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10/11 Days Travel Plan in North Island - Last Minute Plan!!

Dubai, United Arab...
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10/11 Days Travel Plan in North Island - Last Minute Plan!!

We are a family of four adults(50s and early 20s) intending to tour the North Island from 5th to 15 Dec 2013. This is our first visit to NZ and would appreciate recommendations from fellows TA. It will be a self-drive trip and we are looking for budget motels or apartments.

Basically, we just want to explore and enjoy the wonderful scenery of NZ. We are not into serious hiking but don't mind some walk! The boys would like to try bungy jumping or rafting. If we are not doing the Crossing, is it still worth the while to visit Tongariro NP? We have omitted Wellington because of long travel time. Here is our proposed travel plan:

Day 1. Arrv Auckland abt 2pm (overnight)

Day 2. Explore Auckland (overnight)

Day 3. Coromandel Peninsula (overnight)

Day 4 Coromandel Peninsular (overnight )

Pls recommend which towns should we stop for overnight in Coromandel.

From previous posts, it seemed the drive could be difficult. Should we join a tour instead?

But then it won't be cost effective since there are 4 of us, right?

Day 5. Rotorua incl Hobitton tour (overnight)

Day 6. Rotorua (overnight)

Day 7. Taopo - Waitomo caves (overnight)

Day 8. Napier ?

Day 9. Extra day - suggestions pls

Day 10. Back to Auckland (overnight)

Day 11. Depart Auckland for Melbourne at 6pm

I am thinking if we should join a day tour to the Northland on either Day 9 or Day 10. If not, we can always shorten our trip by one or two days.

Hope to hear from you all.

Thanks.

California
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1. Re: 10/11 Days Travel Plan in North Island - Last Minute Plan!!

A day tour from Auckland to Northland would be a long day in a bus. Why not look into taking the ferry to Waiheke Island instead?

Dubai, United Arab...
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2. Re: 10/11 Days Travel Plan in North Island - Last Minute Plan!!

That would be a good idea! Thanks.

Rarotonga, Cook...
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3. Re: 10/11 Days Travel Plan in North Island - Last Minute Plan!!

Waiheke Island is a great suggestion - have a look at this site to learn more about the island: http://www.waiheke.co.nz/

Your itinerary could make better use of available time to reduce back-tracking:-

day 1 - arrive Auckland - stay in 2 br apartment (look at modest tariff properties around Beach Road/Anzac Ave, upper Queen Street, or inner-city suburbs).

day 2- explore city sights

day 3 - Waiheke Island trip

day 4 - drive to Thames (west side of Coromandel)

day 5 - Cathedral Cove/Hahei - Hot Water Beach (east Coromandel)

day 6 - Hobbiton tour & Rotorua

day 7 - explore Rotorua

day 9 - Napier

day 10 - Taupo to Waitomo Caves tour (overnight Waitomo or Hamilton city)

day 11 - return to Auckland for departure.

Dubai, United Arab...
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4. Re: 10/11 Days Travel Plan in North Island - Last Minute Plan!!

Thanks Frangipani08 for your suggestions. We will most probably cut short our holiday by dropping Napier.

Christchurch, New...
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5. Re: 10/11 Days Travel Plan in North Island - Last Minute Plan!!

If you drop Napier you can allow extra time for Rotorua and/or Taupo as per Frangipani's excellent itinerary above. Try to avoid a succession of one night stays, otherwise all you will see is the road in front of you. Taupo probably has the best bungy jump on this route & Rotorua the best rafting - in fact the World Rafting Championships have just been held in Rotorua!

Dubai, United Arab...
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6. Re: 10/11 Days Travel Plan in North Island - Last Minute Plan!!

Yes, after talking to my son this morning who thinks we should just stick with our original plan, I am going to take your suggestion of staying extra days in Rotorua/Taupo.

Rarotonga, Cook...
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7. Re: 10/11 Days Travel Plan in North Island - Last Minute Plan!!

By leaving out Napier, this will certainly free up valuable time to enjoy activities in the remainder of your itinerary. For example, the Coromandel peninsula is a wonderful area. You can still reach Hobbiton for an afternoon tour following a leisurely drive from east Coromandel.

Rotorua and Taupo both have a good range of diverse activities. But also there are a number of attractions between these two key thermal places.

Hope the accommodation search is progressing well. Have a look at www.wotif.com to see if there are any discounted apartment prices for the dates of your Auckland stay.

Dubai, United Arab...
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8. Re: 10/11 Days Travel Plan in North Island - Last Minute Plan!!

I am a little confused as to where to overnight for Coromandel! Do I stay one night on the eastern side and another night on the western side ie. Thames for the east and Hahei/Hot Water Beach on the west? I have read many names coming up from many posts about where to stay at Coromandel, ttherefore the confusion.

Anyway, I am pleased that I can now firm up my itinerary (still hunting for accommodation though!) and many thanks for the suggestions/advice given to me by all of you.

Dubai, United Arab...
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9. Re: 10/11 Days Travel Plan in North Island - Last Minute Plan!!

Sorry, I got the towns the other way round! It should be Thames on the west and Hahei on the east.

Rarotonga, Cook...
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10. Re: 10/11 Days Travel Plan in North Island - Last Minute Plan!!

Hi,

Post #9 above is correct, about place names on the Coromandel peninsula. It's not a small region by any means. The west faces towards the Firth of Thames, while the east faces the Pacific Ocean and has inlets, and sandy beaches including Hot Water Beach. The entire region is very lovely with its interesting history and attractions.