NZ Trip - feedback requested

Dec 6th, 2003, 12:12 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 18
NZ Trip - feedback requested

Hi all,

This is our NZ Itinerary for our 17 day trip there the second half of December. Please let us know if this makes sense (or) if we are completely way off the mark in our planning. Thanks in advance for the feedback. (I posted the same message on the Australia board by mistake so am repeating it again under the new Zealand topic. Sorry for the inconvenience)

Day 0: Arrive in Auckland from US at 11;30 PM. Take Shuttle to travel to Rydges Hotel.

Day 1: Sleep late to unwind from flight journey. Take Rental Car from Auckland around 12 PM to drive to Rotorua. Check in to Lake House B&B. Attend Maori Hangi in the evening.

Day 2: Visit Thermal parks and Mt. Takarewa. Travel to Taupo. Visit Huka falls and other Taupo Attractions.Stay at Ambleside B&B.

Day 3: Drive to Tongariro national park and visit volcanos. Return to Taupo and stay at Ambleside B&B.

Day 4: Leave early morning around 8 AM to go from Taupo to Waitomo Caves. Do Black water rafting trip from 11 to 3. Take rental car back to Auckland airport to catch flight at 9 PM to Christchurch (Is this cutting it too close). Stay at the Grange B&B in Christchurch

Day 5: Visit Local Christchurch attractions (Antarctic centre, Museums etc.) Stay at the Grange B&B

Day 6: Take Rental Car and Leave early morning to Greymouth via Arthur's pass. Spend a few hours at Arthur's pass. Reach Punakaiki in the evening and stay at the Rocks

Day 7: Travel from Punakaiki to Paparoa national park. Travel through Ross and reach Franz Josef Glacier. Any recommendations on where to stay here?

Day 8: Do Heli Walk and guided walk on glacier. Stay at same lodge as Day 7

Day 9; Spend time in Lake Matheson, Haast and Wanaka. Stay in Queenstown for the night. Again, any specific recommendations for Queenstown lodges?

Day 10, 11 ? Queenstown with daily trips to nearby attractions

Day 12 ? Early morning leave for te Anau. Do short hikes (or) tracks. Stay in te Anua. Again, any specific recommendations for lodging

Day 13 ? Visit Milford Sound and nearby areas. Return to Te Anau

Day 14 ? Leave for overnight tour on Doubtful sound in the afternoon

Day 15 ? Return around 12 PM. Leave for Mount Cook. Reach Mount cook late in the evening. Stay at Glentanor park?

Day 16 ? Visit Tasman Glacier, lake tekapo

Day 17 ? Leave Mount Cook in the afternoon, reach Christchurch late eveing

Day 18 ? Catch flight from christchurch to auckland to USA
anandanj is offline  
Dec 6th, 2003, 07:13 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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This looks like a good itinerary. You have packed in about as many good places as you can in that amount of time.

Day 3: One fun thing to do is to take the chairlift up the Whakapapa Skifield. From there you are about 3/4 of the way up Mt. Ruapehu. Wonderful views, and you can hike further up if you feel like it.

Day 4: A long day, to be sure, but you shouldn't have a problem making a 9pm flight, its only about 160km from Waitomo to the airport.
ALF is offline  
Dec 6th, 2003, 07:14 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 11,334
Yikes! It's probably do-able but a bit frantic. I've not been to NZ for about 10 years, but must say that Rotorua is one of my favorite "eerie" places on earth.

Keep in mind that your first day in NZ you will probably NOT sleep in. You will arrive early in the am and it is important to try to stay awake as long as you can. I always fall asleep very early for the first few evenings until I get used to the time change.

On a trip to OZ, I booked an opera at the Sydney Opera House the second night in town. BIG mistake. I had to leave during intermission as I could NOT keep my eyes open. I'd think carefully about doing "special" things in the evenings so soon in your itinerary. (at least in my opinion)

Other than that, you'll LOVE New Zealand. I'm trying to get back there sometime!
simpsonc510 is offline  
Dec 6th, 2003, 09:16 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 18
Thanks so much for the responses. Any specific recommendations on where to stay at Franz Josef, Queenstown and Te Anau? There have been some suggestions made on other threads, but they seem to be a little on the pricey side. I am looking for B&Bs < $ NZD 120-130
anandanj is offline  
Dec 6th, 2003, 11:10 AM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 37
We stayed at an inexpensive B&B that was lovely--Ro & Nancy's Place. I think it was about 120 NZ dollars a night or less. We had the room off the back which included a sitting area with wonderful wood stove that Nancy had stoked for us.(We were there in Aug.)A kitchenette, bathroom and bedroom. Very clean. The hosts were wonderful. Once were sheep farmers, so they had lots of stories to share. Nancy and I spent about an hour just chatting about life in NZ. What I went there to experience!! They also were helpful about the best times and places to go.Have a great trip. We are returning this summer for 4 weeks in N.Z. to see some of the things we missed on our first trip in 2002.
Barbaract is offline  
Dec 6th, 2003, 01:12 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 437
We just returned from NZ, and I have a couple of suggestions.
I recommend overnighting on a ship in Milford Sound (if you can arrange your itinerary to fit that in). We stayed on the Milford Mariner, and it was a wonderful way to see the sound. The short cruises that leave during the day are jam-packed with tourists arriving by the busload. The overnight cruise leaves at about 4:30 PM, after the tour busses have gone, and returns around 10 AM the next day, before the tour busses return.
The dinner and breakfast on the boat were very nice, the accommodations were clean, and the crew made us feel right at home.
The Tasman Glacier is, in my opinion, not worth the hike. I went to the glacier overlook (I don't know if there's a trail to the base of the glacier), and was extremely disappointed to find that the glacier itself is completely covered by 1 to 2 meters of dirt, and not visible at all. Just a dirt-filled valley. Although the ice is supposed to be up to 200 meters thick, you can see none of it from the overlook.
Hope this helps.
Les is offline  
Dec 10th, 2003, 09:53 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I highly recommend the Explorer Lodge in Te Anau (we had a great studio unit on the second floor - NZ $105 per night this past September).

I also recommend the Punga Grove Motor Lodge in Franz Josef - it's nice, comfortable and in your price range.

In Queenstown I recommend The Lofts and the A-Line Hotel - both in your price range, but you might want to request a quiet room if you're a light sleeper, as some rooms face a busy street.

Have a great trip!
Melnq8 is offline  
Dec 12th, 2003, 03:03 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 278
Bring your bathing suit for the out door thermal baths at Rotorua.
Go at dusk and watch the moon rise.
It's a great country...
Pete1222 is offline  

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