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First visit to New Zealand and (possibly) Australia


Jun 18th, 2013, 12:25 PM
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First visit to New Zealand and (possibly) Australia

Hi -
My wife and I are at the preliminary planning stages of a trip to New Zealand. Depending on time we may visit Australia also, but New Zealand is the priority. We will be traveling from New York and are thinking of a stop over for a night in each direction in Los Angeles just to break up the flying a little.

Our initial thoughts were to go either in October or April. So the first question is, assuming we visit during a shoulder season, what time period would likely provide the best weather?

The second question may be more difficult. How much time would we need to have a reasonably relaxed vacation to see the highlights, do some hiking, etc.? I realize we could spend months and more time is always preferred, but is two weeks reasonable? If we wanted to add Australia, would we need an additional couple of weeks or would 3 weeks total be OK? And if we had only 3 weeks, would we be better off spending it all in New Zealand rather than trying to squeeze a little time in in Australia also? Because we will be traveling such a long distance, It would be a shame not to see both areas, but depending on the amount of time I have available, I would rather have a nice vacation than try to see everything and wind up feeling rushed and needing a vacation from my vacation .
trips4fun is offline  
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Jun 18th, 2013, 01:27 PM
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trips, I'm just planning our 17 day trip to NZ and it's not long enough.

my advice - with 3 weeks just stick to NZ. you will have loads to see and will probably have difficulty getting all you want to see into one trip.
annhig is offline  
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Jun 18th, 2013, 04:52 PM
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3 weeks = NZ

See if you can squeeze in another & then divide between NZ & Australia. That would give you a reasonable glimpse of each.
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Jun 18th, 2013, 05:04 PM
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Ditto three weeks one country, and even then you'll have trouble narrowing things down, believe me.

I find that stopovers are actually more tiring than flying straight through, unless there's a transit hotel IN the airport in question, and there isn't in LAX. By stopping over, you have to collect your luggage, and then get back to the airport and deal with security all over again the following day. I don't find that particularly restful and it eats up a day of vacation time.

In two weeks you can see the highlights of one island of NZ (unless you're a fast paced traveler and don't mind lots of driving). With three weeks you could see the highlights of both, or see a lot of one.

October and April are good months for NZ, although the weather can be unpredictable year round. I suggest you avoid school holidays and Easter.
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Jun 18th, 2013, 06:26 PM
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Many thanks for the replies.

It looks like we are likely to try to go toward the end of March into the beginning of April, which seems to be a good time of year and will avoid Easter. October will be here faster than we expect and we haven't even made plans for a vacation this summer yet . I would love to take 4 weeks, but I think I may have to settle for 3.

Melnq8, I'll give some thought to what you said about stopping in LAX for the night vs. flying straight through. I agree, it's a bit of a pain. I'm just not sure about being on a plane for that long -- although there would probably have to be a change of planes at some point that would provide a chance to stretch a little in any event.

Now I'm going to spend some time looking at others itineraries and threads. More questions to come, I'm sure!
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Jun 18th, 2013, 07:32 PM
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I agree about stopovers Mel. Unless it's a destination I want to visit & I can take a couple of days, or a Transit Hotel within the airport, I never bother.

Frankly, the pfaffing about going through Customs twice for 24 hours or less is a lot more irritating to me than just flying straight through. You're not padlocked into your seat & a wander around, chat with the crew & a stretch now & again can make even cattle class quite bearable.

Besides, you'll be buoyed by the excitement & anticipation on the outbound leg & chattering about your wonderful adventures on the homeward.
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