7 weeks in New Zealand

Old Jun 17th, 2002, 11:29 AM
  #1  
Wendy
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7 weeks in New Zealand

We have just booked our trip from Dec 1 to Jan 19th and can't wait. Plan on renting a small car and using the hostels. Has any one else in their 40's and 50's used them and did you enjoy them? Also how will the bugs be at that time of year? This is a great forum and the info I pick up on it is super. Thanks Wendy
 
Old Jun 17th, 2002, 12:38 PM
  #2  
traveller
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We landed in NZ on Dec. 26th and travelled about by small car for 6 weeks. It wasn't enough for this beautiful country. Our car was waiting at the Auckland airport and from there we drove to a small oceanside village about an hour away from the airport and stayed there and rested up for a day or two. The motel was booked in advance so we had no worries right at the beginning. We then drove north to the Bay of Islands. As we were right at the height of summer holidays, we also had that hotel booked and stayed there and toured around from our hotel for 4 or 5 days. That was the last time we booked a thing. From there we just took a map and our Fodor's guide and just went for it (phoning a day before to book a room, if we felt it was necessary but sometimes we didn't). We spent three 1/2 weeks on the north island and 2 1/2 on the South. If I had it to do over, I would spend the extra time on the South Island. Motels are plentiful and very nice. The most expensive were in the Bay area but the rest were only in the $40 - $50 range and very well kept, clean and most had kitchenettes. Never had a single problem at any one. We had pre-arranged to drop off our first car on the North Island, travel by ferry to the South and have another car waiting. It saved us a lot of money to do it that way. <BR><BR>I would just read up on NZ, mark the places and things you want to see and unless you are travelling to an area that is overrun because of school holidays, kind of wing it. We gots lots of tips from the locals about different places to go and things to see.<BR><BR>The only bugs that bothered us were the sand flies but they were vicious. Do take along a good DEET repellent. They are particularily bad along the Tasman Sea on the South Island (at least for us, I think they knew we were tourists!).<BR><BR>I so envy you. You will have a wonderful time in this beautiful and friendly country.
 
Old Jun 17th, 2002, 02:56 PM
  #3  
Jenny
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Traveller,<BR><BR>Can you please look through your mementos and post the names of a few of the motels you stayed at and that you can recommend? I would really appreciate that.<BR><BR>Any other tips would be so useful. Which hire car firm did you go with? What sort of car and how much was it? Which route did you take and what restaurants were you pleased with?<BR><BR>I hope this isn't too much to ask. Your post was first class and I would so like to hear more.<BR><BR>Thanks,<BR>Jenny<BR>&gt;^..^&lt;
 
Old Jun 17th, 2002, 03:54 PM
  #4  
traveller
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Jenny, I wish I could remember or that I was meticulous enough to write things down. <BR><BR>The car hire was booked through our travel agent here in Southern Alberta (he had done a mission in NZ so was familiar), I have a call into them to see if they can give me the name. In Paihia, it was something like the Alpine Motel??? It had a Swiss atmosphere and a Swiss ambiance. Other than that, I wish we had written down the names. In Rotarua, we stayed so close to the sulpher springs that we could hardly sleep for the smell. But the positive side was that there was a small restaurant very near the Mauri centre that serves (only by appointment) the best lamb, pork, mussels etc. that I have ever eaten. It was a set price for the meal, including appetizer, meal and desert and they only serve about 4 tables. It is by recommendation only so you don't need me to give you the name. Just go close to the smelly hot springs and any hotel owner will help you out.<BR><BR>Taupo was my favorite place on the north island and I am still trying to find out the name of the place we stayed.<BR><BR>I am sorry I am not much help but I will do what I can. You can email me at [email protected].
 
Old Jun 17th, 2002, 04:13 PM
  #5  
ALF
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We spent 6 months in NZ a couple of years ago. We purchased a campervan and stayed mostly in Holiday Parks, and an occasional B & B, plus a couple of hostels. Being fortyish myself, I found the hostel scene to be a bit too young for us. We much preferred staying at fairly inexpensive Holiday parks, where you can rent a flat or cabin for a small price.<BR><BR>At that time of year, you will not have much of a problem with bugs EXCEPT coastal areas along the west side of the South Island. The sandflies along the coast can be MISERABLE. Otherwise, you are just going to run into the occasional mozzie.
 
Old Jun 17th, 2002, 07:30 PM
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Kerry
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Hi Wendy<BR>Yes this is a great forum and I'm always pleased to be able to help people get more oiut of our country.<BR>Maybe you could clarify what you mean by hostels? <BR>We have the Youth Hostel movement, YHA, and does not matter how old you are! and we have backpacker hostels ($nz25pp). Beyond that in cheap accommodation we have cabins at camping grounds ($NZ 40/60night), motels and cheap homestays ($60 to $80/night)<BR>You are coming at the busiest time of the year, we are all on holiday from about 23 December to 15 January, so it would pay to book in advance for popular spots especially if you want the cheaper accommodation.<BR>Kerry
 
Old Jun 21st, 2002, 02:57 PM
  #7  
Wendy
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Thanks everyone for all the great info. I have been looking into these cabins and they sound really interesting. I also have read about on site vans. Has anyone tried these? Prices sound quite reasonable. Thanks alot.
 
Old Jul 2nd, 2002, 02:42 AM
  #8  
Kerry
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Hi Wendy<BR>Site vans are very much in the same category as cabins and you often find a property with both. I have used them extensively in Australia where they are a lot more developed than in NZ. No problems, compact, comfortable and safe, however you often find, and this also applies to cabins, that the facilities, barbecues, pools, laundry etc varies a lot from property to property.<BR>Kerry
 
Old Jul 2nd, 2002, 01:55 PM
  #9  
lee
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If you land in Auckland, you really should spend a couple of days. They have a cheap bus that loops around the city, getting you to wherever you need to be. We stayed at the Great Ponsonby B&B. The US $ really went far! Good breakfasts, near many shops and restaurants, and away from the cbd. Go to the museum, which has much Maori artifacts. <BR><BR>We drove to Rotorua. One day is fine. <BR><BR>Several days driving through the Coromandel Peninsula. Unbelievable scenery. Only tourists were from within NZ. Lovely. Great beaches on the east, rocky shores on the west. Coromandel Colonial Cottages in Coromandel town was very nice. Most motels have trampolines. We lay back on ours and looked at more stars than I'd ever seen before.
 
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