Last Minute Trip to NZ
Replies: 11 - Last Post: Sep 17, 2012 2:10 PM Last Post By: LisaMNZ
Sep 14, 2012 12:13 PM
Last Minute Trip to NZThis is a last minute vacation plan to go to New Zealand. Originally, I was going to take off on a RTW trip for a year, but plans have changed. I'm starting a new job in December and decided to take off for NZ for 4-6weeks instead. I'm reading as much I can, researching areas, narrowing down transportation, available activities, plane tickets (I'm half-way around the world), but with less than 2weeks to departure, I'm looking for advice.
I don't have a set itinerary but I'm pretty much sticking to the large/popular cities. I'm leaning towards only doing the North Island and taking my time (3-5 days per city). Probably something like Auckland-Rotura-Waitomo-Taupo-Napier-Wellington. (Feel free to encourage the South Island)
My questions are:
1) The research I've done said October is an off-season for tourism. Do I need to reserve hostels in advance or can I just show up?
2) I plan on taking the bus between cities. Is there good public transportation within the cities for me to get around? Or is renting a car recommended?
3) What is the average temperature of the North Island in October? Typically between 48-60F (9-16C)? I see that it is Spring time, but where I'm from, Spring is significantly warmer :)
4) I'm interested in day-trips where I can go trekking/tramping for several hours. What areas or trails would you recommend?
Sep 14, 2012 2:26 PM
1No need to pre book accommodation.
For buses, have a look at Intercity and Naked Bus.
October to me is still cold and I'm in Auckland.
The above still apply if you go to S.I.
Sep 14, 2012 7:03 PM
21) Just show up, usually.
2) Public transportation is decent, but renting a car lets you do twice as much in the same amount of time. As it's the off-season and you'd be getting it for a long period, a car probably wouldn't be expensive.
3) You will gain a new appreciation for central heating, a foreign concept in most of NZ.
4) This completely goes against your plan to hop between cities and stick to the North Island. There are some good possibilities (ex. Tongariro Crossing), but the South Island has far more worth seeing/doing.
What makes NZ special are the areas away from the cities, and in this regard the South Island blows away the North Island. When you have 4-6 weeks, to limit yourself to the N.I. is a shame.
Sep 14, 2012 7:14 PM
3If you only do one island, do the South. It is far more scenic.
If you finish there and still have time, then do bits of the north (where the roads a marginally straighter, and there are more people).
Check your flights, where are you in/out of?
Domestic fares are cheap if booked in advance, if you need to get back to a departure city at the end.
Intercity coaches have a good flexipass for travelers.
Sep 15, 2012 3:59 AM
Sep 16, 2012 4:50 AM
5In your timeframe, you'll have time to visit most of the attractions in both islands so I wouldn't consider restricting yourself to just one island. I visited both in 3 weeks and I was very happy with my trip. You might want to use my itinerary as a base and then extend it to your needs so take a look at:
Sep 16, 2012 5:24 AM
6Thanks for all of the replies.
#1 I'm looking into Intercity. Seems straight forward and simple.
#2 I'm in the midst of looking at rental car prices. Another thing on the long list. Although, I normally drive on the "wrong" side of the road, so it could be a bit of an adventure.
#3 My mother is tagging along for part of the trip and she prefers more tourist-like areas. I'll look into the scenic areas when I get my own time. My plans are still in the air. I'm flying in from USA, possibly into Sydney. From Sydney, I'd hop over to NZ. From NZ, I'll most likely fly into Hawaii before heading back to the continental States.
#5 Thanks for the link. That website is good. Wish I'd known about it before.
Sep 16, 2012 12:41 PM
Sep 16, 2012 9:39 PM
8what Nice-But said.
Your mother would likely love the south island. Places like Queenstown, Wanaka, Nelson, Marlbough (Blenheim), Dunedin maybe. BUt probably also Wellington and Taupo/rotorua.
I'd also agree with all the suggestions to spend more, if not most, of your time in the south island.
Edited by: LisaMNZ cos my brain was ahead of my fingers.
Sep 17, 2012 12:23 AM
Sep 17, 2012 1:43 PM
10#7 While I enjoy the scenery, it's not what my mother is interested in. She's not really into beaches or anything water-related (despite living in Florida), animals aren't an interest, and will probably not enjoy looking at mountains past 2 days. She's more content going to restaurants, looking in gift shops, and taking city tours.
#8 Thanks for your reply. I'll look into those SI cities you listed.
Sep 17, 2012 2:10 PM
11going to restaurants, looking in gift shops, and taking city tours
plenty of opportunities for that particularly in Wellington, Dunedin, Queenstown, Taupo... she'd probably still like Wanaka (quite chichi), and Auckland can be ok - she'd probably like a trip across the harbour to Devonport. but like nice_but said, our cities are definitely not our strong point!
Oh, she'd probably also like places like Martinborough and Napier. Is she in to wine?
(4 star Hotel)
From US$189.00 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$144.00 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$169.00 per night