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North Island NZ, Paihia, Coromandel, Rotorua?

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May 11th, 2012, 05:19 AM
  #1
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North Island NZ, Paihia, Coromandel, Rotorua?

We have nine nights in New Zealand (after five in Cairns, Au) in early August. Please comment on my plans, and also on how to dress for the winter weather. The itinerary is below. Some specific questions I have are:

Should we definitely spend a night between Paihia and Whitianga (or wherever we stay on the Coromandel Peninsula)? We tend to stop a lot, and I think it will be a long day of driving.

It looks like a lot of people do Coromandel in one day. Should we just spend one night there so that we can see something else? If so, we could spend a night on the Bay of Plenty before heading over to Rotorua.

Please comment:

Arrive Auckland early evening, motel near airport.

Day One: See beaches west of Auckland, see a little bit of Auckland, spend night in city.

Day Two and Three: Drive up to Paihia, spend two nights

Day Four: Drive down to Coromandel, but stop somewhere on the way?

Day Five and Six: Spend two nights on Coromandel Peninsula, Whitianga, or where?

Day Seven: Drive to Rotorua, spend night.

Day Eight:: Head back to Auckland, leave the next morning.

Thanks!
CindyW is offline  
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May 11th, 2012, 10:32 AM
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Will you also be spending time in the South Island? If not, many will tell you to spend those days in the Queenstown area.

A lot of people also include the caves at Waitomo in the North Island highlights. You might consider that, as well -- if it interests you. I did a different glow worm cave and loved it.

I've been there several times in June and have been comfortable wearing a lightweight, rainproof jacket. At times I've added layers by including a sweat shirt.

Be sure to visit a Volcanic Park in Rotorua. Waimangu is our favorite. The sheep show in Rotorua was also fun, as was the Maori Hangi. Very touristy -- but, hey -- I'm a tourist -- and I enjoyed them. FYI, the hangi is a Maori version of a luau. If you're also interested in the Polynesian Spa you might want to add a day in Rotorua.

Enjoy.
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May 11th, 2012, 11:45 AM
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I'll second Songdoc's Rotorua recommendations, though we went to Wai-o-tapu and thought it was really interesting. We went to an evening concert and hangi at Te Puia, the Maori Arts and Crafts Institute, in Rotorua. http://www.tepuia.com/ It was interesting, the food was good, and we had a little time to look at the lit-up geyser before we went back to our hotel.

Lee Ann
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May 12th, 2012, 10:31 PM
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I would spend more time in Rotorua and less around Coromandel. The Coromandel is great for New Zealanders on holiday, laze back on the beach and enjoy a bit of fishing ect. In my opinion its not that spectacular as a tourist attraction.

You probably could drive from Pahia to Coromandel in one day, although days are short in August. I would probably try and stay the night near Coromandel town, then the next day drive up the port jackson road (gravel) and see the old Pohutukawa trees which arch across the road, very scenic, even more so during the summer when they are flowering. That same day drive back down and cross over to the other side. Not much to see on that side, the towns are 'ordinary', Cathedral cove is a bigger then normal rock arch, only worth the effort on a slow day imo. Hot water beach is great when the tides are right.
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May 12th, 2012, 10:36 PM
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I forgot to include, you are there in winter. While the days can be nice the nights and mornings can be cold (below freezing, especially away from the coast). Pack warm clothing but remember to layer, once the sun is up a single layer should be sufficient.
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May 15th, 2012, 02:58 PM
  #6
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Thanks for the advice, everyone. I hadn't thought about how short the days will be!
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