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DPChallenge Forums >> Out and About >> Going to New Zealand beginning of Dec...
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10/16/2009 03:01:12 AM · #1
and I'm wondering about places to go/see.
Right now things are EXTREMELY unplanned. I have my ticket and that's about it. :)
I'll be coming to visit my girlfriend who is living/working over there for a bit over 4 months.
I love the outdoors and will be bringing the necessary items for camping. The two of us are considering renting a vehicle for the duration of my stay and going where it is that we please. I'd like to see some of the culture of New Zealand as well as the beautiful scenery if possible.
I'll be in NZ for a total of 13 days, so I'm not too sure I'd have time to get down to the south island much... but I could be wrong about this. How are the national parks on the north island? I prefer off the beaten track a bit locale wise, and am in excellent physical condition, so hiking into areas isn't a concern.

Thanks a lot for any info.

Message edited by author 2009-10-16 03:08:59.
10/16/2009 04:30:03 AM · #2
I spent 3 weeks with my girlfriend in NZ last year (2 in the South and 1 in the North) and that was no where near enough time so for 13 days I'd recommend picking 3 or 4 places to go for a few days each including driving around (which is a pleasure in itself).

We really didn't get to see enough of the North Island, but really enjoyed Taupo for its 3 volcanoes and the lake - some beautiful sunsets and plenty of interesting geological features nearby. Wellington was a lovely city with some good views from the hills around it.

The gem for me was the South Island. We started at Christchurch and took Arthur's Pass over to Greymouth and worked our way South to the Fox glacier and then on to Wanaka, Queenstown, Milford Sound and then all the way round the South Scenic Route via Invercargill to Dunedin. Honestly, it was the most beautiful scenery I've ever encountered and the drive was fantastic.

We didn't get 'off the beaten track' as it were but we met plenty of people who went on hikes and I think it's pretty hard to go wrong. If you are stuck with just the North Island, there is a National Park North of Auckland which is supposed to be nice so that might be worth checking out.
10/16/2009 04:49:45 AM · #3
Make it to Auckland and Wellington to see some of the culture, Taupo Rotorua area is great The National Park in Tongoriro spelling might be off on that one. The Glow Worm Caves. As acg83 said if you come to Wellington , places to visit are Mt Victoria and take a ride on the cable car to see the opposite view of what you see from Mt Vic, Then you can take a trek back down the hill through the botanical garden which eventually will lead you to the Capital Building aka the Bee Hive. Decemeber should be some nice weather too so it should provide plenty of good views. In the lower lands of Wellington a Drive around the bays is quite beautiful, for culture Cuba St, Manners Mall and Courtnay Place are good places to go. Shopping on Lampton Quay is good however a bit upscale. Queens Wharf and Oriental Bay also provide interesting views of the City. While you are here you have to try the Pies and another favorite around here are the Turkish Kebabs. You can PM me closer to when you are going to be in this area and i can suggest some good places to eat. I have a few photos of Wellington in my portfolio here on DPC if you want to check them out.

ETA: cant believe i forgot this one, A trip to New Zealand is not complete with out having some Fish and Chips. Really yummy stuff.

Message edited by author 2009-10-16 07:14:13.
10/18/2009 02:51:38 AM · #4
Yeah, I wish I was heading down to the south island. I looks like it's got a lot of things I would like, I just don't think I'll have the time without doing really fast traveling and only driving around... which isn't quite what I want to do.
Thanks a lot so far for the suggestions, I'll start looking into them!

Anybody else?
10/18/2009 03:57:07 AM · #5
Try and get to Cathedral cove in the Coromandel and surrounding area (Hot water beach) - I live here in Auckland having moved from the UK seven years ago - it is very pretty down there about 1.5 hours away from Auckland - Jules
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