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NEW! I've heard good and bad about NZ and AUS tell me what to believe!

NEW! I've heard good and bad about NZ and AUS tell me what to believe!

Jun 27th, 2006, 07:45 PM
  #1  
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NEW! I've heard good and bad about NZ and AUS tell me what to believe!

Well, here we are! After 2 trips to Europe, Africa, Canada and many US trips in between in the last 5 years, we are planning our Australian/New Zealand trip for next June or last week of May. I know it's cool, that is fine. Even rain is okay. Australians say don't go to New Zealand and New Zealanders say the opposite, LOL! We love wineries and have been to them all over the world. We prefer small ones. We love hiking and can handle rough terrain. I like a private bathroom, but am not a luxury hotel girl. Could care less about shopping or night life. I have a year to plan now, anybody want to start us out on a trip plan? XOXXO Thanks!
LLindaC is offline  
Jun 27th, 2006, 08:54 PM
  #2  
 
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As an American, I've found the rivalry between Kiwis and Aussies similar to the rivalry betweeen residents of Texas and Colorado. OZ and NZ are wonderful places to visit and they're both full of fascinating wildlife, spectacular scenery and friendly, hospitable people.

As far as where to go, well, you've got a vast area to choose from. Keep in mind that NZ and Australia aren't nearly as close as they look on the map, and if you plan to see both countries, you'll need alot of time and energy.

I also enjoy hiking and wine, and my personal favorites are the South Island of NZ and Tasmania.
Melnq8 is offline  
Jun 27th, 2006, 10:48 PM
  #3  
 
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You start by giving the rest of this board something to go on i.e. your age and likes and dislikes because what you have said so far is too little, and most of all for how long are you going to be in either country. For instance you like wineries - well Australia has some of the World's outstanding wines but is that all you want?
lizF is offline  
Jun 27th, 2006, 11:00 PM
  #4  
 
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Everything is a competition with the kiwis/aussies, so you should take it with a grain of salt - both countries are worth visiting!

re hiking - nz has a fantastic network of walks (tramps), better set up and promoted than australia, which has a lot of walks, but are not as well known to the general australian. However, at that time of year, you won't really be able to do the big south island walks like milford as they'll be snowy! there are others and if you're serious about tramping in nz, the 'tramping in nz' lonely planet book is worth getting a copy of.

for australia, tassie is good for walking, but for something different (and given the time of year) you may like to look at the walks in qld which have recently (the last couple of years) been established. http://www.epa.qld.gov.au/parks_and_...s/great_walks/. The http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au will give you some idea of the number of places you can walk in nsw. some ideas for longer walks - great north walk (or parts of) between nsw and newcastle (handy to train line in certain spots). Barrington tops NP, warrumbungles NP, Grampians NP in Victoria, Wilsons Promontory in Victoria. Theres also a great one (relatively new) on the Great ocean Road - it's the great ocean walk (fancy that) and 91kms from apollo bay to 12 apostles. http://www.greatoceanwalk.com.au/ I haven't done the whole thing, but it's on my list of things to do.

Wineries .... so many to choose from in both countries. for some info do a search on the forum for nz wine - there's a good one about nz wines and wineries. http://www.winediva.com.au/ is a good site for Aus.

if you want help with a plan - tell people how long you are planning to stay and what your must-sees are. also, how will you be travelling?
lancefan is offline  
Jun 27th, 2006, 11:13 PM
  #5  
 
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This competition thing is a load of bollocks. You probably won't even hear it mentioned on your travels and if you do it will be very much tongue in cheek. They are both terrific countries to tour. Visit NZ and you will visit the world, snow capped mountains and fantastic scenery. Visit Australia and an entirely different type of experience. Great cities, incredible flora and fauna and tremendous places to visit e.g. Great Barrier Reef, Ayres Rock amongst the many attractions and both countries have sensational wineries and friendly people. So let nothing put you off! Start with a week in NZ and then two weeeks in Australia with Auckland the place to begin.
DownUnder is offline  
Jun 27th, 2006, 11:32 PM
  #6  
 
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Linda, I don't recall any Australian on this board ever saying "don't go to NZ", or vice versa, so let's dispose of that one for a start. The relationship between Kiwis and Australians is something of a family thing, with all that that implies - like more similarities than either party may care to acknowledge.

There may be, however, good reasons to focus on one or the other, but not both, if you have very limited time. If you have 2 weeks, forget doing both; if you have 3, you can squeeze in a taste of each, and so on. Both countries have great scenery, wineries and food, but each has its own distinctive character. As an agnostic I've never been very good at telling people what to believe, but I'm sure you'll get a good response to further questions.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Jun 28th, 2006, 03:03 AM
  #7  
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LOL, this is a good discussion. We were planning on spending a week in each place and flying between the two and focusing our attention to 1-2 areas in each. We just got back from Alpine hiking in Switzerland for two weeks. We're early 50s but in very good shape. We want to do a couple days of winery visits, but don't want to go to the big commercial ones. We've been in wine countries worldwide and like small production and personal wineries. As far as hiking, we want an area that's safe and trails that are marked somewhat. We like to hike about 5 hours daily. I could care less about spending time in the cities, we want a more rural and authentic flavor. And honestly, yes, we've heard that old "don't bother with NZ" thing many times in our trips! Funny. We went to South Africa the first week of June and it was in the 60s which we thought was perfect. We are not into beach vacations per se, and though I enjoy snorkeling and swimming do not have to plan that for this trip.
LLindaC is offline  
Jun 28th, 2006, 07:34 AM
  #8  
 
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Linda,
IMO two weeks is far too short a time to visit both Australia and NZ. It sounds as if you travel a lot so why not pick one now and do the other later? We have been to Australia twice for 12 weeks and 5 weeks and have just touched the surface. Though NZ is more compact, your plan is like trying to see the highlights of the US and Canada in two weeks. I guess it's do-able but you'd miss so much. We are visiting NZ this (northern) winter for 10 weeks and we wonder if it will give us time to see all we want to see.
Lin
travellin is offline  
Jun 28th, 2006, 01:29 PM
  #9  
 
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With two weeks, I'd pick one country, not try to squeeze both in.

Here's a link to our 10 days on the North Island in April 2004 - http://community.webshots.com/user/ElendilPickle

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Jun 28th, 2006, 05:20 PM
  #10  
GBZ
 
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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
www.newzealandatoz.com
GBZ is offline  
Jun 28th, 2006, 05:24 PM
  #11  
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that was a really nice post and I also enjoyed Elen's pics. Thanks!
LLindaC is offline  
Jun 28th, 2006, 05:32 PM
  #12  
 
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Linda,

this is a very common thread with travellers who don't really realize the distance involved and how much to see & do in both countries.

Bottom line...you can't do them both in two weeks. Period.

Concentrate on one or the other and plan on going back and doing the other for a future trip. Trust me (have I ever lied to you before???) You will.

Each have their own charm and you'll have a wonderful time no matter which destination you choose for this trip.

Regards,

Melodie
Certified Aussie & Kiwi Specialist
wlzmatilida is offline  
Jun 28th, 2006, 05:41 PM
  #13  
 
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I wholeheartedly agree with the previous posters - two weeks is barely enough time to give one island of NZ justice, let alone two countries.

We've visited NZ six times and our trips have ranged from 10 days to a month. Yes, that's a month on ONE island. Some posters on this board have spent as long as three months in NZ and I for one, am extremely jealous.

The SI of NZ has everything you're looking for - great well marked safe hiking trails, wineries galore, small, rural areas and loads to see and do without having to step foot in a city (except to arrive and depart).

Suggest you take a look at this site to check out the great hiking opportunities in NZ:

www.doc.govt.nz/

It's certainly possible to hike in NZ in the winter, but weather will be a factor and you'll want to check with the DOC before heading out. Bridges are removed from some of the trails during the winter and huts close down, but you can still walk portions of the multi-day trails as day hikes.

This site might also be helpful:

www.nzsouth.co.nz/

As far as wineries go, you'll be spoiled for choice. I like the Nelson/Mouteka area, where you'll find at least 20 family run wineries producing some wonderful whites. This area has an excellent reputation for its Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling and it's Pinot Noirs aren't half bad either.

Forget about Napa, CA. NZ wineries (and OZ wineries for that matter) are unpretentious and laid back. Often the winemakers themselves are serving up the wine. Gotta love that.

www.nelsonwines.co.nz

And then there's Tasmania...
Melnq8 is offline  
Jun 28th, 2006, 07:12 PM
  #14  
 
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Linda
Are you aware that Autralia is the same size as mainland USA. A week would be lost. Pick one country or another and have a look!
margo_oz is offline  

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