First time New Zealand!!
Replies: 5 - Last Post: Feb 3, 2013 7:46 PM Last Post By: Nice_But__
Jan 29, 2013 7:39 AM
First time New Zealand!!Hello everybody!
My name is Eric, I am 20 years old and traveling is one of the things I enjoy the most. My best friend is called Jeroen and he is 19 years old. We both live in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
This year, from March 26th till April 17th, my best friend and myself are planning to visit New Zealand for the first time in our life. After New Zealand, we are planning to travel from Auckland to Sydney, and travel to the north. Finally, we will leave from Cairns back to Holland, probably at July 15th.
It will also be the very first time that I will travel this far, because I was only in and around Europe and North America before.
We expect to arrive in Auckland at March 27th. After two or three days of rest, our mission is to see as much as possible of the beautiful New Zealand.
There are many places I definitely want to see, such as the 'Bay of Islands', the 'Waitomo caves', geothermal 'Rotorua', the 'Tongariro national park' and so on.
Activities such as hiking, mountain biking or diving are definitely on the list.. Since I am a unnatural huge fan of the Lord of the Rings, I want to see some of the famous locations that occur within these movies (matamata, Wellington).
While I am writing this message I realize that visit everything is not realistic.
Could you please give me some information and tips regarding the places I definitely should visit?
Another important question: is it recommendable to rent a car for traveling across New Zealand?
Thank you very much in advance for the information!
Jan 29, 2013 8:36 AM
1Eric - you don't have very long at all for NZ, It sounds like you are planning to stick to one island, the North, which given your short visit is good.
I would suggest your two or three days in Auckland to recover, when you don't need or want a car. While there, get hold of a copy of the Lord of the Rings location guide (any bookshop or visitor centre) to find out where things are. Wellington is worth a visit but not just to see the park that was used for 10 seconds of LOTR!
then bus to Rotorua and base yourself there for a few days. Hiring a car for one day would be worthwhile to do a loop of the outlying sites - none more than 20 mins drive away but a pain without transport.
then check the weather forecast. If it looks good, get yourself to the village of National Park and do the Tongariro Alpine Crossing from there IF you are fit enough (19km, 800m ascent, 1000m descent, 6-8 hours). Lots of other walks in the area too, and you can also do a multi-day walk. Perhaps you could then loop back north to Waitomo, and maybe up to Bay of Islands IF you have time.
look at www.doc.govt.nz for all the walk information.
Jan 29, 2013 11:28 AM
2If you do the Tongariro Crossing, and you are fit enough, climb Mount Ngauruhoe which was used in the films as a double for 'Mount Doom'.
Personally I would go to the Coromandel Peninsular rather than Bay of Islands, if I had to choose. I also loved Taranaki National Park and the Whanganui River Journey (4 day kayak/canoe trip).
Jan 29, 2013 4:33 PM
3Looks like you have about four weeks in NZ? With that amount of time you should be able to venture into the South Island (and you should). 10 days in the North Island and the rest in the South Island is what I would recommend.
Yes, you can hire a car for the whole trip - many car hire companies will arrange for you to drop your car in Wellington and pick up a new one in Picton - this saves you quite a bit on the ferry cost.
Two-three days in Auckland seems too long to me. Yes, you'll be jetlagged and should definitely spend your first night (and your second at a push) in Auckland, but there are much more interesting sights out of Auckland. Agree with recommendation for Coromandel rather than Bay of Islands.
Feb 1, 2013 1:45 AM
Feb 3, 2013 7:46 PM
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