New Zealand Itinerary January/February

May 25th, 2015, 07:23 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 3
New Zealand Itinerary January/February

My husband and I are planning a retirement trip to NZ for 14-17 days. Our preliminary itinerary looks like what you see below.Our question, having never been to NZ: is this a realistic itinerary? Thanks.

Auckland for 2 days, pick up rental car
Drive to Waitomo Caves, spend the night, tour the caves
Drive to Whanganaui, spend the night
Drive to Wellington, spend 2-3 days
Fly to Christchurch, spend 2-3 days
Drive to the Franz Joseph Glacier, spend the night, see the glacier
Drive to Haast, spend the night
Drive to Queenstown, spend 2-3 days
Fly back to Auckland, and home.

Thanks so much!
sarileejanger is offline  
May 26th, 2015, 04:53 PM
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 249
As with all trips, it depends what you really enjoy seeing/doing.
NZ is much 'bigger' than it looks on the map and it's hard to do justice to either island in 2 weeks. Driving times are also much longer than you imagine they will be.
What time of the year are you traveling? ( I think that makes a big difference in NZ - Winter wonderland in the SI or beautiful beaches in the NI Summer for instance).
You haven't allowed for any Maori cultural or geothermal experiences on this itinerary and IMO they are both 'must dos' in NZ.
Kwaussie is offline  
May 26th, 2015, 06:36 PM
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Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 3
Thanks very much for your response. We are traveling in the Jan-Feb time period. I imagine you are referring to the Rotorua area for geothermal and maybe visiting a "Haka" event and/or Maori museums around the islands. Suggestions in this regard would be appreciated. You think we may be biting off more than we can chew in a 14-17 day trip, given the distances and times between places? Given our time frame, what area(s) would you take off the itinerary? Again, thanks.
sarileejanger is offline  
May 28th, 2015, 02:16 AM
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 249
NZ is beautiful all over so wherever you go you will enjoy it but if I only had 17 days I probably wouldn't spend too many of them in Haast or Wanganui or Christchurch.

If you're determined to do both islands you will need to pick out some 'must dos' and work around those.

I would definitely include Rotorua and the Bay of Plenty. There are any number of great cultural experiences in Rotorua - Mitai & Tamaki both offer great haka/hangi evenings and my favourite geothermal place is Orakei Korako, between Rotorua and Taupo.

I think you should check out some of the trip reports from others who have done similar trips and see if you can find some more focal points for your trip.
Kwaussie is offline  
May 31st, 2015, 07:38 AM
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Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 3
Great Advice Kwaussie. Thanks so much for the tips. We are still in the infant planning stages and this info really helps! Anything else you can think of would be appreciated.
sarileejanger is offline  
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