North Island, NZ

Apr 17th, 2005, 03:12 PM
  #1  
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North Island, NZ

Planning a trip for Christmas, a week in Adelaide AU with family, then all 9 of us going to NZ for 2 weeks. We were going to concentrate on the North Island, but most of the itineraries I'm reading are a few days North then spending more time on the South. We have tentatively thought 2-3 days in Auckland, down to Rotorua, Hawkes Bay - farm stay, Waimarama - beach house, Tongorio NP - Discovery Lodge, and back to Auckland. Some will be fly fishing with guides during that time, the rest exploring the sights. Are we completely missing the boat by not going to the South Island? Trip total 3 weeks. One in AU, 2 in NZ.
Fallrats is offline  
Apr 17th, 2005, 05:46 PM
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Fallrats,

Wow, nine of your family members going on vacation together - sounds awesome!

Unless you're planning on going outside of the city, I'd say you have too much time in Auckland penciled in. While I love NZ, I don't think that's where you want to spend your time.

While I think there is a wealth of things to do in the North Island, I also think you're missing alot by not seeing the South (and some great fishing experiences as well).

Hope this is helpful!

Melodie
Certified Kiwi Specialist
wlzmatilida is offline  
Apr 17th, 2005, 06:01 PM
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Our immediate family (4) spent 4 days on the South Island several years ago (Queenstown) and did a back country fishing trip which was fantastic. Our plan this time was to go to both islands with just four adults, (brother and sister-in-law live in Adelaide and we live in San Diego) however our grown children 18-22 want to come - and.........We'll have two weeks in New Zealand and can do both islands, but due to the # traveling we also don't want to drive constantly and flying could get pricey. Then three are fishermen and want to have at least 3 different fishing experiences. We're not limited to doing only the North Island. Any suggestions are appreciated.
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Apr 17th, 2005, 08:44 PM
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I live in Auckland and agree that 3 days is too long to spend here given the limited time available. The north and south islands are very different (the south island is more likely to give you the "Lord of the Rings scenery experience" if that is what you want. However, Rotorua is great, the Hawkes Bay is interesting if you like art deco architecture or visiting vineyards, and the national park would have some good trails for hiking as well as fishing at Lake taupo (I presume). The reality is that in 2 weeks you won't see everything, so I think you should just accept that you will see the north island this time and maybe come back and visit the south island on another trip. Having said all of th above, I think you are spending too much time in the central north island. I would start by heading north to the Bay of Islands/Kerikeri/Waitangi for a couple of days, then coming back through Auckland and heading south. Waitangi is full of NZ history (it is where the founding treaty between the English and the Maori was signed), and the area has some beatiful coastal scenery and tours.

I hope this helps - enjoy our country whatever you do.

Grant
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Apr 17th, 2005, 08:45 PM
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You could easily spend two weeks on the North Island; it would certainly decrease the amount of time you'd need to spend traveling back and forth between the two.

Unless you have a number of things you want to do in Auckland, you could take a day or two and go to the Bay of Islands or the Coromandel Peninsula.

We spent 10 days on the North Island last April - in fact, we left a year ago today, and boy, do I wish I was there right now! If you scroll back through the threads, you'll find our trip report. If you like, you can see pictures from our trip at community.webshots.com/user/ElendilPickle

Lee Ann
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Apr 18th, 2005, 05:39 AM
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I would unquestionably elect to spend most, if not all your time on the South, rather than the North Island...not that I have seen much of the North Island, but, from two trips to NZ, I can attest to claims that the South Island is one of the most beautiful places on earth. Don't skimp on it!
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Apr 18th, 2005, 07:11 AM
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North? South?
Both are incredible!!
We are returning for another month...one wasn't enough.
I just spent a few months planning our trip....thought you might like a few suggestions for lodging....especially with such a large group!

In the North near Whangarei (30 kms East....within easy reach of Ocean Beach) is The Cliff House. It has 3 bedrooms. And nearby Ara Roa can accommodate 6. Both have the same owners...maybe you could strike a deal??
www.cliffhouse.co.nz
www.araroa.co.nz
We haven't stayed here before...but it looks wonderful!

Nelson (south) is wonderful we are returning to Villa 10. They have two apartments...this trip we are meeeting friends & renting both.
Wonderful views!!
www.villa10.co.nz
Photo of view is in this gallery...
www.pbase.com/baileyzim/newzealand

You won't be disappointed with either Island....you'll be back!!
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Apr 18th, 2005, 11:23 AM
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Hi Fallrats,
Reading between the lines on your post, it sounds to me as if you are wanting a "holiday" trip i.e. more R&R than travelling.
I guess your question regarding the South Island depends on what your family wants to do, the amount of travelling that will be involved in both islands, and of course the cost! You don't say how many days you have set aside for each place in the North Island, nor where the farmstay is in Hawke's Bay. Have the fly-fishing trips been booked yet? Maybe if we have this knowledge we can give you more helpful advice. I would agree with the other posters in that 3 days in Auckland is too long, and perhaps consider looking around the Bay of Islands, etc, especially at that time of the year.
I wouldn't say you are "missing the boat by not going to the South Island" -by seeing just the North Island this time it gives you the opening to return to see the South Island next time!
dotty is offline  
Apr 18th, 2005, 05:06 PM
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Hi Fallrats,

I notice that some of the party are keen on fishing and that they are keen to try diffrent styles.

In the North, Bay of Islands, there are golden opportunities to try out game fishing for Marlin etc. As well as this there are all the siteseeing opportunities as mentioned above.

You could also do this sailing out from Either Tauranga or Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty. The good thing about the Bay of Plenty is that it is also a centre for trout fishing. As well as that it is a great destination for non fishers. There are trips out to White Island, an active Volcano off the cast of Whakatane, Rotorua is just 1 hour inland. Our family just spent a brilliant weekend there rediscovering the place and its attractions.

The following link shows what the local flyfishing is like.

http://www.sexyloops.com/articles/bayofplenty.shtml

Interesting link name though ha ha.

I assume you have booked flyfishing guides.

If you are there into January the weather should be starting to warm up nicely. Though in saying that Sunmmer did not really start until mid January this year, still going though, great day outside again.

You could easily spend two weeks in the North Island and still not see nearly all of it. There are also the wineries, the bush walks, museums, restaurants, bars, beaches etc dotted all over the North Island in various locations which are well worth stopping at.

Cheers

Steve
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Apr 18th, 2005, 06:03 PM
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Steve, the article by Miles Rushmer was very good. Thank you. I'm also appreciating the input. We are looking forward to some R&R and yet want to make the most of the 2 weeks, but don't want to move every day. We haven't booked anything yet. Still trying to figure if we want to concentrate on just the north or include the south too. Love the chat. It's so helpful.
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Apr 19th, 2005, 01:50 PM
  #11  
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Have been on purenz.com and what an incredible website. I think the Auckland to Christchurch route may be a winner.
Auckland
Waitomo Caves - black water rafting
Rotoroa - Maori culture/fishing
Taupo/Tongariro NP - crossing
Napier - farm stay/fishing
Napier to either Palmerston or Masterton
Wellington
Blenheim - Gardens/wineries
St. Arnaud - Nelson Lakes NP/fishing
Westport - Punakaiki pancake rocks
Greymouth
Arthur's Pass
Christchurch

14-16 days for this excursion. Any comments?
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Apr 19th, 2005, 06:17 PM
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Be aware that black water rafting isn't as exciting as it may sound - it is interesting but not exciting, if you know what I mean
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Apr 19th, 2005, 06:50 PM
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Hi Fallrats,

That is a pretty leisurely journey.

If you wanted you could cut out two days travel by going direct from Napier to Wellington. About 4.5 hours at a slow pace. This cuts out Palmerston Morth &/or Masterton (Though you pass through Masterton on the way south)
Also you could cut out the stay in Westport (not a lot there) by going direct from St Arnaud to Greymouth about 3 hours travel time. With the south Island leg this would free you up to treavel down to one of the glaciers and stay there. In fact St Arnaud to Franz Josef is around 5 and three quarter hours. Not an impossible trip. Along the route you pass Punakaiki and you could also stop off at the shanty town south of Greymouth get some goldpanning in and still make Franz Josef before nightfall.

Just a couple of ideas

Steve
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Apr 19th, 2005, 06:57 PM
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You're still moving at a fairly rapid pace. With that many people, I can't even imagine how long it takes to get everyone packed up and moved to the next place. I really would suggest sticking to the North island. I'd probably not even go much south of Hawke's Bay area, more in line with your original plan. You could also go to the Coromandel Peninsula or Bay of Islands.
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Apr 19th, 2005, 07:09 PM
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I like Steve's suggestions and mlgb - you have a good point. 4 adults and 5 18-22 year olds, so you're right about getting everyone packed up. Obviously with that number of people and considering their ages we're not all going to do the same thing all the time. Our thought is to let the "kids" have their own car and if they can't get up they get left behind! We might dawdle and sight see, they may want to just get to the next accomodations and go clubbing! 5 of the 9 have never been to the South island, so catching the top half would be great for them. This itinerary seems to let us move at a comfortable pace a couple days in a few places and cover a good portion of the land with things we all like to do.
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Apr 19th, 2005, 07:31 PM
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Hi Fallrats

It is quite funny how you can get two diffrent opinions when asking the same question. I suppose I framed my Leisurely pace comment based upon myself.

I think nothing of driving Auckland to Wellington in one go which is an 8 - 9 hour drive. While to others I know they would cringe at the thought.

I like your idea of the two car thing. That really free people up to do what they want. Maybe even a bit of car swapping along the way if people change minds about activities they wish to participate in.

Just to confuse matters and throw in another idea, you could also select to base yourself at one location, have a car, and travel out to see various regional locations. Then after 5 - 7 days, fly to another centre and do it again. Saves on the packing, unpacking, if its Tuesday it must be Rotorua feel of a trip.

Just a couple more ideas

Steve
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Apr 20th, 2005, 06:55 AM
  #17  
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Steve, we are on the same track. When I woke at 2:00 a.m. I had the same thought. Two bases and go out from those points. I don't want to be on the road constantly, and yet when traveling from the US we don't know when we'll be back, so want to make the most of the trip. Thanks again for your input.
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May 9th, 2005, 02:58 PM
  #18  
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We've got our itinerary down, 2-1/2 weeks in NZ - Christchurch to Auckland and need some advice on where to stay in the Napier area. There are two families (all over 18) Have looked into a vineyard cottage arrangement, but it's pretty pricey and a bit remote. Any suggestions?
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May 10th, 2005, 03:54 AM
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Have you considered renting a house? Here's a site that might help:

www.holidayhouses.co.nz
Melnq8 is online now  
May 10th, 2005, 04:02 AM
  #20  
 
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Here are some vacation rentals in Napier:

http://www.holidayhouses.co.nz/Napier.asp
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