Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Australia & the Pacific
Reload this Page >

Leg #2 New Zealand---Love to hear everyone's favorites

Leg #2 New Zealand---Love to hear everyone's favorites

Old May 9th, 2009, 05:42 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 50
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Leg #2 New Zealand---Love to hear everyone's favorites

Thanks for all the input for Australia. Now I need to plan 2 weeks in NZ.
We fly into Auckland from US and will spend 3 nights somewhere in that area---does not have to be Auckland. Then off to Australia east coast (loved all the great suggestions including the last one from Thorn about the ferry to Tassie---I will check it out). Then will fly into Christchurch. The only suggestion so far for NZ was the glaciers.....should we stay near there or take a day trip from another area? Should we stay in Christchurch or elsewhere? Again, we're not so into cities or wineries and love hiking (bushwalking, sorry). Want to see rainforests, ocean stuff, outback, wildlife. And we will gradually work our way back to fly out of Auckland---so app 11 days left to see as much as we can.
On a separate subject, my husband and I play tennis----are there many public courts around?
lynniewinnie is offline  
Old May 9th, 2009, 05:44 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 50
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sorry---forgot to say the trip is late Oct into Nov.
lynniewinnie is offline  
Old May 10th, 2009, 11:39 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,124
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Lynnie: Seeing that you will have already spent two full days in the Auckland area of the North Island, I'd suggest using most of your subsequent 2 weeks on the South Island, which is both incredibly beautiful and offers a lot to see with no shortage of hiking opportunities. I've been to the South Island twice now and still feel like I have only scratched the surface. You really can't go wrong which ever way you go. Christchurch is a very nice city, though it is a fair distance away from most of the island's top attractions. (Queenstown would be a better base from this perspective.) If you do spend time in Christchurch, don't miss the beautiful town of Akaroa nearby. Besides the glaciers on the west coast, some of the other top places I've visited are Queenstown, Mt Cook, the spectacular drive from Te Anau to Milford Sound, Punakaiki (the Pancake Rocks on the west coast), and Arthurs Pass.

The word "outback" doesn't apply well to NZ, as the ocean and civilization are never that far away. As for wildlife, NZ is relatively sterile...Australia win hands down in that regard, too.
RalphR is offline  
Old May 10th, 2009, 10:46 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 8,301
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Totally agree with ralphR re visiting the South Island. We spent 2 months in NZ in June /July last year and absolutely loved it. We preferred teh South Island to the north but that is just our personal view, other may disagree. All of the places suggested above are great (although i was a little disappointed by the glaciers. Here is a link to our blog with some photos and more detail

crellston is offline  
Old May 10th, 2009, 10:47 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 8,301
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sorry, I forgot to mention one of my favourites which is lake Tekapo - well worth a visit.
crellston is offline  
Old May 11th, 2009, 04:08 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 764
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi, Lynnie.

My view of the "favourites" is from the perspective of a local, not a visitor from overseas. Sometimes these are different, so I accept that others will have different views on what you might see and do.
Given your preferences (ocean stuff, rainforest, etc), I think that something along the following lines would fill your 11 days admirably:

Day 1. (Not sure if your arrival time in Christchurch will allow this. If it doesn't, stay overnight in Christchurch and make this day 2) Pick up a car in Christchurch and drive to Kaikoura -- about two and a half hour's drive. The first two hours is through farmland and the last half hour is along rocky seacoast. Stay overnight in Kaikoura. Tide permitting, the walk around the head of the peninsula has some reasonable rock pools and the chance to get quite close to the basking seals.
Day 2. Kaikoura to Punakaiki via the inland road from Kaikoura to Waiau, Lewis Pass and Buller Gorge. Overnight at Punakaiki.
Day 3. Punakaiki to Franz Josef or Fox Glacier.
Day 4. Glaciers to Wanaka.
Day 5. Wanaka to Te Anau
Day 6. Day trip from Te Anau to Milford Sound or elsewhere in this area.
Day 7. Te Anau to Queenstown.
Day 8. Queenstown.
Day 9. Queenstown to Mt Cook.
Day 10. Mt Cook to Christchurch.
Day 11. Christchurch and/or environs (depending on how much time you have left available).

The scenery on the east coast is very different to that on the west coast, and the drive from Queenstown up to Christchurch will let you see this. As Ralph has said, there is not a lot of wildlife to be seen here, but you should expect to see some birdlife on this route.

kiwi_rob is offline  
Old May 14th, 2009, 03:05 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 18,116
Received 83 Likes on 5 Posts
lynnie -

<The only suggestion so far for NZ was the glaciers.....should we stay near there or take a day trip from another area?>

It's almost impossible to visit the glaciers as a day trip from elsewhere. The base city/day trip approach doesn't work very well in NZ as distances are much greater than they appear on a map.

Suggest you heed rob's suggestion to make a loop of some sort, or perhaps fly into CHC and out of QT to maximize your time in the areas that interest you most.
Melnq8 is offline  
Old May 19th, 2009, 04:12 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 50
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks all....it's starting to make sense now and thanks Kiwi Rob for the recommended itinerary. A few more questions:
Is it worth it to take the ferry from So Island to No Island to see some sights in south to central North Island, or will that require too much time? So far I have not allotted any time for No Island other than around Auckland. Given the proposed itinerary we should have 3 days left.
lynniewinnie is offline  
Old May 19th, 2009, 07:42 PM
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 4
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you dont like cities, Christchurch is one you can spend as little time in as possible. Dont get me wrong, its OK as far as cities go... but cosidering your preferances you may get more pleasure flying into Dunedin. It has a yellow eyed penquin colony as well as albatross which cant be veiwed from any other city. The drive along otago peninsularto see both above named creatures... is stunning in its own right. And NZs most entertaining wildlife, the students will be in full exam and end of year swing.From Dunedin its a nice three hour drive to Queenstown. Where you could do the suggested itinery in reverse... and fly out of christchurch. Id personally leave out MT cook...

Up north... Bay of Islands or Rotorua are easy scenic drives from Auckland... in opposite directions... Bay of islands sounds like it might suit you better... From there they have amazing, but pricey flights to cape reinga, which is thoroughly worth the half day it will take. Also you can pop into waitangi, which is beautiful and very historic to NZ.

What ever you end up doing, you will love it. Enjoy.
4dogs is offline  
Old May 23rd, 2009, 10:35 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 50
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks 4dogs and all. Here is rough itinerary given all suggestions and fact that I must fly into Christchurch. It does sound a little hectic although we don't mind driving:
Day 1.Christchurch
Day 2.Kaikoura
Day 3.Punakaiki
Day 4.One of the glacirers to stay the night---which one?
Day 5.Wanaka
Day 6 & 7. Te Anau
Day 8 & 9.Queenstown
Day 10 & 11.Dunedin
Day 12 & 13.Fly to Rotorua
Day 14.drive to Auckland to fly home

If this sounds too crazy what should I skip?
lynniewinnie is offline  
Old Jun 17th, 2009, 02:20 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 20
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi Lynnie,

Not sure if you've finalized your plans yet, but wanted to share this guide with you, written by a local tour operator. It has lots of ideas for outdoor activities in and around Queenstown for Days 8&9 of your trip. I do hope it's useful, happy travels!

ErinK09 is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
Australia & the Pacific
Dec 6th, 2018 01:29 PM
Australia & the Pacific
Oct 11th, 2006 02:55 AM
Australia & the Pacific
Sep 7th, 2006 08:14 PM
Australia & the Pacific
Jul 24th, 2006 07:04 AM
Australia & the Pacific
Aug 28th, 2002 01:27 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information