3 Week Itinerary for New Zealand and Australia

Jul 9th, 2007, 02:52 PM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,018
OK, that's our Spring, your Autumn/Fall. September would also be good on Heron, the whales would be passing the island.
Susan7 is offline  
Aug 11th, 2007, 06:29 AM
  #22  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 73
Ideas for Christchurch, etc. --

Canterbury Museum -- count on about 2 1/2 hours+. Located in part of old university. Includes a nice section about antarctica. Excellent relaxing cafe on top floor.

Skip Antarctica Center (very touristy)

Rutherford's Den. Tucked away in part of old university. Could be easy to miss. Actual "coal storage room" where Rutherford did Nobel Prize-winning research to discover that atoms have nucleus. A talking hologram appears when you enter the room -- made my eyes wide ! Plus the lecture hall he used with original graffiti on desks. Interesting to note presence of fireplace at front -- closest to where women students sat and farthest away from late-comers Small fee definitely worth it (30-45 minutes)

Several upscale shops in other parts of old university buildings. Worth a stroll.

Botanical gardens are an infinite "filler". We have been there only during "winter" -- June & July -- when there are still many flowers. Can only imagine spring, summer or fall. Fun to just sit, people watch and absorb the ambiance. There are a large number of events on weekends.

Near the botanical gardens is an excellent Mormon geneaology library -- my wife spent an afternoon there. Helpful and good.

If Windsor B&B -- ABSOLUTELY inquire about getting a free 20-minute or so tour of Christchurch in owner's 1920s vehicle. He loves to do it and it provides a great introduction and overview of center of Christchurch.

Ride the free tram around. Don't confuse with local bus. Bus system easy and inexpensive to get around -- used it to go to NZ version of Wal-Mart (called The Warehouse) on south edge of Christchurch.

By the way we were surprised the first time we visited NZ to find Woolworth is a major GROCERY store chain in NZ. We are "so old" that when we saw Woolworth we thought "dry goods"...

I-SITES make THE absolute perfect place for travelers. We don't hesitate anymore to just go to any town and ask at the I-SITE. Even helpful over the internet. May take them a couple of days to respond -- partly because of time difference. Don't hesitate to E-mail questions. They have a tendency to direct people to most touristy places (because that's where people usually want) but we have always found them helpful for less traveled ideas, less expensive lodging.

We find the Travel Pass useful. Purchase before leaving home. Allows you to travel ANYWHERE in NZ but only for a given number of days. You could use one day to travel from the bottom of the South Island to the top if you did it in one day. Or take more than 1 trip during a day if your schedule fits. Almost TOO easy. You just call the toll-free number and then wait for the bus. Sometimes the driver doesn't even ask your name -- just checks you off as you get on the bus. Have been asked to see the actual pass only once. Other times they just asked our names. Actual individual bus tickets are not much different in cost from the Travel Pass. Just nice to have them in hand before you leave home.

You can include trains and ferrys in Travel Pass. Well worth taking the Trans Alpine train trip ! If you do make sure to take the opportunity to leave enclosed car and walk to "open" car. The fresh smell and feel of air is exhiliarating !
theheadysmiths is offline  
Aug 11th, 2007, 06:56 AM
  #23  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 73
We certainly agree with Te Anau (better to use this as a starting place for either Doubtful or Milford Sound -- otherwise the day is too long from Queenstown). There is some nice walking around Te Anau, too.

We thoroughly enjoyed hiking from center of Queenstown to top of the "mountain". Took less than 3 hours with appropriate mouth-gaping vistas, photos and picnic. Then rode down the
cable car. Of course you can take cable car both ways.

At the top you can do the Luge (fun for all ages -- wished later that we had gotten the multi-ride ticket instead of one time. Or get HEART PUMPING with bungee swing (personally I enjoyed the REAL original bungee Kawarau River, reminding my 55-year+ body that NO ONE ever has died. Helped to remove my classes and make sure you use the building bathroom BEFORE short walk to the bridge, close eyes before you step off the ledge. It is a mind-over-matter experience until you have done it ! Then you KNOW you're glad you did. Remember -- Repeat after me: NO ONE has ever died at Kawarau Bridge... You can get tickets for AJ Hackett at downtown Queenstown and a mini-bus takes you to the bridge. It's a first-come, first-serve timed sign-up. Worth going even if you get written on your hand a KS ($5) instead of a KJ ($100) -- Kawarau Spectator versus Kawarau Jumper.

We found we liked Doubtful Sound better -- less traveled. Glowworm tour is THE best -- you take a boat and it really IS romantic and exciting. Better than other glowworm tours.

Also recommend city of Dunedin. THE most Scottish city in the world (including Scotland we are told). In Dunedin do Larnach Castle ! Lots of wildlife choices. Yellow-Eyed Penguin tour good -- you walk in covered trenches and where the penguin nests are located. Albatross AND Underground Gun tours great. When you go is important to actually seeing nesting albatross. It is a bit of a hike... Good coffee / cafe at albatross... Of course there is the Cadbury chocolate tour -- I gathered a small bag of cocoa beans to bring home so people could find out what cocoa REALLY tastest like...

We recommend Hulmes Court B&B in Dunedin for the price. (Actually a couple of old converted homes) on a hill overlooking short walk to downtown center. Just remember that the walk DOWN means you walk UP at the end of the day. But a taxi can be had for the 5-block walk for less than $5.
theheadysmiths is offline  

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