Notices

NZ in December with 2 kids 9 and 7

Reply

May 9th, 2016, 10:44 AM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 25
NZ in December with 2 kids 9 and 7

Hi travel experts,

We are looking to make a 9/10 day trip in December to NZ starting the week before Christmas and coming back home (USA) before Dec 31st. Any pointers to itineraries that would allow us to spend 1-2 nights in each place and get the most out of our trip? Any places to avoid?

Thanks in advance!
NK2013 is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 9th, 2016, 01:51 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 11,395
Does the length of the trip include your travel days, or is that how much time you will actually be in New Zealand? Either way, you really only have time to visit one island.

Can you give us an idea of what place you would like to see? What attracted you to New Zealand in the first place? If you can answer those questions, you can get some good suggestions as to how to spend your time.

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 9th, 2016, 05:45 PM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,680
Ditto what Lee Ann says.

You can help us help you by providing a bit more info.
Melnq8 is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 10th, 2016, 11:48 AM
  #4
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 25
The length of the trip does not include travel days. We are good with visiting only one island-most likely that will be the north island. We don't want to do any adventure sports/ water sports, but would like to go on hikes, explore the culture and food, and get as much sight seeing done as is possible with 2 kids in tow. We are also good with visiting museums as a break from the outdoors.

Does that help?
NK2013 is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 10th, 2016, 01:35 PM
  #5
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,680
It does indeed NK2013. Nine days will give you a nice taste of one island but you'll need to pick wisely, as drive distances are much longer than most people anticipate.

As my strong suit is the SI, I'll defer to those more familiar with the NI.

Should you change your mind and go for the SI, do let us know.
Melnq8 is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 10th, 2016, 02:09 PM
  #6
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 227
You'll probably want to include one of the cave tours at Waitomo, Rotorua/Taupo, perhaps Hobbiton (if any of you are LOTR fans). Since you are coming at the peak of the peak season for holiday travel, even the locals will be out and about. I would normally suggest you spend some time on the Coromandel Peninsula to explore Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach, but you may be too late to get accommodation there.

Pick up or download a copy of New Zealand Frenzy for lots of suggested dayhikes and adventures. http://www.nzfrenzy.com (Tip: lots of the book's information can be found at the red markers on this map -- http://motorcamps.com/map )
deSchenke is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 10th, 2016, 03:16 PM
  #7
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 25
Menq8- thank you for the tip on the driving distances. If we do plan a trip to just SI, what would you recommend? I am going to keep all options on the table for now, since we are still in planning phase.

deShenke- is booking in May late for a December trip?? That sounds scary. I better get my act together now! ANy other suggestions for places to eat, must see etc?

Thanks again!
NK2013 is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 10th, 2016, 04:01 PM
  #8
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 227
Kiwi families tend to flock to the beaches for their Christmas holidays. Seems that a BBQ on the beach is a Christmas thing to do. So it's primarily the beach locations, like Coromandel's east coast and Bay of Islands, (Nelson/Abel Tasman on South Island), etc, that will reach absolute capacity.

We have traveled in New Zealand in the first 3 weeks of December and found things rather empty. It's not until schools are out that it gets crazy. So if wanting a beach experience, your chances of getting what and where you want are better if done at the beginning of your trip. A quick google search suggests schools get out the 20th of December.

We've done 4 trips in the past 5 years and our planning our 5th trip. We've always self-catered. The two or three places we've gone out to eat, I can highly recommend. (IOW, I'm not a good resource). My "must sees" are all over the place. Some commercial, most off the beaten path. *** see below

It's easier flight-wise to just fly in and out of Auckland from the US. That limits you to North Island. North Island ticks the boxes for having things a bit closer together, Maori cultural experiences, thermal areas, warmer weather, and a bit more of a tropical feel (tree ferns and waterfalls abound).

South Island has stunning mountains, glaciers and lakes. It will have wildlife experiences (whales, dolphins, seals, penguins) and wild beaches. Distances are further. But it seems to be the favorite of the two islands.

Most people will tell you the must sees are Queenstown, Milford Sound, West Coast Glaciers, Mount Cook, Abel Tasman, Tongariro, Rotorua (for thermal parks and Maori cultural show), Waitomo, Bay of Islands.

My must sees are on this map: https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?h...xOKIpC1T7Bqn_g
deSchenke is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 10th, 2016, 04:07 PM
  #9
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 25
Awesome! Thank you so much!
NK2013 is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 10th, 2016, 07:07 PM
  #10
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,680


Always a dilemma, particularly with only 9-10 days and two youngsters.

I too, prefer the road less traveled, but most first time visitors understandably want to hit the highlights, as mentioned above.

If you do choose the SI, I would suggest a one way trip - or a loop of a small section of the island.

A couple of routing suggestions:

Fly Auckland to Christchurch, then drive to Mt Cook via Lake Tekapo, then on to Wanaka, then perhaps on to Te Anau (to visit Milford Sound) then on to Queenstown and fly out from there. This can be done in your time frame without too much rushing about.

Or:

Fly Auckland to Queenstown, spend some time down there, visit Milford etc, and then work your way to Christchurch either via the inland route (Mt Cook) or via the West Coast (glaciers). Then fly from Christchurch to Auckland for your departing flight.

Or do the reverse.

Or: Fly Auckland to Christchurch and head up north via Kaikoura (whales and seals) Blenheim (wineries), Abel Tasman (Nat'l Park), Nelson, etc - then perhaps fly from Nelson to Christchurch to depart to Auckland, or fly to Auckland from Nelson (if there is such a thing, I'm not sure of this).

Lots of options, but I strongly suggest this: That you limit your visit to one end of the SI - don't even try to see the far north and far south of the SI in so few days. It's difficult to do with three weeks, let along 9-10 days.

So, what most interests you? Rainforest? Beaches and coastal scenery? Mountains? Glaciers? The SI has it all - which is the problem!
Melnq8 is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 11th, 2016, 09:04 AM
  #11
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 25
Thank you Melnq8! This is very helpful indeed.
NK2013 is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 11th, 2016, 08:34 PM
  #12
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 25
One more question. I tend to get car sick with long distance drives. Are there any buses that one could take between places (private or shared rides) to avoid car drives?
NK2013 is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 12th, 2016, 06:20 AM
  #13
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,680
There is a bus network in NZ, but wouldn't you also get sick on a bus? I do - in fact buses are worse for me.

I find driving is the cure for car sickness - me driving, that is. It doesn't bother me like being a passenger does. The distraction of navigating all those curves takes my mind off my queasiness That and an open window.

https://nakedbus.com/nz/bus/

http://www.intercity.co.nz/
Melnq8 is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 12th, 2016, 08:52 PM
  #14
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 25
Yes, true that if I drove I won't get sick- that does work for me too, buses won't make me sick, cause I could just take a nap.

Will check out these bus services. Thanks again!
NK2013 is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 28th, 2016, 09:18 PM
  #15
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 7,566
20th Dec is the absolute last day of school, however high schools break up earlier that that date, as do a lot of primary schools depending on the date they started the school year. Beach resorts will be crowded from Christmas day onwards.
nelsonian is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:48 AM.