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I know this is ridiculous but only 2 days in NZ - would love help

I know this is ridiculous but only 2 days in NZ - would love help

Sep 12th, 2005, 07:13 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 35
I know this is ridiculous but only 2 days in NZ - would love help

My husband and I find ourselves with 2 days in NZ on the way to Australia for a wedding. Even though we're in our 50's and from North Carolina, US, by the way, this is our 2nd honeymoon trip! I know it's insane to try and see much in 2 days, but since we're going to be here, what would ya'll recommend we do?

We arrive on Sept. 26th at 5 am and leave on 28th at 7:30 am. 48 hours in this beautiful country!

We're staying at downtwon fancy hotels in Melbourne and Sydney, so it might be nice to stay somewhere more romantic or intimate, like a B&B - something that definitely doesn't feel like another American hotel. I'd love to have the New Zealand flavor in all that we do. I'm assuming we'll stay close to Auckland since there's no time to fly or drive far.

Would love suggestions - what to see, where to stay, what to eat....I have the guidebooks but not sure what are the 2 days worth - top picks!

Thanks in advance for any and all help!
Susan
spinsker is offline  
Sep 12th, 2005, 08:50 AM
  #2  
Jed
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,546
This is from my trip report about Auckland of 4-19-05:

We walked along Queen St, had dinner at Kermadec (7) for seafood, than a soak in the spa at Quay. Good breakfast the next morning, then the free bus to the Sky Tower (9). Up to the main observation level to see people get into harnesses and slide down a 630 ft wire to the street. The extra charge to go higher to the "Sky Deck' was not worth it.

We were going to take the Explorer bus, but realized that the 'Link' was a better deal. The Explorer costs $30 a day and makes 14 stops where you can get on and off at will. The link costs $1.30 each time you get on, so you can get 23 rides for the cost of the Explorer, and the Link stopped at most places we wanted.

We took the Link bus to the Auckland Museum (8) to see the Maori exhibit and the 30 minute Maori culture show (7). Link to 'K' street shopping area (4), then walked 1.5 mile down from the top of Queen St. to QW, stopping along the way for a street fair of arts and crafts.

Dinncer at Cin Cin (3) was a problem. 3 had good meals, but Arline's main was awful and overpriced. Also, service was bad. The waiter did not respond to the problem, so I complained to the manager, and the charge was removed. After, we walked along Quay St where the bars were loaded with mostly young people drinking to ear-splitting music noise.

Next day we took the ferry (8) to Devonport (6), walked up and down the few streets. Final dinner at O'Connel St. Bistro (9), small and elegant.

Last day we took the Link to Parnell to see the shopping area (7). Cab to airport ($55).

Hope this helps.
Jed is offline  
Sep 12th, 2005, 01:58 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 11,480
If you like wine, you could take the ferry to Waiheke Island, explore the wineries, and stay in a B & B. That way you could relax and you wouldn't have to rent a car to get out of town.

Lee Ann
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Sep 12th, 2005, 03:23 PM
  #4  
GBZ
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 101
What about a trip to the Bay of Islands for a night. You could helicopter up there.
Cheers, Glenn
www.newzealandatoz.com/northland.php
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Sep 13th, 2005, 12:09 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 49
With only 2 days I would consider gettin an early morning flight to Rotorua and coming back by bus on the afternoon of the 27th right into Auckland. Visit the skytower towards sunset that evening - stay that night at a hotel in downtown Auckland - as handy as possible and get a early night as you will need to be at the airport by 5.30am for a 7.30 flight.

That way you get to see some of the culture and lakes around Rotorua - make sure you visit the park just behind the township- great thermal area - take the time to soak your feet in the footpools. Also have a soak in the Polynesian Pools down by the lake. The bus trip back gives you time to sit back and appreciate some general country scenery.

Just make sure you plan another trip with at least 3 weeks to see the South Island.
Kiwis2 is offline  
Sep 13th, 2005, 05:33 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 44
I know where I would spend my time. I stayed at the Great Ponsonby B&B in one of their garden studios which was great. Huge comfy bed, great decor.
What was also good was they arranged a driver to pick us up off the same early flight and he took us straight to our room. Actually he took us up an extinct volcano on the way for no extra.
We had showered and had a lie down before the other guests were up. And did we need it.

The host is very helpful and gave us all sorts of good advice about how to spend our time.

There are heaps of restaurants and bars in walking distance and we also used the link bus which takes you to all the places you want to see for just over a dollar.

It was a really wonderful introduction to NZ for us.
Stevan is offline  
Sep 14th, 2005, 10:30 AM
  #7  
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Thank you everyone for your replies!! OK - here's where I'm at. Your ideas intrigue me but I need to learn more. First of all, ElindiPickle, my husband isn't really into wine, so is Waiheke Island still worth considering? Second suggestion, GBZ sounds fascinating, but I'm afraid of helicopters! Is there another way to get there and what would we do when we got there?
3rd suggestion, Kiwis2, flying to Rotorua - I checked flights and we'd have to wait until 8:30 am (after 5 am arrival and 26+ hrs. travelling to catch flight there. Is is feasible for us to get to Rotorua either by rental car or bus or would this consume our entire 2 days?

Jed, thanks for the tips about the Sky tower and the link as well as suggestions as to what to do in Auckland. How was the ferry to Davenport (what do you do once there) and the Auckland Museum. Those are the things that interest me the post from your trip report.

Thanks!!! I'm running out of time. Any other suggestions as to where to stay besides Great Ponsonby B&B and the B&B on Waiheke Island (in case we don't go there) would be greatly appreciated!

Susan

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Sep 14th, 2005, 12:37 PM
  #8  
Jed
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I rated both the ferry to Devonport and the Auckland Museum as 8 (out of 10), which meant very good. However, I rated walikng around Devonport as a 6, which included the benefit of the doubt.

Of the two, I would recommend the Museum more since if you go at the right time you will see the Maori show (7), which would probably be more interesting if you don't get to Rotorua.

In your situation, my inclination would be to stay in Auckland abnd recover from your flight.

When you get back, it would be nice to tell us here what you decided and how it worked out.
Jed is offline  
Sep 14th, 2005, 04:04 PM
  #9  
 
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I haven't been to Waiheke, Susan; it just sounds nice to me, and if we ever go back to NZ it is something we would enjoy doing.

Mr. Pickle and I only had a day or so in Auckland. We took the ferry to Devonport, did the walking tour and a bit of shopping, then took the ferry back into Auckland. The next morning we spent a little time at the Auckland Museum before heading to the airport.

You could rent a car and head to Rotorua. There are some nice geothermal areas you can visit, Maori culture, etc.

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Sep 14th, 2005, 07:27 PM
  #10  
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Ya'll are terrific. I promise to do a trip report when I get back!!
How long does it take to get to Rotorua? I'm guessing 3 hrs. from Auckland. You're right Jed, we'll probably need to recover. I tend to want to cram everything in and my hubby likes to relax, so we usually compromise in the middle. I'm wondering if we can at least do the museum and Rotorua or else stay in Auckland and do the museum and the ferry. Unless that is, if there is something else fabulous to do. I'd love to do the glow worm cave on the way to Rotorua. I want to do it all!

I'm going to check into the Ponsonby B&B for some local flavor too.

Thanks again!

spinsker is offline  
Sep 15th, 2005, 04:34 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
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I would take a small plane to Taupo and stay at the nearby Huka Lodge. set alongside a deep, fast-flowing river and near a very dramatic waterfall.(Huka Falls) A wonderful luxurious experience!

I dont know what flights are available. But it would be worth seeing whether it is feasible. The flight itself is worth taking to view the magnificent countryside.

EmBee is offline  
Sep 15th, 2005, 05:54 AM
  #12  
Jed
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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For distances and driving times, see:

http://www.newzealandvacations.co.nz/maps-nichart.asp

If you really want to 'see it all', then you could go to the Sky tower, Museum and/or Devonport on Sept 26, since none takes more than a few hours. And on Sept 27, you could go to Waitomo and/or Rotorua. It is a long drive to do both, and you might consider taking a bus tour to save you the trouble of renting a car, driving on unfamiliar roads and on the 'wrong' side of the road, finding the right places, and letting your hubby relax getting there.

http://www.travelnz.com/tours/auckland/index.html is one site for tours, but there are others.

Another thought is to ask at your hotel or information place if you could hire a private car and driver. Or look on the web. It might be worth it.
Jed is offline  
Sep 15th, 2005, 07:00 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
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www.hukalodge.com

The website for the exquisite Huka Lodge.
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Sep 15th, 2005, 11:24 AM
  #14  
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Great ideas Embee and Jed - I'm looking into them! Thanks!

Susan
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Nov 21st, 2005, 05:46 PM
  #15  
 
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how did your trip go?
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