Need help and advice re our NZ holiday

Jun 7th, 2009, 07:38 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2009
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Need help and advice re our NZ holiday

We only have 14 days in New Zealand next March and this is to cover both islands. We arrive in Christchurch and as we have relatives there, will be staying with them for a few days. They have a few ideas where they want to take us such as Hanmer Springs and Akaroua. We fancy going over to Greymouth on the Tranzalpine train journey. Just wondering if it is worth the time and money. We then plan to head north as the North Island appeals to us more. I know the South Island scenery is meant to be stunning but unfortunately we just dont have the time to go south from Christchurch. We plan to spend a couple of days in Abel Tasman National Park and then travel on the Ferry over to Wellington. Just plan to spend a day there and then head up to Napier which looks a lovely place. Next we plan to head to Lake Taupo and then onto Hamilton to check in with another relative. We then plan to spend a few nights based in Auckland. Hubby drives a motorbike and fancies hiring one from Auckland and then travelling up to the Bay of Islands. Any tips on rental would be appreciated and nice places to stop would be great. Also plan to travel to Coromandel from Auckland too. Any tips would be appreciated. Thanks very much.
Susan48 is offline  
Jun 7th, 2009, 03:03 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 11,487
Does your time include your travel days to and from NZ?

Do you plan to fly or drive between cities?

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Jun 7th, 2009, 05:02 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I guess I don't need to point out that you'll be missing the best of the SI by not going south. That said, if you're planning to spend most of your time in and north of Christchurch, personally I wouldn't bother taking the Tranz Alpine to Greymouth and back as it takes a full day and IMO is best done one way, when connecting in Greymouth to continue south. Others may (and probably will) disagree.
I've done it, and while I enjoyed the trip, taking the train one way was plenty for me.

An alternative idea might be to rent a car and drive over the pass yourself, setting your own schedule and allowing yourself time to take in a few of the walks along the way. Just a thought...
Melnq8 is offline  
Jun 7th, 2009, 09:22 PM
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I agree with Mel. Part of the Tranz Alpine allure is the exposure to the snow-capped Southern Alps. In March, there will be no snow around and I think that the journey would be better done by car, with the opportunity to stop from time to time as you wish.
Since this will be the only chance that you will have to see some of the scenery on offer on the West Coast, I suggest that, as a day trip, you consider driving over Arthurs Pass to Greymouth, either through Kumara or through Moana (turn off at Jacksons after crossing the Pass and passing through Otira).
There is nothing particularly interesting about Greymouth, so I suggest that you drive half and hour north of Greymouth to Punakaiki. This will give you the opportunity to see some of the great West Coast coastal scenery plus the Pancake Rocks and the Blowholes, if the tide is right. You could then return to Christchurch via the same route (it is about three and a half hours each way) or, if you don't mind making a long day of it, you could return to Christchurch via the Buller Gorge and Lewis Pass.
kiwi_rob is offline  
Jun 8th, 2009, 03:42 AM
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Sorry forgot to say that this is our whole time in NZ. We have an extra week with stopovers on top of this. We are planning to drive north from Christchurch to Auckland. Thanks for your tips on the Tranzalpine folks. Might just take the car now.
Susan48 is offline  
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