new zealand nov family trip

Old Jul 11th, 2010, 04:47 PM
  #1  
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new zealand nov family trip

We are a family of three( me wife, and 5 yr old kid) planning to visit NZ from oct 28th to nov 16th, roughly 2 weeks from orlando. Need help planning our trip. I have absolutely no clue where to even begin from. Would like to try to stay in apts, or youth hostels where the locals stay if that's an option.

We have never driven a rv or camper( which seems to be an option in nz) so if anyone knows more about it, please let me know. As the responses come in i will start having more specific questions.

Son has food allergies in that he cannot tolerate any kind of nuts in his food.

Thanks for your help.
borivlikar1 is offline  
Old Jul 11th, 2010, 11:43 PM
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I would 100% recommend getting a camper van for NZ if you intend to do alot of exploring Appollo, Maui, Brtiz and KEA are all great operators. A good website to compare prices is www.drivenow.com! But as you have only two weeks maybe you should focus on certain areas rather than rushing through many. You would probably need at least a month to comfortably cover a good deal of both the North Island and the South Island.

Campsites in NZ are for the most part incredibly well equipped and very well maintained! Many have pools and play areas for kids. These campsites often have cabins that can be very reasonably priced- that come with there own kitchenettes.

You will inevitably be flying into Auckland- so I would recommend that from there you head north to The Bay of Islands. From here you can enjoy dolphin watching/swimming trips, jet boating trips, horse riding and a whole lot of other activities.

Internal flights can be very inexpensive if booked well ahead- you can fly between Auckland and Christchurch/Queenstown for as little as 50$NZ. In my opinion, any trip to NZ needs to include at least 4/5 nights in and around Queenstown and the Sounds (Milford would be the closest from Queenstown!

Its hard to know what other information to give you. But if you have more questions ill try to help
rtw0910 is offline  
Old Jul 12th, 2010, 03:28 AM
  #3  
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Hi rtw,

thank you for responding. i tried that website...but it shows some website to buy or lease cars in the US. I would like to do some beginners river rafting/bungee jumping/skydiving if its possible( i know you gave ideas in your previous post). Kid would be interested in the dolphin/whale watching or anything that involves a big ship like a cruise.

Wife likes to do anything that will let all of us do it together at the same time. Something romantic would definitely please her. We dont drink alcohol and are vegetarians except we do eat eggs. How is the supermarket configured in nz, can we get ready to go meals or maybe buy something to conjure on our own?

Also no matter where we stay we would like private bathrooms and kitchens also. So please give us some recommendations in that regard. Any opinions on B&B. We are trying to make keep the food/living expenses down so that we can spend that money on actually exploring in NZ. Even self sufficient studios will do as a guideline for you to give us more advice.

Also are foreigners allowed to buy real estate there? And if yes, where would i start looking? i would consider buying a small 1-2 bedroom apt outside the main cities with an intnl airport but one that has excellent pubic transport to the main city. any recos would be appreciated.
borivlikar1 is offline  
Old Jul 12th, 2010, 12:11 PM
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Private bathrooms will knock you out of most YHA youth hostels, but check the website for the BBH system and the Auto Club (travel tab). Finally the official NZ tourism website has tons of info, including suggested itineraries

www.bbh.co.nz
www.aa.co.nz
www.newzealand.com

Also I will warn you that travel in October/November can involve periods of windy/rainy weather as it is spring, which is sometimes very late to arrive. It helps to be a bit flexible but you're off season so that should be easy. Usually it's "4 seasons in a day" anyways.

For a family, the NZ motels are great, like small apartments with equipped kitchens.
mlgb is offline  
Old Jul 12th, 2010, 01:29 PM
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I've managed to find hostels with private rooms and private baths, but don't think you'd find one with your own kitchen. Kitchens are communal in hostels, which can be a benefit since you can borrow other supplies that are a pain to buy, like salt and pepper. I think motels would be the best bet if you require a private kitchen.

Your hardest decision will be if you want to visit either the North island, the South island, or both. Most people here would tell you to decide on one with only two weeks... It will depend on how much you want to stay in one place vs. moving around a lot. If you're interested in purchasing real estate, you should definitely go where you're thinking of buying. I started my trip planning by getting a bunch of books and DVD's on New Zealand from the library. You could also search for online trip reports.

As for the specific activities you recommended, there are either whale watching/dolphin swimming opportunities in the Bay of Islands (NI), Abel Tasman (SI) and in Kaikoura (SI). I think the North island would be more family-oriented, there are the Waitomo caves and the geothermal wonders of Rotorua. This website might be of some help: http://www.kidzgo.co.nz/
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Old Jul 12th, 2010, 04:00 PM
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Me again.

I would still def recommend the camp site/holiday parks that I mentioned before. You can get cabins in these parks that will have private bathrooms and there own kitchens- which are very well equipped. Also- these parks are perfect for families, and are a great way of meeting people and talking about your travels. They are also relatively inexpensive- which will leave more in your budget for activities.

There are around 4 big supermarket chains in NZ. They cater for all diet requirements, have ready made meals- but the fresh produce is very good and it would be easy to make your own meals. When Iv travelled around NZ iv always made my lunches- as when your driving there are so many places you want to stop to admire your surroundings.

If your looking for what I think you are (by the activities youv listed you'd like to do), I would recommend you visit the Bay of Island, Taupo and Queenstown (and spend a night on a cruise in Milford Sound- for the romance aspect!) All these places are well suited to families.
rtw0910 is offline  
Old Jul 12th, 2010, 05:41 PM
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You're getting some good advice here but online sources can't substitute for a good guidebook, which is a trivial expense in the scheme of things - I strongly recommend buying one and doing your homework at the first opportunity. Having done that you'll be in a much better position to ask here about specifics.

We used the Lonely Planet guide, which with the Rough Guide would seem most appropriate for the type of trip you're planning.

If you're thinking of a campervan/RV bear in mind that you'll be driving on the left. (Well, it's highly desirable given that everyone else will be.)
Neil_Oz is offline  
Old Jul 15th, 2010, 01:54 PM
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If you've never driven a camper van I don't think I would do it for the first time on the other side of the road, on two lane winding mountain roads in bad weather. Just saying.

My boss who is used to driving a big car turned his camper in after a day.

Most holiday parks have cabins as well as hookups so that is still an option.
mlgb is offline  
Old Jul 22nd, 2010, 05:24 PM
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The hostel in Pahia offers family rooms with private bathrooms as well as Rotorua. Happy to give you the addresses if you want. The hostel in Wellington also offers smaller family rooms with private bathrooms, but the noise from the courtyard rises (it bounces off the hard stone walls surrounding the courtyard, so any noise is amplified) and so any early nights for children will be difficult.
Rasputin1 is offline  
Old Jul 23rd, 2010, 01:43 PM
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I went to NZ in October with my two grandsons. We rented a campervan and drove around the north island for 8 days. It was a blast! We went to the glowworm caves in Waitomo. We got to feed wild eels while we were there. We slept in a small campground outside the Otoranhanga Kiwi house, and got to listen to the birds while falling asleep. I bungy jumped, and the boys Zorbed. We fed sheep and went to a Maori hangi.
The boys and I loved our New Zealand adventure, and would love to go back again.
You can check out our blog about NZ if you like. It is: www.travelwithnan.shutterfly.com
Have fun!
lsdourte is offline  
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