NZ & Australia Trip Advice

Jan 24th, 2006, 11:40 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 13
NZ & Australia Trip Advice

Would like advice on the following trip in mid-late April. We are in our mid-twenties looking for info on hostels, outdoor/adventure activities, good nightlife, etc.

Day 1: Christchurch
Day 2: Train/Drive or Drive to FranzJosef
Day 3: Day at glaciers, drive to Queenstown
Day 4: Queenstown
Day 5: Queenstown
Day 6: Queenstown (trip to Milford Sound)
Day 7: Morning flight to Auckland
Day 8: Evening flight to Cairns
Day 9: Cairns/Port Douglas
Day 10: Cairns/Port Douglas
Day 11: Cairns/Port Douglas
Day 12: Fly to Sydney
Day 13: Sydney
Day 14: Sydney
Day 15: Sydney
Day 16: Fly to USA

Questions:
1. Is Christchuch worth seeing or spend day elsewhere, ie. a night in Milford?
2. Should we take TranzAlpine and then pick up car at Greymouth or drive the full distance from Christchuch to Glaciers?
3. Should we stay in Cairns or Port Douglas? Thinking of spending 1 day on GBR, one day to Draintree, and one day at leisure on beach or whitewater rafting.
4. Do we have enough time for daytrip to Blue Mountains from Sydney?

Thanks,
AR

ar1981 is offline  
Jan 24th, 2006, 12:40 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 6
Hi Chicago !

If you are interested in nature, I would recommend you try to fly into Cairns, then fly from there to NZ. If you are after scenery South Island is for you, North Island isnt as pretty and is more heavily populated, but has the geo-thermal thing happening. You can fly from Cairns to NZ direct (about a 3 hour flight) (try budget airline www.virginblue.com for internal flights in OZ & flights to NZ. Internal NZ: www.airnewzealand.com Cairns: stay in town, do day tours. There are some really good 3 day tours staying in upscale camping grounds in the Daintree rainforest & touring, quite reasonable costs. when you factor in you wont be renting a car, it is even better. For a day or so, I would rent a car & drive around, northern beaches, Pt Douglas etc. There is heaps to see. Please bear in mind you will be in the TROPICS & there are only 2 seasons, wet & dry. Late Nov to Feb is the Wet season - it doesnt rain all the time, but when it rains you've never seen anything like it. NZ: You can fly internal to Queenstown, really pretty it will be spring/summer. lots to do, bungy jumping etc. Also you can do tours from here to Milford Sound, & flights to the glaciers & Mt Cook - a little expensive but saves time. You could then fly internal to Auckland or rotorua do a cupla days then fly back to US from there. Or fly USA to NZ then to Cairns & back to US from Cairns - which has a large international airport & plenty of flights os.

Over to you - I grew up in cairns so I know it fairly well. I have also been to NZ a few times (am going again in March) to feel free to email me or post & I will respond.

OZ & NZ both have a LOT to offer, I am sure you would have a great time. It would be a shame if your itenerary were to spoil that.

Len
Len62 is offline  
Jan 25th, 2006, 02:14 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,122
Looks pretty good to me, though I'd swap one day in Sydney to stay an extra day in North Queensland. There is an incredible amount to see and do up there within an easy day's drive from PD.
RalphR is offline  
Jan 25th, 2006, 04:59 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,793
AR
I would attempt to spend the night of day 3 in FJ. It would be a long and tiring day to see the glaciers AND drive to Queenstown. We had a similar itinerary (and will be posting a trip report soon...)
On the evening that we arrived in Queenstown we had dinner and then took the gondola to the top of Bob's Peak for the luge ride followed by drinks at the bar. The following day DH bungy jumped, we had lunch and a tour at Gibbston Valley Winery, took the 2pm TSS Earnslaw for the Walter Peak farm show (recommended) and had a nice dinner on the waterfront. It was a busy but fun day.
Liz
Liz
Tim_and_Liz is offline  
Jan 25th, 2006, 06:58 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,276
Regarding your question about the train - from what I have read about it, it sounds like something too good to pass up. Plus it allows you to see the scenery rather than trying to pay attention to what side of the road you are driving on ! We're taking the train from Christchurch to Greymouth, picking up a rental car at the station (actually they will pick us up) and then driving down to Te Anau (stopping somewhere for the night - not sure where), spending a few nights there to do Doubtful Sound, Te Anau Glowworm caves, who know what else, and then driving back to Christchurch.
jcasale is offline  
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