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Holiday in New Zealand

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Holiday in New Zealand

Can anyone recommend a holiday to see the major sights of North & South Islands? We are planning a trip of 28 days with maybe a stopover in Sydney. Has anyone taken one of the many coach tours offered?

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1. Re: Holiday in New Zealand


Can reccomend Bay of Islands, Rotorua and lake Taupo in th Nth Island. Really easy to travel around NZ. If you can drive, very safe and you will see alot more.

I am more biased about the South Island , beautiful scenery.

You can drive from Auckland to Wellington or catch a coach and take the ferry over to South Island. Then drive through some beautiful wine country. Going down the east coast of the south island , you can stop for whale watching, Hamner Springs just north of christchurch is very popular for its walks and natural hot springs which you can soak in.

I myself have done the whole south Island driving very comfortable done in ten days. Any other questions wouldlove to answer them for you. There is just so much to see and do! :)


Lisa - Marie

Christchurch, New...
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2. Re: Holiday in New Zealand

You have certainly given ourselves a nice amount of time, however don't fall into the trap of trying to do too much. NZ is a destination that rewards extended time spent in an area.

That said a quick coach tour can't do any harm if this is how you prefer to travel. I've not used any but relatives from the UK have on two seperate occasions used Kirra Tours with positive feedback.

If you are confident driving then maybe do a coach tour on one island and self drive the other? Coach tours are good for getting you to the main tourist destinations but there is a lot more to NZ than these places so a car is a good way to get to out of the way places.

Be sure to talk to lots of people but remember it is your holiday and you cannot get it wrong, by which I mean whatever you decide to do will be right for you.

Bedford, United...
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3. Re: Holiday in New Zealand

Im so jealous that you're going to NZ for a month. We went in Nov 2004 and did the following. (scuse the length of this but we found this was just right).

- flew into Auckland, hired a car, stayed overnight and saw some bits of Auckland. Not a great city, dont spend too long there.

- Drove down to Lake Taupo, stopping off at the Waitomo Caves. Went to see the glow worms which were fab.

- Drove to Wellington. Lovely drive. Places to stop along the way. Spent one day in Wellington in this awful hostel recommended in LP. Cant remember the name but they sold it on the quirkyness of the owner. Not quirky, just rude. And ran a disgusting hostel. Museum was good though, but happy to leave.

- Got ferry across to Picton and drove to Nelson. Stayed for a night and loved it. Wished we couldve stayed longer and gone to Abel Tasman, cos that sounds like it's worth doing. Ate at a restaurant called The Boat Shed. Lovely food, bit pricey but a nice treat. Nelson town centre is cute with good places for breakfast.

- drove down the coast road on the west side to Punakaiki. Stayed at a hostel on the beach. Ate at the only restaurant next door, but good food and friendly atmosphere. Had pancakes next day at the Pancake Rocks, which are well worth a see.

- Stopped overnight at Franz Josef. Well worth booking ahead here. Hostels and motels get booked up. Only place we struggled to find somewhere to stay, but found a good motel in the end. Did the full day walking tour of the glacier. Such a fun day. Very strenuous but worth it.

- Stayed in Queenstown for 3 nights due to waiting for the weather to clear for our skydive. In the end, didnt get to do it, which was a blessing in disguise as we did it cheaper in Taupo on the north island, although admittedly, the scenery is more stunning in Q'town. Lots to do here though and you must have a Fergburger!

- Drove to Doubtful Sound. Didnt see Milford so cant compare but Doubtful was gorgeous and it was a good day.

- drove to Dunedin and stayed on the Otago Peninsula. Amazing place to see wildlife in its natural habitat close up. Saw penguins, sea lions, albatross, everything. And nice places to stay and eat too. (this is where having a car comes in super hancy)

- Drove up the coast past the Moeraki Boulders (worth a quick flying visit and a paddle in the sea!) and stayed in Kaikoura. Lovely place, whale watching is fab and the walk to the seal colony was amazing. Never been so close to animals like that and we were the only ones walking there. Nice to watch the sun come down over the water too.

- Took the ferry back up to the North Island where we did Taupo and the skydive and then went to this place called Rock N Ropes. Amazing climbing place on the road to Rotorua. All kinds of fun.

- Stayed in Rotorua but wished we'd stayed longer in Taupo as werent that impressed. But the Hot Springs park and geiser were amazing. Just mind the stench. It was unbearable.

Apart from that, there were so many other things we wanted to do but just didnt have time for. A car made all the difference to us and it's so easy to drive there. Hope this helps. Get in touch if you need more info.


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4. Re: Holiday in New Zealand

Hi - have you undertaken this holiday yet? If so when, where did you go in the end and how did it work out? We are at the planning stage right now for February 2009 so are undertaking lots of careful research. Would very much appreciate your knowledge.

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5. Re: Holiday in New Zealand

Hi there,

we took the kids to the north island in 2004 and spent three wks touring in a car. Starting in AKL we did a figure 8 around the island and loved every minute of it. You get used to the smell in Rotorua and it's worth spending a few days in the region as there's plenty to do. Bay of islands is great and again you can spend several days in the area.

We are headed back in Jan. to the south island for two wks and are trying to pull our itinerary together, there are two plans at this stage - one a must-do and the other a wish list if we have the time! We'll be headed to Lake Tekapo, Dunedin, Southern Scenic Route from Dunedin to Te Anua, Milford or Doubtful Sound, Queesntown, Fox or Franz Glacier, Nelson, Kaikoura, Hamner Springs and Akaroa.

I guess it depends on what you want to see and do, cultural stuff, food and wine, tramping, skiing, kayaking, viewing wildlife and on it goes........

Good luck with your trip, I'm sure you'll enjoy yourselves, perhaps we'll even see one another on the road.



central scotland
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6. Re: Holiday in New Zealand

Personally, I would prefer to organise my own trip, rather than go on an organised tour, though I guess it is much easier to let someone do all the organising. You are trading off the time and effort to plan your own trip ( though actually that can be so much fun!) against maybe not getting the itinerary that is perfect for you. We spent three weeks touring both North and South Islands and didn't regret doing our own thing. We met a few people on organised tours and they always seemed to be watching the clock, rushing away from the coffee shop to rejoin their bus etc. I posted feedback from our visit in case it might be useful for people like yourselves, who are at the planning stage. If you want to check it out, it's posted under "Feedback from Trip".

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7. Re: Holiday in New Zealand

We are still planning our trip. Still quite confused. We think we want to avoid driving so have received an itinerary from an agent in New Zealand. This allows us to join coaches for tours but staying independently at hotels & dining. We want to avoid group meals etc. Has anyone done this type of trip?

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8. Re: Holiday in New Zealand

Many moons ago I did. It was a coach trip over the xmas new year period and it was cold! travel by coach stay in comfort in the motels.

We started in Auckland and did Rotarua etc, ferry across to the South Island. The Milford sound area is just spectacular { and I do know now you can book on board a boat for a few nights and see the area. I would love to do this.}

I had had enough of beautiful peaks and valleys by day 28

well and truly

There would have to be a coach company that caters for you age group even if you coached one island and drove the other. the links have companys that do even short 4- day tours of set areas. You many enjoy this more rather than a bus that just drives to an itinery for 28 days. this way you can really discover an area.

If you check out the links you may find what areas yoou want to see.and find the tour companies to take you there.

I would hop to Sydney for a few days to finish your holiday, well worth it.




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9. Re: Holiday in New Zealand

Thanks for tips.

I am intrigued that is was cold! I thought Dec./Jan. is summer in New Zealand.

10. Re: Holiday in New Zealand

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