4 weeks in NZ in Feb. 2015

Jun 28th, 2014, 04:52 PM
  #41  
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Join Date: Mar 2014
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That is some good advice osteorach. Back to the research to see which we would like to see. They are both such beautiful places. What a problem to have, a country with just too much beauty!!!
AnnieT49 is offline  
Jun 28th, 2014, 05:00 PM
  #42  
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Do you think the train from Greymouth to Christchurch is a better option than just heading down the west coast and forget the train ride altogether? The scenery must be just as nice along the coast. Sounds like you both did not do the train on your trip to SI.
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Jun 28th, 2014, 06:24 PM
  #43  
 
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I've taken the train in both directions as a day trip from Christchurch, and frankly, I much prefer self-driving over Arthur's Pass. You'll miss Arthur's Pass if you drive down the coast to the glaciers from Punakaiki; SI itineraries usually involve a fair bit of compromise.
Melnq8 is offline  
Jun 29th, 2014, 08:13 AM
  #44  
 
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We did three+ weeks last year, and started in Queenstown and worked north to fly out of Aukland. That saved us about $1,000 on car rental bc most people go the other way. The south island is also less populated and it gave us an opportunity to get used to driving on the other side of the road before we hit the traffic of the major cities. And yes -- drive yourselves. Keep in mind that it takes longer to travel distances there bc of the roads and the multiple places to stop and explore (without major hikes). We loved the SI's eastern coast, especially Kaikoura and Omaru. The Catlins are lovely and easy to explore.
hughes204 is offline  
Jun 29th, 2014, 08:13 AM
  #45  
 
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We did three+ weeks last year, and started in Queenstown and worked north to fly out of Aukland. That saved us about $1,000 on car rental bc most people go the other way. The south island is also less populated and it gave us an opportunity to get used to driving on the other side of the road before we hit the traffic of the major cities. And yes -- drive yourselves. Keep in mind that it takes longer to travel distances there bc of the roads and the multiple places to stop and explore (without major hikes). We loved the SI's eastern coast, especially Kaikoura and Omaru. The Catlins are lovely and easy to explore.
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Jul 3rd, 2014, 10:06 PM
  #46  
 
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Napier to Wellington is a 4 1/4 hour straight drive. At present we are doing this trip regularly while towing a trailer (we are moving to Hawke's Bay)and that is the time it is taking with a 20 minute break en route. If you are going to stay the night in Picton try to catch a later-in-the-day ferry so you will have some time to look around the city of Wellington. You won't get much time if you are travelling to Wellington then planning to look around that day. And Wellington is a lovely city.
dottyp is offline  
Jul 4th, 2014, 03:02 AM
  #47  
 
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lucky you, dottyp. We really liked the area around Napier in the very short time we had there [2 nights and 2 days, and one of those it was raining!] I have to say that our drive from Napier to Wellington took more like 5-6 hours, but then [like the OP] we didn't know the route, we were taking our time, and we hit the rush-hour traffic around Wellington [about 4.30 pm onwards, I should imagine]. This corresponds with the time suggested in my Pathfinder Atlas, which allows for a 10 minute stop every hour.

i wonder how Annie is getting on with her planning - I hope that we haven't put her off!
annhig is offline  
Jul 4th, 2014, 11:49 PM
  #48  
 
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Good point about not knowing the road. I tend to forget that, although it is pretty straightforward. However, having said that there are some interesting sights along the way. When I go up by myself I am often stopping to take photos of interesting hills, toi toi stands, unusual cloud formations, and even rainbows! So I guess your time estimate is probably not bad for a visitor to the area.
I am so looking forward to moving back to the Bay after living in Wellington (which I really love and will miss) since 1968. It will be good for my old bones to be on the flat, and in the warmth of summer.
dottyp is offline  
Jul 5th, 2014, 09:32 AM
  #49  
 
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dottyp - we were surprised, to say the least, about how hilly the last bit down into Wellington is, and how long that part took us. and as you say it's quite a scenic road generally.

I hope that your "old bones" [not that old, surely] will enjoy being in Napier; we wished that we had had longer there, but then the same applied to most of the places we visited in NZ.
annhig is offline  
Jan 5th, 2015, 08:49 PM
  #50  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
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Hughes204, what was your itinerary going QT to Auckland? I was thinking of flying straight to QT from AUK to begin my 4 weeks there. We are arriving March 14 and I was thinking it would be better to be in QT in March rather than April because it would be warmer.
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