HELP..New Zealand Itinerary

Old Dec 20th, 2008, 11:39 AM
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HELP..New Zealand Itinerary

We are swapping homes for a month April-May 2009. We will be in Napier, NZ. I have studied that area and know of plenty to do.

It took me a year to plan AU a few years ago and now I find myself with only a few months to go and no itinerary.

We will have a car. Would love to see the South Island. But any suggestions. Pehaps fly-train? As we are based in the Northern Island, would like to spend maybe 4 days in southern, is that possible?

Any suggestions including Northern Island sights will be appreciated.

Thanks
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Old Dec 20th, 2008, 11:45 AM
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What a wonderful opportunity!

We spent 10 days on the North Island in April 2004. Pictures and a brief trip report are at
community.webshots.com/user/ElendilPickle

Lee Ann
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Old Dec 20th, 2008, 05:12 PM
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New Zealand can take a bit longer to get around than most people think for though it is two main islands and quite a few smaller ones, those two main ones are fairly large.

You're no doubt looking to use the house as a base and travel out from there and in doing it for a few days at a time you'll end up doing quite a few trips - Wellington - Central/West - Central Rotorua/Bay of Plenty are all three regions you would need two-four days to comfortably see and we have not even got as far as Auckland and heading north and for that you would want near a week for from Napier and return.

Likewise, in heading to the south island even a week would be far too short for most - there being a kind of fig. of eight tour using Christchurch to Greymouth as the centre of the eight - it being mentioned I think by KiwiRob in detail if you scroll down to some NZ threads and I'd say 10 days would be about a minimum and 14 better.

There's a train from Picton to Christchurch and one from CC to west coast and another vintage type route out of Dunedin I think but your options other than that and flying between main centres are either driving or busses.

www.travelplanner.co.nz and hold the ctrl down while clicking on distances will bring you up another page to click on and then a link to finally give you a little map you can play with re distances/times - getting to the map is sort of like driving around parts of NZ - a bit of interesting driving and very little in way of Interstater highway standard.
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Old Dec 20th, 2008, 06:16 PM
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Thank you, just as I thought lots of territory in a short period of time.

I think I should start small like go to Rotorua via car. Than fly from Napier to Auckland and rent a car to see Coromandel Peninsula and Bay of Islands and fly back. Does that seem feasible.

Than later go from Napier to Wellington and take a train to Christchurch. Not sure if we can get further South.

Any suggestion?
Thanks
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Old Dec 20th, 2008, 11:03 PM
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That sounds like a good approach and I'd just suggest that you could do the Napier - Rotorua/Coromandel - Napier in 3-4 days whereas it'll add another two days for AKL - C - AKL - BofI which you probably ought to allow 4-5 days minimum by itself and taking C onto R will mean less travelling about AKL.

Unless you particularly want to see AKL you could go from Napier to Whangerei or even KeriKeri by air or at least consider just driving up from AKL and flying back to minimise time on the road
http://www.airnewzealand.co.nz/default.htm will give you an idea on flight possibilities.

And likewise with heading down to CC and say the trans alpine railway, instead of the return by land you could look at returning by air.

The weather down on south island particularly will be getting a bit of a wintry feel to it but nothing like the north of US is currently having but do have some cooler/wet weather clothes and perhaps the swappees will have left their Ugg boots out!
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Old Dec 21st, 2008, 06:25 AM
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Thank you Bushranger~ so do you think we will need to make hotel arrangements ahead of time or does anyone feel we can wing it. I always get nervous about not having plans, but..... Also do you think we could skip Auckland, I understand it is a big city and I see that with NYC all the time. Thanks.
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Old Dec 21st, 2008, 10:13 AM
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<Than fly from Napier to Auckland and rent a car to see Coromandel Peninsula and Bay of Islands and fly back.>

My thoughts:

That doesn't seem to me to be the most efficient way to go. You could drive from Napier to Rotorua to Coromandel to Auckland to Bay of Islands, then fly from there.

But may I ask:

How much time do you have for NI? Bay of Islands and Wellington are out of the way. Do you really want to see them? Why take a train if you don't have that much time?

I would suggest that Auckland is more interesting and accessible than Wellington, and Queenstown better for a few days than Christchurch.

My suggestion would be:

Dive Napier
Rotorua
Coromandel
Auckland
?Bay of Islands
Fly Queenstown.

Perhaps if you posted an itinerary we could offer more specific help.
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Old Dec 21st, 2008, 01:19 PM
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Jed,

jbstrig is "swapping homes for a month April-May 2009. We will be in Napier, NZ"
And thus they're looking at a series of smaller trips with return to Napier inbetween.

"Also do you think we could skip Auckland, I understand it is a big city and I see that with NYC all the time."

Auckland is tiny in comparison to NY and whereas NY has a massive central area of business and apartment living Auckland is much like Australian and I suspect some other US cities where you have a small business area and people mostly live in the suburbs - more of an urban sprawl.
It certainly has an interesting harbour perspective with one large water crossing heading out on it's northern side and you could get a chance for best views of that flying in and out as I suspect your flights from/to Napier to do the north will involve a connect at Auckland - if so, get a right hand seat heading north, left hand heading south and you should get some good views.

Jed has a liking for Auckland over Wellington and may have more detail to add on attractions of Auckland but to many including myself the best of New Zealand is that to be seen away from Auckland.


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Old Dec 21st, 2008, 02:33 PM
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Ok, I believe I have a preliminary itinerary for the Northern Island. Begin Napier to Rotorua to Taruanga to
Coromandel to Auckland and take the one full day fast boat to the Bay of Islands and return to Auckland. Drive straight back to Napier opposite route. We will stay over when feel necessary. Want to skydive and mud baths and walking tours. Will allow 4-5 days.

Sound feasible? suggestions to do/see on this route?

We will take a break in Napier and so the South Island. Comments, please.
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Old Dec 22nd, 2008, 02:11 AM
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That's reasonable enough for a pretty quick trip up to the BofI and back without loitering around.

Like 2 days to Auckland for o/n two nights there either side of the Bof I trip and two days for returning, maybe the mud bath one way and sky dive the other.

Requot;and take the one full day fast boat to the Bay of Islands and return to Auckland." and if that is http://www.city-discovery.com/bay-of...ur.php?id=2176 , pretty sure you're coaching each way and the fast boat is just Paihia to Hole in the Rock.

In answer to your earlier question re accommodation, other than any crushes if your booking times co-icide with Easter you should not have too great a problem booking a day or so ahead, though if you went as far as Queenstown that is more popular.
For Auckland, http://www.rainbowhotel.co.nz/ might be worth considering and if you google it you'll see that "ratestogo' last minute nookings claims 70% off but I'd check what rate thay are offering.

If you are not adverse to hostels and some have good twin/double rooms, smaller ones are usually good value - www.bbh.co.nz and Verandahs, Brown Kiwi or City Garden Lodge [old but cosy, and a little love nest van in front garden].
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