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Aussie senior couple visiting NZ first time in September!

Goolwa, Australia
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Aussie senior couple visiting NZ first time in September!

Motoring itinery so far: Sept 3rd to Auckland to Waitomo Caves, to Rotorua (stay 2 nights), to Taupo, onto Napier (1) Gisborne (1) Te Araroa (1) Whakatane (1) then to Pauanui for 7 nights. We enjoy seeing natural beauty, waterfalls, lakes, etc. Hobbiton and glow worm caves. Art deco, antiques, coffee shops, bakeries etc. Is Rotorua the best place to stay 2 nights or is another better?

Have to stick to schedule as booked into Pauanui September 10th.

Thanks so much for your replies!

Christchurch, New...
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for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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1. Re: Aussie senior couple visiting NZ first time in September!

Definitely enough to keep you busy for 2 nights/only 1day in Rotorua. You get a bit rushed after that. I'm not sure that it is worth the long detour to Naoier without spending any time there to visit wineries or Cape Kidnappers. After driving there from Rotorua you will have just one afternoon to walk around the downtown area.

I have no idea what people do for a week at Pauanui without a boat, unless you play golf!

On your way to Waitomo Caves try to fit in an hour at Hamilton Gardens. they are stunning in the spring.

Goolwa, Australia
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2. Re: Aussie senior couple visiting NZ first time in September!

Thanks for reply.

Having fun changing plans before I book anything. Now thinking of cutting out night in Te Araroa (as Tourist Park doesn't look much). Saves on some driving too! Napier to Gisborne to Whakatane is the latest thought! Have extra night now; Napier or Whakatane would you say? Cape Kidnappers looks good, is it a sealed road to get there?

New Zealand
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3. Re: Aussie senior couple visiting NZ first time in September!

Napier for 2 nights definitely. To visit the gannets at Cape Kidnappers is done through tour operators, you cannot drive to the gannets. Google Napier iSite for further information on Cape Kidnappers and Art Deco tours.

Pack your swimmers as a stop at Morere Thermal Pools on route Napier to Gisborne is a must. Also suggest morning tea stop at Oslers Bakery Marine Parade in Wairoa (halfway between Napier and Gisborne (and before the thermal pools at Morere which is approx 35min drive on the Wairoa to Gisborne road).

Goolwa, Australia
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4. Re: Aussie senior couple visiting NZ first time in September!

Thanks for reply.

Actutally didn'nt think we would be able to drive ourselves to the gannets. Napier looks like there is plenty to see. I have been checking availability and some places are booked out for the dates we want., so when sure on our plans will book ; hate to arrive and find nothing, even if many people have said there is no need to book in September! I believe there is even an art deco accommodation too?

Always a bit nerve wracking planning a car trip in a new country!

Certainly helps us with the information we are getting!

Auckland Region...
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5. Re: Aussie senior couple visiting NZ first time in September!

I would have to agree with Zhuhai, there is not a lot to do in Pauanui, one day would do it. IMO it's not somewhere you'd go being a tourist to New Zealand.

Victoria

Goolwa, Australia
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6. Re: Aussie senior couple visiting NZ first time in September!

Thanks Victoria.

We are booked into Puka Park for 7 nights, but being our first visit with a car, it will not be a problem, besides we will need a rest after our road trip from Auckland.

The gannet tour we may give a miss, sounds good, however we both are prone to bad backs and the truck and the walk may not be a good idea for us. Art Deco buildings and the wild beautiful beaches, one strewn with driftwood, if I can find it (saw it online) in that area, will keep us busy I think, plus other attractions.

New Zealand
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7. Re: Aussie senior couple visiting NZ first time in September!

The beach strewn with driftwood could be the south end of the Marine Parade beach, which stretches for quite a distance. Alternatively, north of Napier there are some likely candidates too, but I can't remember their names.

Goolwa, Australia
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8. Re: Aussie senior couple visiting NZ first time in September!

Hi Seisy,

Thanks for that! Where is the Marine Parade Beach exactly? Not listed on the map! Nothing I like more than taking digital photos of beautiful natural beaches, countryside and sunsets!

Want to see the thermal mud pools in Rotorua, but along the boardwalks, not particularly interested in donning bathers etc. We currently have 2 nights there (does that warrant that?), and 2 in Napier now, which I can see will be better than 1.

Will there be craft markets in the area?

New Zealand
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9. Re: Aussie senior couple visiting NZ first time in September!

It's the beach that runs alongside Marine Parade, which goes from Napier's CBD southwards. It is truly hard to miss! I think somewhere along the way, Marine Parade becomes State Highway 2. The beach itself is not a good swimming beach. It is pebbly and has nasty rips. It does get driftwood thrown up on to it, around the Awatoto area.

Yes, I think Rotorua is worth 2 nights. There is a lot to see and do there, not just the thermal pools and geysers, but also scenic walks, Maori culture, and fishing.

Goolwa, Australia
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10. Re: Aussie senior couple visiting NZ first time in September!

Thanks again Seisy. Seems 2 nights is the way to go for Rotorua! Think I will book ahead although some of my friends suggest that at in September it is not necessary. What say you?