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quick 5 day trip to New Zealand, North Island. Sugestions for our trip?

quick 5 day trip to New Zealand, North Island. Sugestions for our trip?

Old Aug 11th, 2016, 08:18 AM
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quick 5 day trip to New Zealand, North Island. Sugestions for our trip?

We will arrive later this month to the North Island, flying into Auckland. Thinking of going to the Bay of Islands and then south for the hot springs. What about an organized tour to the Islands, then fly south for a couple of days, fly back to Auckland for our flight home? Is there another route you would recommend? We also thought of going to Wellington (flying there and back) in place of one of the islands or the hot springs. We are taking advantage of a low fare calendar so our time is limited. We have spent some time previously on the South Island. Thanks for your suggestions
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Old Aug 11th, 2016, 04:07 PM
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Have a look at the tours offered by Great Sights:
http://www.greatsights.co.nz/new-zea...ay-of-islands/

It can be rainy up north this time of year.
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Old Aug 11th, 2016, 06:23 PM
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With 4 days you would be better to choose either Bay of Islands or Rotorua.
They are not geographically close for driving so it would be a long day of travel between the two and hardly worth it. It's possible to fly from Kerikeri to Rotorua but this flight will go through Auckland.
Waiwera has a nice hot pool complex and also Helensville (not fancy) so if you have a car and are doing the BOI choice you could get a hot swim there.
It's still winter here in NZ so I'd go for Rotorua. It's too cold for long beach walks right now even in the North.
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Old Aug 12th, 2016, 07:40 PM
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Thanks for your replies. We plan on flying rather than driving even 3 to 4 hours. Any thoughts on Wellington? It looks like it might be a better city to visit than Auckland.
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Old Aug 13th, 2016, 12:44 AM
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I like Wellington and it is cute and compact with lots cafes, bars and restaurants.
A hotel with a harbour view adds to the experience. There's usually something on in Wellington as well - sports events, theatre, concerts and shows.
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Old Aug 13th, 2016, 01:43 AM
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Te Papa Museum is Wellington's must-see attraction. Following a visit to museum, you could walk along the waterfront, then take the Cable Car to the top of the hill, where, if the weather's nice, you can explore the adjacent Botanic Garden. When done you can take the Cable Car back down again or walk down through the garden to the CBD. The Botanic Garden even has glowworms, though I never got around to seeing them.
http://wellington.govt.nz/recreation...en/attractions

Central Wellington's easily explored on foot. Here's a link to a CBD map:
http://www.wellingtonnz.com/assets/U...wntown-Map.pdf

Lord of the Rings/Hobbit fans make a beeline to Wellington's Weta Workshop in Miramar, not too far from the CBD.
http://www.wellingtonnz.com/discover...weta-workshop/
http://www.wikihow.com/Visit-the-Wet...-in-Wellington

Zealandia, Wellington's beautiful ecosanctuary, right in the city, has rare endemic birds, tuatara, beautiful walking tracks, an informative visitor centre. During the day, free shuttles travel to Zealandia for those without their own transport. These leave from the CBD (near the I-Site) or near the top of the Cable Car and Botanic Garden.
http://www.visitzealandia.com/
They also have night tours.

Wellington's the micro brewery capital of NZ. If you enjoy contemporary art, the City Art Gallery is worth visiting (free admission). There's a nice view from Mt. Victoria lookout. Wellington has a nice zoo. It has a night market on Friday nights. Wellington has a great website:
http://www.wellingtonnz.com/discover/

Wellington has a reputation for being windy.

The Martinborough wine region is nearby. Especially known for their pinot noirs. From Martinborough you can drive to Cape Palliser Lighthouse, stop in Aorangi Forest park along the way. Note: the road to Cape Palliser is subject to erosion, so you should check before heading out there.
This recent article says a little about Martinborough's/Wairarapa's food scene:
http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/fo...-the-wairarapa

One close-to-Wellington attraction that's still on my wish list is Kapiti Island, one of NZ's most established island nature reserves:
http://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-rec...ature-reserve/
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Old Aug 14th, 2016, 10:44 AM
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Thank you so much for your replies.

Another couple of questions: How would the driving be from the Auckland airport to the Bay of Islands? Also - looking for a day tour that would allow us to be picked up at the Bay of Islands. Suggestions?

I have driven on the left side in Scotland, Ireland, NZ, AND AU. I am wondering how dense the traffic would be - leaving the airport around 8:00am on a Monday and returning mid day in a couple of days. Thanks for your input.

Still looking at flights also.
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Old Aug 14th, 2016, 01:21 PM
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Traffic will be heavy until about 10 am with everyone going into the city. I'd fill in the time with breakfast in a café or a walk somewhere to avoid being stuck in the traffic.
Without traffic it's about 4 hours driving from Auckland to Paihia. No mountains just the Brynderwyn Hills which have some windy bits of road.
Do you want a tour to somewhere else in the BOI? Have a look at paihia.nz.com.
A day trip exists for the BOI from Auckland but this would be a lot of sitting in the bus.
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Old Aug 16th, 2016, 11:24 AM
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Thanks for your help. We will be flying from Auckland to The Bay of Islands. I am still looking at motels or other accommodations for Paihia. Our time is so short that I though flying would be better.
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Old Aug 17th, 2016, 02:37 PM
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From Auckland airport you can be in Taupo in a bit over three hours. A lovely place by the lake (a filled-in former volcanic crater), with stupendous steam baths and such nearby.

On the way there you can stop by Rotorua, hold your noses (it STINKS of sulphur, far and wide) and check out the lovely museum in the former swanky hotel (www.rotoruamuseum.co.nz). Interesting old-timey exhibits, and a very nice building.

Then drive from Taupo to Napier - look it up, well worth it.

Then drive to Wellington (Te Papa!)

Taking planes, with the airport trips and the security and the waiting around, takes more time, and you see nothing.
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