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Advice for 1st time travellers, NZ especially!

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific Advice for 1st time travellers, NZ especially!

1. Posted by Sally1984 (First Time Poster 1 posts) 7y

Hey,

Me and my boyfriend are planning a 6 month RTW trip in August, and are in the midst of making some firm plans. If you can help at all any advice and recommendations are hugely appreciated.!

We are hoping to spend 6 weeks travelling in USA and then heading to Aukland around Mid-late sepember and spending roughly a month or so in NZ.

Should we see both the north and south island?
What sites to see and do?
How to travel around fairly cheaply?
Is a month long enough?

If anyone has a common itinerary that would help as we are pretty clueless at the moment.
Also we are on a budget, looking at around £1000 each for a month, including accommodation and transport. I would alos like to do a sky dive, and white water rafting possibly...

Moving onto Austrailia following this for 6 weeks, Thailand and Asia for 2 months.

Any tips much appreciated, this is our first big adventure! Thanks! xxx

2. Posted by jasonh2015 (Full Member 156 posts) 7y

Hi sally, Not sure about the US. But I went to Australia and spent about $200AUD per wk on a hostel, and i was staff. And as for a month, its a very short time to try and do both islands in NZ. I think you might need more time, and more money. I was in Australia for 4 months give or take a few days, but i spent $8500AUD. thats about £4200

Then again i partied the whole month of december and had a job for a wk.

I'm going back in Oct/Nov to do more travelling this time in Australia, then off to NZ to work and backpack :)

Jay

3. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4834 posts) 7y

Quoting Sally1984

Should we see both the north and south island?
What sites to see and do?
How to travel around fairly cheaply?
Is a month long enough?

If anyone has a common itinerary that would help as we are pretty clueless at the moment.

I don't currently have the time to draw up a complete itinerary, but here's a three week one I wrote a couple of months ago which should serve as a rough basis for what to see and where to go. With the extra time you have available, I'd add on a trip up to the Bay of Islands and Cape Reinga immediately after departing Auckland, then visit Cathedral Cove on the Coromandel Peninsula, plus just generally pad your stay in most places on that itinerary with an extra day.

A month is never "enough" time to see New Zealand (if you can easily add on more time, the country can easily accommodate it; there's always more to see, and to see in more depth), but it is enough to give you a decent overview without feeling you've missed anything absolutely essential, and yes, does allow you to see something of each island.

Given that you're going in September, which is low season, the cheapest way to travel around is almost certain to rent a car (or optionally a campervan, though personally I'd consider that too cold in many places) and stay in hostels (which frequently run "stay two nights, get the third free" that time of year).

Also we are on a budget, looking at around £1000 each for a month, including accommodation and transport. I would alos like to do a sky dive, and white water rafting possibly...

£1000 currently works out to $2600 (this has been fluctuating rather heavily this last year, so be prepared for a change of up to 10% in either direction), which would give you a budget of $85 per person per day, or $170 total per day. Figure $50 per day for car rental including gas, ~$55 per day for a double room (more expensive in the big cities, but also significantly cheaper in smaller hostels in in between places), $25 per day for basic supermarket food (cooking your own meals in the hostels) and $10 for incidentals. That leaves you $25 per day, or $900 total ($450 per person) for activities like skydiving and rafting. It's a bit tight, but certainly doable. Just keep a careful eye on how much you're actually spending, and maybe consider saving some money every so often by staying in a dorm room or eating pasta. :)

Enjoy your trip; you'll be going to some awesome places! :)

4. Posted by Cool Paul (Travel Guru 611 posts) 7y

musts...

north island:
don't spend one night in auckland
tongariro crossing
coromandel peninsula
rotorua geothermal parks
white island if you have the money
wellington

south island:
the area right between lake hawae and lake wanaka- quite possibly the most gorgeous place on earth-
queenstown
milford or doubtful sound
kaikoura - swim with hundreds of dolphins
franz josef

I saw pretty much most of the towns on the south island in three weeks but I wish I had skipped most of it. If you don't plan on spending a lot of time there, there's not much going on in invercargill, dunedin or chch.

5. Posted by xnicolaaax (Budding Member 5 posts) 7y

hey sally,

first i would say you should visit both islands-its a once in a lifetime oppurtunity so you might as well make the most of it. there are tours that you can do for not too expensive--> you should look into stray travel. they do really good tours. im planning on doing one of their tours as have read good reviews about them.

as for what to do, there is so much to choose from. i would suggest all the usuals: churchtown, auckland, tongarino park, go on the whale watching tour, taupo, rotorua...its basically up to you!

money wise i would say thats enough, for 3 months im taking £3k and just like u i wanna do skydiving and other stuff too

oh and finally a month should be plenty...im only going for 3 weeks and still managing to cram it in :)

nikki

6. Posted by Dodger (Inactive 875 posts) 7y

Quoting Cool Paul

musts...

north island:
don't spend one night in auckland

I saw pretty much most of the towns on the south island in three weeks but I wish I had skipped most of it. If you don't plan on spending a lot of time there, there's not much going on in invercargill, dunedin or chch.

That's a pretty ignorant statement coming from a traveler, so sad.

There's plenty to see and do in those places and just cause you don't know how to find them doesnt mean its not there.

Dunedin has some awesome museums as does Christchurch. Not to mention great parks and other places of historic interest and scenic beauty.

I don't know what peoples beef is with Auckland. I guess if a few people say they didnt have a good time there, then just like sad little sheep everyone has to jump on the band wagon. Certainly staying in the downtown hostels your going to get the usual mass of young drunk travelers, who's idea of seeing the world is to be drunk for 80% of it, and who's only requirement of a town is it have cheap booze. But the Auckland I saw had downtown streets that were charming with historic buildings and cobbled streets. The parks were first class, the water front areas are a great place to cycle along, and the Museums are full of things to fill a few days.

I'm thinking "Cool Paul" isnt so cool as he thinks

Ok sorry to hit on ya so hard, but really being so negative about places on a travel forum is just absurd. I can't name one place that Ive ever been that I could say it was boring or had nothing of interest. If nothing else the place was interesting for the fact that people choose to live there, which made them interesting! Travel is supposed to open your mind to new things. Dont wast your money going to all these amazing places and then only search out the things that only suit your comfort zone.

Sorry again for going on such a long rant...I was bored and had nothing to do in this damn boring place im at.