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Christchurch or Auckland?

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Oct 18th, 2013, 11:40 AM
  #1
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Christchurch or Auckland?

I am hoping to visit NZ to see some friends in Nelson for a couple of days. For the rest of the time ( additional 4 - 5 days), I would like to visit either Auckland or Christchurch?

Which of the two cities has a better public transportation system like buses and trains? I rather not drive if I can avoid it.

Also, if one wants to see "Lord of the Ring" scenery, where would one go?

Any additional suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Ming

N.B.: I will be flying in from the US.
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Oct 18th, 2013, 03:03 PM
  #2
 
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First, if you can extend your stay at all, try to do so.

A lot of what you're probably thinking of as Lord of the Rings scenery is in the Queenstown area on the South Island - the mountains, lakes, etc.

Wellington is the home of Weta Workshop and Digital and Peter Jackson's movie studio. They shot up on Mt. Victoria and other areas near Wellington.

Hobbiton is located outside Matamata, south of Auckland.

If you have the extended edition DVDs, take a look at the extra discs, which have information on where the films were shot. You might want to pick up a copy of Ian Brodie's The Lord of the Rings Location Guide as well. We found it very helpful when we were there in 2004.

Lee Ann
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Oct 29th, 2013, 04:03 PM
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If you really want to stick to just one city or another, then there's no need for a car in either, both have quite good public transportation and you can walk to many places. But to get to any LOTR stuff efficiently you need a car, and you have allowed so little time for this trip that you'd better plan on driving to get your money's worth. It's easy, usually 100 km/h speed limit on good roads (but not too many multi-lane highways away from the cities so use pull-out lanes to let faster cars go by). Great country, lots of places that invite you to stop and explore - add a few days to your trip, you won't be sorry!
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Apr 7th, 2014, 09:45 AM
  #4
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Thanks for all the responses.
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Apr 8th, 2014, 02:45 AM
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When will you be coming?

I know you can do an Edoras tour out of Christchurch. It's kind of expensive:
http://www.hasslefreetours.co.nz/tou...d-of-the-rings

Have you considered going to Queenstown? Because in Queenstown you can do a Lord of the Rings Tour that will take you to beautiful Glenorchy:
http://www.viator.com/tours/Queensto...f=02&aid=g5952

Plus, when you are in Queenstown, you can also do a lot of other sightseeing, such as riding the Skyline Gondola, taking a jet boat, doing a full-day bus tour and cruise to Milford Sound, or taking the local bus to Arrowtown.
http://www.arrowtown.com/

If you are not comfortable driving, you can avoid it by taking Atomic Bus, or Intercity Bus, or Naked Bus. Then there are other smaller bus lines that cover specialty routes, such as to Mt. Cook or Lake Tekapo. Many people take the bus around NZ.
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Apr 8th, 2014, 10:26 PM
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Personally I wouldn't rush to either Auckland or Christchurch. Having lived in Auckland for 30yrs it's just another city...public transport is really average at best (I used to catch the train to work), the train however will not get you to any tourist destinations. The buses might work but I never used them. If you do end up going to Auckland stay at the viaduct and you can walk / ferry to most places. As previously stated matamata has hobbiton - 2hrs south of Auckland you may find a tour company that does day tours there. I went with my English cousin and he loved it.

Christchurch has never been he same since the earthquakes, akaroa is the nicest part but it's not in Christchurch itself and I believe you would need a car.

Agree re queenstown. Best by far and you'll get the LOR experience without needing a car. You could also do a day tour to Milford sound.

Ps. Queenstown was just voted best destination in NZ in the tripadvisor travellers choice awards (third in pacific), Auckland and Christchurch didn't feature.
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Apr 10th, 2014, 02:48 PM
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We spent a month driving around both the North and south islands and didn't have enough time to "see everything".

If I were you I'd skip Aukland and Christchurch - both are nice places but they are typical cities. The real beauty of New Zealand is in the countryside. Instead fly from Nelson to Queenstown and spend your additional 4 or 5 days there - fabulous scenery (lots of LOTR scenery and several actual LOTR film location sites you can visit), plus numerous organized tours to other unique areas you can take as well as all types of activities so you don't need a car. The town itself has lots of shops, restaurants and hotels all within easy walking distance of each other so you can keep yourself busy in the evenings or when not taking an organized tour.

New Zealand is a fabulous country and the Queenstown area is simply spectacular.
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Apr 12th, 2014, 07:11 AM
  #8
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Thank you sooo much for the suggestions on Queenstown. It sounds like the perfect place for my personality.
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Apr 12th, 2014, 08:18 AM
  #9
 
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My wife and I just got back from NZ (and Australia). We loved Auckland. Great port city. Good public transportation system and easy to use for us Yanks. I would advise a trip to NZ without a stop in Auckland would be a shame.

Christchurch is a nice one day stop if you drive the Islands; but not a must see city. We rented a car there and drove over the Alps and down to Queenstown. Highly recommend that if you have the time. We stopped in Fran-Josef and Wanaka on the way.

Only time for one place.. I agree with the rest; Queenstown without question.
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Apr 16th, 2014, 09:15 AM
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Hobbiton is NZD 75 entrance fee! It takes 2.5 hours and they take you by bus to the film set, you get a little tour, drink, time in the souvenir shop and a bus ride back to the parking lot.

Driving from i.e. Christchurch to Queenstown (I would suggest even to Te Anau, as Queenstown is quite crowded) you will have the LOTR-scenery free of charge.

Rent a car and be sure to stay on the "wrong" side of the road. Traffic is light so it's easy to travel.
I would not recommend to rent with Jucy Car Rental. I had a car with 158,000 kms on the odo, a wripped drivers seat, no antenna (no radio), dents all over - and it was not much cheaper than Europcar.
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Apr 17th, 2014, 01:10 AM
  #11
 
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If you are going late June-early July, keep in mind it will be ski season in Queenstown. It will get busy, so book accommodation well ahead. If you are not self-driving, then try to stay someplace central Though tour operators will pick you up from your accommodation, you'll want to be within walking distance from shops, restaurants, gondola, market, etc. Luckily, there's a wide range of accommodation in Queenstown, from backpackers to ultra-luxurious lodges fit for royalty.

There are more international flights into Queenstown now, so this might be the busiest season yet.
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May 5th, 2014, 10:33 AM
  #12
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Thanks for all the responses.

Ming
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May 14th, 2014, 08:23 PM
  #13
 
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bookmarking. Thank you
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