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Suggestions for a New Zealand trip from Feb 25 - Mar 17

Suggestions for a New Zealand trip from Feb 25 - Mar 17

Jan 27th, 2006, 05:37 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 40
Suggestions for a New Zealand trip from Feb 25 - Mar 17

Hi,

My partner and I finally have our tickets to visit NZ. We are flying from New York City to Los Angeles, will spend a night in Los Angeles, then fly out the next day and finally be in Christchurch around noon on Feb 27th.
On the way back we are flying out of Auckland on Mar 17 @ 11pm.

We haven't really planned the trip yet, but intend to rent a car for pretty much the entire time we're there. Any recommendations re: a car rental agency? Anyone heard about CnY?

Our intent is to drive around and find hotels as we go, where we happen to be. Will it be an issue finding hotel rooms this time of the year?

We'd also welcome any suggestions for places/sites that are not be missed.. any places that require reservations?

A bit about us - we are in our early thirties, like the outdoors, love to hike/walk - go tramping, I should say. We also enjoy good food (seafood) and wine. Would like to go caving as well. I'm not a good swimmer so water-activities may be a bit limited - no diving.. but I'm looking forward to some bungy jumping.

I've read about the 90-mile beach drive way up north, but I'm not sure if we'll have time to go up there. Is it essential to have a 4 wheel drive / SUV to go there?

We're open to ideas for a great trip in just under 3 weeks..

Thanks,
Z & d


z_n_d is offline  
Jan 27th, 2006, 08:56 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 235
February and March are peak season in the Southern Lakes (Queenstown/Wanaka/Te Anau/ Milford Sound) and probably elsewhere in the South island as well.
While the idea of free wheeling around is attractive, I think you would save yourselves much stress if you worked out a rough itenerary, and at least booked the 'Must See" places, such as Queenstown, Te Anau, Fox / Franz Joseph.

If you like "Caving" as oposed to tourist Caves, you should look around Nelson/Takaka.(South Island) and Tokoroa (North Island). I believe there are some adventure tours invloving caving (Black water Rafting), otherwise you could maybe contact one or some of the many caving groups in these areas.

There's been plenty written on this forum about rental Cars. Do a search back through previous posts.

In ChCh visit the Arts Centre. real neat.
vbca is offline  
Jan 28th, 2006, 04:10 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 11,488
Hi Z and D,

If you click on my name and scroll down, you'll find my trip report from April 2004. We spent 10 days on the North Island; one of the highlights was black water rafting in Waitomo.

You can also take a look at our pictures at http://community.webshots.com/user/ElendilPickle

ElendilPickle is offline  
Jan 28th, 2006, 06:29 PM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 40
Thanks for your post. My wife especially liked the picture where one of you is posing with the Elvish bread - good one!

d
z_n_d is offline  
Jan 29th, 2006, 02:10 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 11,488
Thanks - Mr. Pickle was really good about indulging my inner Lord of the Rings geek.

We stopped at the supermarket in Turangi on our way to Tongariro National Park, and when I saw those crackers I knew they'd be perfect. "Look, honey, we can get these and do a lembas scene up on Mt. Ruapehu!"

He sort of rolled his eyes, but he's a good sport.

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Jan 30th, 2006, 02:07 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 3
Hi
Just so you know February is the busiest month for tourism in NZ so I would pre-book the essential nights in certain places you want to stay just to be sure you can get what you want.
Rental car companies won't let you drive on 90 mile beach so you will need to book a tour for that. Try 'About New Zealand Rental Cars' for car hire as they will let you either vehicle exchange in Picton/Wellington to save on ferry costs or take the car on ferry to save unloading then reloading luggage etc. I haven't heard of CnY....
Have a great trip!!!
ExploreNZ is offline  
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