New Zealand in Feb

Old Jul 7th, 2006, 08:04 AM
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New Zealand in Feb

We are getting married this Feb and are planning on coming to New Zealand between 5th Feb and 20 th Feb. Hope this is a good time to visit the country. Also can anyone help us prepare an itinerary for 15 days? we need help with places to visit and affordable accomodation. any advice is welcome.
Thanks,
Maha and Aravind
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Old Jul 7th, 2006, 02:37 PM
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Congratulations on your upcoming wedding!

What are your interests, and about how much do you want to spend per night on accomodation?

Lee Ann
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Old Jul 8th, 2006, 05:40 AM
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The best way to prepare an itinerary is to look at some itineraries that the commercial or educational companies provide, and read travel books such as Fodors or others.

Then you can get some idea of what is available and what tickles your fancy, and ask questions on that basis.
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Old Jul 9th, 2006, 06:37 AM
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I am in process of putting an itinerary together for almost the same dates: 7 - 23 Feb. The first step is to familiarize yourself with what NZ has to offer and what you want to see and do.

Then, try to decide as to whether you want a fully escorted trip, or a self-drive trip, or travelling around by public bus. You can get good info on these options from all of the tourism sites. I found http://www.newzealand.com/ particularly helpful. The operator I will probably go with for a self-drive arranged trip will be http://www.nz-tour.net/ and they have excellent examples of what to see on their site, whether you go with them or not.
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Old Jul 11th, 2006, 02:07 AM
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Thanks all of you, we are reading up as much as we can on New Zealand. Will get back for more help by end of this week!
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Old Jul 12th, 2006, 10:06 AM
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if you are outdoorsy and adventurous, there is no end of fun for you there! you also must love beautiful scenery and friendly people.
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Old Aug 14th, 2006, 12:24 AM
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Dear All,
Thanks so much for your advice!! We finally managed to lookup some info on NZ!!! There's loads on the net, so it took us quite a bit of time to get our act together!
We are outdoorsy and love adventure sports! So we would most definitely like to visit Queenstown! having said that, we would love to do some wildlife/sealife sighting as well. So these are the places we would ideally like to visit during our trip:
Wellington
Picton
Dunedin - if poss
Queenstown
Akaroa
Milford sound
Kaikoura
Glaciers - decide
Abel Tasman NP
Te Anau
Mount Cook NP

These are not in any particular order, and we really dont know if we can cover so many places in 12-15 days! Pls advise!
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Old Aug 14th, 2006, 03:06 AM
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If you have time, do not miss out on the chance to go to Rotorua. It's adult fun land (good clean fun I mean). zorbing was the highlight of my trip to NZ! and there were so many highlights so that was a tough call! I also enjoyed the volcano run - again, near Rotorua. we also went mountain luging - again, a highlight - near Rotorua! it's really something else.

I also enjoyed Napier a lot. beautiful architecture - art deco from the 1930s... and it reminded me of California in the climate and also the many fine wineries there. this is where many of the NZ wines you have tried, come from. if you go to Napier, there is an outdoor pool/spa complex with huge heated outdoor "jacuzzis" (they may have a different name there, they are huge pools) and this is right on the sea and is open late. this also was bliss - enjoying the bubbly warm spa and staring up at the southern sky. you can see the southern cross from there, obviously.... if you are at all interested, it wouldn't hurt to look at star maps for the southern hemisphere - something I wish I had done ahead of time. next trip!!
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Old Aug 14th, 2006, 06:12 AM
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It looks to me that you mostly want to spend your 12-15 days on SI.

Consider a counter-clockwise itinerary from Wellington - Picton - Tasman -glaciers - Queenstown - Te Anau - Milford (or Doubtful) - ?Catlins - Dunedin - Christchurch- Akaroa.

I'm not sure how that would fit into 12-15 days. Which are the most important places for you?
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Old Aug 14th, 2006, 07:01 AM
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Greetings abi_maha and congratulations on your adventure into marriage.

New Zealand is a great choice. You are sure to enjoy where ever you go.

My wife and I have been to some of the places you ask about so I will deal with them in order.

Picton - ferry terminal to the north island. Picton is small and we only stayed there overnight but it is very near some national parks area that is well thought of. We will be in that area once again this March [5 weeks in Nelson] and intend to spend more time exploring this area.

Dunedin - an interesting city with lots to see and do. The Robby Burns statue will likely have the usual bird perched on his head. We stayed at the Otaga peninsula just a short distance from town. Very pleasant. At our B&B, we had a half dozen pet sheep in the back yard. There is a private penguin preserve on the peninsula which can be visited. The Kiwi [New Zealanders] are very environmentaly concerned so visiting this penguin site [as with many places] they do not allow people to disturb the birds. You can see them from a blind but can not go near the birds. When we visited, we were looking out at the penguin and some chicks were busy looking in at us.

Also, there is an albatross colony that can be seen [from a distance].

In your research, be sure to read about the Otago Peninsula and what there is to offer to a visitor there. We saw the albatross from a boat day trip.

Queenstown is very touristy and expensive. It is also a place where gorge day trips begin. See or try bungy jumping there. Those areas must not be driven using ordinary vehicles but 4WD are to be used.

In our opinion, Queenstown is a pleasant place to pass through with a stop long enough for a good look but not a place to stay, at least for reasonable costs.

Arrowtown, Cromwell and others nearby could be a better base.

For reasonable accommodation, look into "The top 10 campground". They have camping sites as well as cabins and motel type accommodations. They offer a discount card. Check their web site for more detail. We did not stay at one of these Top 10 but have heard good things about them.

Te Anau was a good place to stop, where we spent a few days on the way to Milford Sound. Te anau was peaceful as is much of NZ, quite, beautiful and affordable.

On our first trip to NZ, we booked and paid for everything in advance. I had rented a vehicle but was worried about driving from Te Anau to Milford sound so we took a tour. Once we made this tour, I found the road way not bad at all and could have easily driven it. My concern was the care of the rented vehicle. Nothig to worry about. At one point, you drive through a tunnel that drips water from time to time but fine otherwise.

Milford sound was very windy. You will see tree and shrub gowth that is bent from the constant wind. Lots of cloud. We took a short boat tour and saw Little Blue Penguin from the boat, but just for a moment. Mostly, we saw tourists taking pictures of themselves.

Beweare of the sand flies there. Take some deet or you will be miserable and have no fun at all.

We passed through Kaikoura, staying for a couple of days. Accommodation was difficult on that trip [about 10 years ago] so I would not be surprised if it were much busier now. In Kaikoura we went on a whale watch. Fantastic. Our boat had three levels for viewing. Each level had a naturalist to help the visitors see whales. The lady naturalist on our level was fantastic. For us photo nuts, she advised that we need not glue our eyes to the camera but she would tell us just before a good picture would appear.

We spotted 5 or 6 whales and she was bang on every time except once. I got lots of excellent pictures of the tail just before it went under. The one time she missed was not her fault. A tourist interrupted her and that is why she missed that one. Damned tourists!

Ecellent lobster in Kaikoura but not cheap.

The New Zealand dollar is quite low compared to the US or Canadian dollar so when you are quoted costs, convert to your own currency to get a better handle on real costs. Tipping is not common in NZ, but I like to give a reasonable tip for good service. Not so little that it is insulting but not so high that I outperform too many people.

Have fun and again, congrats.

Woodie
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Old Dec 14th, 2006, 07:21 AM
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Hey All,
We have only now managed to book our flight tickets.... flying into auckland on 6th and flying out on 23rd.
However we only want to see S Island in these 15 days. mainly
:
Queenstown (we are both adventure fans)
Glacier
kaikoura (will we sight whales in Feb?)
Abel Tasman National Park
We need help in itinerary planning and accomodations at all these places.
We are looking at accomodation at around NZ$ 150 including BF.
Pls advise.
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Old Dec 21st, 2006, 08:59 AM
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dear Woodie,
Thanks for all the tips, we have finally managed to book tickets to NZ! We should be arriving on 7th Feb in auckland and leaving on 23rd from the same.
We want to only cover Nelson (Abel Tasman & Kaikoura)
Glacier region
Milford Sound & Te Anau
Queenstown
Pls advice on whether this is feasible in 15 days.
rgds,
Maha
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