NZ North Island - 11 days - Itinerary help

Sep 27th, 2019, 04:02 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 18
NZ North Island - 11 days - Itinerary help

Hi fellow travellers,

My husband and I will be going to NZ for a romantic adventure without the kids for 11 days at the end of Oct/ beginning of Nov. Given that we have so little time, we were thinking of just staying on the North Island with the following itinerary:

Day 1- Land in Auckland (jetlagged) and drive a bit north towards Warworth (would love suggestions on places to stay)
Day 2, 3- drive/ stay in Paihia
Day 4 - Drive through the Waipoua Forest and south towards Paparoa and spend the night after a long day
Day 5, 6, 7- Drive/ Stay in Whitianga
Day 8, 9 - Drive/ Stay in Rotorua
Day 10 - Drive to Auckland
Day 11 - explore Auckland and fly home late

So, some questions for all of you:
- Does this seem like a good itinerary? I know it is a lot of driving but we are ok with beautiful drives
- Do you have any suggetions for places to stay? I love the idea of farmstays, romantic B&Bs, unique places -- but, are budget for most nights is less than $150NZ a night - but we could do one splurge
- I am really interested in taking a class on Maori bone or Pounamu carving - maybe for a day... if you know anywhere I could do that.

Thank you in advance for your suggestions. We are sooo excited!

alisa350 is offline  
Sep 27th, 2019, 03:00 PM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,906
The only place I know of where you can carve your own pendant is Bonz N Stonz in Hokitika on the West Coast of the South Island.
Carve Your Own Pounamu ? New Zealand Jade

The North Island can be fairly rainy end of Oct/ beginning of Nov. It's been a very wet year up north, with flooding in Coromandel just a few weeks ago.

Don't drive when jetlagged. Get a good night's rest first.

It'll be a long drive up to Paihia for just a couple of nights.
Diamantina is offline  
Sep 28th, 2019, 04:48 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 18
Diamantina Thanks for the reply. Bonz N Stonz looks amazing!

Given the weather in the North island, would you recommend flying to the south Island for our stay?

Thanks, Alisa
alisa350 is offline  
Sep 29th, 2019, 12:17 AM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,906
There are no certainties about the weather. It could be wet or it could perfect on the North Island. The weather here is unpredictable, especially in spring. It can even go from beautifully sunny and warm to stormy and cold then back to sunny in one day. If the attractions of the North Island most appeal to you, then stick with this. It's not likely to be beach weather, but I'm sure you'll still enjoy yourselves.

Spring brings unsettled weather to both the North and South Islands. The South Island's West Coast and Fiordland are the wettest regions, but beautiful. The South Island is less populated, more mountainous, more forested, and colder--we can even get snow on the mountains in spring. You're not coming during school holidays, so you should be able to get good rates on accommodation.
If you're thinking about flying to the South Island, have a look at the grabaseat fares:
Or check out NZ domestic fares on Jet Star.
Diamantina is offline  
Oct 5th, 2019, 03:11 AM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 7,607
"Does this seem like a good itinerary?" It wouldn’t be my first choice. Even with such a short time, I think would bite the bullet and fly straight on to the SI, probably Queenstown. I would spend a night there to recover from jet lage and either rent a campervan for the duration (greater flexibility, less packing and unpacking etc.) or rent a car. Surrounded by amazing scenery, you would be spoil for choice as to where to go. High on my list would be Aoraki, Glenorchy/Kinloch maybe Wanaka and even the Glaciers. Maybe, if te weather is kind, consider a helicopter trip from Glenorchch around Aoraki.

Alternatively head to the north of the SI - Abel Tasman, Marlborough Sounds Etc.

On the north island I think I would head for Lake Taupo/Tongariro and maybe some geothermal action around Rotorua. I am sadly very behind with posting on our blog but there are some bits and pieces which may be of interest @
crellston is offline  

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