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Stevethehammer 1:00 Wed Apr 10
New Zealand
I have found flights from Heathrow to Auckland via Shanghai for £450 RETURN in November.
Any advice on decent places to go, see and do?
Yes I can do a Google search but prefer some local knowledge and recommendations from people who have been.

Replies - Newest Posts First (Show In Chronological Order)

nychammer 11:30 Fri Apr 12
Re: New Zealand
Just got back. My brother lives there.

Auckland is a beautiful city. Visit waiheke island, rangitoto, Devonport while there.
Then rent a car and get out for a few days. We went to hobbiton which was surprisingly good, then to coromandel peninsula, Rotorua and back
Flew to Queenstown the following week and did a trip to Milford sound (must see) and went on a road rip up to Christchurch befroe flying back. South Island is astonishingly beautiful.

Few words don’t do it justice. Beautiful place. Go late November tho to catch the start of summer.

claretandbluedagger 11:22 Thu Apr 11
Re: New Zealand
Thought I'd add a little more detail to try and help. When I did NZ (and the South Island in particular) in 2016, I was a bit short of time, so we had to pack a lot in to around 8 or 9 days.

Started in Christchurch, then onto Dunedin via a short stop in Oamaru to see the penguin colony, great little trip. Te Anau after that, then Queenstown after spending some time in Milford Sound which was probably the highlight. Next, the Franz Josef glacier. Up to Greymouth (and a visit a bit further north though the name of the place escapes me, though it was great for watching dolphins in the sea. Finally back over to Christchurch, driving through Arthur's Pass.

As I said, we'd packed in a lot to just over a week so couldn't do quite as much as we'd have liked which is a shame. I've always said that if we do go back (and I'm determined to make that a "when" we go rather than if), I'd do the same places again but give ourselves more time to enjoy them more and get more done.

Amazing country with fantastic people. You'll never regret going there.

claretandbluedagger 11:11 Thu Apr 11
Re: New Zealand
Add another vote for Milford Sound, beautiful place. Stayed in a hotel in Mount Cook Village in 2016 (think it was called the Hermitage). Little pricey, but massively worth it for the view from one of the restaurants alone. Breakfast whilst staring at the mountain range is really quite something.

Aalborg Hammer 10:54 Thu Apr 11
Re: New Zealand
The MAIN thing to remember when visiting the west coast is use a good midge repellent 'cos the Sandflies are bastards...we found Avon's Skin so Soft did the trick...the name doesn't do the stuff justice...the Marines use it in bucket loads.

Sven Roeder 10:08 Thu Apr 11
Re: New Zealand
ha ha

New Zealand = Poor mans Tasmania

Cheezey Bell-End 3:46 Thu Apr 11
Re: New Zealand
West Island is the best bit.

simon.s 12:55 Thu Apr 11
Re: New Zealand
NZ is a stunning place.

I’d up sticks and go tomorrow if I could.

claret50 12:34 Thu Apr 11
Re: New Zealand
Don't forget to visit some of the smaller, less touristy centres if you have time, they're just as interesting and a lot easier on the pocket.

boleynkid 12:33 Thu Apr 11
Re: New Zealand
Stunning place.

All depends on how much time you have of course but the road to Milford Sound is interesting (overnight stay in Te Anau is a good idea). Agree that Akaroa is well worth a visit for a day or two and on a good day the Hooker Valley walk in the Mount Cook area is stunning.

If you have time a walk up to The Summit (along the Milford Road) is spectacular but again you need the weather. Punakaiki Rocks and Hokatiki Gorge (bit of a detour inland) on the west coast are also worth visiting. Wanaka is nice too and then a drive over the Crown Ridge for spectacular views as you drop into Queenstown. Walks to Franz Jozef & Fox Glaciers are popular.

All depends what you like but on the North Island Wai-O-Tapu (Champagne Lake) geothermals and Waimunga Valley are good walks and the Huka Falls as you near Lake Taupo is also worth a little detour.

If you do go to Auckland then get the ferry over to Devonport, there are great views at the top of Mount Victoria looking back to the city and out to sea.

Enjoy.

East Auckland Hammer 12:12 Thu Apr 11
Re: New Zealand
Yeah the Viaduct is great. Pricey, but a good vibe and plenty of decent food and drink to be had.

That was all done for when we had the Americas Cup down here in 2000.

Just a bit further along the port there, they've developed the Wynyard Quarter which also has heaps of good bars and restaurants, and there's going to be more development for the next America's cup too apparently.

simon.s 12:06 Thu Apr 11
Re: New Zealand
Agree about the city.

But the harbour is nice for a drink or bite to eat.

East Auckland Hammer 12:04 Thu Apr 11
Re: New Zealand
Oops, completely missed Chigwell's post which covers most of what I did. That will teach me for starting to post late at night and finishing the next morning.

simon - yeah there actually is plenty to do in and around Auckland, but the city itself is a bit shit.

Waiheke for the beaches and vineyards, Rangitoto for the great walk and view etc

simon.s 11:55 Wed Apr 10
Re: New Zealand
I only spent a week in Auckland, and saw plenty visiting various islands.

I’d like to do the South Island one day in the future. I prefer it to Oz which I’ve seen a fair bit of.

East Auckland Hammer 11:50 Wed Apr 10
Re: New Zealand
Most touristy things covered already.

If you only had 2 weeks here, I'd fly to Auckland and catch a connecting flight to Christchurch.

Hire a campervan and do something like this route:

https://thetrustedtraveller.com/two-week-new-zealand-south-island-road-trip-itinerary/

It all really depends on how long you have. You could realistically spend a month travelling around the place and not see everything worth seeing.

That route covers all the main South Island touristy bits though. I can tell you plenty of other places that are a bit more out of the way depending on how long you have to spend here, and what you like doing.

While in the Christchurch area, you might also want to add in Akaroa, where the French first settled. And poster Lee S is down that way somewhere.

If you head to Arrowtown, a good mate of mine Robbie, who is responsible for getting me into the Hammers owns the New Orleans Hotel, so drop in to see him too.

In the North Island, you have the Bay of Islands which home of NZs first capital (Russell), which was once quaintly called the "Hellhole of the South Pacific", and to Waitangi Treaty Grounds for some real NZ history.

While you're up the top of the North Island, you can:

See Tane Mahuta, NZ's oldest Kauri tree.
Drive along Ninety Mile Beach (not ACTUALLY 90 miles though)
Do some diving at the Poor Knights Marine Reserve
Visit Cape Brett Lighthouse at the very top of NZ, where the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean - you can actually see where they meet.
Take a boat tour out to the Hole in the Rock


The Coromandel has some of the best beaches in NZ, including my favourites New Chums Beach and Kuaotunu. Also walk to Cathedral Cove via Stingray Bay.

Also, if you're after a bit of exercise, you could do the Hauraki Rail Trail cycle over a couple of days

https://haurakirailtrail.co.nz/

I haven't done it yet, but want to when the kids get a bit older.

Head south down the coast to the beautiful Bay of Plenty, where I live. NZ's best beach is here - Mount Maunganui main beach.

https://www.tripadvisor.co.nz/Attraction_Review-g1760740-d1123608-Reviews-Mt_Maunganui_Main_Beach-Mount_Maunganui_Tauranga_Bay_of_Plenty_Region_North_Isla.html

Head inland to Lake Taupo and do some trout fishing around Turangi.

Head to Rotorua and visit the geysers, mud pools and thermal area.

Head to Wellington to the NZ Museum at Te Papa

There's a shitload to do here, and you won't fit it all in unless you spend 6 months here.

If you want to see what NZ is really famous for, the stunning alpine scenery, then head to the South Island, hire a campervan and sort yourself out a loose itinerary. Book a couple of places to stay along the way, but at that time of year you should be alright to pitch up and find a powered site to plug into.

Happy to help with anything else you need to know.

Chigwell 2:49 Wed Apr 10
Re: New Zealand
As Percy asked, how long are you going for? You'll need a minimum of 4 weeks to see both the main islands properly. Seriously, if you have less time than that, you'd be better off limiting your stay to either Island and doing it properly. Landing in Auckland you could connect with an internal flight to Christchurch or Dunedin, if you want to visit the more spectacular scenery in South Island. You'll need some transport of course - hire a car for most flexibility (you can do a one-way rental with most companies), or there are long-distance buses which are quite reasonably priced. There are no M-ways in NZ and the maximum speed anywhere is 100 kph, so don't expect to cover distances quickly. What you do and see depends on personal preference.
November is early summer, when South Island will still be quite cool: you may prefer the North for this visit. Highlights for me there are Lake Taupo and the surrounding area (Tongariro has been mentioned), the Bay of Islands, Coromandel Peninsula, and Te Uruwera national park. Napier area too, especially for wine buffs. Rotorua is a tourist hotspot - if you like geysers and boiling mud, a full day there is probably enough. As for cities, Auckland is OK but Wellington is more fun.
South Island highlights - Milford Sound (on a good day), Mount Cook (book early if you want to stay in The Hermitage), Nelson including the Abel Tasman National Park (great coastal walk), Wanaka. The Akaroa peninsular just outside Christchurch if you have time. Queenstown gets a lot of visitors and has its own airport - to enjoy it you must be into adrenalin fixes and/or nightlife. The West Coast is famously wet (well it's rain forest) but probably quite different from most places you'll visit in a lifetime.

The people are really friendly wherever you go, and very importantly there are great public toilets in almost every settlement.

Leonard Hatred 2:06 Wed Apr 10
Re: New Zealand
Wetherspoons

percyd 1:50 Wed Apr 10
Re: New Zealand
For how long will you be visiting? Solo, with partner/family?

JAC 1:29 Wed Apr 10
Re: New Zealand
South Island.

Wanaka
Milford Sound (do not miss )
Christchurch
Queenstown
Arrowtrown

North Island

Waiheke Island

All amazing places and must visit and dont forget vineyards.

joyo 1:19 Wed Apr 10
Re: New Zealand
Queenstown is a must, South Island more scenic
Avoid Auckland. Christchurch OK but hasn't recovered from earthquake yet, building works everywhere
Tongarrio alpine crossing if your into hiking
Weather is generally shit as it fucking rains nonstop
People very chilled





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