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29 Days in NI during Jan, Need Help with Itinary Please.

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29 Days in NI during Jan, Need Help with Itinary Please.

Hey guys,

My friend and I are heading to NZ in Jan, and I'm starting to panic cause as of today, we have yet to set our itinerary. All we've done is booked our air tickets!!! I know Jan is a busy time, so I'm desperately trying to get everything done by this week.

To make things worse, we have to travel by buses as neither of us are over 21. So aside from planning where we want to go, we have to make sure that there is some way of getting there.

Anyways, this was the tentative plan that we came up with and we would love some input.


Bay of Island / 90 Mile Beach




Waitomo Caves

Matamata [drive thru]

Mt Maunganui



East Cape [drive thru]


Mahia Peninsula [drive thru]



Tongariro National Park

Whangahui River

New Plymouth

Wellington [Fly out]

My concern is that it's too winding, and that we will not have enough time to cover everything.

What do you guys think? So I cut anything out? Or go somewhere else instead?

Cheers, thanks for all your help!

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1. Re: 29 Days in NI during Jan, Need Help with Itinary Please.

Time is not on your side now. I think the best thing you can do is contact Magic Bus and let them work it all out for you.


Finding accommodation could be your biggest problem. You may have to drop some destinations.

Magic bus will advise you, and help with an itinerary.

New Zealand
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2. Re: 29 Days in NI during Jan, Need Help with Itinary Please.

You just aren't going to have the time to stop at all those places- not only won't you see any of the place, some of them are out on limb and hard to get to via public transport. It's available but not regular so you'll have a hard job tieing everything in.

You can't "drive thru" Mahia- it's out on a peninsula on a one way in, one way out road that usual buses won't travel.

After Northland & Auckand decide on either Raglan/Waitomo or Whitianga (no time to do both) buses don't go to Coromandel regularily and probably not Raglan either.

Either give away the East Coast and do Mt Maunganui/Rotorua/Taupo down to New Plymouth (head out to the coast on SH3 to NP(if that's where you decide to go) otherwise down to Wanganui following the river(and on to Wellington (don't double back to NP).

Or bypass Rotorua/Taupo etc and do the East Coast to Wellington- you are doubling back and covering a whole lot of ground trying to do all these places. I take it you're into surfing by the surf beaches you've chosen. You are going to have a hard job getting a bus around the East Cape too.

Magic Bus is a good idea, as Gaye says run with one of their itineraries and you'll still get to see plenty.

San Luis Obispo, CA
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3. Re: 29 Days in NI during Jan, Need Help with Itinary Please.

a comment on a limited part of your proposal...

East Cape...Is gorgeous...parts of it appear to have great breaks....

HOWEVER...having just spent six days cycling the East Cape...Gisborne to Opitiki...then back around the Cape to Gisborne again...I can tell you that in that entire trip around the East Cape I did not see a regular bus. There is a shuttle option with one of the Backpacker Bus Co's for about 300 for three days around the East Cape...I think leaves from Rotorua... You might want to call and talk to Kiwi Experience (for example) if you want to include the East Cape... the alternative is to plan on staying in Backpacker accomodations and see if you hook up with fellow surfers who have a car who you might ride with... I think these hook ups happen fairly often.

I agree with one of the earlier posters about the fact that you don't really want to criss cross or backtrack....NZ is amazingly large for such a "small country." Also...just a general thought... If you are driving and moving every day...you really will spend almost all your vacation in the car... I'd pick my spots carefully and spend at least two nights in many of them so that you get a full day to explore. Better to cover some things well than lots of things poorly...

So,,,if you want to plan it all out...look at magic bus, kiwi experience etc and see how much time you will be spending from point to point and pick your points...or go with a general plan but a hang loose attitude.. and see if you can hitch rides. Lastly...check the intercity bus website... it can be amazingly cheap if you book well in advance online.. good luck

4. Re: 29 Days in NI during Jan, Need Help with Itinary Please.

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