Any New Zealand Suggestions?

Old Jul 1st, 2008, 01:46 PM
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Any New Zealand Suggestions?

Hi,
Planing a trip to New Zealand in Feb. 2009 for 3 weeks. Thought of flying into Auckland or Dunedin and picking up a car or motor home and doing some traveling. Any ideas of route or things to do/see would be of great help.
Thanks, seahatch.
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Old Jul 1st, 2008, 07:38 PM
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Hi seahatch -

There are countless helpful threads on this site regarding what to see and do in NZ, as well as loads of suggested itineraries - if you haven't done so already, perhaps you could do a search first, then come back as more specific questions arise???

Have you decided how much time to allocate to each island?
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Old Jul 2nd, 2008, 08:11 AM
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Yes, there are tons and tons of trip reports and inquiries. Three weeks seems like a lot of time to see both islands, but it really isn't. When I was working I only had 3 weeks and it was never enough, so I've made 6 trips.

My usual approach was to fly directly to the South Island on the first day, since you're tired from the overseas flight anyways, you may as well just keep going. Often I would fly into Christchurch, but most recently Dunedin was the only connecting flight I could get on my frequent flyer program.

After a few days in Dunedin, you can do the usual South Island tour which is a a loop through the Catlins (or thru Alexandra and Cromwell) to Queenstown, with a stop of a day or two & side trip Milford Sound (or Doubtful Sound). Some people like to stay in Te Anau while seeing the fiords. From Queenstown you can travel north around the South Island, seeing either the glaciers (west coast) or Mt. Cook (east side of the S. Alps). I liked to end my trip in Christchurch if I could arrange that for the flight home. Up at the north end of the S. Island you can see Kaikoura or Abel Tasman.

There is also lots to see in the North Island, but for a first trip I'd spend at least two weeks on the S. Island. On the N. Island, I don't spend much time in Auckland (maybe a day or two before flying home).

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Old Jul 3rd, 2008, 05:19 AM
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Thanks for that.

I plan to fly into Dunedin as my son is at Uni. there. Would like to spend a week touring with him then plan to tour on our own and maybe fly out of Christchurch or Auckland.
Any suggestions of places to visit or things to do would be welcome.

Thanks, seahatch
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Old Jul 8th, 2008, 07:39 AM
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Responding specifically to the fact that you are beginning in Dunedin: Eat at Plato in Dunedin. Book the Royal Albatross Center for late in the day when you have a better chance of seeing the birds come in off the ocean. We enjoyed our time on the Banks Peninsula and our stay at Oinako Lodge. Be sure to eat at C'est la Vie if you go to Akaroa.

See my trip report from March, 2008 for itinerary and accommodations.
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Old Jul 10th, 2008, 01:01 AM
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Thanks PJ all useful information.

seahatch
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Old Jul 10th, 2008, 05:31 PM
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Seahatch - seeing your flying into Dunedin and getting a rental vehicle, consider the following places, which I think you might like also -
* Drive north to Oamaru (lovely old buildings)then take Highway 83 past the old Otago goldfields, past Lake Ashmore to Omarama, then onto Twizel
(overnight stop)with a side trip to Mt.Cook Village.
Then depart Twizel driving south on Highway 8 via the Lindis Pass, stopover at Lake Hawea & Wanaka, then down to Queenstown (2 nights)
Then drive south down to Te Anau (2 nights - and do Milford Sound or Doubtful Sound.
From Te Anau you can either return to Dunedin via Invercargill & Catlins Forest Park, or via Highway 94 to Gore, then Highway 1 to Dunedin.
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Old Jul 10th, 2008, 06:25 PM
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You've gotten some excellent suggestions from mlgb and tropo already, but for what it's worth, here's another option (similar to tropo's):

Since you're arriving in Dunedin and possibly departing from Christchurch, you might consider something like this, which includes most of what tropo has suggested:

Dunedin to Catlins via SH 1 & the Southern Scenic Route (92).

Catlins to Te Anau via 92, SH 6 & 94 (visit Milford from Te Anau - loads to do here, at least two nights suggested)

Te Anau to Queentown via SH 6 (or continue on to Wanaka)

Queenstown or Wanaka to Christchurch via Omarama (be sure to stop at the Clay Cliffs), Twizel, side trip to Mt Cook, then back on Highway 8 to Lake Tekapo and Geraldine (79) and on to Christchurch via 72. Strongly recommend spending at least one night somewhere enroute to break up the trip - long drive.

Highly recommend driving to CHC via 72 instead of the state highway.

Also, if you leave from QT, you might consider taking the Crown Ridge Alpine Scenic Route from QT to Wanaka - a nice alternative to the highway.

Or, you can return to Christchurch via the West Coast - a gorgeous drive - just depends on what you're most interested in.

If you're up for reading another trip report, here's my report from March 2008, which included the route above.

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...3&tid=35118771
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Old Jul 11th, 2008, 08:26 AM
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In Dunedin itself I enjoyed both the Cadbury tour and the brewery tour (Speights).

The brewery tour ends with a timed "all you can sample" experience in the brewery tap room. I understand if you work there, you get to visit the tap room at any time.

Near the University, the Otago Museum is excellent. I found a casual restaurant near there that I really liked, called "The Good Oil".

Trip out to the peninsula to see the wildlife, assuming February is a good month for this. Not sure whether the albatross and penguins are out to sea then.
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Old Jul 11th, 2008, 08:27 AM
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And the Taieri gorge train from Dunedin is good for the rainy day that you will inevitably get.
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Old Jul 12th, 2008, 01:39 AM
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Thanks again for your ideas.

seahatch
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Old Jul 18th, 2008, 02:49 AM
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Hi seahatch,
I envy you driving around the South Island in February next year. Just the perfect time to appreciate the South Island.
If your route takes you through Central Otago, then don't miss the little towns of Roxburgh, and Alexandra. Alexandra in particular is often overlooked as most tourists are in a hurry to get to well-publicised Queenstown.
But there is an interesting walk you could do in Alexandra - it crosses a very shaky footbridge (quite safe) then snakes up a cliff to a quite extraordinary outdoor clock high on a hill. A graded track makes this a pleasant walk, and you will be rewarded with magnificent views of the countryside.
It's a must on your itinerary, if you have 'time' on your hands..
I took a photo of the huge clock and this can be seen at http://www.flixya.com/photo/347973/H...ra_New_Zealand
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Old Jul 18th, 2008, 02:55 PM
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"Flixya pays you to share videos, photos and blogs. Make money. Join now."

With your limited time I certainly would not recommend an extended stop in Alexandra!!!

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Old Jul 18th, 2008, 03:57 PM
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Definitely do this short walk near Dunedin---stunning scenery and you'll be the only people there. I still stare at my photos in amazement 4 years later


http://www.newzealand.com/travel/sig...ch-walkway.cfm
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Old Jul 18th, 2008, 08:41 PM
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In addition to above suggestions, and endorsing some kind of trek while you are there (I did a day trek out of Queenstown but there's a 3 day Milford trek and numerous others), on the North Island I recommend a visit to Napier--the Art Deco capital of the world, if you are at all interested in architecture, and then a little tour of Hawkes Bay area, NZ's wine country. And of course a day on Milford Sound or Doubtful sound.
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Old Jul 20th, 2008, 02:37 PM
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Hi Seahatch,

My family visited New Zealand for a week and a half in early 2006. I would say definitely not to miss Te Anu. It's a slice of heaven on earth. The town itself is adorable and has wonderful arts and restaurants despite being small. The lake is stunning. And the trip to the Milford Sound is worth it. We went in one of the local tours that takes about 8 people in a van. It was great.

We also really enjoyed the glaciers on the west side of the south island. It is a far but gorgeous ride from Queenstown. We stopped at Wanaka for the puzzle place - an amusing diversion.

My basic sense is that you cannot go wrong almost anywhere in New Zealand. You just need to focus on what you enjoy. Are you looking for adventure? beauty? nature? restaurants? native culture? urban sophistication? You can find all of this in New Zealand, but you also can't do all of it, as others have seen.

Enjoy. (It is hard not to.)
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Old Jul 21st, 2008, 10:41 AM
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Thanks again everyone.
I realise my time will not allow everything, just a good excuse to go back again!

seahatch
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