NZ/Australia Itinerary Help

Old Jan 15th, 2009, 07:57 PM
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NZ/Australia Itinerary Help

I'm considering a two-week trip with DH to NZ and Australia this April & am unsure as to how many days to spend in each location. Here is the rough itinerary so far:

- fly from US to Auckland, NZ
1 day in Auckland

- fly to Queenstown

- see Fiordland Nat'l Park (how many days?) & possibly spend one night in Milford Sound at the Milford Lodge

- return to Queenstown - fly to Auckland (spend add'l day?)

- fly to Sydney
3-4 days in Sydney
(return home on open-jaw flight)

I'm unsure of how many days to spend in Auckland, Queenstown & exploring the Fiordlands. I found the Milford Lodge where you can actually stay in the park (we're not up to camping & it seems all the huts are booked for April).

We have an option of going to Sydney, Melbourne or Cairns (& several other cities). We were opting for Sydney due to its attraction and we have a significant discount on hotel stay there. Cairns looks very appealing but (no discounted hotel) and it seems in April they get an avg. of 8 inches of rain.. However the Great Barrier Reef would be amazing.

That being said, we're trying to focus more on NZ with this trip & could do the Barrier Reef some other time.

Any suggestions on this itinerary would be greatly appreciated - esp. length of stay - & any inputs as to which cities are the best (we're looking for mostly outdoor activities). Thanks!
AngelaS is offline  
Old Jan 15th, 2009, 08:16 PM
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Auckland as a city hasn't got a hell of a lot going for it and I'd save your time there for Queenstown/Fijordland and then see about getting a direct flight to Australia rather than back to Auckland.

Have a look at www.webjet.com.au for flights.

As for Cairns, if you're looking at towards the end of April rather than earlier, it's possible you'll miss most rainy times but it'll still be warm and humid.

If you want to see the GBR, a lot of people think you need to go all the way to Cairns but you can go to places like Lady Elliot Island, the furtherest south part of the reef - http://www.ladyelliot.com.au/
They have a good package that includes Fraser Island as well.

Alternately, you could also fly to the Whitsunday Islands - http://www.whitsundays.com.au/ and make sure of a trip to Whitehaven Beach.
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Old Jan 15th, 2009, 08:38 PM
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Hi Angela -

Two weeks is barely enough time to see the highlights of one small country, let alone one massive country and one country which consists of two islands.

If you're most interested in outdoor activities, why are you planning your trip around cities?

My advice, pick one country. If that country is NZ, you can fit in quite a bit in your two weeks. If that country is Australia, then pick a state or two and concentrate on them.
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Old Jan 16th, 2009, 05:21 AM
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Melnq8- I was thinking the same thing - focus on just one country (DH found this ticket where we could hop over to Australia for no extra cost). What does the north island of NZ offer?
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Old Jan 16th, 2009, 05:36 AM
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NI is probably best known for Rotorua [smelly]thermal country southeast of Auckland and area called Bay of Islands north of Auckland, there being plenty of nice touring country all over the NI, mad all the better once you get away from Auckland and off main SH1 and in some places you think the road is solely yours.

But you would also be doing an injustice to the south island as if you're going to stick with NZ, there's plenty of touring on the SI to do too - you could work your way back north from Queenstowm either along the west coast for glaciers or inland via lakes or via the main route along east coast and take in Nelson/Able Tasman NP area and/or Marlborough sounds and if you do have any time left, take a ferry from Picton over to Wellington and connect with departure flight from there.
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Old Jan 16th, 2009, 05:57 AM
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Highlights of the North Island for us were:
Rotorua--Thermal activity at Whakarewarewa and Wai-O-Tapu
Waitomo--Glow worm caves and blackwater rafting. (Don't miss the blackwater rafting--it's incredible!)
Taupo--Beautiful lake and Craters of the Moon thermal area
Napier--Fabulous Art Deco architecture
Wellington--Te Papa Museum

And there's great hiking EVERYWHERE!
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Old Jan 16th, 2009, 01:04 PM
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Our highlights were similar to longhorn55's, though we didn't visit Napier and only drove through Taupo.

You can our pictures and read a brief trip report at
community.webshots.com/user/ElendilPickle

Lee Ann
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