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surich Jul 19th, 2006 02:55 AM

Help! with NZ itinerary
We will be visiting NZ from England for a month starting late February 2007. Our arrival point is Auckland and we leave from Christchurch a month later. Looking for help in planning itinerary so that we don't miss any 'must sees'. We would appreciate some guidance on time needed in different areas eg how many days to see Auckland. Also best spot to take a sea fishing trip.
Many thanks,

JLGesicki Jul 20th, 2006 01:04 PM

'We are also spending 10 to 12 days in NZ in January or February and would love input on an itinerary. We will arrive in ACK but have heard so much more of the South Island that may spend most of our time there. Tim and Liz's trip sounds awesome. Did they purchase a package from Real Journeys?

GBZ Jul 20th, 2006 03:01 PM

These are some of the top things to do in New Zealand from New Zealand travellerís feedback, and are in no order. I have tried to put them in order, starting at the top of New Zealand to the bottom of New Zealand

Throughout New Zealand
Buy the Lord of the Rings location guide, and do some hunting out of familiar scenes from the LOTR trilogy.

North Island
Cape Reinga and 90 Mile Beach
Swim with the dolphins in Paihia, Bay of Islands
Vertigo Climb, Auckland Skytower - beyond the observation decks, and wear an orange suit to do it.
Take a ferry or kayak from Mission Bay, Auckland to Rangitoto Island & climb to the top.
Waiheke Island - only 35 mins by ferry from Auckland, for some great wineries, maybe spend the night.
Raglan- & catch some wild surf.
Waitomo Haggas Honking Holes and tubing the glow-worm caves
Kayak from Whitianga to Cathedral Cove - then go to Hot Water beach and dig your hole in the sand
Drive from Opotiki to Gisborne then around the East Cape and back to Opotiki
Hawkes Bay- wineries, East Coast, North Island
Whakatane- Take a scenic flight over White Island, an active volcano.
Rotorua - to see the geysers, thermal activity and smell, visit Te Whakawerwera for your Maori cultural experience.
Drive out to Lake Tarawera near Rotorua- check out the Blue and Green lakes on the way
Taupo- Tandem Skydive 12,000ft
Craters of the moon outside of Taupo
Tongariro Crossing- one of the best one-day walks in the world, stunning scenery with volcanoes
Walk up Mount Taranaki- West Coast, North Island
Watch the sun rise at Te Araroa - the eastern most place in NZ
Martinborough- wineries- bottom East Coast, North Island
Te Papa Museum in Wellington- you could spend all day here learning about NZ / Maori -culture

South Island
Abel Tasman- for relaxing walking and kayaking around the National Park
Walk the Queen Charlotte Track, Marlborough Sounds- Top, South Island
Marlborough- wineries, top East Coast, South Island
Kaikoura- for whale watching and swimming with dolphins
4 day hike, Banks Peninsula - East Coast, South Island
Moeraki Boulders - East Coast, South Island for unusual round boulders
Christchurch- Arts Centre
Akaroa- for a bit of French New Zealand history
Dunedin- for historic homes, albatross, yellow eyed penguins and seal colonies
Oamaru- for Old Oamaru Stone buildings and Penguin watching
Pancake Rocks and blowholes- Punakaiki, upper West Coast, South Island
Mount Cook - South Island
Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers- West Coast, South Island
While looking at the glaciers in the Fox/Franz Josef area take a cruise out to Lake Matheson first thing in the morning to take some amazing photos of the reflection of Mount Cook in the water
Wanaka- a relaxing place in Central Otago
Arrowtown- an old Central Otago Goldfields town with an old Chinese village, 20 minutes from Queenstown
Queenstown- for adventure activities and party atmosphere
Pipeline Bungy Jump in Queenstown
Drive from Queenstown to Glenorchy- have a beer at the Glenorchy pub, after stopping and taking plenty of photos whilst on the drive
Queenstown- wineries
5 day trek of Routeburn/Greenstone Track
Walk Milford Track- one of the Worlds best.
Milford Sound and Fiordland National Park- lower West Coast, South Island
Doubtful Sound in the Fiordland National Park- swim with dolphins
The Catlins- for nature East Coast, South Island
Stewart Island- for nature bottom South Island

Once you have done all these things you will have had a great look around beautiful New Zealand

Useful New Zealand stuff

ElendilPickle Jul 20th, 2006 05:24 PM

For both of you - what are your interests? Your "must sees" might be different than my "must sees." :-)

To get you started, take a look at how we spent 10 days on the North Island two years ago at

JLGesicki, if you can make your trip 12 days, you'll appreciate that bit of extra time.

Lee Ann

surich Jul 23rd, 2006 02:25 AM

Thanks for your help it looks really good and we can't wait until February although we may give the bungy jumping and skydiving a miss. Do you know any good sea fishing trips for my hubby.

poll162 Jul 23rd, 2006 09:25 PM

In Auckland , stay in Ponsonby. It is the most interesting part of Auckland, full of cafes and close to everything. We did a whale trip out in the Auckland harbour and saw several whales. It was wonderful.

ElendilPickle Jul 23rd, 2006 10:54 PM

I can't give you a specific recommendation for saltwater fishing, but my Frommer's guide says the Bay of Islands, Whitianga on the Coromandel Peninsula, and Tauranga and Whakatane on the Bay of Plenty are good places to go. Try the NZ Professional Fishing Guides Association at

Lee Ann

jbtan Jul 24th, 2006 07:04 AM

I would suggest hot-air ballooning in Christchurch. It's awesome -- great views and if you get lucky, the breeze might just carry you further than you bargain for! But don't worry, the hot-air ballooning company is fabulous. You just need to get up at 4:30am and get a weather check before grabbing your early breakfast and be ready to be picked up by 6:00am! Give it a try...

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