New Zealand

Old Oct 9th, 2006, 06:24 PM
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New Zealand

We're going to New Zealand in Dec for 3 weeks. It's our first visit there. What are the 'Must Sees'in New Zealand. Do we have time to see both the North and the South Island?
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Old Oct 10th, 2006, 07:53 AM
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We did both the north and south islands in 3 weeks. Here is a link to our trip report. It will be in your best interest to search this forum a little and read the trip reports to see what interests you and then ask more specific questions. Fellow fodorites are great but answering vague questions is hard.
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Old Oct 10th, 2006, 10:13 AM
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3 weeks is a good amount of time to see NZ but you still can't see everything. If you tell the board the types of things you enjoy then people will be able to give you better advice.

I suggest not missing
- Fiordland (Queenstown, Milford Sound)
- Rotorua (volcanic plateau)

School holidays begin in December so in certain parts of the country you will need to book in advance.
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Old Oct 10th, 2006, 01:24 PM
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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


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Old Oct 10th, 2006, 04:15 PM
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Yes, you'll have time to see both islands.

As others have said, give us an idea of your interests and we'll try to give you suggestions on what to do.

You can look at pictures and a trip of how we spent 10 days on the North Island at

Lee Ann
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Old Oct 10th, 2006, 09:12 PM
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Try to visit some of the great wine regions of NZ, eg. Sth Island...Marlborough Region.
Nth Island....Martinborough & Napier.
My favourite spots on the North Island, would have to be Coramandel Peininsula, and East Cape....but please don't tell anyone, as they will become loved to death by hordes of tourists. SHHHHH.
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Old Oct 11th, 2006, 02:55 AM
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Wow,thanks so much for all the great info. It sounds like there's heaps to see and do. I think it's going to take me some time to go through it all.
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