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Wellington/ACK split: 3-4 days

San Francisco...
posts: 8
Wellington/ACK split: 3-4 days


We are spending most of our NZ trip driving around the South Island, and then taking the ferry to Wellington. We have an early morning flight out of the country in Auckland four days later.

We are considering spending most of that NI time in Wellington rather than Auckland. We have heard that Wellington is easier to get around without a car (we'd like to not have to drive anymore at that point), whereas Auckland is more spread out and suburban. But on the other hand I'd hate to come all the way to NZ and miss an absolute must-see in it's largest city.

Should we schedule our flight from WEL to ACK so that we have a full day in Auckland as well? Or spend most of our time in Wellington and just fly through Auckland the night before and stay near the airport?

Thank you for your advice! Wishing I had more time to see it all, but that might take months or years! :)

Dallas, Texas
posts: 1,174
reviews: 53
1. Re: Wellington/ACK split: 3-4 days

Great questions.

Wellington is a wonderful city to visit, especially without a car. The city is very easy to navigate on foot, with many of the venues and shopping easily done by walking.

Auckland is also a nice place to visit and it can also be done on foot as well as ferry to Devonport and/or Waiheke Island.

I would suggest 2 days in each so as to not miss either. Hotels in Auckland's CBD would put you in a short walk to the ferry terminal, you can easily visit Devonport and walk around the town, you can take a half day wine tour on Waiheke Island. The Auckland Museum is an excellent venue as is Te Papa in Wellington. We've walked to the Auckland Museum from the CBD and taken a taxi back to the hotel.

Auckland's Viaduct area has tons of restaurants as does Wellington's Cuba Street, each easy walks.

From AKL you can take the ferry to Devonport and then take a short bus ride to Takapuna. It's a quaint beach town with shops and restaurants. We've walked the beaches there before. You don't say when you're going so beaches may not be in the plan.

San Francisco...
posts: 8
2. Re: Wellington/ACK split: 3-4 days

Thanks! I know it's like trying to answer the question about whether to visit San Francisco or LA-- they're both good but different! (Of course being a SF person myself I'm biased!)

New Zealand seems so beautiful andI wish we could do it all! I am hoping to come back and do a NI-focused trip someday, but that might not be for years. So we are trying to concentrate this trip on the things unique to NZ that you can't get anywhere else-- we have beaches and mountains here in CA (no glaciers, though!) and big cities too.

Thank you again for your advice!

San Francisco...
posts: 8
3. Re: Wellington/ACK split: 3-4 days

And also wondering the philosophy of trying to do two places on short notice vs doing only one place, but more time.

I'm probably overthinking this, but I would rather ask than commit myself to a bad plan.

Dallas, Texas
posts: 1,174
reviews: 53
4. Re: Wellington/ACK split: 3-4 days

Having once lived in San Francisco I understand your dilemma, I love SF and can easily pass on LA.

Your question is more like: how many angels can dance on the head of a pin? Everyone will have their own opinion.

When is the next time you will be in NZ? if you say next year then spend all your free time in WLG and pick up AKL next year.

If you don't plan to visit NZ again in the foreseeable future, then I would split my time between AKL and WLG.

When talking about the beauty of NZ, neither AKL or WLG are my idea of beauty, they are both cities each with their own unique characteristics.

And yes, you are over thinking this ;-)

Rarotonga, Cook...
Destination Expert
for Rarotonga, Waiheke Island, Southern Cook Islands, Auckland
posts: 7,635
reviews: 101
5. Re: Wellington/ACK split: 3-4 days

If you cant decide easily, a 50:50 split is a useful approach. Each city offers something different, with Wellington being a great little city to explore, and Auckland being a sprawling city with its main focus on its two harbours and bush-clad backdrops.

Yet it sounds like you have an inkling to enjoy Wellington more? If so go with this notion and make a return trip to NZ.

6. Re: Wellington/ACK split: 3-4 days

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