

Susan7 is offline  
Jun 26th, 2007, 04:42 PM
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A general idea of your budget would be helpful as well.

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Jun 27th, 2007, 11:27 AM
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Our interests are more to the scenic/activities side and we love to hang with the locals. We haven't thought about the budget a whole lot but that's negotiable.

I am starting to do a little research in Fodor's New Zealand book 7th edition. BTW, do I need to update this? I'm starting to think we may have to make this a 4 weeker.

I know we want to see Christchurch, Sydney and take in a performance at the Sydney Opera House, and the Great Barrier Reef.

My first question after my initial research is: Can we do 3 days comfortably in the Auckland/Coromandel Penisula area? I liked the book's suggestions re: Waitakere Ranges near Aukland, Tropical Butterfly Garden and Meonstake near Thames, and the Rapaura Watergardens on the Tapu-Coroglen Road. Is there anything worth seeing on the east side of Coromandel Penisula?
RTR1944 is offline  
Jun 27th, 2007, 12:03 PM
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we went to NZ and Australia for a little more than 3 weeks last November and wished it could have been longer, so if you can take 4 weeks, I'd say do it. Because we were only spending 9 days in NZ, we stayed on the South Island. If you like getting to know the people there, you might want to try a farmstay. We did two and enjoyed both very much.
dellyb is offline  
Jun 27th, 2007, 01:56 PM
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I'd suggest adding in Tasmania for wildlife and scenery. I've seen more marsupials there than anywhere else in the country. Are you coming in our summer: Dec/Jan?

GBR stretches from Lady Elliot Island and Heron Island in the South right up to the top of Queensland and beyond. Popular places to stay when going out to the reef are the Whitsunday Islands, Cairns or Port Douglas.

Sydney Opera House has a range of things you can see including the much cheaper Studio productions, these are usually contemporary works, prices last time I went were about $30.
Susan7 is offline  
Jun 27th, 2007, 03:20 PM
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If you can take four weeks, I think you'll be happier. Otherwise one country or the other will be shortchanged.

Here is our trip report and pictures - http://community.webshots.com/user/ElendilPickle

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Jun 27th, 2007, 03:41 PM
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Well, our upcoming trip is 5 weeks and mostly in Far North Queensland, so if you can add on any time--do it! Australia alone is worth all 4 weeks and so is NZ, so it will be hard to choose. I suggest that you and your travelling companion sit down and decide what it is you really want to do on this trip and then sadly X out things that don't fit this criteria. There are sooooo many lovely things to do and people to meet that it will be hard to decide. Check this site's search place for trip reports and check out lots of books from the library--and have fun!
Sally in Seattle
SnRSeattle is offline  
Jun 27th, 2007, 04:06 PM
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The east side of the coromandel is beautiful.

Stay at hahei and do the cathedral cove kayak tour.
johhj_au is offline  
Jun 27th, 2007, 11:43 PM
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We just came back from NZ (South Island) trip in May, the Fodors book is very helpful. It is the best trip we even had (even better than Europe!). South Island has alot to see and do - if you enjoy the nature. Here is our itineary :
1. Take the Tranzalpine train from Christchurch to Greymouth, rent a car, go to Punakaiki National Park (30 min drive north) to see the Pancake Rock.
2. Go to Franz Josef or Fox Glacier, do some Glaicer Hiking.
3. must go Lake Wanaka and Lake Wakatipu (Queenstown) - it was SOOO beautiful - trust me, the 'wow' factor is THERE! if you like Lord of the Ring series, there are numerous film location which is easily access from Q-town.
4. Go Te Anau - don't under estimate this little town. They have a glow-worm cave tour (which conduct only at night or evening time). You will find this SUPER romantic to go this tour with your love one!
5. Oamaru - we love penguin, and you can see two types of penguin there. The fairy penguin (blue) and the yellow eye penguin. Oh... We stayed at the B&B there and the lady is NICE and the room is lovely. Ann Meike is the place's name (or something like that). Don't forget to drive south to Moeraki beach to see the Boulder!

6. Mount Cook - you must NOT miss this majestic moutnain. The mountains have a way to make you forget your troubles at home!

Well, I think that will do for South Island, hope it helps!
P.S: wear long sleeves and shoes at all time while you are at Glacier and Mt. Cook, those black flies are harmless but I am still scratching my arms a month after they bit me. My wife is smart enough to wear a long sleeves! ALWAYS listen to the wife! D'oh! Good Luck!
bbkwong is offline  
Jun 28th, 2007, 12:34 PM
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Thanks to everyone for their insight. It looks like we will take 4 weeks.

Thanks to dellyb about her thoughts about a farm stay. Any specific suggestions?

To Susan7, we are looking at July, 2008 but the Sydney Opera House schedule may preclude that. We may add Tasmania given your thoughts and I appreciate the tips on the GBR. Any specific ideas here?

Lee Ann, I may write more specific questions as I digest your pictures and trip report further.

I will also look at the other trip reports that Sally suggested.

Thank you johnj for your thoughts on the Coromandel Penisula

And, to bbkwong, thank you for your specific input - much appreciated. I may add some things thanks to you. And, I would have never worn long sleeves!
RTR1944 is offline  
Jun 28th, 2007, 01:23 PM
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bbkwong, how long were you in the South Island?
RTR1944 is offline  
Jun 28th, 2007, 03:44 PM
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For GBR in July Far North Queensland (Cairns, Port Douglas) would be my preference, the southern end of the reef will be quite a bit cooler.

I haven't been to Cairns for well over a decade but others here will have suggestions about your options for seeing the reef from there. If you wanted to have one extravagant splurge, consider Lizard Island. I haven't been but the reports are consistently positive.

Susan7 is offline  
Jun 28th, 2007, 06:27 PM
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Hi again,
We were on South Island in November 06 and stayed at 2 farmstays. I would highly recommend both although the whole visit to the area of the first, Te Anou, was one of the highlights of our trip.

Around Te Anou we stayed at Crown-Lea Farmstay. The owners, John and Florence Pine, are fabulous! As I wrote in my report, we arrived in time for the early evening tour of the farm with John which was wonderful, not only to see the property and enjoy the incredible views, but also to learn about running the farm. Florence prepares a delicious dinner the first night one arrives and provides a big breakfast every day. The other night we were on a Doubtful Sound overnight cruise (but were able to leave luggage at the farm) and the third night we ate in Te Anou. I think they limit the amount of time one can stay because it is a working farm. Rooms are in a wing of the house overlooking a garden are comfortable and modest; bathroom was in the hall and was basic bathroom. Some of the bedrooms have bathroom ensuite.


the second was in the Catlins area of the southern coast. The room there was more elaborate. There we ate dinner at a nearby restaurant which was quite good and they provided good breakfast in the morning. Again, great conversation with the owners.


There was another highly recommended farmstay in Te Anou area that I found at this website but it was booked on our dates. If you enter "New Zealand Farmstays" in the search, I'm sure you will find many recommendations.

We had an incredible vacation and can't wait to return!
dellyb is offline  
Jun 29th, 2007, 02:35 AM
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Susan7, Your spot on about Lizard Island. We did the Lizard Island Day Tour with Greg Letondeur from Daintree Air out of Cairns.

The whole day is amazing.
We got to see over 130 miles of the GBR from just 500 feet above it.
That alone was more than worth the cost.

We had an amazing experience snorkeling on the reef seeing all sorts of marine life and beautiful corals.

Greg knew exactly where to take us to show us hundreds of clown fish, a big octopus, and large schools of silver fish chasing smaller fish over the reef.

It was a day of adventure, fun and amazing panoramas.

The Lizard Island Day was the highlight of our time in North Queensland.

If you search daintreeair.com here you will find loads more information on Lizard Island and Australia.

Enjoy !!!

parkersby5 is offline  
Jun 29th, 2007, 05:30 PM
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Windsor Hotel is a good choice for Christchurch. Excellent breakfast !!! Quaint and pretty inexpensive. Walking distance to most things and the "free tram" stops in front. Host gave us a ride in old car and we saw things we wouldn't otherwise. All you need to do is ask...
theheadysmiths is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2007, 12:15 PM
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Hi, All - thanks again for your input

To Susan7, if we decide to go in the fall of 2008, would your recommendation change re: preference for GBR? I have heard good things about Lizard Island and I appreciate parkersby5 insight as well.
Is getting scuba diving certified worth it for the GBR?

Thanks a bunch, dellyb. for your recommendations on farmstays. Do you happen to recall the farmstay in the Te Anou area that was booked on your dates of travel?

Thank you, Rod Smith, for your recommendations in Christchurch. Any other suggestions?

RTR1944 is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2007, 02:14 PM
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Do you mean April or May 2008? That would make a lot of difference because April can still be hot on the east coast; here in Sydney we had a number of days this April in the high 30s. May was also very mild. Plus the water at the southern end of the reef would still be very warm. At that time of year, you could go to the much cheaper Heron Island.


I'm probably not the right person to ask about diving I've been on a couple of introductory dives but didn't really take to it. I love to snorkel however and you can see a lot snorkelling. On Heron you can go straight out from the beach or you can go on a boat to the edge of the reef, both are great.

Susan7 is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2007, 03:04 PM
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Pat Woolford, who give great ideas and makes the best tours available to people has a B&B in Cairns and if you want to hang out with locals you could not do better than to do that with Pat and Mike at their B&B. She also has other ideas and options that she knows about ( being a local) that would make your trip really worth while and more enjoyable - she is not connected to any particular tours therefore you would get the best of the best about those and eateries etc. [email protected]
Personally I don't think that if you are after B&Bs you will find uptodate information in any of the travel books and that is because they charge like wounded bulls for advertising and that means that the smaller and ofter the most interesting establishments are not in them. This of course is not always the case but from my own point of view I always only advertise either on the Net or in the State Guide and local guide - both of which have not been printed for this year as yet so they are not up to date either. If you are looking for accommodation you cannot go past www.wotif.com.au or www.takeabreak.com.au which are kept much more up to date, particularly with prices etc. Being in Tasmania I must concur with the other poster who suggested Tassie as a destination because with Tasmania and North Queensland you are really getting a wonderful contrast and Tasmania is quite, quite different from the mainland in all respects.
LizzyF is offline  
Jul 6th, 2007, 05:45 AM
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We are looking at sometime in the Sep - Nov timeframe of 2008
RTR1944 is offline  

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