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New Zealand Next November!

Already booked my Flight it was on sale and couldn't help myself. Have Exactly 7 days North Island in and out of Auckland and 7 days South Island in and out of Christchurch.
Like hiking, kayaking, biking, mountains, beaches, wine and good food. Not into extreme bungie jumping etc.
Looking for 3 central locations to minimize one night stays on each of the islands.
I know that isn't a lot of time, but it is all we could at this time.

Posted by
1036 posts

I would definitely spend at least two nights in Queenstown on the South Island. It is amazing if you like scenery and the outdoors. I can’t recommend it enough. It was my favorite place in all New Zealand

Posted by
2433 posts

Can't help you with your wish list since we did a driving trip, and spent a lot of time in the cities and towns. But I recommend getting a guidebook ( I really liked the Lonely Planet one). Also check out the official NZ tourism website for good ideas. I found it really helpful when we were planning our itinerary.

Posted by
111 posts

Cjean we are doing a driving trip. Just trying to find some central locations so we don't have 7 - 1 night stays. On each island. Maybe that is not possible!

Posted by
4116 posts

The central location idea is not best. To see the country, you need to travel.

Auckland is a good central city for the North Island, but trying to do day trips will involve a lot of travel and might be frustrating.

The central area of the southern part of the North Island is great for the out of doors. We stayed in Rotorua. You would probably love that area. It is an area with much of the Mauri culture and people still evident. Wellington is a great city and has a fantastic Botanical Gardens as well as some great scenic area, like Mount Victoria.

The South Island has so much to see, but in 2 weeks for the country you should see a lot.

Posted by
2433 posts

I agree with Geovagriffith. The "day trips from a central location" concept doesn't work all that well in NZ. There's just so much to see and do. Aside from Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch, we didn't spend more than 2 nights in any one place. And we were there for 3 weeks.

Posted by
6 posts

Well, I have used two cities as central points during my New Zealand trip, both of them having plentiful of activities to do in and around them.

  1. Queenstown - explore the city, easily climb Ben Lomond mountain, hike the Tiki Trail, do ta day trip to Milford Sound etc.
  2. Rotorua - Hobbiton Movie Set, Waitomo Caves day trip, geothermal activity in surrounding parks, discover the rich Maori culture in the area, do a Tongariro Alpine Crossing day trip

There are numerous other things to do in both cities so it would be best if you'd check the official NZ website as well! Safe travels!

Posted by
245 posts

I loved Wellington, and wished I could have spent more time there; Rotorua is the place to go for geothermal areas and Redwoods. If you want wine areas, consider the east coast of the North Island, around Hawke's Bay, or the Wairau River valley on the South Island.

Posted by
1097 posts

With that much time you might investigate 2-3 nights in Sydney and include a night or two in Tasmania. We did just that since it's so far and we thought we might as well since we too got bargain air fares Dallas to Auckland. Hobart, Tasmania was one of our favorite towns and staying in Sydney near the waterfront/opera house was really worthwhile too. We flew on Air New Zealand from Auckland to Sydney and Sydney to Hobart. Be sure and take in the choices taking the Richmond Express from Hobart. We spent a half day at the ZooDoo Wildlife Park to see the Tasmanian devils, now a threatened species.