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North or south island of NZ????

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific North or south island of NZ????

1. Posted by Suzyb (Inactive 63 posts) 5y

I'm finding it hard to decide what part of NZ to travel through, I'm basically travelling from London and spending a week in NZ, so that doesn't give me alot of time to explore both! As I'm off to aus and have only given myself a wk in between.
Can anyone recommend which one I shouldn't miss out on?
It's a shame I can't do both!

2. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3714 posts) 5y

Definitely the South Island as it's stunning. The North Island is pretty too but best off saved for another visit because of your time frame. You could start off in Queenstown, go on to Wanaka and then spend some time at the glaciers on the West Coast.

3. Posted by hey_monkee (Respected Member 430 posts) 5y

I'm from the South Island of NZ so my answer is gonna sound biased anyway, but honestly I'd go for the South ;) Queenstown is still just about my favourite place in the world, even though I've done a bit of international travel, plus theres plenty of other spots that tourists and locals alike rave about - the glaciers, Wanaka, Fiordland, the list goes on. These kind of places will give you a great intro to NZ, hopefully you'll return and see more of it another time!

4. Posted by wanderer82 (Full Member 111 posts) 5y

Depends what you are after really, the South Island offers spectacular scenery whereas the more populated North Island has more cities places to visit etc.

Personally I would say do the North Island first.

The South is beautiful but the distances involved are just vast and you'll find yourself travelling possibly 250km+ between attractions, which means you'll be just wasting most of your holiday time on the road.

There is some beautiful scenery in the North too and you won't feel like a commuter!

5. Posted by TravelMc (Respected Member 93 posts) 5y

If you want good beaches and a bit of time to relax whilst being able to take in kiwi culture and only in 1 week - North Island all the way. You can catch cultural shows in Rotorua, enjoy geothermal hot pools in Taupo (or rotorua) shop in any of the cities, visit the War Memorial Museum and the Sky Tower and Casino in Auckland, wander around Parnell or catch the ferry to Waiheke Island for a day, Enjoy a wine tour in Warkworth, visit fantastic East (white sand) and West (black sand) coast beaches, visit the coromandel for the chance to feel like you've really gotten away from it all and stepped back in time to boot. Its more temperate and you'll get a chance to see the more pacific flavour the north island offers.

If you want dramatic scenery go south as recommended above - Queenstown and then aim for fjordland then up the west coast probably starting and finishing in Christchurch. There are tours that take in a good load of sites and destinations in this vacinity that should take you less than a week too if you need to get to Chch and back to Auckland! And the scenery will take your breath away!


6. Posted by hotdogfox (Budding Member 37 posts) 5y

If you are there for just a week I would definitely recommend the North Island. Plus the weather should hold up more. Bay of Islands, Auckland, Rotorua, Taupo, Wellington, if you can fit them all in?!?? Also check out the Waitomo Caves, 100 metre abseil into a stunning cave, absolutely breath-taking. White water rafting in Rotorua has the tallest commercial drop of 7 metres in the world and Taupo has the cheapest but by far the best skydive over the Lake with some Lord of the Rings mountains in the background would recommend getting the DVD :-D Plenty of Moari cultural experiences around, definitely check this out! The haka is brilliant! Auckland is a fantastic city, if you can, get the ferry to Waiheke Island or Devenport, beautiful areas and only takes minutes... plus the sky tower is an engineering masterpiece, walk around the top of the tower!! Make sure you get one of them voucher books in Auckland for some money off :) I went to both Islands in NZ, South is stunning but more to do in the North! Hope that helps

7. Posted by Suzyb (Inactive 63 posts) 5y

Thanks everyone you have been most helpful in my decision making!! :)