Please sign in to post.

Tahiti, Australia & New Zealand

Hello!

We plan to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary by travelling to Tahiti and possible Australia & New Zealand for 2 weeks in mid-July 2016 from Chicago. We would appreciate very much any advice on islands to visit, hotels to stay, must see places, type of clothes to pack, etc. Besides trips to Thailand and Vietnam, we travelled mostly to all-inclusive resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean.

Thank you,
Ann & Michael

Posted by
13215 posts

I would not attempt to visit all three in two weeks. You will spend all your time flying and driving. We spent three weeks last January visiting just the South Island of New Zealand plus Sydney, Oz, and that was not nearly enough.

In July it will be mid-winter in Australia and New Zealand. That may be OK for parts of Australia ( Brisbane,Sydney) but much of New Zealand is mountainous and snowy in July. Fine if you want to ski, but not for beaches.

Posted by
2788 posts

You have posted a question about the south pacific on a web site dedicated to European travel. You will get more quality replies by posting your question on a web site dedicated to travel in those areas.

Posted by
3175 posts

There is a link called "Beyond Europe" so I think it is appropriate to post here. I too plan to travel beyond Europe some day...

Posted by
380 posts

Hey, Charlie from Hawaii lighten up. The whole point of this Beyond Europe section is for people to ask questions about other parts of the world besides Europe. You keep making the same negative comment to everyone's questions. (I've seen it 3 times.) Of course, in Beyond Europe, the questions will NOT be about Europe. If you have nothing positive to contribute, then don't post.

Posted by
110 posts

I would pick one country and spend all of my time there. Each country is unique and I can understand wanting to visit everything but I would find all the extra time in transit a waste. (But really you can't go wrong with New Zealand. I can go on forever about places to visit in New Zealand)
.

Have you looked up cruises? There might be a company that goes to all three countries, but I do not know for sure. I have seen advertisements for cruises that go to Australia and New Zealand in one trip.
Or look up flights on skyscanner.com and see what the connects are between the countries and then determine where you want to go.
.

If you are a Costco member, take a look at their travel section on their website and you might get ideas for your trip.
.
Good luck
J

Posted by
13215 posts

You will not find any cruises to the Antipodes in July. The season there is November to late April. I could not even find any that included Tahiti and other South Pacific islands. In July the cruise ships all seem to be in Alaska, the Baltic, or the Mediterranean.

But Ann and Michael did not ask about cruises anyway, so that is likely moot.

I do not know about Tahiti, but Australia and New Zealand are very easy to self-plan, especially if you are willing to drive. But July is still not the best time for New Zealand, nor parts of Australia ( like Melbourne, which is a great city to visit at the right time).

Posted by
2 posts

Very interested in hearing about your travels, including any recommendations for sites specializing in travel the Pacific. My husband and I are taking three months to explore the Pacific Rim - Hawaii, Tahiti, New Zealand, Australia, Bali from mid-November 2015 to early March 2016, and would like recommendations for the best way to get to/from, recommendations for places (including other destinations in the Pacific) to visit, things to do. Also, I am an avid knitter. I've checked out some local forums on Ravelry, but suggestions for fiber festivals/activities are also most welcome. FWIW, I'm thinking I would like to take a repositioning cruise home at the conclusion of our trip, but my husband would prefer flying. Many thanks.

Posted by
15053 posts

To put it in perspective, flying Sydney to Auckland is like flying Chicago to Vegas, plus the added issue of customs/immigration. It's over an hour's flight (or a full day's drive) from Sydney to Melbourne. It's a 5 hour flight from Papeete to Auckland. In 2 weeks, you could see the highlights of New Zealand, Sydney and possibly Melbourne, but add Tahiti and you're spreading yourselves pretty thin.

In mid-July, you'll have about 10 hours of daylight, from 7.30-5.30 in Auckland and about the same in Melbourne, and about 7.00-5.00 in Sydney. That means long evenings in places where most of the attractions are outdoors.

I checked some weather data. Based on the last 15 years, expect daily high temperatures in Auckland and Melbourne to be mostly in the 50's with a 60% chance of rain (or fog).. A really warm day would be low 60's, but it's just as likely to get days , Auckland is near the northern tip of the country. Farther south would probably be cooler along the coast and much colder in the mountains. Sydney is about the same, except temps would be around 10 degrees higher.

Posted by
13215 posts

Paslater---you would do well to start your own discussion, as you have posed a very different question. You are going at a much more favorable time (spring and summer) rather than the dead of winter, and in three months you can do justice to these Pacific Rim destinations.

I will just say two things:

If you have any interest in tennis be sure to include Melbourne near the end of January to watch the Australia Open. Grounds passes are not expensive, and the City of Melbourne surprised us with its beauty and friendliness.

In New Zealand, look for the special yarn made of possum fur blended with merino. We saw knitwear made from it sold many places, but you can also find the yarn. Here is an example:

http://www.thewoolcompany.co.nz/shop/knitting-yarn/possum-yarn/c37

Posted by
380 posts

Yes, the possum-merino wool feels fantastic. I bought a vest and can't wait to wear it this winter.
The possum is not really like the possum of North America. I think it's a marsupial.
Here's a comment from the tag "Possum fibre is hollow, so this garment is very light, but extremely warm for its weight."
www.woolshednz.co.nz

Posted by
15053 posts

The North American possum (aka opussum) is a marsupial. I'm pretty sure the New Zealand one is also.

Posted by
126 posts

Hello there,

The possum is a marsupial & is a native of Australia not of New Zealand – the following is an extract from the wool company website;

The brushtail possum was introduced to New Zealand from Australia in the 1850s and this particular species of possum is now causing havoc on our natural wild life and native forests.

The need to control the number of possums in New Zealand, in order to protect the native wildlife, flora, and fauna, saw the development of a specialised fibre within the knitwear industry of New Zealand. This fibre incorporated New Zealand Merino wool, and Possum fur, a combination that proved to be successful. A superior, high quality yarn was created, that also worked to successfully help the ecology of New Zealand by creating a demand for possum fibre.

Posted by
977 posts

Hi there. You wouldn't be doing justice to any of these wonderful destinations in 2 weeks. We had 15 days in NZ and barely scratched the surface of both islands. As an Aussie and having travelled extensively in our country, the vast distances between major cities and sites is time consuming. As mentioned previously, July is not the best time to travel to NZ or Oz. Okay if you just want to go to far North Queensland. Perfect time of the year up there.
The possum fur/merino wool is called Possum Mink. It's a wonderful product, albeit expensive. Funny isn't it. Our possums went to NZ where they are now considered a pest. In Australia, they are protected!

Posted by
582 posts

I agree with others here who have said two weeks is not enough time to do all of this. I was in New Zealand for three weeks and didn't even get down to the south island. One thing you need to remember is that the seasons are the reverse of ours. When it's summer here, it's winter there. I was there in November and never did swim in the ocean as it didn't warm up enough (it was still their spring). It can rain very hard in New Zealand, and in the winter they expect to get at least one or two really bad storms. I recall one day where it rained so hard it was bouncing back up off the road a good foot and we simply had to pull the car over and wait for it to slow down (the wipers couldn't keep up). It's a great country to visit if you like things like caves, geysers, mineral pools etc. A highlight for me was touring the glow worm caves. Another driving trip we did was all the up to the northern tip of the Island along 90 mile beach. Take time to attend a traditional Hangi, also, it was great fun. There are nature preserves and cultural preserves where you can go for hikes in the forest (look for kauri trees), and learn about the Maori culture. It's also fun to see a sheep dog demonstration. But, you will get wet in New Zealand, no matter what time of the year you go, so pack your Gortex.

Posted by
203 posts

I agree with all the above in that you need to decide which one. In 2 weeks if you try to fit in visiting 3 countries you will end up seeing none. My two cents worth is choose your priority - if you want to relax spend your time in Tahiti, if you want culture spend you time on NZ north island, if you like scenery spend your time on NZ south island, if you want beaches and cities spend your time in Aus (which small part of Aus will depend on priorities - Melbourne for cafes, shopping etc, Sydney for Harbour and beaches, Queensland for snorkeling and scenery, Northern territory for aboriginal culture) The distances in Aus are huge and in New Zealand, the roads are windy (but stunning) and you will stop for a photo opportunity every 2 minutes.
Narrow it down to one of the three for the best trip