Help needed with planning trip

Old Mar 17th, 2003, 06:22 AM
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Help needed with planning trip

We are visiting NZ during the first couple of weeks of December as part of our honeymoon.

We are coming into Auckland and flying out of Christchurch, and have booked a Campervan for this time.

I have looked at the map, and just don't know where to start! We are in NZ for 17 days and I was wondering if anyone could give me an idea of an itinerary. I just want to see as much of the country as possible.

Also, what is the weather like during this part of the year?

SallyKate is offline  
Old Mar 17th, 2003, 11:15 AM
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The first two weeks of December should bring you wonderful weather - it will be late Spring/early Summer. Daytime temps should be nice and warm, and you might have some cool evenings at higher latitudes/altitudes of the South Island.

I assume that you are taking the ferry crossing from Wellington to Picton with the campervan - or are you leaving it behind and picking up another one on the other side? A campervan is ideal for this sort of thing as you won't be wasting time checking in and out of various accommodations. There are tons of 'Holiday Parks' in just about every town, where you can just pull into a spot and plug in. Most of these parks also have communal kitchens and dining areas which are great for preparing food outside your tiny kitchen, and are also great places to meet fellow travelers.

You are going to have to skip some things if you only have 17 days.If I were you, I'd visit the following spots on the N. Island:
Auckland - ferry to Rangitoto Island, climb to top
Waitomo - do an adventure tour through a cave
Rotorua - visit Whakarewarewa, go to a Hangi
Taupo - vist Craters of the Moon and/or Orakei Korako
Tongariro - hike the Tongariro Circuit and/or chairlift/climb Mt. Ruapehu
Wellington - visit Te Papa museum

On the South Island*:
Abel Tasman - take a kayak trip or hike along the beaches
Paparoa National Park - Pancake Rocks
Fox/Franz Josef Glaciers - take a guided walk onto a glacier and/or a heli-hike
Queenstown - take Skyline Gondola, go on an adventure tour (rafting, jet boating, bungy-jumping, etc.)
Fiordland - take a boat tour of Doubtful or Milford Sounds
Mt. Cook - visit Hooker Valley and/or Tasman Glacier Valley. Take a heli/plane tour
Christchurch - Take the TranzAlpine train to Arthurs Pass*, take a walk, then return. Visit Antarctic Centre, probably right near the drop off for your campervan.

*South Island alternative - skip Abel Tasman, in favor of Kaikoura instead and go whale-watching. From there, head to Christchurch, over Arthurs Pass to Greymouth, then continue down the west coast.
ALF is offline  
Old May 3rd, 2003, 04:50 AM
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ALF got it fairly right - in 17 day's you'll need to keep a hard watch on the calendar and the clock. This is not a small country - there are lots and lots of things to do and they're all packed in tight.

The problem in recommending an itin is to know what your interests are. Gardens? Adrenalin rushes? Lord of the Rings? Hiking? Who knows?

You might get some help planning from

DavidMorris is offline  
Old May 6th, 2003, 10:18 PM
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Personally, I would only spend a couple of days on the North Island and leave plenty of time for the South. I would include Dunedin and the Otago Peninsula to the itinerary - the albatross colony on Otago is the only mainland breeding colony in the world.You can also check out the penguins - not sure about breeding season restrictions but there are websites that will help.
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Old May 7th, 2003, 01:11 AM
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My family & I are planning a similar trip (but Sth Island only) & have found to be a great website. They have suggested driving routes for Nth & Sth Island based on # of days intended w/ links for accommodations, car hire, activities, etc.
mrsfletcher is offline  
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