Norway or New Zealand?

Old Oct 5th, 2017, 08:28 PM
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Norway or New Zealand?

I have a bucket list, but I'm not sure I can get to everywhere I want to go. I'm here with my question because this is where I get my travel answers!
Travel is subjective and if you've had a great time then that's all that matters, but what 1 person considers a great time may not be the next persons "cup of tea". I only write this because I want the answer to be a objective as possible.
So, I would like to ask travelers who have been to both Norway & New Zealand, which place would you suggest I not miss? I would love to know if you did a tour, cruise, or on your own. I have heard both countries are stunningly beautiful, but I can only do 1 right now. About 18years ago I asked the same question concerning Turkey & Greece here. The answer was overwhelmingly Turkey, and I've never been sorry I listened to you all. Greece is nice, but Turkeys is phenomenanal. Anyway, I look forward to some great answers. Thanks in advance!
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Old Oct 6th, 2017, 05:39 AM
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I would pick New Zealand. I have been to both and loved both but if I had to pick which to do first I would pick New Zealand.
I did go on a tour 20 years ago to both the North and South Islands and you should see both of them also.
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Old Oct 6th, 2017, 11:18 AM
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Thank you MarthaT! I'm leaning that way, but am looking at cruises that begin in Sydney or Melbourne, but the rest of the ports are in New Zealand. I know the real beauty isn't necessarily on the coasts, but then I'm not much of a hiker. Do you know if taking a cruise to see New Zealand sounds like a good or poor way to experience the country? Thanks again in advance!
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Old Oct 7th, 2017, 02:13 PM
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How on earth can a cruise allow you to,see a country?!! Rent a car and drive. Which country depends on what time of year you want to go. New Zealand in February is fabulous whereas Norway then is very cold. However, I hear that sailing up the fiords in Norway is spectacular.
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Old Oct 7th, 2017, 02:34 PM
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Have been to both, but it has been a very long time since I was in New Zealand. I loved Norway and along with beautiful scenery, it has two excellent cities that have wonderful museums and even a castle. I don't really think you can go wrong with either. A cruise is not a good way to see New Zealand,and you certainly don't need to be a hiker to see the best parts.
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Old Oct 7th, 2017, 04:17 PM
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ive been to both
I live in Australia so nz isn't as exotic as Norway culturally speaking
but it is gorgeous and so is Norway
Norway is very very expensive
nz is cheap
we got a motorhome for 16 days ...the country is built for such travelling with excellent roads and campgrounds

Norway is amazing
we stayed in oslo at the gabelhus thanks to tower here lol
we drove to Lillehammer and geiranger and ballustrand and allesund

it was all magical..flam after hours was fairyland
roads are good
very expensive to use the ferry system with your car and its slow travelling...some roads like the troll road are wonderful and scary but a must do

south island nz is the way to go if you only have two weeks.
queenstown arrowtown ,,,all gorgeous..abel tasman national parkup the north end of south island...
wherever u go...u wont be disappointedc
the east coast south of Christchurch is a bit meh but Dunedin is nice and theres a beach called sandfly bay ( take road to the castle) is amazing
we walked amongst elephant seals
so much wildlife in nz
saw seals lolling around carparks!
kiwis harder to see..we went to a sanctuary on the west coast near the glacier area to see the hatchlings

I vote nz Canada Switzerland and Norway as top of my list of beautiful lands
ill go back to nz one day...do the north island
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Old Oct 7th, 2017, 04:19 PM
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narrowfjord in Norway is gorgeous...twists and turns
the fjords in nz are ok...in comparison
not as spectacular in my opinion
husband says nz is more varied in landscape but hes Canadian lol
for an aussie..Norway I think is really special
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Old Oct 7th, 2017, 04:32 PM
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I did a Hurtigruten cruise for Norway. I am not a cruise person, but Hurtigruten isn't your typical cruise ship, it's a ferry as well. Lovely scenery, but I would go back to NZ before I went back to Norway. Absolutely do not cruise round NZ, if you don't want to drive (I didn't) there is an excellent bus network.

See: https://www.intercity.co.nz/

For day tours see:

https://www.greatsights.co.nz/new-zealand-tours/
https://www.awesomenz.com/
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Old Oct 7th, 2017, 04:35 PM
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Been to both and if forced to choose would go to New Zealand. Did an overnight boat on a Doubtful Sound and thought it was glorious. New Zealand requires lots of time to see the highlights, so take that into consideration.
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Old Oct 7th, 2017, 04:54 PM
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A question that hasn't been asked is when do you plan to go, or will it depend solely on the place you end up choosing?
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Old Oct 7th, 2017, 08:13 PM
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We've done Norway by cruise and by land and absolutely loved both ways of travel. Cruising does only give you a taste but we got the opportunity to see some spectacular scenery. It was also completely different to our home country which added to the experience.
We've also done NZ by cruise (from Australia) and many times as a road trip, and I'd definitely say that you will see so much more as a road trip.
A lot depends on the time of year when you can travel. Norway in May/June was great but November to April would be the best time to see NZ, but avoid January school holiday period.
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Old Oct 7th, 2017, 08:26 PM
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I have been to both as well and my vote would be for New Zealand although time of year would be an important caveat. Outside of airfare possibly, New Zealand is also a lot less expensive. Would not do a cruise to either as my choice of exploration.
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Old Oct 7th, 2017, 09:29 PM
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I haven't been to Norway, but I am a New Zealander and agree with others that a cruise to NZ is not the best way to see the country. You don't need to do hiking to experience some beautiful spots, and in my opinion the South Island is more scenic and beautiful than the North Island.

As mentioned a rental car is probably best, however I do know 3 people that in recent years have done the cruise from Sydney. They all enjoyed the cruise, and got a taste of what's on offer, but wished they were able to see more.

Good luck
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Old Oct 8th, 2017, 08:03 AM
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Thank you all! I so appreciate your opinions. I think NZ has more votes, but only if I don't take a cruise! Here is my concerns. First, I'm a widow and that's why a cruise appealed to me. I could do it alone and not worry about finding a friend to travel with. Second, I use a cane for distance walking. I have a bad back. Also, even though I don't feel it, I am 65, so maybe not as brave as I used to be and driving around an unknown country, I don't know!!! When I was 50, my best friend and I took a plane to Israel, rented a car and took off. We had an incredible adventure and neither of us knew Hebrew, outside of Shalom! But we also had a loose itinerary and (at the time) no GPS. I still have no idea how we did it!
So lets say I screw up my courage and rent a car and decide to see NZ that way. Can you wonderful people give me an idea of your favorite sight or experience. I guess as a newbie, I'll concentrate on the South Island. With a list of "must see's" I can begin researching on my own. That's how I usually do it. Hope you guys can continue helping me. Thank you in advance. Mary
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Old Oct 8th, 2017, 08:15 AM
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As I said, it is possible to have a perfectly good trip to NZ without renting a car. I travel solo, although I was in my late fifties when I visited NZ. At that time the Youth Hostel Association offered a fixed itinerary with bus passes and hostel reservations. Now they offer a more flexible itinerary, but if you don't want to stay in hostels (they do have some private rooms) you can easily put together your own trip using a bus pass and day tours.

The high point of my trip (to both islands) would be between Milford Sound and a flight over the Franz Joseph glacier.
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Old Oct 8th, 2017, 08:22 AM
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There are a number of guided tours offered just google New Zealand guided tours.
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Old Oct 8th, 2017, 10:18 AM
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If you are not confident driving a bus tour would be preferable to a cruise.

Here is a list of some of my favourite places:

Queenstown - surrounded by mountains and a crystal clear lake
Milford Sound - take a tour down the sounds, very majestic
Marlborough Sounds - a gorgeous region, beautiful inlets, bush and walks, and a wine region
Hokitika region - more beautiful green scenery and rivers with bright blue water. You can stand on the beach in Hokitika and see Mount Cook
Tekapo - another picture perfect spot with mountains and lakes

There is also plenty to see and do in the North Island too, with different scenery. Places to consider:
Coromandel region - hot water beach
Rotorua - hot mud pools, green scenery, a taste of Maori culture
Bay of Islands - 90 mile beach, the hole in the rock, pretty beaches
Taupo - Huka Falls, Lake Taupo and Mt Ruapheau are all lovely spots
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Old Oct 8th, 2017, 11:24 AM
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Great question. I've often said that New Zealand is the second most beautiful place in the world (especially the Queenstown area) ... and Norway is the most beautiful (especially the fjords on the west coast north of Bergen).

Most spectacular scenery is during those times of the year is when the snow-capped peaks are snow covered.... so late winter or spring.
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Old Oct 8th, 2017, 12:06 PM
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Thank you again! I would do Day tours, but last year I went to China as part of a tour group (my 1st guided tour) and I couldn't stand the rigidity of the schedule. I would rather make my own arrangements as needed. Anybody think of any other great site, favorite restaurant, quaint hotel, etc. please pass it on to me. I guess I could do it myself as a solo, but probably won't unless I do it by cruise!
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