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ozgirl Aug 16th, 2010 09:17 PM

Last minute decision - 5 nights North Island, Coromandel and Rotorua?
Hello fellow fodorites, thanks to some great airfares, my husband and I made a quick decision to visit for a 'long weekend' and will have 5 nights in NZ (flying into Auckland) early October.
First night taken care of as we will land in Auckland at 11.45 pm and will stay close to the airport.
I have booked next two nights at Puka Park Resort as we have APVC 'timeshare' nights here but they were unable to give us all four nights here (my original thought.)

My query is, where to spend the other two nights? I was thinking Rotorua because my husband has not seen much of the NI (except Auckland itself) and I only visited briefly a few years ago. Would this be reasonable given that we would then drive back to Auckland for a 1pm check in on the day of departure?

Can anyone recommend lodging in this area? We normally stay in self catering type of accommodation but realise this will probably be impractical given it will only be 2 nights.
Maybe a nice B&B? Not really into chain hotels.

Is the sulphur smell overwhelming? Is there somewhere else that would be better to stay and then just visit Rotorua for the day?

Or, are there other suggestions as to where to spend these days?

We are both into photography, natural scenery, wineries, (not overly strenuous) walking and don't mind driving.

Thanks in advance.

ElendilPickle Aug 17th, 2010 02:13 PM

We didn't find the sulfur smell overwhelming, and enjoyed seeing a bit of Maori culture and the geothermal features at Wai-o-tapu.

Lee Ann

peterSale Aug 17th, 2010 05:22 PM

I didn't mind the sulphur smell, but my wife did, but she is senitive to such things as smoke and aerosol sprays.

A helicopter trip to White Island from Whakatane is well worth it. Possum hunting was great as well.

Waimangu Thermal Valley is fantastic. It is a down hill walk with a bus to take you back.

malbec Aug 18th, 2010 05:27 PM

I second the trip to White Island but we took the boat instead. I am sure the helicopter would have been more exciting.

Wai-o-tapu is the best geothermal area and there is a lot of Maori cultural things to see and do. I live in Rotorua and even after 3 years I still smell the sulphur- just don't bring any silver jewelry, it will tarnish immediately! LOL.

If you are into wineries, Auckland has several really good ones or make the trip to Hawkes Bay (best to fly there, it's a 6 hour drive from Auckland). Rotorua is a 3 hour drive from Auckland.

Rotorua also has at least 5 lakes and some really great walks and scenery around the Redwoods.

Good luck with your planning!

Kia Ora

ozgirl Aug 20th, 2010 02:22 PM

Thanks guys. White Island looks interesting, I had never heard of it but not sure we will have time (with only 4 days) or funds to spare this time, may save for a later trip.
Malbec, if we decide not to stay actually in Rotorua (and we may!) is there somewhere nearby that you would suggest?

malbec Aug 22nd, 2010 03:50 PM

If you still want to stay nearby- There is Hamurana which is at the NE side of the lake and has a very nice lodge/inn. There is also the Duxton Hotel about 8K east of Rotorua on Okawa Bay.

There are also lots of little B&B's around. Taupo is 50 min south and Tauranga 45 min. east (Tauranga has two wineries- Mills Reef and Morton Estates). Good luck!

ozgirl Aug 22nd, 2010 09:54 PM

Thanks malbec, Hamurana looks lovely but slightly (no, hugely!) out of our budget so will have to give that a miss! I have found a little self contained place near the golf course that looks OK. Thanks for the tip about the wineries, will see what we can fit in!

aussiedreamer Dec 15th, 2011 01:31 AM

Bookmarking for spontaneous trip in two weeks

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