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  #1  
Old September 6th, 2015, 12:36 AM
javelinadave
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New Zealand Vacation Experiences?

I am thinking about visiting there in early 2016 and would love some guidance/suggestions/recommendations.
What is the best time of the year?
What are the must sees?
What to avoid?

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old September 6th, 2015, 01:30 AM
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A must see ...The All Blacks playing :-)
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  #3  
Old September 6th, 2015, 05:06 PM
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Robert Davis
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So going to Gods Acre.
The country is small enough that you can go from the very south Christchurch to Auckland in a short time.
Go in our wither to enjoy a Kiwi summer.
Get a 4 wheel drive and go to some of the South Island remote Beaches.
We almost moved there about 2004, but my wife backed out and we stayed in VA.
Also seeing the All Blacks play is a big highlight as Gustavo suggests.
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  #4  
Old September 6th, 2015, 05:59 PM
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Dennis Yard
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Gorgeous country and people. Visited in December 2010 and January 2011 via Princess Cruises. Lots of Land Rovers to ogle.
Don't miss Fijordland National Park/Milford Sound, the geothermal features of Rotorua, lovely town of Dunedin, and International Antarctic Center by Christchurch airport. Christchurch was leveled by an earthquake a couple of months after our visit but still has pockets of charm. Auckland sits in a dormant volcanic field full of scenic hills and is a beautiful city with lovely beaches. They love their city parks and museums. I was humbled by their war memorial's devotion to their soldiers and sailors.
We were in a tour group but feel that driving outside the big cities would be managble. It may take about three days to get comfortable with RHD.
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  #5  
Old September 6th, 2015, 06:26 PM
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We lived on the South Island for a couple years and loved it there. We went to a ton of the LOTR spots while we lived there. Not sure if you're into that but there are places everywhere.

Things we really enjoyed on the South Island are:
Fleur's place our favorite place to eat in NZ (if you were only to do one thing go here)
Home Page of neat little place if you're up in the NW corner of the South Island
Premium Craft Beer | Emerson's Brewery Dunedin my favorite Pilsner ever, pretty widely found
Velvet Burger - Burgers, Beers & Great Times - New Zealand Awesome burgers, a few different locations

A good route would be Auckland to coromandel peninsula to rotorua to taupo to Napier to Wellington. Then ferry to the South Island. From there you can take the train to Christchurch and branch out from there or head to Nelson-wine country and then down the west coast and back into the rest of the island. Abel Tasman is a great hike, you can even do parts as just a day hike and water taxi to a hotel at night if you don't have backpacking gear. On the west coast Franz Josef is a real nice little town and awesome glaciers. We also really like up north of greymouth and the pancake rocks. The west coast drive is really beautiful.
We also really liked Mt. Cook, Te Anau and the fiordlands, Wanaka/Queenstown, Dunedin (we lived there, tunnel beach and lovers leap are cool), central Otago is really neat as well. Lots of dirt roads and off road trails, riders of Rohan area.
So much that you can see and do. Seriously take at least 3 weeks if not more. There is so much to see. Feel free to PM me if you want any other details.
Pete
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  #6  
Old September 6th, 2015, 06:40 PM
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My sis has been a couple of times and is insistent that I must go and that I'd love it...she knows what I like. That scares me a little because that means it would probably be hard for me to leave! lol
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  #7  
Old September 6th, 2015, 06:45 PM
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I go there for work a lot... Probably 12-15 trips in the last 6 years.

- Fly AirNZ if you can. Best airline 2nd only to Emirates. 3 direct flights a night from LA.
- US Spring and Fall is the best time to visit.
- Never been to Christchurch but DEF go to the S Island. Fly to Queenstown. There is a sky tram to see the entire city. Do the tour to Milford Sound (fjords). The small plane flight alone is worth it. You fly over glaciers.
- Drive up the West / Gold Coast. Lots of small towns to see, their roads there are small and kinda suck. Reminds me of Scotland. Josef Franz glacier is a nice stop but the glacier didn't wow. Pancake rocks are amazing. Stop lots at all the sights and views. Lots of sheep.
- End in Picton and take the ferry to Wellington. Supposed to be the San Francisco of New Zealand. Lots of small cafes and shops... Rolling hills.
- Make your way to Lake Taupo... Nice place to stay for a night or two esp if you are into spas.
- Then Auckland. Kind of another big city but hit Ponsoby Central... Small version of Seattles Public Market. Museum / Auckland Domain is nice. Mt Eden and One Tree Hill are nice city parks. From Auckland, worth doing Waitomo Caves... We did the 7 Hour epic adventure but not sure you want to do 7 hours humping out of a cave. Also Raingitoto for a ferry ride and morning hike. Waiheke Island if you like wine... Where the vineyards are. Be sure to go to Bethells Beach/Piha... The black sand beaches.
- if you still want to go... Make your way to the north tip... Bay of Islands. You can rent ATVs for the beach. It's where two Seas meet... Kinda cool.

I'm sure I missed stuff but that's a start. Christchurch is on the East side of the S. Island so you have to choose Gold Coast or Christcurch unless you want to cut all the way across or drive way past Picton and back. I'd pick Gold Coast which is an entire of the island that is national parks.

Have fun!
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  #8  
Old September 8th, 2015, 12:45 AM
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Thanks!
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  #9  
Old September 8th, 2015, 08:06 AM
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Stu Higgin, a fellow board member and a hell of a good guy, is in Christchurch. I'll have him PM you his details in case he can be of any help. He's got a couple beautiful early 110's btw. Bring us back one.
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  #10  
Old September 8th, 2015, 08:55 AM
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Best place ever, North, South Island or especially her Cook Islands, be warned though....after visiting any other destinations will suck in comparison
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  #11  
Old September 8th, 2015, 07:11 PM
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South Island is a cool place to stay longer than I did.
But have a look at the speedo cameras! Have a look out for just small aircrafts!
Lefthand driving is a cool thing.
But it's not our way to drive round abouts or narrow bridges!

But it is a nice place to live!
Like this island!

But have an open ticket.
Not sure what will happen to me, when reentrying?

http://www.explorermagazin.de/neusee/neusee04.htm

It's in German language, but the pix are just telling the story behind.
Just use the opportunity at the bottom line to get to the next days of travelling inside the Paradise!
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  #12  
Old September 9th, 2015, 05:41 AM
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Both Islands have their attractions but the South is by far my favourite. The photos are taken just outside of Queenstown where I live on a drive out last spring. Its a very special place with some of the best driving roads in the world. Hire yourself a cheap car $30 per day. Book your accommodation through Airbnb and experience the real New Zealand in your own time and speed. February is the absolute premo month weatherise but anywhere from November through to April is mainly warm and dry.
You can drink the water out of the lakes and streams but Kiwi cuisine, coffee and wine equal the best in the world.
Most importantly allow yourself as much time as possible, I have never heard of anyone spending too much time in New Zealand..!
If you need any specific info let me know and I'll do my best to help.
Stu
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  #13  
Old September 9th, 2015, 07:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NZ110 View Post
Hire yourself a cheap car $30 per day.
Is that what's in the pic?
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I am talking purely from an aesthetics standpoint.
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  #14  
Old September 10th, 2015, 03:24 AM
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That's all rent a dent had left so they up graded me. I asked for a nice 110 but they were all earmarked for our US holiday makers..Shame 'cause they looked awesome!
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  #15  
Old September 10th, 2015, 03:53 AM
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All they had left was a 355? Pretty slick outfit!
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  #16  
Old September 10th, 2015, 09:27 AM
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Good to know Rent a Dent is still around. I still have a set of stacking cups with their logo on it.


I liked the Waitomo Cave tour where you rappel in. Very nice. Bungy jumping at the original site in Queenstown is also very fun. The green lipped mussels are great, as is the hokey pokey ice cream. Wish I were going.....
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