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17 Days North & South Island

Kuala Lumpur...
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17 Days North & South Island

Hi,

Planning my first trip to NZ with husband and father in mid-October, and appreciate feedback on the itinerary.

Day 1 - Arrive in Auckland (around noon)

2 - Auckland

3 - Auckland - Rotorua (enroute stopping at Matamata)

4 - Rotorua - Napier

5 - Napier (for the gannets and wine)

6 - Napier - Wellington

7 - Wellington

8 - Wellington - Blenheim

9 - Blenheim (day long wine tour)

10 - Blenheim - Christchurch

11 - Christchurch (day trip on the Tranz Alpine High Country Explorer)

12 - Christchurch - Queenstown

13 - Queenstown

14 - Overnight Milford sound cruise

15 - Back in Queenstown in evening after cruise

16- Queenstown

17 - Late afternoon flight to Auckland, and midnight flight Auckland back to Malaysia

How does this look? Are we spending a night too long in any of the destinations? Is there a risk of flight delays out of Queenstown, in which case should I move up the itinerary and spend the last night in Auckland? Feedback appreciated. Thanks!

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Auckland
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North Island, New Zealand
Oz
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1. Re: 17 Days North & South Island

Hi,

IMHO you have too long in the North Island and not enough time in the South Island. There are lots of fantastic wine areas as well as Blenhiem if this is one of your interests?

I would cut out of the North Island after Napier and add time to the South Island. Mt Cook, the Glaciers, Wanaka and longer in Queenstown.

Cheers,

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North Island
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South Island
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New Zealand
Wanaka
Wanaka
Otago Region, New Zealand
Canandaigua
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2. Re: 17 Days North & South Island

Lots of driving and not enough stopping!

The North Island will be a blur. Are you driving? Do you like adventure or hiking? Apparently wine is high on your list!

Rotorua has a lot to offer, and you won't have any time to see it. I really liked Wellington but with your itinerary I'd skip it and spend an extra day in Rotorua.

The SouthIsland seems more focused, tho there is a nice winery on the shore of Wanaka Lake, where you might want to spend a day of your Queenstown time.

Queenstown airport can be affected by weather so I would plan an earlier departure.

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Auckland Central...
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3. Re: 17 Days North & South Island

Hi you are packing a lot into as short time so do be aware that it takes a long time to get from A to B in New Zealand.

Given that your interests appear to be in scenery and wine the north island portion of your trip is probably OK but you will need to get going reasonably early each day to arrive in places in time to enjoy them

Not sure how you intend to spend your day in Auckland but the best of Auckland is to be found in the surrounding area. I would suggest that you head out the Waitakere Ranges for scenery, on up to Muriwai for the gannets and back via SH16 where many of Auckland's excellent wineries are to be found. This could be an alternative to going to Napier for wine and gannets if you did decide that you needed to save a day somewhere. It would be a pity to miss Napier. It is a very nice place and it is a lovely drive over from Taupo.

There is a lot to do in Rotorua - adventure activities, thermal activities and cultural activities. You won't have time to do them all but I get the impression that Rotorua is more of stop for you rather than a destination? If this is not the case then you would definitely need longer there.

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4. Re: 17 Days North & South Island

Driving between Napier and Wellington, you could travel via the Wairarapa and visit a couple of vineyards in Martinborough en route to Wellington.

Christchurch, New...
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5. Re: 17 Days North & South Island

Are you self-driving? If so Day 12 is too long. I suggest you cut one night from Queenstown so it becomes

12. Chch to Lake Tekapo or Mt Cook

13 Tekapo or Mt Cook to Queenstown

14. Qtn to Milford Sound (do check the road & weather reports carefully as the avalanche season can extend into October)

15. Milford Sound to QTN

16. QTN etc....

Auckland, New...
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6. Re: 17 Days North & South Island

I agree with all of the posts above. My opinion is that you should skip Wellington also and spend more time in Rotorua. Rotorua has so much to offer in a fairly compact area. Auckland and Wellington are both great cities but to use your time to its optimum I would skip one of them. As you are arriving in Auckland I think, stay there and get used to the feel of the place. You are stopping at Matamata, if you stop there long enough I recommend doing the Hobbiton Tour but you will need a few hours for that.

I love the mnth of Oct but it can be very varied in its weather. Be prepared for warmth/sunshine/cold/rain/wind/sleet. Enjoy your travels.

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Kuala Lumpur...
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7. Re: 17 Days North & South Island

Thank you all for your advice. I will make the necessary changes. Will omit Napier (save it for another trip!), and use one of the days saved to break the Christchurch-Queenstown journey. And use the other day saved for a stop at Whakarapapa.

8. Re: 17 Days North & South Island

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