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Thread: New Zealand Travel Questions!?

  1. #1
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    New Zealand Travel Questions!?

    Hi community,

    I'm planing a one year worldtrip, starting 2010. I also wanna see NZ for about 2months. And because of many peoples are from NZ here, i've a few questions:

    1. What is the best time to travel there (i heard many different things). At them moment i will be in NZ in Juni an Juli. But this is the time wich is listed as the "worst". Are they right? it haven't to be very warm...because i live here in switzerland, so... . Just some blue sky days would be nice....

    2. Are 2 months engouh to see the north and the south island without any rush? Of course i can't see all things... just don't wanna miss the best things.
    (queenstown to auckland).

    3. Any secret tips for NZ?

    Thanks for the support!

    Greetz maror
    M.Siegrist

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  2. #2
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    June/July is middle of winter in NZ. So plan for cold, wet, windy weather. Winter in NZ isn't especially harsh - in Auckland you'll get a few frosty mornings where the temperature approaches 0 degrees C - but no snow.

    It depends what you want to do while you're here. I recommend Queenstown (South Island). The scenery is simply stunning, and there are a million mad ways to entertain yourself. Most involve strapping a rubber cord to your feet and leaping off something, or being strapped into something else and travelling at unsafe speeds along rivers, through the sky, underground...

    Milford Sound is also very beautiful while you're in that area.

    In the North Island Rotorua is worth a look (thermal park). Further north there are beaches everywhere. On the West coast (Tasman sea) they tend to be dramatic, with dark sand. On the East coast (Pacific ocean) they tend to be more stately with white sand. You probably wont want to go swimming in the middle of winter but they're still fantastic to stroll along.
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    NZ has pretty high rainfall, so wet weather gear is handy! I'd second what Andy said about time of year. Our summer is the best time for visiting ( Dec, January, February ) and also the dryest.

    If you're interested in hiking, you can find some good information from the Department of Conservation here http://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation about the major walks and activities in the national parks. There are a number of multi-day walking trips which take you through some really nice wild places such as the Milford track which is a 4 day hike through the Milford Sound area at the south of the South Island, and many shorter day or afternoon trips as well. Tongariro National park in the central North island also has some nice alpine scenery.

    If you spend time in Auckland, visiting some of the local islands could be fun. Rangitoto is a an extinct volcano, Waiheke has some nice walks, vineyards and so on.

    Look out for Orcs and be careful not to tread on our shorter hairy-footed residents!
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    I've spent time traveling in New Zealand. I've traveled a lot and find NZ is one of the best travel destinations in the world. It is the most contiguously beautiful places I have ever been. It's just one beautiful vision after another.

    Two months is plenty of time (and a year would be fabulous). If you can change your plans to make the NZ summer (your winter) it will probably be a richer experience. As others have said, the winter is a bit cold and rainy - often harsh.

    Check out kyacking in Milford Sound (astounding), or the several day hike to Milford Sound (book hike in advance - they limit the number of hikers if I recall). If you like to hike get a NZ hiking guide - the number of unbelievable hikes from easy to rigerous is alone enough to fill a two month trip (but these are I beleive certainly best done in the NZ summer).

    NZ is well set up for travelers - hundreds of inexpensive packpacker accomodations and wonderful and reasonably priced bed and breakfast spots throughout all your travel routes. A particularly rewarding trip is to take perimeter drives around both islands. Plenty of places to stay as you mosy along and everything is beautiful.

    I love NZ. Those who live there know they live in a magical place - they have something very special.

    Have a great trip.

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    Glad I stumbled upon this thread, my hubby and I were thinking of visiting there next year as well, to visit, and to scout out a location that we liked the best if we ever decided to move there. Which we are seriously considering...if the good ol' U.S.A. breaks apart...ah, what times we live in.
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    Hey thanks...that's exactly what i need.

    Badly i see no good chance to change the time yet, maybe i can go to new zealand before australia or so... but i don't wanna be in india when the monsun comes. And maybe i like some coldness after my outback trips in australia

    Btw here my route at the moment:

    India-Nepal-Bangladesh (flight to) Bangkok-Singapur (About 2 months...but it's maybe too less)
    Flight to austalia (3months) then new zealand (2months). Flight to Fiji or Hawaii (about 2 weeks) and then all the way down from Anchorage to Argentina (5months...but this include spanish lessons in mexico). Travel back to europe with a freightship.

    Of course it sounds abit filled up... so i don't wanna fix "one year". Maybe i travel as long as i've engough money I don't wanna fix anything if i can...but a small red line is still neccessary

    So any good tip for new zealand (and probably the rest of the world are very welcome).

    Thanks alot.

    Greetz maror

    @dali
    Great idea... best wishes for that dream!
    M.Siegrist

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    I say switch NZ and Australia times. You'll catch, I believe, the NZ fall and late fall period, still a good time for lots of good stuff, certainly better than the winter. Winter is a good time to be in Austrailia. I've done terrific and remote walkabouts there in the wiinter and in many places its still hot as hell (Darwin areas for example, or Tropical North Queensland, at least in the day). In my tours to that area, I did NZ first, then OZ, at about the same times you're going. Weatherwise, it was the right decision.

    Regardless, your trip is one to envy. Good luck and good travels.

    Byron

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    @bryon

    so i think you just changed my route then thanks...
    now i have to decide if i buy a rtw ticket or just single flights...

    and well... i hope you can go also on another trip! Where were you exactly?
    M.Siegrist

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    Maror, "where was I exactly". Well, I was only able to do three weeks in NZ. It wasn't even on my itinerary. But the plane on the way to Australia stopped in Auckland. While circling to land I was blown away at the vision of the islands from the plane window. So, I walked off the plane, rented a car, and just started driving without any idea of where I was or where I was going.

    It turned out to be three of the best weeks of my life. This was ten years ago (for my 50th birthday), so it's a little hard to remember all the details. But I found a file with a note I made about highlights of the NZ drive. For simplicity I'll post it below as a reference. Not mentioned in the notes is that I made almost a full perimeter drive of the South Island (the more remote), and a partial perimeter drive of the North Island. These were extraordinary drives. Some of the locations along the route are mentioned in the notes below.

    Meanwhile, I followed up in OZ for about four months. OZ is likewise remarkable but different. [FONT='Verdana','sans-serif']Among the highlights was a month-long outback trek with a small group called Willis Walkabouts. A single guide took a small number (about six I believe) of us out into the middle of nowhere (Diner Creek area (lush, crocodiles, wet, dense) south of Darwin, and somewhere in the red center where supposedly no man had set foot before (maybe true, maybe not, but it was REMOTE). This was the most arduous and challenging trek of my life, and I was turning 50. I recall signing a release form with Willis Walkabouts checking a box that said "I declare that if I should need immediate emergency medical attention I will die." They weren't kidding. It was a great method of informed-consent and self selection

    I have a friend in OZ, Marion Lester, that I can put you in touch with who puts together similar treks, but tailored to your needs. She was my guide for the first half of my trek. Her tailored treks are somewhat less challenging and less risky, but quite out of the ordinary for the ordinary tourist. She's great. If you like this sort of thing she will provide you with a thoroughly memorable and rewarding experience, as will Willis Walkabouts if they are still in business.

    Meanwhile, I was in all of Tropical North Queensland and the Barrier Reef with lots of canoeing, biking, hiking, snorkeling and the like. A highlight was a several day kayak trip out to the North Barnard Islands. I loved Melbourne - a terrific multicultural experience. Sydney is beautiful as are the Blue Mountains nearby, and the Grampians a little further west of Sydney on the drive from Melbourne to Sydney along the Great Coastal Road.

    Take in the Opera at the famous Opera house in Sydney if you can. A boat ride in Sydny Harbor is not to be missed –one of the most beautiful harbors in the world. In Melbourne, be sure to go to the great art Museums and sample all the multicultural restaurants. Melbourne is a GREAT eating town.

    Don't miss the Red Center with Alice Springs and Uluru (Ayers Rock). Go to Tasmania and take the several day river-rafting trip down the Wild Franklin River. I promise you that is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, one of the highlights of my entire 60 year life. Meanwhile, all of Tasmania is great to hike, and Hobart there is a terrific town as is Port Arthur.

    [FONT='Verdana','sans-serif']So that's what I can remember and write down quickly ten years later. Hope it helps. Meanwhile, the NZ highlight notes are posted below.

    [FONT='Verdana','sans-serif']Best,[/font]
    [FONT='Verdana','sans-serif']Byron[/font]

    Byron’s New Zealand Highlights (March/April 1998)

    North Island

    1. Waitoma Glowworm caves – black water rafting: extraordinary
    2. Rotorua Thermal Area. Very interesting, but not as big as Yellowstone.
    3. Ferry at Wellington to go to Picton on South Island.
    4. Hike to Hauna Falls near Drury (at end of trip back from South Island.

    SOUTH ISLAND:
    1. Drive Nelson to Greymouth. Hike 3.5 hrs on Murry Creek Trail near Reefton.
    2. Drive Greymouth to Franz Joseph Glacier. Drive up glacier access road. Hike Sentinal Walk and Douglas Walk (about an hour).
    3. Dinner at Blue Ice Café in St. Joseph. Best Lamb I ever ate.
    4. Drive to Fox Glacier. DAY HIKE TO AND ON FOX GLACIER. EXTRAORDINARY. NOT TO BE MISSED.
    5. Drive from Fox Glacier to Te Anau. Extraordinary drive. Nice walk along lake up to Kepler Walk control gate.
    6. Drive from Te Anau to Milford Sound via Milford Road – one of the most beautiful drives in the world. Not to be missed.
    7. MILFORD SOUND: THE TRIP HIGHLIGHT. Do a kayak and hike day trip. MUST DO. One of the most beautiful place in all the world. (Couldn’t get on the several day hike – was overbooked – must do next time.)
    8. Drive Southern Scenic Route through Invercargill to Dunedin. Scenic route to about ¾ of the way to Invercargill is extraordinary. Becomes rather flat heading to Dunedin. Invercargill is the most southern city in the world except for Patagonia. (Invercargill not particularly interesting, but there is a nice natural history museum there.)
    9. Dunedin: Royal Albatross colony – fun, educational, different, I loved it. Dunedin is a college town, quite hip.
    10. Drive to Christchurch. CHRISTCHURCH BOTANICAL GARDENS most beautiful I have seen anywhere in the world.
    11. DRIVING EVERYWHERE IS THE BIG DEAL. HEW ZEALAND IS SO CONTIGUOUSLY BEAUTIFUL. IF YOU LIKE TO DRIVE, IT’S THE PLACE TO BE.
    12. Hiking in temperate rain forests all over the North and South Island west coasts are extraordinary. Wonderful Bed and Breakfast places are everywhere. And the youth hostels are all very accommodating if you want to rough it and travel cheap.
    Last edited by byroncallas; 02-27-2009 at 11:07 AM.

  10. #10
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    this post just blow my mind..

    thanks for this huge insight and tips, as soon as i'm home this post finds his way into my worldtrip folder! I hope i can manage all this stuff...when i read all this little things you've done...i'm not sure that my budget is good as i thought But between the lines i can feel your hapiness that you've done that...and this is something i wanna achieve too!

    I will keep the community informed by my website when it's ready...

    It's just so great....

    Special thanks to you Bryon.

    Greetz maror
    M.Siegrist

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