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Australia and New Zealand

Old Feb 27th, 2020, 07:40 AM
  #1  
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Australia and New Zealand

Will be doing a cruise for 14 days from Auckland to Papeete in Feb 2021 and need some suggestions on the pre trip.
Flying from US to Sydney, thinking 3 days to see Opera House, harbor area and city/suburb tour, anything else?
This is where we need help!
from Sydney going to NZ, our time is flexible but thinking 10 days.
Our initial thought is to fly to Queenstown from Sydney, then go to Christchurch, then donít know but eventually we need to end up in Auckland to catch our cruise mid Feb.

What are your recommendations on where to visit, how to get to each place. Open to a camper van but my DH is 1.95 cm (6í5) so not sure if he would fit! We love scenery, culture, food and wine. Donít want to spend time in museums.

Looking forward to your responses.

TIA
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Old Feb 27th, 2020, 07:45 AM
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Old Feb 27th, 2020, 04:17 PM
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If you've not been to Sydney before, you might want to spend more than 3 days, especially if you'll be getting over jetlag on your first day. There are lots of posts on this forum about things to do in Sydney. Weather could be really hot or really wet! Who knows these days? Of course if you spend more than 3 days, then you'll have less time for New Zealand. I'd find it hard to spend less than 5 days in Sydney.

If things return to normal (post-coronavirus), I expect Chinese tourists to return to New Zealand during the 2021 Chinese New Year-Spring Festival-Lantern Festival holidays (approx. Feb. 11 though 25). If so, then this will be one of the busiest times of year.

With 10 days you can get from Queenstown to Christchurch and make stops along the way, but you can't see all the major highlights because some are on the West Coast, some are in the middle, and the Southern Alps are in between. There's beautiful scenery everywhere! There are wineries near Queenstown, Wanaka, and about an hour north of Christchurch. But the South Island's most famed and extensive wine region is Marlborough near Blenheim. But this area is north of Christchurch, with Kaikoura and North Canterbury wine country along this Christchurch to Marlborough East Coast route.

Are you hoping to do some hiking?

Hopefully Crellston, a frequent contributor to this forum who has traveled New Zealand in campervans, will address your campervan traveling questions.

South Island roads are often narrow and winding, most with just one lane in each direction. ​​​​​​Some driving trips here:
https://www.nzta.govt.nz/safety/driv...iting-drivers/
These are driving tips from a campervan company (so you might see this as sponsored feature):
https://www.maui-rentals.com/nz/en/t...n-driving-tips

New Zealand's weather is highly unpredictable and can change quickly. Please make sure you buy travel insurance and if you decide to rent a car and stay in motels/hotels/air bnb, please check cancellation policies. Also check cancellation policies for any excursions and tours you prebook.

Here are few itinerary suggestions and, by no means, your only options.

1 Queenstown enjoy Queenstown's gondola, waterfront, botanic garden, drive to Arrowtown, dine at Amisfield Bistro
2 Queenstown drive to Glenorchy
3 Queenstown visit Gibbston Valley wine region
4 Te Anau enjoy Te Anau
5 Te Anau day drive to Milford Road and cruise on Milford Sound
6 Wanaka enjoy Wanaka
7 Wanaka enjoy Wanaka
8 Aoraki Mt. Cook (magnificent alpine scenery, easy beautiful walks with views of glaciers and glacial lakes)
9 Aoraki Mt. Cook
10 Christchurch
Fly to Auckland

OR
1 Queenstown enjoy Queenstown's gondola, waterfront, botanic garden, drive to Arrowtown, try to dine at Amisfield Bistro
2 Queenstown drive to Glenorchy
3 Queenstown visit Gibbston Valley wine region
4 Te Anau enjoy Te Anau
5 Te Anau day drive to Milford Road and cruise on Milford Sound
6 Wanaka enjoy Wanaka
7 Franz Josef (lush rainforest, wild West Coast beaches, shrinking glaciers)
8 Franz Josef
9 Hokitika or Punakaiki (best known for its Pancake Rocks)
10 Christchurch
Fly to Auckland

OR

1 Queenstown enjoy Queenstown's gondola, waterfront, botanic garden, drive to Arrowtown, try to dine at Amisfield Bistro
2 Queenstown drive to Glenorchy
3 Queenstown visit Gibbston Valley wine region
4 Queenstown all-day trip to Milford Sound (coach-cruise-fly)
5 Wanaka
6 Franz Josef
7 Franz Josef
8 Punakaiki
9 Nelson-Tasman region
10 Nelson-Tasman region day trip to Abel Tasman National Park (lovely coastal scenery, coastal walks, kayaking and sightseeing cruises)
Fly to Auckland

OR (most rushed)
1 Queenstown enjoy Queenstown's gondola, waterfront, botanic garden, drive to Arrowtown, try to dine at Amisfield Bistro
2 Queenstown drive to Glenorchy
3 Queenstown visit Gibbston Valley wine region
4 Queenstown all-day trip to Milford Sound (coach-cruise-fly)
5 Wanaka
6 Aoraki Mt. Cook
7 Christchurch
8 Kaikoura (large fur seal colony, and boat-based wildlife watching)
9 Picton or Blenheim (Marlborough wine region)
10 Picton or Blenheim
Fly to Auckland from Blenheim

Last edited by Diamantina; Feb 27th, 2020 at 04:40 PM.
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Old Feb 27th, 2020, 08:07 PM
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It seems a long way to come, to Australia, just for 3 days. Have you visited before? As pointed out, you'll be jetlagged for the first day at least. Can you come to Sydney for longer or maybe just concentrate on visiting NZ on this trip? One thing we really enjoyed in Sydney was the walk from Bondi Beach to Coogee. You can catch the bus from the city centre to Bondi Beach and the bus back from Coogee. Take water, hats and sunscreen. There are a few stairs along the way if that's an issue. Lots of reviews on Trip Advisor.

https://www.bonditocoogeewalk.com/

With the campervan idea, we hired one for a week a few years ago and wouldn't do it again. It was too cramped. My husband is tall too and he hit his head numerous times a day. There was very little space inside and we had booked an awning, so we could sit outside, but when we arrived to collect, the awning didn't fit the van. So guess what...no awning...no shade or protection from rain. Also parking was difficult, the van was not huge but longer and higher than most cars so it wouldn't fit into normal car spaces or in underground car parks. It wasn't cheap either, you could work out the rough cost of accommodation and hire car and compare your options.

Kay
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Old Feb 27th, 2020, 10:53 PM
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I agree, Kay, the Bondi to Coogee walk is fantastic. I only did part of it as it was a bit cool and windy in September but I loved it. I pity your poor husband's campervan-damaged head!

The Royal Botanic Garden is a must as well. Maybe Taronga Zoo, a day trip to the Blue Mountains and a performance at the Opera House. Sydney also has wonderful restaurants, Australia has amazing food.

Last edited by Diamantina; Feb 27th, 2020 at 10:59 PM.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2020, 06:11 AM
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Thank you all, I will look into all your suggestions.
I actually have been to Sydney but not my DH.
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