new zealand travel christmas new years

Feb 21st, 2010, 12:10 PM
  #1  
ez1
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Join Date: Feb 2010
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new zealand travel christmas new years

We are planning our first ever trip to NZ.. We will be arriving in Aukland Dec 16 or 17 and will visit with family over the weekend. Then Dec 20 to Jan 5 (approx) on the SI. My question is whether it's a good idea to travel the weeks of Xmas and New Years on the SI or should that be avoided if at all possible? We could leave the US on Dec 8 but that would give us only one week on the SI since we have to be in Aukland the weekend of the 18th. Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
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Feb 21st, 2010, 07:55 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
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Shouldn't be a problem to travel around the S.Island at that time - however you should ensure you have booked transport and accommodation in advance, especially for Christmas and New Year. Kiwis tend to travel on Boxing Day and after the New Year. We found 2nd & 3rd Jan can get very booked up on the West Coast, so plan accordingly.
To assist in your planning, our website has 5000+ images linked to googlemaps www.eyeballnz.com - happy travels!
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Feb 21st, 2010, 08:04 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,776
Hi ez1 -

You'll be traveling during NZ school holidays, which are quite busy with local travelers. I've not visited NZ over Christmas, but I've been there during the long Easter weekend and during school holidays, both of which I'll avoid in the future.

That said, busy in NZ isn't nearly as busy as in other parts of the world, so it really depends on your perspective. You can certainly expect lodging in popular areas to fill up and you'll want to book activities you don't want to miss out on well in advance (such as the Doubtful Sound overnight cruise, etc).

If it were me and I were facing your dilemma, I'd take the extra time on the SI regardless of the holidays. A busy few weeks on the SI is much preferable to only one week on the SI!

Just plan well and book ahead and you'll be fine.
Melnq8 is offline  
Feb 21st, 2010, 10:13 PM
  #4  
ez1
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Thank you both. The information on this site is so excellent. I've decided to make changes so as to leave San Francisco on Dec 1 and arrive Auckland on Dec 3. Then make our way over to Queenstown and start with a guided hike of Routeburn Track for 3 days. Seems easier to do this before XMAS. We can then figure out how else to spend our time on the SI before going back to Aukland on the 17th. Hope 2 weeks on the SI incl the 3 day hike (tramp?) will be sufficient. Thank you again for your input. Very much appreciated.
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Feb 21st, 2010, 10:56 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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School holidays don't begin until around December 20, so all the better if you can avoid them completely. Two weeks on the SI will give you a good taste of the island without having to rush about too much. No matter how much time I have there, it's never enough, so just expect to leave wanting more!
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Feb 22nd, 2010, 10:42 AM
  #6  
ez1
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Melnq8 Thanks so much. We have now decided to spend a full 3 weeks on the SI. I'll review your previous posts to decide what cannot be missed.
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