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    by ibobi Fodor's Editor | Posted on Nov 20, 17 at 01:24 PM
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12 day Trip to NZ in Nov 2017

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Planning a trip to NZ in Nov 2017. We are a family of 4 travelling from Southern CA : . Parents and 2 boys (aged 9 and 5). Grandparents will be joining us too for this trip from India. This is our first trip to NZ. So any suggestions regarding the itinerary is welcome. Have not made any bookings yet.

I came up with the following based on reading through some of the forums and trying to include a few items that I really wanted to cover.

Day 1: Arrive at AKL---just relax that day ...no plans to do much. Maybe eat dinner and visit the Sky tower at night?

Day 2: Go to Hamilton ...maybe by train http://www.kiwirailscenic.co.nz/northern-explorer/auckland-to-hamilton-by-train/ or bus or driving ...should be around 2 hours I think.

Stay at Hamilton for 2 nights ...visit Hamilton Garden and Waitomo Caves on one day. Would that be possible?

Day 3: Visit Hobbiton on next day (planning to skip the Hairy Feet tour since it is 2 hrs away and will be 2 hrs of walking ...not sure if group can do that)

Day 4: Drive to Rotura. Attend the Hangi program that night.

Day 5: Rotura: Day trip to see geysers etc.

Day 6: Rotura: Agrodome...Fly to Christchurch at night.

Day 7: Christchurch ( Originally planned a trip to Wellington but based on distance/time/cost I think we will have to skip Wellington and fly directly to Christchurch)

Day 8: Christchurch to Franz Josef glaciers...stay the night. Heli ride. If we had to chose between Fox and Franz glaciers which one is recommended considering we won't be hiking?

Day 9: Franz Josef to Queenstown. 4 and half hrs drive to QTN

Day 10: QTN. Sky diving for parents...maybe can find some activity for kids and grandparents too?

Day 11: Miford Sound

Day 12: Back to QTN. Fly back to US.

Appreciate any and all feedback.
Thanks in advance.

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    It was looking good up until Day 7..but then it fell apart in a big way! There is no way you can pack that much into 5 days unless you have a time machine.
    Something has to be dropped from such a busy itinerary.
    You have not left any time to actually SEE the glaciers and then rush onto Queenstown. Check all your distances with aamaps.co.nz. Driving in the South Island takes longer than you think and roads are narrow and winding.
    1. A lot of time in boring Hamilton (well that's a bit unfair as I quite like Hamilton but when you are coming from overseas you want to see the hot spots and Hamilton is not one of them).
    2. Skip Christchurch and the glaciers and fly direct to Queenstown.
    Or a variation of this but even this is pretty busy and a lot of driving. Hope the kids are good travellers and you will need to hire a large car to seat 6.
    Day 1 relax in Auckland and get over jet lag.
    Day 2 Waitomo Caves and stay the night there
    Day 3 Hobbiton for the 10 am tour and then onto Rotorua (2 nights)
    Day 4 Explore Rotorua
    Day 5 Fly to Christchurch
    Day 6 Explore Christchurch
    Day 7 Drive to Mt Cook
    Day 8 Mt Cook to Queenstown(lots to do there!)
    Day 9 Queenstown
    Day 10 Milford Sound day trip
    Day 11 Queenstown
    Day 12 leave for home

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