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where to go in nz? 3 cities only

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1. Posted by maxtwinkle (Budding Member 11 posts) 8y

maxtwinkle has indicated that this thread is about New Zealand

hey all!

my family and i are planning a trip to NZ this september... we've always wanted to go to New Zealand and so deciding on a country to visit was a no-brainer for us! the only thing is that we're only there for a week and want to see at least 3 cities there..

we were initially thinking of auckland, wellington and christchurch..
but after searching online, it seems like queenstown and rotorua have a lot to offer as well..
any suggestions??

by the way, to give u a better idea, my dad isn't into museums and most of us aren't into very adventurous sports like bungee jumping and the sort..
since it's our first time there, we'd be interested in going to the typical tourist spots, seeing a bit of nature..

any suggestions/ideas would be a biigggg help!!
thanks in advance!:)

2. Posted by stevieh (Respected Member 613 posts) 8y

Max, you don't have anywhere near enough time to see three cities in a week. You'll spend far too much time travelling.
Unfortunately, I'd also say you've not got time to visit both north and south islands - or at least I'd recommend sticking to one and coming back one day to see the rest.

Personally, for a first-time visitor, I'd recommend either:

Auckland and Rotorua (North Island)
or
Christchurch and Queenstown (South Island)

This will probably be decided by where you fly into. And either way you'll be doing some driving - the beauty of New Zealand is in its landscape and you must travel through it a bit to see it.

3. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3719 posts) 8y

NZ isn't really about th cities, it's about the beautiful countryside, so to stick to just the cities would be a real shame. a week would be too short anyway to see three cities especially on separate islands. if you are flying into auckland you could spend a day or 2 there and then visit the Bay of islands and the coromandel which are both beautiful. alternatively you could fly into christchurch, get a connecting flight to queenstown and spend some time in this area. this would also enable you to do a trip to either milford sound or doubtful sound.

4. Posted by hmclehto (Full Member 142 posts) 8y

We had two weeks in South Island and still didn't see everything. Absolutely beautiful country, but all about the scenery and country side not the "cities" are they cities, more like towns ;) ? We had a car and drove around and stayed wherever we felt like it. Lots of gorgeous walks / hikes
Must see in my books Queenstown, the Glaciers and Lake Tekapo.
Have a great time what ever you'll decide

5. Posted by Skylarking (Budding Member 27 posts) 8y

You could do the three main cities in a fortnight with day trips from them. A week is stretching it a bit to get the best out of the place. If your return trip is with Air New Zealand then internal flights between the three can be added on at a nominal cost. Flights are frequent, usually at hourly intervals taking about an hour each; a bit longer from Christchurch to Auckland.

A whistle-stop tour of two or three nights in each city could mean:

Auckland:
Getting the boat across the harbour to Devonport
Walking up Mount Eden to appreciate the view
Going up the Sky Tower

Wellington:
A walk up Mount Victoria
Doing the tour of Parliament
Getting the cable car up to the Botanic Gardens

Christchurch:
The New Zealand Experience Wildlife Reserve out of town
The International Antarctic Centre near the Airport
Going up to Sugar Loaf Mountain to enjoy the view over the harbour

Have a good trip!

6. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 1993 posts) 8y

Quoting bex76

NZ isn't really about th cities, it's about the beautiful countryside, so to stick to just the cities would be a real shame. a week would be too short anyway to see three cities especially on separate islands. if you are flying into auckland you could spend a day or 2 there and then visit the Bay of islands and the coromandel which are both beautiful. alternatively you could fly into christchurch, get a connecting flight to queenstown and spend some time in this area. this would also enable you to do a trip to either milford sound or doubtful sound.

I agree with this post in that the best of NZ, like Switzerland, is outside of the cities. South Island is much more rural and is generally regarded as the gem of NZ, but North Island is very beautiful and interesting too. Can't you expand that week into 10 or 12 days so you could go to both?

Post 7 was removed by a moderator
8. Posted by maxtwinkle (Budding Member 11 posts) 8y

wow!
thanks for all your help!!

unfortunately, we cant extend our trip.. it's going to be from Sept 12-20..

we'll definitely include queenstown now, and probably take out wellington from our itinerary..
from queenstown, we're thinking of renting a car and driving to milford sound..

thanks again for all the great help!!!
if anyone needs any info on the philippines, pls dont hesisate to ask!

:)

will let u know what our final itinerary is!

9. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4834 posts) 8y

Quoting maxtwinkle

from queenstown, we're thinking of renting a car and driving to milford sound..

That's not worth it; much better to take a tour bus (about the only place in the world where I'd recommend doing so), as you'd be trapped behind the dozens upon dozens of them on the road anyway - and it's a really looong day's driving to Milford and back from Queenstown (I think it's 13 hours including the boat tour), so you'd be utterly exhausted if you'd drive that yourself.

What I can recommend renting a car for is the drive between Queenstown and Christchurch. You have some of the most gorgeous South Island scenery on that route (Kawarau Gorge, Lindis Pass, Lake Pukaki with Mount Cook, and Lake Tekapo) - and a place like Mt. Cook or Lake Tekapo makes for a great overnight stop. (Lake Tekapo is my favorite place in all of New Zealand, and probably has a higher chance of good weather for awesome views; but lunch at the balcony of the Hermitage at Mt. Cook. is a definite must do.)

10. Posted by gandk (Full Member 100 posts) 8y

dude first advise is aviod the citys if you have a week, firstly i dont recon its possible!!

the only town/city worth a visit is queens town other than that you need to see fiodlands and the west coast really forget citys!! a city is a city no matter where in the world you are not a beautiful place!!