19 days in August in New Zealand - Itinerary help
Auckland (1-2 days)
Rotorua (1-2 days) - mud baths
Waitomo Caves (1-2 days) - caving/tubing
New Plymouth (2 days) - visiting friends so non-negotiable
Wellington (1-2 days)
Abel Tasman Park (2-5 days) - would really like several days trekking if time of year is ok
Kaikoura (1-2 days) - swimming with dolphins
Fox Glacier OR Franz Josef Glacier (1-2 days)
Milford Sound (1-2 days)
Oxford and Christchurch (2 days) - visiting family so non-negotiable
I live in Auckland, but would be the first to say *don't waste too much time here*!! One day if you really want to climb Mt Eden, hit the black sand beach and gannet colony at Muriwai....then head straight to Rotorua. A day is enough, two is plenty and travel on to Waitomo the second night. You'll only need a day there - save the rest for the South Island.
Make sure you check out requirements for hiking - you might need a pass and/or to book huts
If you're doing some multi-day hiking (ie overnight in huts) and staying with family and friends, you'd probably be much better off hiring a car. DOn't forget that camp grounds often have cabins which can be just as cheap as hostels.
Enjoy the Antipodes.
The central south island looks fine. I'd do 1 day in Waitomo, 2 in Rotorua. Though if you've been to Yellowstone NP in the US you could even consider skipping Rotorua entirely.
One day is plenty in Wellington. It's a wonderful place to live, but not that enthralling to visit. Te Papa museum is a must do. And if (in the unlikely chance in August) the weather is nice a walk up to the botanic gardens or Mt. Victoria are worthwhile, but not too much more than that.
If you're wine fans I'd highly recommend a day in Blenheim at the top of the South Island checking out the Marlborough wine region. The wineries are close enough to easily cycle between, and if you stay in the town of Renwick you can even walk to as many as you'd want to visit in a day.
I too would skip Kaikoura. It's off your route. There are good dolphin swim trips from Akaroa near Christchurch, so you could conceivably do that with the family. And Banks Peninsula, where Akaroa's located is lovely anyway.
For tramping/trekking, the Abel Tasman Coastal Track is open year round. It'd be a fine walk (though some of its appeal lies in swimming and hanging out on the beaches.)
Other tramps to consider:
The Heaphy Track: another of the Great Walks. Open year round. Wonderful walk as each of its four days takes you through different environments. Takes you from the top of the South Island to the west coast, which would be great, except its something like 300km by road between the ends of the track if you need to go back and pick up your car/stuff.
The Caples-Greenstone circuit: will probably be snowy up high, but is usually do-able year round. Could work very nicely with your route. Drive to Glenorchy (near Queenstown), walk one half of the circuit, meet up with a tour headed to Milford Sound at The Divide, and either head back to Queenstown after Milford, or get dropped back at the Divide to walk back on the other half of the circuit.
As regards transportation/accommodation, I reckon that generally car + hostel would be a touch cheaper. BUT, at that time of year, in the depths of low season, you should be able to get a very good deal on a campervan. Between that and the freedom it affords you, campervan would be my choice.
If, after considering everything, you find yourself with a bit of extra time then Arthur's Pass or Central Otago on your way from the west coast to Christchurch would be good places to spend it.
Hope all this helps and you have a great time in NZ.
Check out my Travel 'Blog Over 7 years of worldwide wanderings (and counting!)
Agreed, Auckland doesn't need much time. But 2 days is okay considering it is Auckland. Go to Mission Bay for fish and chups, and Waiheke Island if you have some time. Other than that, spend your time stalking the All Blacks. I hear some live in Ponsonby... ;p
Abel Tasman is for sure. I did Waitomo minus the black water rafting -- was a waste of money in my opinion. Do the rafting and apparently it is absolutely spectacular. So that's my recommendation.
Agree that you only need 1 day for Rotorua.
The Glaciers and Milford Sound are also tops. No debate there.
I didn't do Kaikoura because people suggested it was skippable too... but I know people who went and their pictures are enough to make me incredibly envious. So I'd say go for it. If you are really pressed to cut something out, then okay. But otherwise, there aren't many places in the world that offer this at this level I think.
Who is online
Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest