QUOTE(clauds123 @ Jun 13 2009, 02:39 PM)
QUOTE(nztravelguide @ Jun 12 2009, 06:10 PM)
QUOTE(clauds123 @ Jun 11 2009, 10:48 AM)
I was wondering if someone could help me? I am planning a 2 week trip to NZ with my gf at the end of Dec top of Jan. This is our first trip to NZ and we would like to know which are the best places to visit? Please remember that we will only have 2 weeks, so we need to make the most of it.
Thanks in advance for all your help
Hope to hear from you soon.
be glad to answer your questions and help with an itinerary that will see the two weeks in New Zealand will be the best you will ever have.....Ron
Basically, this will be our first trip to NZ, so we don't know anything over there. Could you simply advice us on where to go and how to make the most of the two weeks?
Since you haven’t provided any information about what you want to experience, how you plan to get around, or any idea of what you like it makes it almost impossible to be of help. I had asked you to contact me to get a questionnaire to fill out so I would be able to help you.
It makes a difference if you are driving a car, a camper or on a bus or flying around and I can’t help with accommodation recommendations as a result….
Anyhow – here is a general 14 day itinerary in New Zealand…………….more information at www.newzealandtravelguide.net
Day 1 - -
Fly into Auckland and pick up vehicle and head south to Matamata to visit Hobbiton. 2 1/2 hour drive from Auckland. Route One to route 2 to route 27. www.hobbitontours.com. Depending upon when you arrive will determine what will become of the day. They have tours all day long until late in the afternoon with tours lasting around 2 hours or more.
Or you may wish to go south to the Waitomo caves….
After your Hobbiton adventure I recommend driving on to the geo-thermal wonderland of Rotorua another hour’s drive south. Try to book a Maori hangi and show for the evening.
Day 2/3 -
Spend some time today enjoying the wonders of Rotorua before pushing south. Take route 30 to Route One to Lake Taupo continuing south past through the central desert country passing the volcanoes of Tongariro and Ruapehu on to stop somewhere north of Wellington depending on how much you wish to drive. Driving time from Rotorua to Wellington is around 7 1/2 hours. Taupo is a good stop for accommodation. All the rest of the way it is small towns. Pleasant drive though.
Day 4 - The capital city of Wellington. I recommend going to the Museum of Te Papa on the waterfront. A day in Wellington to have a look around. You might have to take whatever crossing on the ferry you can get right now to determine when you cross over. It is a 3 1/2 hour trip and this is when every Kiwi in the country will cross this time of year. You also need to get a booking at the lodge you plan to spend tomorrow night at and the taxi boat to take you over. I believe it will all be worth the trouble...........one of the most beautiful places in the world in my opinion.
Day 5/6 -
Stay at a Lodge in the Marlborough Sounds
Recommend Portage, Bay of Many Coves, Lochmara
Day 7 - -
Leave Picton for the south. Since we only have a few days I will try to get you around as much as possible without pushing you along. From Picton take route one south through the Marlborough Wine Country, Blenheim, and on to Kaikoura home to the whales. On the ride south before Kaikoura the coast line becomes very rocky. This is where hundreds of seals hang out. There are spots to pull off you will see. If you wish to se the whales up close stop by the Whalewatch as you enter town on your left. Big parking area and also a big parking area in the downtown area.
Good place to spend the day. Driving time is 2 hours from Picton.
Day 8 -
From Kaikoura drive south to route 70 to route 7 and the turnoff to Hanmer Springs the top hot springs in New Zealand. Stop and enjoy a soak! Even in hot weather it is a fabulous place. 2 hour drive from Kaikoura.
Now continue west on route 7 through Springs Junction and then Reefton. Stop in Reefton to visit the old miners and go into the Information Centre. From Reefton continue on route 69 to route 6 and follow the Buller River then route 6 south. Be sure to stop at Punaikaki Rocks. This area past Charleston in a very scenic coastline. Stay in the Greymouth area for the night. 3 1/2 hour drive.
On south on route 6. Be sure to stop in the top arts and crafts town Hokitika. Go to the beach. From there on south to Glacier Country. Stop to see the home of the giant sandfly at Pukekura south of Ross. Go into their museum to see the animals. This is pure West Coast!
On to Franz Josef to see the glaciers. Stay the night. Good spot is the Rainforest Retreat in town. You can walk to the glaciers or walk them or fly to them and land.
Driving time is 2 1/2 hours. Short drive!
Day 10 -
From Franz Josef on south to Fox Glacier. Just another small town that is a repeat of what you have already experienced. We have a long drive today so don’t linger.
Here we go to the end of the West Coast at Haast and turn inland through the Haast River Valley and into the Mount Aspiring National Park. Be sure to stop and see Thunder Falls and the Gates of Haast just beyond. Awesome! On up the mountain through to Makarora past Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea to come to Wanaka.
Stop at Puzzle House. Stay in Wanaka tonight. Driving time is 5 hours.
Perhaps you may wish to break this drive by staying in the middle at the Makarora Wilderness camp….?
Day 11 -
Off to Queenstown on route 6 driving along Lake Dunstan then going through the Kawarau Gorge. Wine Country. Stop to watch the bungy jump. Then next turn go onto Arrowtown an old gold mining village re-done. See the Chinese Village. Make up your mind if you want to stay in this area or try to go in to the busiest place in the South Island - Queenstown . Driving time from Wanaka is 1 1/2 hours. After Arrowtown turn and go back to Cromwell and on……as below…..or
Day 12 -
You may wish to stay here in Queenstown. Or return on route 6 to Cromwell north on route 8 through the magic of Lindis Pass to Omarama, Twizal and on to Mt Cook for the night.
4 1/2 hour drive in fabulous country. Stay at the Hermitage. Top place in New Zealand.
Day 13 -
From Mt Cook continue through the fabulous Mckenzie Country to Lake Tekapo. Just before Tekapo there is a side road to Mt. John Observatory. Be sure to go up there (if not windy). Best view eve out over the Mckenzie Country and they have an all glass cafe at the top! After stop at the Lake and see the little church on the shoreline. Driving on through this area to Geraldine. Stop here at the little shopping centre on the edge of town. On the other end stop to visit the Peter J Caley gallery, a top Maori artist. The driving time to here from Mt. Cook is 2 1/2 hours. It is another hour to Christchurch. I recommend the Devon B&B right downtown if possible.
www.devonbandbhotel.co.nz . Easy access to everything and a beautiful spot to stay.
Day 14 – Leave from Christchurch
Whatever time you may have explore the city before flying out?