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New Zealand North Island


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Any recommendations for the north island of New Zealand. I'm headed there the first week of November for 11 days. I'm going to rent a car and explore with no itinerary planned yet.

 

I spent two weeks in NZ a few years ago but just hit up the big cities with some day trips to scenic spots like Milford Sound and Waiheke Island.

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2 days in Auckland

3 days in the Northland

1 day Rotorua

1 day Napier

2 days Lake Taupo/ Tongariro

2 days in Wellington

 

the Coromandel Peninsula is nice if you want to knock a day off Auckland of the Northland. Of course, if you have already hit the big cities already, Auckland and Wellignton might not hold the same interest.

i know the Waitomo glowworm caves are a big attraction -  never been though.

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Skip Wellington unless you are going to the LOTR (Weta) studio. You can actually tour Hobbiton in Matamata. They have several busses leaving from Auckland. Well worth it.

I would add Waitamo. The Glowworm caves are pretty badass. Bus travel is very efficient, but I was glad that I rented a car. We loved all of our hotels.

IMO, the South Island has more interesting attractions. (Lake Tekapo, Queenstown, various glaciers, Milford Sound, etc.) But if you’re married to the North, @yoladu has a decent itinerary .

Edited by Spankytoes
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Did the Waitomo glowworm caves right before covid hit and it was worth it.  There was some sort of hot spring not far from there too.

If you do make it to Wellington taking the ferry over to Picton across the Marlboro Sounds for a few days is relaxing.  Stayed in a house at the marina with boats right outside the front door and you could walk to a smattering of bars and restaurants.  There's a nice hike there too which gives you a great view of the town and water below.

https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/31389111

I flew into Wellington and rented a car one-way for almost nothing since it was a company that helps rental car fleets relocate and I took from there to Auckland instead of the other way around.

I had to come back early b/c of covid and need to get the south island trip scheduled.  Driving was pleasant enough but I'd like to take a train so I can booze.

 

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24 minutes ago, brownboy said:

Did the Waitomo glowworm caves right before covid hit and it was worth it.  There was some sort of hot spring not far from there too.

If you do make it to Wellington taking the ferry over to Picton across the Marlboro Sounds for a few days is relaxing.  Stayed in a house at the marina with boats right outside the front door and you could walk to a smattering of bars and restaurants.  There's a nice hike there too which gives you a great view of the town and water below.

https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/31389111

I flew into Wellington and rented a car one-way for almost nothing since it was a company that helps rental car fleets relocate and I took from there to Auckland instead of the other way around.

I had to come back early b/c of covid and need to get the south island trip scheduled.  Driving was pleasant enough but I'd like to take a train so I can booze.

 

Good call. We rented from Jucy car rental too. No issues and a fair price. They do tours as well.

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  • 2 months later...

Getting ready to start planning this for 2024 in January or February.  My sister lived there after she graduated high school, so I got to go for 3 weeks when I was 12, but can't wait to go back.  

Willing to pay for business class if I can find a decent deal.  Anyone have any recs for airlines?  Qantas?  Singapore?  Other?

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I took the American flight direct from DFW to Auckland in December and it’s fantastic. I go to NZ a couple times per year for work, and it makes such a difference not to have to connect. 
 

if you’re there in summer, probably my best pro tip would be to spend the extra cash (maybe $1500 I think it was) to get a helicopter to take you around Auckland and then out to Waiheke for a day of drinking at a restaurant on the beach. Hard to top a day like that. 

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Flew there via Singapore Airlines and the service was stellar but the business class seat wasn't great.  The footwell is a little narrow if you don't get bulkhead and the seat has to be manually flipped to become the bed so it doesn't have the in-between modes.  Added a free stopover in Singapore for a few days.

Came back via AA and the business class seat was awesome and service was adequate.

The waitomo glow worm cave was really cool.  Wellington is nice town and it's a beautiful ride across the Marlboro Sounds to Picton.

There was talk of an AA flight from DFW to Christchurch.  I'll look for it if I can get back there and explore the south island.

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