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Visiting NZ


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We want to visit NZ and would like to know which is best: North, or South? We usually have 10 days for a holiday and would like to experience the best of NZ in that time (would rather go back than to miss out, so maybe start off at one end - but which end?.....)

Hubby loves to ski (I'm a disaster on ski's - I fall over even before I start moving!!). I LOVE nature and scenery and we would also like to do stuff a 12 year old would enjoy (swimming with dolphins, boat rides etc). We got a brochure from a travel agent and it seems that activities on South Island is generally more expensive (Swim with dolphins North $97, South $138.....)

If we visit in winter so hubby can ski - what's there for me to do? When is best to visit for photographic opportunities and outdoor activities? What not to miss?? Don't know WHERE to start?!

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Hi Rieke,

We lived in NZ (Auckland) for for more than 3 years and travelled extensively on both Islands. We will be happy to share our experiences with you. Mark, my hubby is far better than me in going into the detail and where the best places are. We both love nature and Mark is also a keen photographer so he could chat about that too.

We will be happy meeting up with you for a coffee or something to chat about it. Just let us know.


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Thanks, that will be great! :ilikeit::):D

We're going away this weekend, but I'll PM you next week to make arrangements. :ilikeit:

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Hi Riekie,

As PM'ed I'll add more a bit later but in terms of skiing in New Zealand here is a part of what I wrote to someone on a different occasion.

If coming to New Zealand for a skiing holiday I would suggest that you make your way to either Queenstown or Wanaka in the South Island as a base. Queenstown is unofficially considered the Thrill capital of New Zealand, surrounded by some of the best scenes that Mother Nature can provide. There are several Slopes in the area to ski on.

On the North Island the main ski fields are smack bang in the middle of the island. Just about halfway between Auckland and Wellington, as well as halfway between Napier, Hastings and Gisborne on the eastern side and the Taranaki (which has its own ski slopes) on the western part. Other major towns/ cities such as Hamilton, Tauranga and Rotorua are even closer.

Mt Ruapehu’s Whakapapa slope (pronounced Fakapapa) is the largest of New Zealand’s slopes/ resorts but the scenery and powder of the southern slopes are worth the trip.

Regarding the above flights are available from both Sydney and Brisbane direct to Queenstown, and Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane direct to Christchurch on Air New Zealand. Similar for QANTAS.

North Island:





Complete guide to NZ skiing (Very Good): http://www.fourcorners.co.nz/new-zealand/skiing/

Weather reports/ photos etc: http://www.snowreports.co.nz/

Ski holiday service, includes extreme skiing: http://www.snowbound.co.nz/




South Island:






Back country skiing near Wanaka: http://www.heliskinz.com/

Similar to above: http://www.skilakewanaka.com/heliski.html

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Thanks NZ - that should keep me busy for a while...... :ilikeit:

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Hi Riekie, a bit more.

Some travellers think that one can really see and enjoy all of New Zealand in a week or so (same goes for most other countries too). Particularly because it looks so tiny next to Aus. But then again basically every country looks small compared to Aus. :ilikeit: But it also depends on what type of travellers you folks are. Some people simply like rushing into Paris for a day, taking 2 pics of the Eiffel and anounce to the world that they have done France. :ilikeit: Others wish to laze on the beaches of Vanuatu for 3 weeks doing little else. But in a lifetime you won't waste your money visiting NZ more than once, especially if your family is keen on skiing and the other activities involving ice and snow.

I have included a few links as 1. Copying the actual text will take up too much space, and 2. Hendie has cautioned against copying text from papers.

Two articles from an Australian point of view, SMH, I enjoyed reading both:

1) (4 pages): http://www.smh.com.au/news/new-zealand/a-b...6387560363.html

2) (3 pages): http://www.smh.com.au/news/new-zealand/on-...7734186365.html

A recent article from the NZHerald focusing on a very quiet SI West Coast road as per Lonely Planet (I like the 'hot air from the west' part. :ilikeit:http://www.nzherald.co.nz/location/story.c...jectid=10363686

I have done part of that route and although stunning I am a bit surprised that it made the Top 10, maybe SASydneysider can elaborate.

A general link to Queenstown: http://www.queenstown-nz.co.nz/

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maybe SASydneysider can elaborate.

Thanks again NZHigh!! :ilikeit: I'm meeting up with SASydneysider this week sometime! What a privilege to visit a country with so much inside info!

When I visit any country, I always read a lot about it before the time, do a lot of research, and once there, talk to the locals to find out more about uncommercialised (is that a word??..) hidden secrets. Amazing how you can dodge the tour buses and get an even better view of something!

I realise you cannot see all of NZ during one visit and we are now going to do it in at least 2 visits (or more....). We've booked flights for October to Auckland, but will return next year in Ski season. For the October visit I want to get the best of NZ for that time of year as far as scenery goes - hopefully after reading all the stuff you've posted (and from my get together with SASydneysider) I'll know exactly where to go to achieve that. You guys have been such a great help - THANKS!!! :ilikeit::ilikeit:

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  • 5 months later...

Thanks NZHigh! Just had a quick look - WOW!!! I've saved it as a favourite to plan our itinerary - thanks for that! :ilikeit::blush: We're flying out on 28th Sept!!!!! Can't Wait!!!!! Yay!!!!! :holy:

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Riekie, You have mail.

I noticed that the 101 places is also in a basic brochure format. You will probably be able to pick one up Auckland Airport, Britomart train station in the city or the Info Centre on Princess Wharf near the Viaduct Harbour (City). It may be handy in the sense that the 101 places are indicated on a NZ Map.

Have a great time. :ilikeit:

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