4 days Cairns, 6 Auckland, or visa versa?

Old Sep 16th, 2011, 05:15 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 243
4 days Cairns, 6 Auckland, or visa versa?

I made the reservations this morning, free miles for three! We're flying into Cairns, and out of Auckland. Now I need to grab some more free miles to get us from Cairns to Auckland. Because of the available flights, we can spend either four days in Cairns, one day travel, six on the North Island, OR six days in Cairns, one day travel, four on the North Island. How would you suggest that we split up this time?

The things I am thinking that we might do around Cairns are: diving and snorkeling, perhaps two days, visiting Yungaberra, driving up to Cape Tribulation, going to the boomerang shop that my husband has already found on the internet (he makes boomerangs and flies them), and looking for a digeradoo (my son just made one!) On the North Island, we'd just see as much as it as we could. I'm drawn to the Bay of Islands area from what I've read, but I have a lot more reading to do. Basically, we just love driving around, stopping at bakeries, picnicking by the ocean, taking short little hikes, talking to people. We don't see this as a vacation to relax, but rather to see all that we can. Oh, my son would LOVE to surf in NZ if we could fit that in.

So just generally speaking, how would you divide your time between the two (half and half is not an option). Alan? Anyone?
CindyW is offline  
Old Sep 16th, 2011, 06:48 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,691
Cindy,
I'd spend my whole time in and around Auckland as I live here near Cairns. I don't really think I can offer advice on this.

However you'll find the people in Yungaburra and other small towns very friendly. Malanda Bakery has just won some major award. Lots of short walks around the Atherton Tablelands. Petersen Creek in Yungaburra can be anything from a few metres to 5 kilometres. There are two different 1 kilometre walks at Malanda Falls where I saw a Tree-Kangaroo right over the road on Thursday. AT Lake Eacham the walks vary between 400 metres and 3 kilometres while at Barrine there are loops of 600 metres and 5 km.

I suggest that you drive one way up the coast and the other inland so as to see a variety of landscape. Might be best heading south out of Carins, up to the Tablelands visiting the lakes and Malanda Bakery before overnighting at Yungaburra. The next day drive inland via Granite Gorge and Mareeba to Mount Malloy and Mosman on your way to Cape Tribulation. Overnight there and drive back down along the coast so that you can easily pull off to the left when you see a scene or beech you like the look of.
Alan
AlanJG is offline  
Old Sep 17th, 2011, 10:07 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 462
I find Auckland one of the most boring cities in the World, too small to have much in the way of interest but too big so that it still has the problems of congestion at peak hour times etc etc - all the cons and little pros.
Cairns on the other hand has in and around it some of the most diverse countryside, the most interesting and unique flora and fauna and of course the GBR is at your door. As I see it - if its the best place in the World for wildlife and diversity as stated by Sir David Attenborough then its good enough for me. 2 weeks would not be enough to see all that there is in and around Cairns.
ivenotbeeneverywhere is offline  
Old Sep 18th, 2011, 04:23 AM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 243
Thanks for your help. Alan, the route that you suggested sounds perfect. I'm not going till next summer, so have plenty of time to plan. It's just that for free tickets, I have to reserve a year in advance! Sounds like we'll just plan to overnight in Auckland, and then take off to other parts of the island from there.
CindyW is offline  
Old Sep 22nd, 2011, 02:51 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 744
Rotorua is commercialized but it is pretty amazing. We went to Wai-O-Tapu geothermal area, and it was stunning. You can walk just up and touch the thermal pools (you shouldn't, but that's how close they are). The colors are magnificent. I've been to Yellowstone, and I have to say that I liked this more because of how close you could get to everything. Then, close by, there's the Waikite Valley Thermal Pools, which may not be as posh as the Polynesian Spa, but it's just as authentic (or more so) and a lot cheaper. I really think a trip to the North Island should include Rotorua. How old is your son? Kuirau Park in Rotorua is a free public park, and it has bubbling mud pools, hot springs where you can dip your feet, and an amazing rope climbing feature - if you google it, you'll see photos. My nephews (ages 12 and 13) loved it and counted it as one of their top highlights in the North Island (the climbing feature!). You won't find playgrounds like this in the US because of the fear of lawsuits.

While I am not a big fan of Auckland (and I live here), I do think the Auckland Museum is a must see. It's beautifully done, they have a full-scale marae, an excellent gift shop with high-quality New Zealand artifacts, and a tremendous view of the city. I also think you should visit either Piha or Murawai Beach - they are really stunning and about 30 minutes from downtown Auckland. I like Piha better but I find the drive there frightening - very narrow and curvy mountain roads, Kiwi drivers who routinely cross the center line, bicyclists pretending that they have a moral right to any road, no matter how dangerous - I've only been once and haven't summoned up the courage to drive back again.
birder is offline  
Old Sep 23rd, 2011, 12:01 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,691
Cindy, you're welcome. Have a look at www.yungaburra.com for more ideas of what to do in the area. Check out the cute Platypus video while you're there.
Alan
AlanJG is offline  
Old Sep 23rd, 2011, 04:10 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 3,680
I do agree with you on that one, birder. I found the Auckland Museum's exhibit on who were maybe the original inhabitants of New Zealand totally fascinating, these Polynesian people were called the Moriori. This was a while ago though, can't find much on the subject on google, can you cast any light?
pat_woolford is offline  
Old Sep 26th, 2011, 01:06 PM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 243
Thanks, everyone. Those beaches (Piha and Murawai) look awesome! And my son, who will be 16, will not be too old to enjoy the ropes at Kuirau Park.
CindyW is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
dgeens
Australia & the Pacific
6
Aug 20th, 2013 10:46 PM
CindyW
Australia & the Pacific
5
May 15th, 2012 02:58 PM
Husky922
Australia & the Pacific
6
Jan 23rd, 2011 03:20 AM
dkw
Australia & the Pacific
10
Nov 8th, 2009 06:34 PM
Liz_in_Switzerland
Australia & the Pacific
10
Mar 23rd, 2003 10:18 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

FODOR'S VIDEO