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jmbay Sep 16th, 2007 10:26 AM

New Zealand North Island in Feb
My son (14) and I are are flying from California to NZ in Feb (15th to 24th). I know this is too short a trip, but this is all the time we have over my son's winter break, and some is better than nothing.

We are flying in and out of Auckland, and since we have such a short visit we think we should just stay on NI.

We want to scuba dive, surf, white water raft, bungee, fish, and I want to taste some delicious NZ wines. I have rented a car, and these are my thoughts and questions about our itinerary:

Arrive Auckland in early am, see Auckland and spend the night either in Auckland or go over to Waiheke Island to spend the night.

Drive to Bay of Islands or Whangarei for scuba diving, or just go to the Coromandel Peninsula (Whitianga) for diving so we don't spend so much time driving north then driving back south again?

Go south along the Bay of Plenty, stopping where ever we wish (playing accomodations by ear since this is after the NZ schools are back in session).

Continue along the east cape around and down to Hawkes bay, or cut inland to Rotorua, and Taupo, before heading back to Auckland to fly home on the 24th? (I thought the East Cape would be interesting because it is off the beaten tourist path. But it might just be too much driving).

Is this too ambitious? I would welcome some Fodorites comments.

Thank you


Melnq8 Sep 16th, 2007 04:03 PM

Mark -

This site might help work out those driving times/distances:

heathy Sep 16th, 2007 06:10 PM

Hi Mark. Sadly I don't think you're going to have time to visit Northland/Bay of Islands.
I love both these areas intensely, however I can see the logic in heading to the Coromandel . Its a dilemma for you.

It looks as though you've been doing plenty of research so I won't dwell on activities/ places in any detail.

I think for the time you have you should be able to follow this general plan. Drive from Auckland to Whitianga. From there follow the Pacific Hwy to Napier , Hawkes Bay. From Napier cross over Kaweka Ranges to Taupo. From Taupo to Rotorua and from there back to Auckland.

jmbay Sep 17th, 2007 06:19 PM

Thanks Heathy!

We should be able to dive in Whitianga, do the beach stuff, etc.

Is the Pacific Coast Drive difficult, and how long to Napier from Whitianga? Do you have any hot spots or neat places to stop/stay along the highway to Napier?


heathy Sep 17th, 2007 09:16 PM

Hi again Mark. Am giving this a little more thought. Your time frame is certainly going to be tight.

Do you REALLY need to spend a day/night in Auckland ? What time do you need to be at the Airport for flight home ?

Am sure something can be nutted out. In the meantime take a look at this.

Have you thought about scuba diving off White Island - a marine volcano ?

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