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Rotorua to Auckland...Self Drive or Coach??? 3 days okay in...

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pa
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Rotorua to Auckland...Self Drive or Coach??? 3 days okay in...

We are almost completed planning our 50 day journey through Australia and New Zealand which we have planned carefully with everyone on the boards help. We fly from CC to Rotorua where we are thinking of booking 3 nights in the city and then returning to Auckland for 2 nights and 3 days.

1-We will be using coach services in the South Island (Fly Auc to QT, Coach QT to Milford and back, QT to CC, Trans Alpine express) due to the weather and possible road conditions in the winter but were wondering what the driving conditions will be in the North Island?

2-Others have said that the smell of sulfur in the area wil be quite strong but there seems to be several days worth of sights to see close to Rotorua without moving hotels everyday.

Will we do as well on our own as with hiring tours companies or independent guides? Is this too much time in the Rotorua area?

Thanks agaian for all the help you have given. I will post our report when we return in September. We leave July 13th

Sue

London, UK
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1. Re: Rotorua to Auckland...Self Drive or Coach??? 3 days okay in...

It sounds as if you are near the end of planning with lots of help, which is great.

Last year we were in Auckland for a large part of August. We experienced snow for most of the time in South Island but the North Island was fine. We did have some rain whilst in Rotorua but nothing terrible. We toured by motorhome and didn't have any problems on either island. So I'm sure it would be straightforward to self-drive in a car. We wore T-Shirts for most of our North Island trip as far south as Napier.

There is a smell of sulphur in Rotorua but we didn't find it too bad. There are interesting things to see round Rotorua but personally I would thing three nights is a long time. We only stayed one night but would maybe recommend two. I assume you might want the flexibility to go round places like Taupo on your own so again a car is useful.

We found it easy to go without tour guides as we found that they were available within the major geothermal attractions. For example in Whaka (Whakarewarewa) as soon as you arrive at the village you pay your entry and a personal Maori guide escorts you round the village for an hour or so.

pa
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2. Re: Rotorua to Auckland...Self Drive or Coach??? 3 days okay in...

Bortiuk

We are looking at 3 nights (but could change that to 2)because we will be exhausted by then with changing rooms every few days (a great reason to motorhome but my husband would be way to anxious for that).

We arrive in Rotorua at 1PM on Friday by plane. Since you say driving is no problem in the area (we should be skilled at driving on the opposite side of the road by the time we reach Rotorua) maybe we will hire a car and do trips from the area and just train back to Auckland where we will spend our last 2 or 3 nights.

From what you write we might be better spending 2 nights in the area and training back Sunday night for 2.5 days in Auckland. We fly back to the states 6PM on Wednesday.

We are not going to try and push ourselves to do more in The North Island after rushing through the South Island to cover alot of geography.

What do you think?

London, UK
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3. Re: Rotorua to Auckland...Self Drive or Coach??? 3 days okay in...

Hi

I empathise with your concerns about moving too often on a very long trip. Immediately before reaching NZ we had toured six provinces of Canada.. on the wrong side of the road :-). We clocked up over 8000km and usually moved from B&B to B&B every day or so. The motorhome enabled us to enjoy falling into bed each night after a great days travelling.

I think you would be wise to swap a night between Rotorua and Auckland. The great thing about Auckland is that you can easily get on a bus to go places and as it is a city based around water you can get away from the concrete for one last taste of natural NZ for a day.

I think it is your choice whether to drive or use public transport. We like driving and enjoyed the motorhome but as you won't need it in Auckland I wouldn't recommend it for such a short duration on the North Island. Perhaps you could wait until you have experienced driving on the South Island before booking your car hire in the North.

For info, after driving such distances in Canada it was a contrast to drive relatively short distances in NZ. However this plus side was countered by the different types of terrain in NZ. The roads in NZ also tend to weave around water and mountains so this adds time. But again the plus side is the relative lack of traffic on the roads. You will find a bit more traffic on the North Island particularly between Hamilton and Auckland. Travelling on Sunday night also has the advantage of avoiding the Auckland rush hour on Monday morning.

Have fun!!

London, UK
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4. Re: Rotorua to Auckland...Self Drive or Coach??? 3 days okay in...

ps. When you get to Auckland as your last stop you will probably feel glad not to have to drive again to another town. We felt that when we drove into Toronto a couple of nights before our flight to NZ.