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Dividing up time

California
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Dividing up time

I have a daughter who will be going to school in Wellington. Currently, she's booked to fly back from Wellington through Auckland, She also has time at the end of her semester before her return trip and would like me and other family members to meet her so we can see Sydney.

We would be there in November, and she plans to be in Sydney on the 16th. That leaves until the 30th when we would return from Auckland on the same flight with her. So assuming we want to see Sydney and Auckland at the minimum, it would come down to how to divide our time. If we did nothing else, she would cancel her leg from Wellington to Auckland.

On the other hand, the flight is relatively short, so even though she will have seen Wellington, I would rather divide my time in a good way, and we have enough time that we will be far from rushed. So leaving Auckland and returning there to catch a flight would be an option in this case.

Given the season, a college aged student, slightly older sibling and parent of a student as the age groups, what general time frame in each area would people suggest? I wouldn't rule out any other places either, but it's a given when and where would would depart from and where we would arrive. Since the logistics were set more because of where I would start and end, rather than because we have specific things on our list for each place, I'm open to a lot of suggestions.

Christchurch, New...
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1. Re: Dividing up time

This is a little confusing. How long will you be in Australia before she joins you on the 16th?

Assuming you have seen a bit of Aust but she has not, you are going to have to compromise. She'll need a min of 4 days in Sydney & surrounds to make it worth her while (Blue Mountains, Featherdale Wildlife Park + downtown Sydney +beaches), but will she want to visit Queensland too?

If you could fly to WLG around 24th - 25th, that would give you 4-5 days to drive to Auckland, via Lake Taupo, Rotorua & Waitomo Caves etc.

OTH if you prefer to spend 10 days in NZ you could fly SYD to CHC and see some of the SI as well.

California
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2. Re: Dividing up time

I have more details now. It would make the most sense for us to meet her in Wellington on the 16th and show up with nearly empty suitcases to help her move out. Since Air NZ would take me through Auckland even if I did go to Australia, it makes no sense to go back and forth without stopping. So we'll fly into Auckland and go directly to Wellington to start our trip. We will need to finish off in Auckland on the 30th. So that means spending a reasonable amount of time in Wellington, most likely going on to Australia, then returning to NZ with enough time to see Auckland and possibly other places.

All suggestions are welcome.

Christchurch, New...
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3. Re: Dividing up time

With only 14 days, I'd be inclined to drop Australia. It is such a big country and the main tourist sites are so far apart, you'd lose half a day or longer simply flying from say SYD to Cairns. What are your interests?

If you are set of visiting Sydney, then I guess 2-3 days in Wellington (1 for the Martinborough wineries?); followed by 4-5 days in Sydney, then return to AKL for the last week:

24. Pick up rental car, drive to Paihia (Bay of Islands) or Opononi etc. Allow 3 N & 2 full days to explore Northland; End up in Whangarei or somewhere nearer to Auckland for the 3rd N.

27. Drive to Coromandel/Whitianga or similar

28. Drive to Rotorua

29. Explore thermal region

30. Drive back to AKL; fly out.

If your flight is early on the 30th, you'd need to drop Coromandel & head straight to Rotorua; or drop Rotorua & spend more time in/around AKL/

Queenstown, New...
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4. Re: Dividing up time

I'd agree with Zhuhai's suggestion above.

Do note your luggage allowances if you're going to pack bags with your daughters stuff to come home with. Domestic flight allowances are generally tighter than international. (check directly with AirNZ for specifics). Also, if you book separate domestic flights in NZ with AirNZ, have a look at grabaseat for cheap fares, but note that they don't always include checked luggage.

AND... make sure you are all clear and know what is in your suitcase. Both NZ and Australia customs are very strict on prohibited items, this comes from the fact that we are island nations and don't have many of the diseases that other parts of the world have. Make sure that you declare ANY food/drink items, whether you 'think' it's ok or not... if you declare then the worst will be that the item is confiscated, if you don't declare and customs find an item you will likely be fined, could face jail time, and be deported immediately! (and you could end up being on 'Border Patrol' or another reality TV show!).

after all that though... I'd personally drop Australia, and spend your two weeks discovering NZ. While it's still not alot of time, you will be able to have a decent look around the the South Island, a few days in Wellington; then Rotorua and possibly north to Bay of Islands.

Auckland is mostly just another big city, really just a transport base when you only have a short time.

Plan to do Australia another time, and then give it longer, so that you can visit many of the great places that are over there.

5. Re: Dividing up time

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