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Looking for spectacular scenery

Ventura, CA
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182 posts
31 reviews
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Looking for spectacular scenery

As a taster, my husband and I are doing a cruise from South Island to North Island and will be stopping at Dunedin, Christchurch, Tauranga & Auckland. Being photographers, we are interested in wonderful scenery but will only have a day stop at each of the places. We are looking for suggestions for driving times to interesting and scenic places to visit w/ the ports being our jumping off location. Any suggestions? We'd like to rent a car or small tour. We know there are Lord of the Rings/Narnia locations towards Queenstown. Are they a possibility, logistically speaking?


New Zealand
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1. Re: Looking for spectacular scenery

Some options for Tauranga- drive east along the Bay of Plenty coastline towards Ohope, Whakatane & Opotiki for some spectacular beach scenery, in fact driving from the Mount along to Papamoa before continuing on is also spectacular on a hot sunny day. There are also great native bush and rivers inland from Whakatane. Along the Matata Straight are hug beautiful pohutukawa trees(NZ Christmas tree) that hang down from the cliffs beside the road. If these are in flower they make a spectacular picture. Some pohutukawas are in flower now but they do stagger right the way through until early January. Not sure when you're here. Even finding a lone tree in full flower is a magnificent sight! You could walk to the top of Mt Maunganui for awesome 360o views of the surrounding, land, harbour and sea.

Or head to Rotorua for the lakes surrounded with native bush, the geothermal parks and Maori culture side of things. There are great photo opportunities all over Rotorua.

It really depends what you're looking for, there are opportunities for a great photo at every turn providing you have a lovely fine day.

Wellington, New...
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2. Re: Looking for spectacular scenery

Your cruise is not stopping by Wellington?

For Auckland:

Probbaly be best to just explore the city and have a experience of NZ city life for something different then scenery.

But if you want Auckland scenery aswell, places that come to mind is Waitakere Ranges or a nearby Island like Great barrier, Rangitoto Island or Waiheke, Bay of Islands... which one can be done in a day trip.

The top of the Sky tower and Mount Eden for veiws of Auckland.

But you can always opt to explore the city for something different than all your scenary seeing in the other locations.

Go shopping along queenstreet and victoria park market. Head up the sky tower, Parnell villige, Mount Eden, Auckland Musuem, have a ride on a America's cup yatcht, theres plenty of places to go to and things to do to keep you busy for the day in the city and there's some tours you can choose from that will go around the main attractions and a hop on-hop off bus that goes around them.

3. Re: Looking for spectacular scenery

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Ventura, CA
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182 posts
31 reviews
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4. Re: Looking for spectacular scenery

Thanks for your input, guys.

Zappers can you clarify on the beach scenery? Being from California long beautiful beaches are old hat unless punctuated by some other lanmarks ie cliffs, etc. What do you think in driving time? Along the beach or Rotorua more doable?

Imkiwi - Nope. We will not be stopping in Wellington. I'll take a look at Aucklands' possibilities shortly.

Pausanias, thanks for the hint on Otago Peninsula. I missed that info in my research.

Byron Bay, Australia
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5. Re: Looking for spectacular scenery

Personally i would recommend going to Rotorua for the day with the geothermal scenery, as this is the only area in New ZEaland with this sort of scenery. You can get the beaches in Auckland or Dunedin, although they are proberbly not as nice as in California.

Greymouth, New...
Destination Expert
for South Island
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6. Re: Looking for spectacular scenery

The world is your oyster really.

Dunedin is awesome (but only the albatross soar, not the peguin or seals)

everything form larnachs castle, teh road is high above the ocean views from rural farm land. the road is narrow so I hope you arent scared of heights. Check the old rising and falling gun at the gun implacement at Tairoa Heads. and views back across the harbour to your ship.

Lytleton, the banks peninsular through to Akaroa, even do a cruise on the harbour and get pics of the worlds rarest dolphin, which is the size of a child. (hectors dolphin).

Tauranga yes I would go along with the others and suggest rotorua.

Auckland, well it is a city which all cities are a wee bit different and have their own certain charm. ferries, harbour, harbour Bridge, sky tower, kelly Tarltons, MtEden and One tree hill.

have fun

7. Re: Looking for spectacular scenery

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Removed on: 1:17 am, June 14, 2010