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buddy6713 Aug 1st, 2020 04:35 PM

9 months in New Zealand__retired couple from usa
We're exploring the idea of renting out our home and finding a well located base within New Zealand to explore the country and its people. We're of course attracted to the landscape and love to hike and paddle board and kayak and canoe and golf. Not necessarily in that order. I guess we wonder if anyone seeing this thread has had a similar length of time with reasonably similar interests. We'd buy a car and likely just rent a home or condo or apartment but from extensive travel we know that being too far out in the country puts us at a bit of a disadvantage for what we culturally like to do. Yes it's quieter and likely more serene but it's also a bit isolating for 9 month visitors like us. We actually were thinking of moving to NZ---visa and other requirements met, it's a bit confusing reading their website as it looks like USA citizens are granted quite a bit less time than UK citizens. Anyway, anyone have any ideas for a base location? Thank you all in advance and hope we can return the favor of advice.

Melnq8 Aug 1st, 2020 05:03 PM

I'm jealous!

We've spent many months in New Zealand, but over the course of several years. If I were planning a nine month stay there, I'd base myself on the South Island without a doubt. If I were forced to choose one area for the duration, I'd probably choose the north of the SI (Nelson/Motukea/Marahau/Upper Moutere/Tasman area) or the Cromwell/Bannockburn/Wanaka area.

I say this because these locations provide relatively easy access to some of NZ's most spectacular scenery and outdoor activities.

Better yet, I'd probably select 10-12 different spots and spend several weeks to a month in each.

NZ is difficult to see from one base, but with nine months to work with, you'd have plenty of time to make numerous longer trips from your base, although that means paying twice for accommodation. It's one of those places that's best seen 'along the way', meaning the time to get from place to place makes day trips problematic from some locations.

buddy6713 Aug 4th, 2020 05:23 AM

Thank you so much for that helpful reply! While we don't prefer to uproot and travel, uproot and travel as a pattern I guess if we're somewhere 9 months it'd be quite different from a 6 week trip with the same pattern. I think we'll explore the idea of what you suggested and likely will follow your thoughtful advice. We're not accustomed to planning much ahead, but have traveled fairly extensively with only an initial booking to make sure we have some place to recoup for a day or two after traveling to someplace. We'd likely do the same thing in NZ, in this case book a few weeks in a place and then see what happens.

We're probably more active than most people our ages (mid 70s now) and maybe also for this forum, but we're not adrenaline junkies any more. Looking for some recommendations from you for places to put on our travel list in NZ. As an example of who we are, we'd likely not even visit Iguasu Falls if we were in country there, preferring to find a spot staying with locals in some kind of homestay and feeling the beat of as authentic a tourist experience that we could muster. We like to travel on the edges but have no problem getting a good night's sleep. kind regards and thanks!

Melnq8 Aug 4th, 2020 11:21 AM

buddy -

You might get some ideas from my various detailed trip reports posted here on Fodors.

Too see them click on my screen name, click View Profile, and then scroll to the bottom of that page to Trip Reports, and then scroll through the list of reports.

I'll post a few links here to get you started.

Much easier to answer questions after you've narrowed down your options instead of trying to address the entire country.

buddy6713 Aug 4th, 2020 08:32 PM

Boy am I glad I ran into you---or that you decided to answer my post. I will read the links you provided. Thank you so much for responding. Once I get an itinerary and have more questions (without answers on your links) I'll contact you again. kia tau te rangimarie ki a koe

Melnq8 Aug 5th, 2020 05:46 AM

No worries. Happy to help if I can.

nelsonian Aug 5th, 2020 04:47 PM

It may be awhile before you are allowed in Buddy. At the moment borders are closed to everyone except NZ citizens and permanent residents. I don't see the border opening anytime soon. There is a huge backlog of people applying for visas, most of these are for people who have been stranded overseas but have been working here. However as they are not classed as permanent residents they cannot come in.

buddy6713 Aug 5th, 2020 08:10 PM

Thank you! Sounds like a couple years' away.

tom_mn Aug 8th, 2020 02:56 PM

For some base ideas I like Nelson, Greymouth, and maybe Timaru or Geraldine. Iím not a fan of the Queenstown/Wanaka area for long term stays because of all the tourists and traffic, although it is very pretty. Itís not an outdoorsy place but a month in Wellington would be satisfying.

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