Overwhelmed- need advice on where to go

Old Aug 9th, 2007, 11:39 AM
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Overwhelmed- need advice on where to go

Hello, we are bringing our two teens to NZ for 16 days over Christmas and were told to start booking now. We need some help in planning the trip. my husband wants to see the Glow worm caves, and my daughter wants to go in the transparent rollerball down a hill that she saw on the Amazing race show. We have been to Australia and loved the smaller "hands on" wildlife encounters- koalas, feeding kangaroos, having lorikeets land on our arms in Lamington. We enjoyed Heron island with all the birds, and Pebbly Beach with all the wildlife close up. We did not enjoy the Gold Coast. We are looking for these same experiences in new Zealand. We are not interested in Mountain trekking or glaciers, since we have the rocky mts. at home. We would like to visit a winery or two, and would like to see dolphins. We like hot weather. Any ? Thnk to to all the fodorites!!
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Old Aug 9th, 2007, 04:15 PM
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The transparent ball thing is called Zorbing. You can zorb in Rotorura on the north island:


Good spots for wildlife encounters include Akarora on Banks Peninsula - (dolphins, penguins), Dunedin (albatross, penguins) and Kaikoura (whales). I'm sure there are others, but those come to mind at the moment.

Christchurch has a wildlife park (Willowbank) kiwis, etc.

Lots of wineries to choose from in and around Blenheim, Nelson, Motueka, Queenstown, Wanaka, Cromwell, etc - and that's just the South Island.

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Old Aug 9th, 2007, 05:48 PM
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From Rotorua, it's not far to Waitomo. My husband and I went on the Blackwater Rafting Co.'s Black Abyss tour, which was a fabulously fun way to see glowworms. You and your teens might really enjoy it.

If you like, you can see pictures from our trip to the North Island read a brief trip report at http://community.webshots.com/user/ElendilPickle

Lee Ann
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Old Aug 9th, 2007, 06:18 PM
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Hi Puma,

We have the same problem. There is so much, it is overwhelming. We are bringing our 17 year old son and we will be in NZ for Xmas and New Years. We have decided to do 5 days on the S. Island (3 nts. Christchurch, 2 nights Kaikoura and then fly in the evening to AKL and spend 4 nts/3 full days there. We are doing 1 nt in SYD to break up the long flts to the Eastern USA.
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Old Aug 9th, 2007, 07:28 PM
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Hi Puma!

yes, you need to get rolling (Zorb pun intended) on this right away as you're going during peak season!

I've been trying to convince clients to do the Zorb, but so far no takers, so I want to hear all about it from your daughter!

You will not have the sort of "hands on" animal encounters you had in Australia, as NZ has different critters.

I'd suggest some time in the North Island, Bay of Islands, then down to Rotorua for some zorbing, sheep shows, thermal activity, maybe some time in the thermal spa, and then onto the South Island - swimming with dolphins in Kaikoura (AMAZING); onto Queenstown for a variety of choices: bungy jumping, hang gilding, whitewater rafting, "sledging" (also on the Amazing Race..my favorite show!), the Luge, jet boating, 4WD, visiting Lord of the Rings sites, taking a 118 year old steamship out to a high country farm where the kids can interact with animals, have a great BBQ lunch, go horseback riding if that's an interest.

Suggest that you visit www.newzealand.com and check out the listings of Kiwi Specialists to help you pull your trip together.

Hope this is helpful!


Certified Kiwi Specialist
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Old Aug 10th, 2007, 03:44 AM
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Hi there Puma
Im sure you'll get lots of excellent advice on the SI so I shall concentrate VERY briefly on a couple of parts of the NI.

I assume you will arrive in Auckland. Consider
heading south towards the Coromandel region. Follow the coast to Mt Maunganui. This is a popular holiday destination and very lively over summer. Your teenage children may enjoy a few surfing lessons. It is not unusual to spot dolphins and occasionally whales from the beaches here. In any-case, dolphin viewing boat trips can be arranged.

You could continue to follow the coast to Whakatane. A boat trip perhaps to view and explore White Island - an active volcano. Onto Rotorua.

Loads to do in Rotorua . Again the Zorb ball , quad bikes, horse riding, the luge, bike-rides through the redwood forest. Loads and loads of touristy extras.

Onto Taupo. A quick stop to view the Huka Falls . A jet-boat ride perhaps ? A swim in Lake Taupo? A day out on the lake fishing ? The Tongariro Crossing ? Kayaking ?

Now take the road out of Taupo to the province of Hawkes Bay.
Napier city has an excellent aquarium and museum. Heated salt water swimming pools on the foreshore, lovely gardens. A walk along the beach to visit the gannet colony at Cape Kidnappers.
Hawkes Bay can get hot in the summer - late 20's - early to mid 30's. Perfect grape growing countryside as it also has very cold winters. Certainly loads of charming wineries in this area - a wine tour would be the way to go. Jump off Te Mata Peak ( para gliding ), visit the Mohaka river for speedboats and bungy jumping.

Travel down through Central Hawkes Bay. This is classic NZ sheep country ! How about a farm-stay. Lots of lovely beaches , excellent bush walks in the Ruahine ranges. ( I think you may find these ranges a lot smaller and completely different to the Rockies ) Continue travelling south passing through small townships founded on milling and farming.

Slowly wind your way down to Wellington. Thats another story...
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Old Aug 10th, 2007, 05:26 AM
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I trust you will find this site of some help.
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