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3 Weeks in NZ - 2 week south, 1 week north

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific 3 Weeks in NZ - 2 week south, 1 week north

1. Posted by tash880 (First Time Poster 1 posts) 6y

Hi,

My partner and I are 22, from AUS and heading to NZ for 3 weeks in May.

I have done up a rough itinerary for both islands. My partner is looking forward to the jet boating and we are contemplating the canyon swing. So far most of our time is going to be spent around Queenstown and Mount Cook. We fly into Christchurch so I was thinking drive down the coast, around the bottom and up the other side. We are then getting the ferry across to the North Island. A friend said if we only have 1 week there spend 2 -3 days at Lake Taupo, 2 - 3 days at Rotorua and if we can a day at Bay of Islands before we fly out of Auckland.

Are there any particular attractions on the North Island you think are work seeing and personally do you think the 2 - 3days in Taupo and Rotorua is an overkill?

Also are there any 'not to be missed' places on the South Island? I have been reading every NZ guide I can get from travel agents but nothing beats first hand experience. I dont think my partner will be too into the hiking side of things but if there is something you feel is a must please let me know!

Oh on the East side of the South Island I have only really put in Dunedin as a place to spend the night because of the Castle and the chocolate factory. Have also just found something on pancake rocks i think it is?

Any suggestions would be a great help as I would hate to miss anything!!!!

I look forward to your comments!

Thanks Tash

2. Posted by nzbr (Budding Member 2 posts) 6y

Hi Tash,

I would recommend 3 days (max) to do Rotorua and Taupo.
There's plenty to do in these 2 places, but I think it's enough.

The Coromandel Peninsula is also great and worth visiting if you have some time (North Island). Cathedral Cove and Hot Water Beach are the main attractions.
-snip-

Cheers!

Moderator comment: please see Forum Rules

[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. Link to Forum Rules added. ]

3. Posted by Araluen (Respected Member 346 posts) 6y

Quoting tash880

Hi,

drive down the coast, around the bottom and up the other side.

Are there any particular attractions on the North Island you think are work seeing and personally do you think the 2 - 3days in Taupo and Rotorua is an overkill?

Oh on the East side of the South Island I have only really put in Dunedin as a place to spend the night because of the Castle and the chocolate factory. Have also just found something on pancake rocks i think it is?

Hi Tash,
The "classic" route is Christchurch to Arthur's Pass, down the west coast to Franz Josef - Queenstown, Te Anau>Milford Sound, then to Aoraki/Mt. Cook, Christchurch, then up the east coast to Picton.
The chocolate factory in Dunedin is missable. Skip Dunedin altogether, you'll be in NZ just before winter and there are better places to see.

If you like wineries and can add an extra day to the North Island, then Wellington to Napier (a 4 hour drive) - great Art Deco city as well as wines, (best done at weekends) across to Rotorua (2 nights) Auckland (1 night). For the BOI drive up the west coast to Opononi, then across to Paihia (2 nights) and back down the east coast.

Something I always advise people to see is Wai-O-Tapu the colours of the champagne pool are awesome, the devils ink spots are really interesting, the primrose sinter terrace etc. Just remember to stay on the paths.

You may like to have a mud bath at Tikitere (Hell's Gate) . Tamaki Māori Village offer the most authentic experience - dinner and Māori concert - the Haka is fantastic. But don't buy any souvenirs there - they cost more there. Also, if you're planning on buying greenstone, according to Māori legend it is bad luck to buy greenstone for yourself - you must only ever be given it as a gift from another.

A suggested itinerary
Day 1 Christchurch
Day 2 Arthur's Pass
Day 3 Franz Josef
Day 4 Franz Josef
Day 5 Queenstown
Day 6 Queenstown
Day 7 Queenstown
Day 8 Te Anau
Day 9 Te Anau (day trip to Milford Sound)
Day 10 Aoraki/Mt. Cook
Day 11 Aoraki/Mt. Cook
Day 12 Christchurch
Day 13 Kaikoura (whale watching?)
Day 14 Wellington (drive to Picton then Interislander)
Day 15 Napier
Day 16 Rotorua
Day 17 Rotorua
Day 18 Opononi
Day 19 Paihia
Day 20 Paihia
Day 21 Auckland

Kia Ora.