Help! Need NZ advice for Family of 4!

Aug 2nd, 2007, 10:41 PM
  #1  
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Help! Need NZ advice for Family of 4!

My family and I are travelling to NZ for the 1st time for a wedding in Hawera. We have 5 nights to drive back to Wellington (where we would like to spend 1 or 2 nights) before our departure. We have 2 small children 1 & 4 but we would like to see the snow, hot springs, vineyards and beaches (my husband is a keen surfer) of the East Coast on our way back down to wellington. Any Advice would be immensely appreciated. Many thanks!
cribbylei is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2007, 12:58 AM
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Hi Cribbylei
I guess you are referring to Hawera - Taranaki as opposed to Lake Hawera area SI ? What time of the year will you be in NZ ?
heathy is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2007, 01:10 PM
  #3  
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Hi heathy,
We will be there on Oct 3rd. Thanks for any advice! My Husband thought we could spend 2 nights near snow/hot springs, 1 night near vineyards and 2 nights in Welllington. What do you think? He said he doesn't need to see the beaches of the east coast.
cribbylei is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2007, 01:11 PM
  #4  
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Sorry heathy, Yes, Hawera near Taranaki.
cribbylei is offline  
Aug 4th, 2007, 09:47 PM
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Hi Cribbylei
I suspect you've done your homework already. Hawera is out on a limb - and given your time constraints and the ages of your children, you are a tad limited. Very noble of your husband to pass in on seeing the East Coast beaches. Im a "surf widow " too - and know what these blokes can be like ! However Im guessing that he's thinking about spending sometime checking out the surf on the west coast which can be pretty gnarly ( so Im told !!! ). It really would be quite a trek to visit - for example Gisborne and the Hawkes Bay. A shame becos the vineyards in this region are tops and Gisborne surf, as Im sure your husband is aware , is good. No matter.
Anyway to summarise ... head to New Plymouth and environs for surf and snow and hot pools , down to Tongariro National Park for more snow and hot pools. Onto Wairarapa ( Martinborough ) for vineyards and then Wellington.
Im sure your fellow wedding guests will have lots of suggestions ! Good to see people heading off the usual tourist trail. Have fun.

Have just remembered that the rhododendrons will be in flower - and this region is reknown for its rhodos. Try the Pukeiti gardens.
heathy is offline  
Aug 5th, 2007, 04:58 PM
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http://www.pukeiti.org.nz/

Found this site on Pukeiti Garden
heathy is offline  
Aug 5th, 2007, 08:05 PM
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Thanks so much Heathy! One more question. Could you recommend a cute beach town somewhere along the south west coast between Wanganui and wellington that had good food, a nice park, walks on beach etc.? A nice place to just chill out and soak up the scenery. We love Non-tourist spots. Thanks heaps!~
cribbylei is offline  
Aug 5th, 2007, 09:28 PM
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Hi Cribbylei

You could try Waikanae Beach. Nice beach to walk along, a few restauarants, not too busy at all. Only an hour north of Wellington, so not too far to travel.

A list of Bach accomodation there is pasted below.

http://www.bookabach.co.nz/__Waikanae_Beach.cfm

Kiwi_acct is offline  
Aug 6th, 2007, 01:32 AM
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Hello again

Mmmm this is a bit of a tricky question... I have to confess that Iam not a fan of any of the beaches between Wanganui and Wellington !

Sure Waikanae has some positives. It is a huge lengthy beach - very exposed and when the southerly is blowing- eek .Not really a cute , cosy sort of beach IMO. Titahi Bay mmm again its ok. My husband says not to bother as the surf is lousy ! The coast is scenic but I would be inclined to drive directly to Wellington.

If you are determined to spend a night at the beach closer to Wellington, I would have to direct you to the east coast - Wairarapa!
If you are going to visit the vineyards you could easily drive to the coast to a small community called Castlepoint. Castlepoint is definitely not touristy .It has a rustic charm and is quite lovely in a lonely rugged way. Your 4 year old will love the lighthouse here. Do you have a backpack for the one year old? This is bringing back very recent memories !! There is a dairy and a takeaway place. You may need to bring a few provisions - but I think for one night it would be worth it. There are baches to rent and a motel.

I guess we can allow your husband a few surfing treats. There are a number of very good surf spots in the area - and these may be worth exploring even if its just to watch the locals in action.

I hope I havent confused you! Take a good look at a map and let me know what you think . It takes about 2.5 hours from Castlepoint to the centre of Wellington .

PS - theres a REALLY good childrens play area in Wanganui township.
PSS the best surf beaches on the west coast are towards New Plymouth.
heathy is offline  
Aug 6th, 2007, 01:58 AM
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oops just re read your message ! Maybe you're just looking for a scenic stop off to give the kids a break . In that case go to Waikanae !!!!!! Theres a good park there too . Phew.
heathy is offline  
Aug 12th, 2007, 02:07 AM
  #11  
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Wow Heathy, Thanks so much! I just had lunch with the bride to be (she's from NZ) and we have decided to go stright to Hawera. Then after the wedding head to Ragland "one of the best left handers in the world" according to my hubby. and spend 1 or 2 nights there, then to Taupo , spend 3 nights there and see glowworms (waitomo), snow, springs, Luge ride, sky lift (rotorua) . What do you think? We may not even see wellington, is that bad? She agreed that the beaches are not that great on the lower west side. Yes, I have a back pack for the 1 yr old and we are very mobile, ha ha. We have dreamed of going to NZ and now that we are going we have 2 young ones and can't do all the "extreme" things that NZ is famous for. Oh well, that's life. HA! It will be awesome to experience what we can. Thanks for all your advice! If you recommend any hotels in Taupo or Raglan plz advise. THX!
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Aug 12th, 2007, 02:51 AM
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You're welcome Cribbylei

Yep my husband has surfed at Raglan. Quite rocky though - I seem to recall him scrambling off rocks to launch himself out. These surfers are crazy. Be sure to check out the surf just north of New Plymouth township too.

I think someone has mentioned accom. Raglan on this site. Run a search.

Heaps of motels in Taupo. We stay in one on the lake front called Oasis. Im pretty sure all units have lake views. Has quite a good heated outdoor pool.That time of year though you won't need to book. Just turn up, cruise around and take your pick.

Good zoo in Rotorua for little uns. actually theres also a minature animal zoo in Taupo. Oh yes I know what your life has become !!!!! Very good thermal outdoor pools in Taupo. Again suitable for children.

I wouldn't go to Wellington with the children being so young. If you get to Taupo maybe consider driving 1.5 hrs to Napier. Hawkes Bay. Lots of lovely vineyards!!!!
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Aug 12th, 2007, 05:20 PM
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Heathy,
Wow, once again, thanks so much! You should be on Fodor's payroll! You have been an enourmous help. Cheers,
Cribbylei
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