NZ - Four Weeks??

Old May 8th, 2002, 04:24 PM
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NZ - Four Weeks??

We are planning another three month trip Downunder and are wondering about spending some of our time in NZ. We would be traveling during our Canadian winter Jan through March. Not sure how we would fill a month in NZ. I don't think it would be financially feasible to rent a car and tour for the entire time. Any suggestions would be most welcome as I am in the early stages of planning our trip. Thanks! Lin
Old May 9th, 2002, 05:37 PM
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I am trying to get over my jealousy that you're able to go for month! I'm a Kiwi Specialist and spent 3 weeks touring the North & South Island, and I could have easily used another week with no problem.

I rented a car the entire time, but depending on where you're planning to go you could do without one a few days here and there by taking day trips as using a city as your "base". Example: you don't really need a car in Auckland (or want one), and don't need one in Queenstown, really. You could also rent a camper-van for part of the time thereby eliminating a hotel stay.

Old May 13th, 2002, 08:44 AM
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Not sure how you would spend a month in NZ? I suggest you first brush up on your manners and second, I further suggest you do more research on New Zealand. Let me start you off:
New Zealand is a civilized and settled country. It's Maori cultural roots predate Canada's. It has paved roads, indoor plumbing, people that speak the King's English, theatres, world class restaurants, hotels, motels, B&B's, hospitals, universities, colleges, churches, malls, telephones, cell phones, computers, and any luxury you might find in Canada.
Thank goodness you're in the early stages of planning your trip. Please use this time to visit your local library and educate yourself on New Zealand. Kia Ora.
Old May 13th, 2002, 11:14 AM
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Don, I think you may be over-reacting to the question or taking it wrong. It may have been phrased awkwardly but I doubt very much it was meant in the way you thought.

That aside OP, we travelled NZ for 6 weeks, starting in Auckland, travelling north to the Bay of Islands and then back south, crossing to the South Island. We thought we would have enough time to see most of the main sights but only made it as far south as Christchurch. We just simply ran out of time. There was so much to see and do and the country is so beautiful with such nice people, that you don't want to move on from one place to the next. We rented a car prior to arriving in NZ and it was waiting at the airport for us. We tended to drive to a spot, stay for a few days and then move on. The car was quite reasonable with no extra mileage charge or drop off fee. When we travelled to the South Island, we left the first rental on the north island and had another waiting on the south island.

We found the motels to be very reasonably priced especially given the exchange rate. Almost all had kitchenettes so we did our own breakfasts. And really lovely with helpful and friendly proprietors. We made many friends there and fully intend to return some time in the next few years.

We consulted the NZ travel board for some help with planning and it did aid us but mostly we just planned our own time. What we did was book the first week of hotels (we did this mainly because we arrived on boxing day and that is the main school holiday in NZ from what we understand) and then just went on our own. We stayed away from the big cities as we are not shoppers or city people. The only city we stayed in was Christchurch. We had a blast there and it is a beautiful city.

There were so many highlights to our trip, that I can't even think of them all.

There are tons of sites on the web if you do a search for NZ. And the travel board will send you lots of info. One word of caution, the travel board is not free but the fee is not much.

Have fun, I envy you.
Old May 13th, 2002, 05:51 PM
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Hi Lin

We were lucky and spent a month Downunder and here you are planning a 3 month stay. That's great!! Our tour was from the last week in Feb thru the 3rd week in March and we spent one week on South Island NZ. You could probably spend a very easy month on the two islands - rate of exchange is great for statesiders (almost 3 to 1) If you planned economically you could find a reasonable car, and many hotels offer special rates at that time of year. We checked everything on the net and got many great rates. When you get back - write in and tell us about it.
Old May 13th, 2002, 06:04 PM
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Dear Don,
So sorry to have so easily offended you. This was not at all the intent of my question, and to be honest I was shocked to read your reply. I hope the majority on New Zealanders are a little more tolerant. Perhaps my question was not worded to reflect what I actually meant to ask but I assure you that I am well aware that NZ is a civilized place. We spent three months in Oz last winter and perhaps it is a better choice if you are a reflection of the friendliness of the Kiwis???? I merely meant to ask in general, whether we should tour for four weeks, tour for three weeks and spend a week in one special location etc etc. I have several guidebooks and know how to surf but when doing my research for Australia I received lots of helpful suggestions from Aussies on this Fodors site. It really helped when deciding how long to spend in Sydney, on the Reef etc. Too bad you feel so defensive as to fire off such an unkind reply to a perfectly innocent question. You do your country and it's people a disservice.
PS. Thanks to 'traveller' (who I assume to be an American visitor) for giving the kind of response I was looking for and a bit of moral support!!!
Old May 13th, 2002, 07:03 PM
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Hello Lin,
When I read Don's reply I thought that I must have missed something. I went back and read and re-read your query and did not find it at all patronising.
I would not give it another thought, in fact I have my doubts whether Don is a Kiwi. I definitely am, I reside in Christchurch and I would be more than happy to assist you with your planning, especially with info on the South Island. If you could first let me know, what interests you, I then can give you some ideas.
I have 2 files, one with a South Island travelogue of a holiday that my wife and I undertook in 2000 and the other one with URLs that contain photographs of the same holiday. If you like you can email me and I will forward the 2 files.
Old May 14th, 2002, 02:12 AM
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we're just back from a lovely holiday in NZ. The weather was wonderful, the people lovely and the scenic beauty mind boggling. We spent 12 days (much too short) driving through the country and wished we had more time. Driving was easy (may be because it was not summer)and relatively economical. The Motels with the small kitchens to make breakfast were perfect and the hosts without exception very helpful. We selected motels through the AA motel guide. I got lots of helpful advice on this forum and thanks to all those who gave it to me. If you want details feel free to contact me directly on email.
shubha([email protected])
Old May 14th, 2002, 06:34 AM
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Hi Lin, we actually travelled from Alberta not the States.

I wouldn't guess Don to be typical of any Kiwi that I met during my six week stay. In fact, they were wonderful. We had many laughs over our different ways of phrasing things, made many friends. People couldn't have been nicer and I did not meet one person who was rude in any way. In fact, people were so nice, that I was reluctant to return home and definately want to return. I loved the South Island, Hokitika, Pancake Rocks, the wine country, travelling inland. We travelled the whole of the Coramandel Pen. on the North Island and it was spectacular. The Bay of Islands is beautiful. We took out of the way roads travelling to the Bay of Islands from Auckland and the farming country and shoreline is incredible. One note, the roads are quite narrow in places so on that note, being used to high speed divided highways and driving on the other side of the road, we were glad that we had a car rather than a camper van. The motels were so reasonably priced that we found the car more convenient for us.

Do take the month to visit NZ. It is a far different landscape than Australia, very laid back and polite. Don't let one person turn you off what could prove to be an experience you will never forget.

When in Christchurch as a funny ending to our trip, we decided to play a slot machine that was on a progressive jackpot with our small change. Since we aren't gamblers, we chose a nickel machine and guess what? We won the jackpot on our first spin! So we had quite a night on the town that night.
Old May 14th, 2002, 07:06 AM
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Thanks Posters!
I have heard nothing but good things about NZ so I guess I was taken aback by Don's reply to my OP. Of course I know you are a friendly helpful bunch (why is there always one??) Thanks for your offers of help. I always find the recommendations of experienced travelers so useful. Alberta poster, I mixed you up with Nikki who was getting three $NZ for one $US - wish that was us!! Still any premium on the loonie is a good thing these days!
Old May 14th, 2002, 09:05 AM
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Dear Lin:
Just curious. You spent three months in Australia last winter. The point being?
Lesson number two Lin: One does not assume Australians and New Zealanders are one and the same.
You really do have a long way to go!
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