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KEC Dec 12th, 2002 01:38 PM

New Zealand in July...please help with itinerary
Hello,<BR>We are still trying to finalize an itinerary for our trip to NZ in June/July for 2 weeks. I have been reading guidebooks, but they don't offer good advice for winter travel.<BR><BR>We are flying into Auckland, and will fly from Auckland to Sydney 2 weeks later. We are interested in finding out to make the best choices for winter travel.<BR><BR>So far, we are thinking:<BR><BR>1. Auckland<BR>2. Rotorua(&amp; Waitomo Caves on the way from Auckland)<BR>3. fly to Christchuch (side trip to whale watch in Kaikoura)<BR>4. TranzAlpine train to Greymouth <BR>5. Greymouth to Glaciers<BR>6. to Queenstown<BR>7. Milford Sound<BR>8. fly Queenstown to Auckland?<BR><BR>Do you think that these locations would be OK in the winter? I know that it's not the ideal time, but are there better choices for that time of year?<BR><BR>What would be your idea of a good 2 week, winter itinerary?<BR><BR>We are in our late 20's, fairly active, somewhat adventurous (but no bungee jumping for me:), and don't ski.<BR><BR>Thanks for any advice that is offered.<BR><BR>Sincerely,<BR>Keri

Christina Dec 12th, 2002 03:49 PM

All sound good. Just may have to be a little flexible because of the weather. We weren't able to fly to Milford Sound from Queenstown in August because of the snow. Although you could still take a bus. It just makes for a long day. It rained when we were in Rotorua. <BR><BR>NZ is still a wonderful place to visit even despite the winter weather. Try hanggliding in Queenstown. It was so fun!

KEC Dec 16th, 2002 04:55 AM

Thanks for the reply Christina. I don't know if I am daring enough to try hangliding, but I will check it out! I saw I show about NZ on the Travel Channel last night, and it showed the Shotover Jet boat ride in Queenstown...that looked like fun:)<BR><BR>For everyone ~ Any other suggestions?<BR><BR>We were also considering adding Napier and/or Wellington. Any thoughts on this?<BR><BR><BR>Thanks!

Finicky travler Dec 16th, 2002 09:29 AM

A suggestion for Queenstown.... <BR><BR><BR><BR>My husband and I just returned from our honeymoon trip in New Zealand, Tahiti, Moorea, and Bora Bora. While in New Zealand, we had the great fortune of staying at an Inn named Pencarrow. The inn, located in Queenstown, recently opened and, as such, is not in your guidebook. I write to advise you to include Pencarrow in your next publication and to give them at least one star. <BR><BR>Staying at Pencarrow was truly the highlight of our entire honeymoon (It beat Le Meridian Bora Bora’s over-the-water bungalows by a landslide). Each time I reflect on our stay, I continue to be impressed by the beauty of the Inn, its striking views, and most of all, the warmth and generosity with which the innkeepers, Bill and Kari Moers, hosted us. I have traveled ALOT, but have rarely been treated this well. The following is one example (one of many) of the detailed-attention they gave us: <BR><BR>While munching on Kari’s DELICIOUS, homemade hors devours during the Pencarrow cocktail hour, Jim and I talked to Bill and Kari about the local apples. The next morning we went to breakfast and found that Kari made us fresh apple juice with the local apples. <BR><BR>By the end of our scheduled stay, we loved Pencarrow so much we did not want to leave. So, we cancelled our reservation at the next Inn were suppose to visit, paid their cancellation fee, and stayed an additional day. What more can I write, I give Pencarrow my HIGHEST recommendations. <BR><BR><BR>Sincerely, <BR><BR>“Finicky TRAVLER”– never a tourist)<BR><BR>General Information:<BR>The rate was 350 NZ (@ 170 US) with a FANTASTIC breakfast and cocktail hour. <BR>To see a picture of the Inn, go to WWW.FRIARS.NZ.CO. Once there, click on LISTINGS and scroll through the “P’s” until you find Pencarrow. The Photographs do not depict how truly special Pencarrow is, but it is a start. <BR>

Christa Dec 16th, 2002 02:18 PM

New Zealand's winter is not too extreme compared to some countries.<BR>In the North Island expect cool, fine days OR if you are unlucky, rain.<BR><BR> Even though you are visiting mid winter, the weather shouldn't really hamper your plans too much.<BR>The South Island does have the odd snowstorm now and then but your route looks relatively safe. <BR>On occasion in the South Island, some roads close due to severe snow but they are generally re-opened within 24 hours.<BR>Your proposed itinerary looks good for a nice, relaxed two week visit.<BR>Just keep an eye on the weather forecasts on TV when you get here and you can always adjust your route if you have to.<BR>I would reccommend sticking to your set itinerary ( sounds great) but be open to change IF you have to.<BR><BR>

Christina Dec 16th, 2002 04:20 PM

Kec,<BR><BR>Glad I could help. I also saw the Travel Channel show last night. Did you see the Lost World abseil in Waitomo. That was really fun and it's not terribly difficult. My husband who's afraid of heights was really happy he did it! <BR><BR>One word of advice...leave Auckland early enough to get to Waitomo. We got so lost on our way down. With driving on the opposite side of the road &amp; trying to navigate. Aye Carrumba! It took us an extra 45 minutes.<BR><BR>Christina

KEC Dec 17th, 2002 07:27 AM

Thanks for the replies. They are very helpful.<BR><BR>Christina - I did see that abseil, but I wasn't sure where it was. I read about the Lost World at Waitomo in a guidebook. Did you also get to see the Gloworms? We were thinking of doing the black water rafting. Is it possible to do both in the same day? Or even necessary to do both?<BR><BR>Also, you mentioned the hanggliding. Did your husband do it also? You mentioned that he was afraid of heights, so i was wondering if he was able to do it. I am kind of a wimp, but would like to try something daring. My husband wants to bungee jump, but I know that I could never do that!<BR><BR>Can you describe the hanggliding experience and compare it to anything?<BR><BR>Thanks!<BR>Keri

Christina Dec 17th, 2002 09:16 AM

KEC,<BR><BR>Yes we did get to see some glowworms in the cave but I don't think as many as you would if you did the boat ride. It might be hard to raft &amp; abseil in the same day because the abseiling/cave hike took a good 4 hours. Plus the time to drive from Auckland-Waitomo-Rotorua. It makes for a long day! There might be some rafting in Queenstown??<BR><BR>My husband did not do the hanggliding because you took off from Coronet Peak (4500'). That was a bit much for him. For me it had to be the closest thing to being a bird. You take off from the top of the ski lift and just soar above the ski slopes and then the country side. It's sooo peaceful &amp; very beautiful. I wanted to do it again because it felt like it went to fast.<BR><BR>I'm afraid of Bungee Jumping and wouldn't do that but had no fears about running off a mountain. Go Figure? The instructors I had were completely qualified &amp; I felt comfortable at all times with them. They won't launch unless they feel you can do it because they are putting thier lives at risk also.<BR><BR>Christina

KEC Jan 30th, 2003 06:15 AM

Any more itinerary advice? We have a total of 16 days.<BR><BR>Thanks!

LoisL Jan 30th, 2003 07:41 AM

Keri, did you look into flying out of Queenstown directly to Sydney, instead of returning to Auckland? We also started from Auckland, but when finishing up on the south island, we headed back to Sydney from there.

KEC Jan 31st, 2003 05:11 AM

Hi again Lois!<BR>We actually have to fly out of Auckland because we are using FF miles, and Auckland is our &quot;layover.&quot; We fly Philadelphia - LA - Auckland - Sydney and then Cairns - LA - PHL. We have a little more than 6 weeks for the trip...I can't wait:)

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