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Advice needed- 3 weeks to see New Zealand

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific Advice needed- 3 weeks to see New Zealand

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

This thread is marked as being about New Zealand

Hi there,

My two friends fly in to Auckland to meet me on the 4th of Feb. I have to be back in Auckland on the 27th of Feb.

I was wondering if it is possible to visit the good places in the 3 weeks. I have my own car and we are going to drive around and camp.

I thought MUST SEE places are: Rotorua, Taupo, Hawkes Bay area, Wellington, Marlborough Sounds, Franz Josef, Queenstown, Fiordland/ Milford Sound area, Dunedin, Christchurch.

I need help and advice as to whether it is possible to see all this stuff, drive without getting too frustrated and fed up and whether I have missed anything out. As you can see we are planning more or less to head down East coast of North Island, down West coast of South Island and then vice versa on the return journey to Auckland.

I know we're missing a fair bit out but I'm a kiwi and I can see this stuff in the future. It's a once in a lifetime trip for my mates and I want them to see the spectacular stuff and have a blast.

Please help. Thanks

2. Posted by Kelvin Ang (Budding Member 45 posts) 7y


Personally I think it's a wee bit rushed to do both Islands in three weeks. I found that I didn't have much left over when I went touring for a month in just the South Island back in 2006.

Don't know much about the North Island but I think you're spot on with the "must see" places in the South. Also I'd imagine you'll be spending about half the time driving from one place to another, which could be quite tiring. Might be worth considering to do just one island perhaps?


3. Posted by seafarmer (Budding Member 9 posts) 7y

so hard to resist the attempt to do it all - you'd be driving every day - no time to do the fun things - I can see you'd really like to do the lot - but honestly you'd just see road.

As your car and you are based in Auckland, I reckon you'd have a great three weeks chilling out between Rotorua, Taupo, Tongariro Crossing (a Challenge), Coromandel (Hot water beach, Cathedral Cove), Northland to Cape Reinga. In Taupo you can skydive, or take ATVs into the hills.

If they love it, they'll be back - South Island will still be there. Make sure they have three MONTHS for that :)

Happy travelling, from southernmost point of SI.

4. Posted by Kelvin Ang (Budding Member 45 posts) 7y

Quoting seafarmer

If they love it, they'll be back - South Island will still be there. Make sure they have three MONTHS for that :)

Oooooohh, don't know about that, seafarmer. I think the mainland may just decide to cut the north loose and let it float away one of these days

5. Posted by stevieh (Respected Member 613 posts) 7y

I think it depends on your friends' expectations Josh.
You say you want them to 'see the spectacular stuff' I would have said that, with the exception of Tongariro, most 'spectacular stuff' is in the South.
Culturally, they'll get more of the 'Maori experience' in the North.

But yes, three weeks will mean at least one week driving. This is OK if you love driving through the fantastic scenery and consider that part of the journey, but not if they're expecting adrenaline every day.

If you haven't already, I'd sit down with your friends on the first evening and make a plan based on what they'd like to see.