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New Zealand in Mid-June

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Delaware
posts: 5
reviews: 34
New Zealand in Mid-June

We are planning to travel to New Zealand in mid-June. We enjoy outside activities (kayaking, hiking, etc.) as well as museums and cultural opportunities. We will have a 10 year old with us and a 68 year old and ages in between for about 5-7 people. We are interested in activities that are less than touristy in addition to the "can't miss" sights.

I am not a skier, but would like to see a glacier. We don't mind the cold, but I would prefer to not be stuck in a blizzard. We think we will have about a month in the country. We will have a budget so we do need to have some suggestions that are free or low cost. I also really, really want to see a kiwi bird!

Do you have recommendations of places to go, places to see, places to stay, and approximate lengths of time? (I have been looking at Aukland and areas north, Rotorua, Bay of Plenty, Wellington, and perhaps the northern end of the southern island.)

6 replies to this topic
Nelson, New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
posts: 20,449
reviews: 45
1. Re: New Zealand in Mid-June

Welcome to the forum :)

Best begin by taking a look at some of the many itineraries posted here on the forum, plus get some tour brochures from your local travel agent if pictures help.

Why not the mid and lower South island? It boasts the best of NZ's scenic wonders and if concerned about the weather, Delaware has worse winter conditions than the SI. Also factor in the North island tends to be wet and grey while the middle of the South Island enjoys frosty nights and stunning clear blue skies.

Happy planning :)

Rarotonga, Cook...
Destination Expert
for Rarotonga, Waiheke Island, Southern Cook Islands, Auckland
posts: 7,635
reviews: 101
2. Re: New Zealand in Mid-June

For a month visit in winter, I suggest you spend some of that time touring Auckland - Waiheke Island - Hobbiton - Rotorua - Taupo - Waitomo Caves - fly south from Auckland airport.

The Kiwi-enclosure at Rainbow Springs in Rotorua houses one of the best and informative displays of Kiwi birds. Rotorua has a wide range of activities including thermal parks, indoor thermal pools, parks, lakeside walks, springs, streams and man-made attractions including gondola, luge, Agrodome, cultural performances, musuems, arts galleries and hikes.

Taupo about an hour's drive south-west of Rotorua has Huka Falls, Aratiatia Rapids, thermal parks, the biggest lake with nice shoreline walks, thermal spa pools.

Depending on how long you stay in Auckland, the Matakana coast to the NE of Auckland city is a lovely area to explore, including during winter. Very nice coastal area with Goat Island marine reserve (snorkelling and glass bottom boat tour), ferry access to Kawau island (wallabies at Mansion House), as well as being in reasonable proximity to the Matakohe Museum displaying the kauri timber and gum history of Northland.

On the way back to Auckland, several nice beachces for a winter stroll include Wenderholm Park, and Orewa, with thermal batheing pools located at Waiwera.

Blenheim, New...
posts: 423
3. Re: New Zealand in Mid-June

A month is a good length of time.

2 days exploring Auckland

3-4 days exploring north of Auckland.

3 days in Rotorua (and the surrounds)

Spend a long day driving to Wellington via the volcanic plateau. Then catch the ferry to the South Island.

Could spend a day in Picton/Marlborough. Two kayak options, one in the Marlborough Sounds (can combine it with a hike of the Queen Charlotte track), or if you interested in birds take the wildlife paddle in the Wairau lagoons.

Down to Kaikoura for a day or two, can go Kayaking there, whale watching ect. Heaps of seals, baby seals playing in a waterfall.

Back track, and on to Nelson and the Able Tasman. Can go Kayaking around Pipen Island (Nelson) or the Able Tasman National Park. I would say the National park is more scenic. Hiking in the national park is also nice. Spend 2-3 days in the nelson region.

Then head to Punakaiki for a night (pancake rocks, short hikes)

Could spend a night in Ōkārito if you want to Kayak the lagoons, plus nice short hikes nearby. In my experience these more Bird Life in the Wairau Lagoons but the Okarito lagoons are more scenic.

2 nights at the Glaciers (can look at them for free, but have to pay to go walking on them).

Now two options, you can back track up the coast and over Arthurs Pass back to Christchurch. This would avoid doing the lower half of the South Island.

or continue driving south, Cross Haast Pass, and spend a couple of nights in Wankaka

couple of nights in Queenstown.

couple of days Te Anua and do a Milford Sounds cruise.

Then over the next few days drive back to Christchurch via Mount cook.

or from Te Anua you could visit Invercargill (Tuatara Museum), drive the Catlins coastline and finish your trip in Dunedin and fly back to Auckland from there.

One last note, these a lot to see and experience in every region of New Zealand, so fitting everything into a one month itinerary is not possible. There are also a lot of short to long hikes to be done all around the country.

Edited: 12:19 am, May 27, 2014
Delaware
posts: 5
reviews: 34
4. Re: New Zealand in Mid-June

Thank you. I had not thought about the South Island because I thought it would be lost under snow. :) Thank you for the idea. Where would you recommend in the South Island?

Delaware
posts: 5
reviews: 34
5. Re: New Zealand in Mid-June

Thank you so much for this post. I am particularly interested in the Kiwis. Thermal bathing pools sound intriguing.

Delaware
posts: 5
reviews: 34
6. Re: New Zealand in Mid-June

Thank you for all the details in this post! I will definitely look at them and narrow down ideas. I understand what you are saying about the length of time.

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