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Carol Oct 8th, 2002 12:21 PM

help with 2 week itinerary - Oz and NZ
Hi:<BR><BR>I'm planning my honeymoon for January of next year. We are spending 6 days in Tahiti before getting to Auckland, and then I was thinking of spending 1 week in NZ and 1 in Australia.<BR><BR>In NZ, I was planning to concentrate in the South Island, and maybe rent a car there. Places we want to visit are Christchurch, Milford Sound, the glaciers. In the North Island, I've been recommended to go to Rotorua, but this would take 1 or 2 extrra days, right? Is it really worth it?<BR><BR>In Australia, I realize 1 week is very little time. Originally we thought about doing Sidney and Cairns, but we've been encouraged to add Melbourne and take the island trip to see the penguins. Is there really enough time to do justice to the 3 of them? If you had to choose between Cairns and the GBR or Melbourne (given that we would have already spent some time in Tahiti), what would you do?<BR><BR>Any help is appreciated!<BR><BR>Carol

Adrienne Oct 8th, 2002 12:37 PM

Hi Carol. We have been to Australia three times. It's my favorite place. The first time we went, we split our time between Aus. and NZ, with 10 days in each place. It gives you just a brief glimpse of what's there. If I only had the 2 weeks, I would spend my one week in NZ on the South Island seeing Christchurch and Milford Sound, which is surrounded by glaciers. The scenery is magnificent. See Rotorua another time. In Australia, I would spend a couple of days in Sydney then fly to Cairns and spend the balance on the Great Barrier Reef, perhaps on one of the islands. I'd save Melbourne for the next trip. You just can't do it all, and once you go there, chances are you will return. Have fun.

Alan Oct 8th, 2002 08:56 PM

Hi, Carol!<BR>Adrienne has said it all. With just a week to spend, I would be very concerned that so much of your time was spent heading for Melbourbe JUST to see the penguins. Imagine if you got there and it was pouring rain that day... not at all an uncommon condition in Melbourne. Follow Adrienne's advice, and do the "big three": New Zealand's south island, Sydney, and the Barrier Reef. That's like going to three different worlds, so great is the contrast.<BR>Have a wonderful holiday!

john Oct 9th, 2002 01:10 AM

The best penguins (and one of the best nature events i have seen)is the penguin "parade" at the otago peninsula near Dunedin. Go at dusk and watch the penguins return from the network of see,hear and smell a penguin parade up the beach and then find its nest and feed its young was spectacular.<BR>Leaves the phillip island show for dead.<BR>see your penguins etc in nz and forget melbourne.

Carol Oct 9th, 2002 09:21 AM

Thank you all, I think we've now decided to skip Melbourne. Do you still think it makes sense to go to Cairn after spending a week in Tahiti or should choose another destination? <BR><BR>Also, who did you use for the tours in the Otago peninsula? Did you prebook them from here or did you book them on-site?<BR><BR>Thank you again,<BR><BR>Carol

Aussie Oct 9th, 2002 12:51 PM

Tahiti is not like the GBR or Cairns because it does not have the reef nor does it have the other type of attractions that that area does. I am glad that you have decided against Melbourne. But with so little time perhaps you could think of Sydney and the Gold Coast where you have a chance to go around the Border Ranges and lots of other activities that you didn't have in Tahiti. You have the chance to see wildlife there as well as going to places like Byron Bay and the Hinterland. Accommodation would be fantastic at Sanctuary Cove which is a little village in itself and if you like water, boats, golf and lovely restaurants then that would be ideal.

john Oct 9th, 2002 07:45 PM

we did a self drive around the south of south island loop in jan a few years ago.<BR><BR>a day trip around the otago peninsula was excellent. we got info from dunedin tourist place,had a look at dunedin, went to a beach for a swim and check out seals,visited albatross place and then went to the penguins at dusk.we did not book anything ahead.<BR><BR>In general you probably should remove one destination from your plan<BR>I am an aussie and I hate to say it (because i think the GBR puts tahiti in the shade....french melanesia and polynesia is overated,overhyped,expensive and dirty imho)you should consider only going to tahiti and nz...leave oz for another time.

Carol Oct 10th, 2002 05:13 AM

Thanks to everybody....Another question, if going to Dunedin, would a cruise to Milford Sound be redundant? Also, is a stopover in Christchurch worthwhile? Can we do a 1-day glacier tour from there?<BR><BR>Thanks again,<BR><BR>Carol

liz Oct 10th, 2002 01:02 PM

I second John's statement that the penguin parade in Dunedin is great and so is the Albatros colony just nearby. I had a lovely few hours nature watching BUT.....when I took my daughter over there a couple of years later in December we saw absolutely NOTHING because visibility was about 2 feet for the 2 days we were in the area. The fog was the worst I have ever seen. January I should think would be better but those climes can never be taken for granted.<BR>Going to Dunedin should not alter going to Milford Sound the only problem is that its the other side of the island and it does take time to get there. I also hate to tell you this but you get about 1 day out of every 4 of clear weather in Milford Sound too - so check the weather before taking that long trip. I would opt for Milford Sound in preference to Dunedin though and if time is short then NO don't stay or go to Christchurch because as far as I am concerned Queenstown and Milford Sound are the two top places in the south island.

margo Oct 13th, 2002 11:45 AM

Although the GBR is just stunning, January is not a good time to visit. It's in the middle of the wet season, and it's hot and very humid. If you plan to go there, check that the things you want to do are available at that time, as many things close down over that period. One advantage will befewer tourists.

Carol Oct 14th, 2002 07:24 AM

Good point Margo:<BR><BR>We were planning to take a 1-day cruise to the GBR and take the Kuranda train and skyrail gondola the next day...Do you know if these will be operating?

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