Who knows NZ? Help required reg. Holiday Planning

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T-Modell
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Who knows NZ? Help required reg. Holiday Planning

Post by T-Modell » Mon 30 Jul, 2018 11:55 pm

Hi guys down under,

my wife and I are thinking about making a holiday in New Zealand. We both haven't been there, we only just bought a travel guide and read a bit about it.

Our plan is to fly there before xmas to Dunedin (South) and stay up to 11. January (Auckland), driving from South to North, but also over xmas and New Years Eve. My Questions to you guys:

1. Do you recommend to book hotels over xmas and new year in advance?
2. In general: can we take the car, play it by ear and find accomodation as we go along? Or do we have to plan the whole holiday, night by night (afaik it's school holidays then)
3. The recommendation I read, says to spend more time on the South Island, than the North Island ... so 2 weeks South and 1 week North? Opinions?
4. We're thinking about hiring a small SUV, i. e. Toyota RAV ... necessary? Normal car sufficient?

Besides that, any tips and tricks? Things to see? All recommendations greatfully appreciated!

Thanks a lot in advance,
Thomas
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Re: Who knows NZ? Help required reg. Holiday Planning

Post by oz coz » Tue 31 Jul, 2018 9:16 am

1. Definitely.
2. plan ahead for sure. Lots of American, Chinese, Aussie tourists all year round.Extra in school holidays.
3.Depends on what you like. Volcanic stuff and Maori culture in the North, Fiords, mountains,and rural in the South. Nice country whichever.
4.Normal car generally OK. Road system pretty good.
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Re: Who knows NZ? Help required reg. Holiday Planning

Post by edenning » Tue 31 Jul, 2018 10:51 pm

Really two different countries almost North and South Island. Definitely do the Hot Springs in Rotorua and do the evening Hangi and Maori Culture tour just outside of Rotorua. Make sure you go to Napier and check out the Art Deco houses and maybe hire a classic car for an hour or two. One week in the North Island should be plenty. Two weeks in the South would be heaps also. Canterbury Plains are very Old English feel. Not much snow at that time of the year for snow skiing.
Definitely try and book accomodation at that time of the year.
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Re: Who knows NZ? Help required reg. Holiday Planning

Post by T-Modell » Wed 01 Aug, 2018 2:43 pm

Thanks guys, I was afraid of that. I'm more of a "let's drive, where our nose leads us to" person ... so I understand, that this is not possible at that time of year ...

I'll think about it :laughing6:
Thomas
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1967 W111 250SE Cabriolet, horizon blue
1973 W115 220D 5.0 Pick-Up Argentina, work in progress 2017/18/19
1986 R107 500SL, arctic white, the midlife crisis viagra replacement
2007 R171 SLK350, calcit white
2008 S211 E63T, calcit white, sleeper

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Re: Who knows NZ? Help required reg. Holiday Planning

Post by CraigB » Wed 01 Aug, 2018 6:14 pm

A bit different because i was traveling with 11 and 13 yo, but we had a great time - flew into Christchurch and picked up a 'Toyota Hiace' size camper and spent 2 weeks driving around south island and was great. It seemed crazily cheap but was clean and worked well - so glad I followed my instincts and didn't get one of the large motorhomes (with built in bathroom that Jo was keen on) - not just more expensive and one person I spoke to, we were doing twice the fuel economy, but some of those roads are pretty narrow and much more enjoyable in something a bit smaller. I noticed even smaller 'toyota tarago' size units, but that would have a lot less space. Sometimes staying in accommodation, others in caravan parks, a couple of times in spots we found via a phone app that were free but you had to be registered for self contained camping - they check your registration for that - ours being spotlighted from a council car at 2am near Queenstown! We went for three weeks and two of them were school holidays - September/October and the tail end of ski season which allowed the kids some time at Cardrona. We had a certain amount of accommodation prebooked but instinctively wanted some flexibility too. We used air bnb quite a bit and all but one of those was great - it was an 'earthship' (google it) and not cheap but thought great for the experience - having to faeces into a wheelie bin though didn't go down well with the wife! And i should add that the wife wasn't keen on 2 weeks in a camper van, but the cost of the one we had wasn't significantly different to a hire car. It gave us great flexibility, fuel economy from the diesel was something like 9l/100, not an E63 but I didn't mind driving it and could pass those huge motorhomes with ease, shopped at the supermarket and great to pull over and have lunch with a full kitchen, kids travelled in huge space and seemed happy (not crammed in the back of a car) and while they are pretty strict about where you pull over and camp, I liked the idea that if we got stuck with finding accommodation, we did have everything we needed. With Jo and me both being ecologists you can imagine there was a lot for us to enjoy but also we just loved the people and the whole feel of the place - felt more like the not so uptight Australia that I grew up in. So many walks we went on without handrails everywhere etc - people still able to use common sense without being wrapped up in cotton wool. They must have a mere fraction of the road signs like corner speeds - yes it is possible for a driver to work out what is a safe speed to drive at and if it was a dangerous corner you got a warning and of course not lost in all the other signs, you pay plenty of attention. More evidence of a people who care about each other rather than just about themselves - although of course exceptions everywhere and just trying to describe the feel of the place.

We dropped the camper back in Christchurch and took a hire car for a week to drive up to Auckland where we flew out of. I second the cultural experiences at Rotarua - I can't remember the names of the ones we went to but both very 'real' experiences. My other recommendation is the Coromandel Peninsula. It is becoming more developed in places but still great beauty and we stayed in a 'Bach' which felt so much like a 'Beach Shack' that we used to stay in as a family back in the 70's here. Hours of fun at the 'hot water beach'.

We could have easily spent double the time in both locations but the 3 weeks I think was adequate to have a good look around and a great experience. I think the balance was right though with 2 weeks in the south and one in the north, but we did skim through a lot of the North.

I expect you are looking at doing things a bit different Thomas, but hopefully there is something useful in there somewhere.
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Re: Who knows NZ? Help required reg. Holiday Planning

Post by tips » Wed 01 Aug, 2018 10:43 pm

Thomas when you get to Auckland keep half a day free and catch the ferry from viaduct to Waiheke island. Its about 30 min by ferry and a quite local holiday island. Amazing wineries with fabulous food. We went to mudbrick and had a 2hr long lunch which was as good as any 2 hat restaurant. It was a nice leisurely walk from the ferry and well needed after lunch.
Go to bay of islands, KerriKerri and Waitangi which is the famous maori treaty grounds. If you have time cross over to stop at opononi which is a beautiful beach area on the west coast and close to Waipoua the big Kauri forests which are a great walking spot.
Its a fantastic place very relaxed and scenic, you will enjoy it.
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Re: Who knows NZ? Help required reg. Holiday Planning

Post by CraigB » Thu 02 Aug, 2018 8:40 am

And if you are 'getting in the mood' Thomas, check out a film made on the Coromandel peninsula - "Hunt for the Wilderpeople" - very offbeat humour and very NZ - where we used to quote Monty Python when we were kids, our kids come up with funny quotes from this film.
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Re: Who knows NZ? Help required reg. Holiday Planning

Post by T-Modell » Fri 03 Aug, 2018 12:24 am

Thanks again guys,

those tips will definitely be saved. I'm a bit reluctant at the moment. The planned travel time (xmas/new year) was due to the huge work load I have at the moment. Maybe we postpone that trip, until we can travel off-season, i. e. February onwards ... haven't made a decision yet ...

Regards
Thomas
---------------------------------------------------------------
1967 W111 250SE Cabriolet, horizon blue
1973 W115 220D 5.0 Pick-Up Argentina, work in progress 2017/18/19
1986 R107 500SL, arctic white, the midlife crisis viagra replacement
2007 R171 SLK350, calcit white
2008 S211 E63T, calcit white, sleeper

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