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7 days in New Zealand in mid-February

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific 7 days in New Zealand in mid-February

1. Posted by ikondrar (Budding Member 2 posts) 5y

Hi All,

I just started planning our New Zealand trip. We have already purchased airline tickets to Auckland, so now it is just car rental, hotels and destinations.

My husband and I are quiet adventurous people, and are very excited about our trip, yet I'd like to ask for some advices.

What are some 5-10 MUST see destinations?

I am not much of Lord of the Rings fan, but I think visiting at least 1-2 places so I could share with my brother (who is a fan of that movie) would be nice, would you be able to recommend?

What are some one of a kind attractions/things to do? (I'd like to avoid kayaking, boat trips unless it's ferries or half day, zoo/safari, botanical garden, helicopter/air baloon rides).

From the list of cities, I planned to check out: Auckland, Rotorua, Wellington, (take ferry to the south island), Christchurch and Queenstown. Is that too much for a short vacation?

What are some reliable and cheap companies that rent cars? Are there any hidden fees, that I need to be aware of?

What are some good hotel deals sites (not too expensive and average 3* is fine too)?

Thank you so much for your help, in advance!

2. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4810 posts) 5y

I'm short on time at the moment, so just a semi-swift reply here. Might write more in a couple of days.
Doing both islands in a week is too much - you'd only be driving; stick to either the north (nicest cities, culture, volcanic landscapes) or the south (nicest (most spectacular) scenery, mountains, nature, hiking). I'd strongly recommend doing the South Island. (Flying into Auckland is no problem there, as there's near-hourly flights to Christchurch and Queenstown.) There's really only one Lord of the Rings destination really worth seeing imo, and that's Hobbiton at Matamata, which has the only movie set still (partially) remaining.

A couple of years ago I wrote down a suggested itinerary for a week in the south island here. For the north island I'd say:
1: Explore Auckland
2: Drive to the Coromandel (stay at Whitianga or Hahei) via Matamata (hobbiton)
3: See Cathedral Cove and hot water beach, then drive to Rotorua
4: See volcanic parks around rotorua (wai-o-tapu), then drive on to whakapapa in Tongariro National Park
5: Hike the Tongariro Crossing if it's good weather, or do shorter hikes if the weather's bad
6: Drive to Napier and explore Napier
7: Drive to Wellington and explore Wellington
8: Fly home

You could also skip Napier and the Coromandel and instead use those days for a quick trip up to the Bay of Islands.

Post 3 was removed by a moderator
4. Posted by pym2 (Budding Member 2 posts) 5y

If you make it to Wellington, and big LOTR fans, then the Weta Workshops 'Cave' is a must.
and from what I understand free to visit :)

http://www.wetanz.com/do-you-do-tours-of-the-workshop/

5. Posted by ikondrar (Budding Member 2 posts) 5y

I just checked with Hobbiton at Matamata, and they are closed in February after Feb 13th. :(

6. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4810 posts) 5y

Quoting ikondrar

I just checked with Hobbiton at Matamata, and they are closed in February after Feb 13th. :(

That sucks for you, but is pretty awesome on the bigger scale, in that it suggests they're going to re-use the set for The Hobbit! (And I want to bet the family will this time have negotiated a contract where they get to keep the entire set in as close to complete state as possible, which means that after the movies...) :)

7. Posted by Daysi Hard (Budding Member 9 posts) 5y

You have great decision, February and March is best time for New Zealand trip.