early planning...

Jan 11th, 2008, 09:51 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 85
early planning...

We are looking at a NZ trip from the US for February, 2009, for 3 weeks.

We are an active couple in our 40s, no kids. Money is somewhat a factor, although not an overriding one. We don't want to waste money obviously.

We are considering:

Flying into AKL.
Taking a bus to BOI for couple of days, using ferry and taxis while there, taking at least a day cruise, maybe kayaking. Or should we fly to Kerikeri?
Flying from Kerikeri to Nelson.
Rent car in Nelson.
Couple of days at Abel Tasman to kayak.
Rest of time driving through SI sightseeing.
Fly home from CHC (trying to use AA FF miles, hope this is possible!)

Want to definitely spend some time in Te Anau for Sounds cruises.
Maybe a hangi around QTown.
Want to spend a day fishing with a guide. Where is a good place on SI? River or lake fishing, not sea.
The glaciers are not a must since we have walked around on Athabasca Glacier in Alberta.
We don't want to be so rushed with driving around that we miss getting the feel of NZ.

Any thoughts on this? Absolutely do not miss places? Should we skip the NI altogether? This may be our only chance to go to NZ...

TIA for your ideas, comments!

mrpink is offline  
Jan 11th, 2008, 05:58 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 14,767
Hi mrpink -

Just a few comments to get you started -

Personally, I could easily spend a month or more on the SI (and I've been there several times), but if you're set on seeing the NI as well, I suggest you allow at least two of your three weeks on the SI.

Nelson is a nice city with plenty to see and do, so I suggest you allow yourself a few days there in addition to the time you plan to spend in Abel Tasman.

We like to stay between Nelson and Motueka, an area rich with wineries, arts/crafts studios, and quiet country living. Lots of nice cottages and B&Bs in this area and a smattering of good restaurants.

The only accommodation IN Abel Tasman is Awaroa Lodge, which is only assessible by plane, boat or on foot. Another option is to stay in Marahau, which is considered the main gateway to Abel Tasman. It's tiny, and has limited services, but it's very convenient to the park. Kaiteriteri is nearby and would also make a good base.

Staying in Motueka or Riwaka is another possibility - about 20 km from Abel Tasman - considerably more food/lodging options.

Last but by no means least is the Takaka area in Golden Bay. You can access Abel Tasman from Totaranui - this is the last stop for water taxis into the park.

If you stay on the Golden Bay side, you might want to allow a day for a trip to Collingwood - tours of Farewell Spit leave from Collingwood - great tour if you have the time.

As you can probably tell, I love the north end of the SI and could easily spend loads of time there.

I have more suggestions for the area if needed.
Melnq8 is offline  
Jan 12th, 2008, 03:56 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 85
Thanks Mel.

Do you think I would get a similar enough experience in the Abel Tasman area that I could skip BOI?

Most of my must-sees are on the SI.

I realize that NZ would probably take at least months to explore in a leisurely fashion, and that with 3 weeks I will miss a lot of good stuff.

I don't want to be driving around like a lunatic just trying to "see" things. I would rather miss out on some things and REALLY see a least part of NZ (or as much as I can in 3 weeks!)

mrpink is offline  
Jan 12th, 2008, 06:35 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 14,767
Melnq8 is offline  
Jan 12th, 2008, 02:36 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 483
Bay of Islands, I suspect.
oliverandharry is offline  
Jan 12th, 2008, 05:20 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 14,767
Thanks for clearing that up oliverandharry.

mrpink -

Can't help with a comparison between Bay of Islands and Abel Tasman as it's been too many years since I was on the NI.

Both areas seem to offer similar activities (such as kayaking) and I'd guess the water would be warmer at BOI.

Melnq8 is offline  

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