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New Zealand travel pointers (Auckland to Queenstown)

February 2, 2012

It is a different land altogether. All natural stuff are pretty different from what we have anywhere in northern hemisphere. And the faultline cris-crossing the islands vertically make it even more bubbling .. Did i smell sulphur? (don’t worry you will understand the joke once you visit the place)

here are a few pointers:

– Visit during summers. Most of NZ is snow covered during winters(late march to late sept) Also you will benefit from longer day time. Sun used to set at 9 pm eveyday during my visit.
– Hire a car, best mode to travel places in NZ. longer days will allow you to travel during day time. Roads are nearly empty and you can drive at 100(speed limit) continuously on cruise for 30 mins at place.(I mean that) . North islands have straight roads. South island have windy mountanous roads. I hired a corola altis during new year season can it cost me NZ$ 78 per day for 12 days. (you will surely get better bargain than this) Go Rental is recommended. And all other options of travel are more expensive and less fruitful. It’s all about countryside and finding those secret lookout areas in the mountains or the valeys or beside the lakes or beside the beaches πŸ˜‰ . needless to say, travel in day light.
– Arrive in a city and depart from a different city. We landed in Auckland and traveled north island, than south island and finally departed from Queenstown (Northern tip to southern tip πŸ˜‰ . Paid addn. 200$ to change my return flight bookings from AK to QT. So, don’t commit the same mistake.
– Traveling from North to South Island is through a cruise which is very very good (4 hrs ride) . $65 per person + $169 for the car deporting. Islander recommended. (3 times a day)
– don’t book your hotels as you may not know where you will be. Go backpacker and spend the money elsewhere. backpacker options are plenty everywhere and you can find everything on the GPS. I found all my stay over the counter (except marlborough) during the chrismas ny season, so you know.
– Handy latest maps GPS is indispensible. Torrent will help you here. Make sense to set it up before your visit and save places on it.
– food no issues at all.
– people : you wont find many but the ones you will , will surprise you by their friendliness and helpful nature.
– mobile-prepaid: cheap even if you take it with 3G

Not to be missed attraction
– mt eden at auckland
– coromodal bay
– LOTR hobbitson sites at mata mata
– rotorua and various sulphur attractions
– lake taupo and adventure (best and cheapest skydive)
– volcanic valley between rotorua and lake taupo
– beach road to napier
– wineyard stay at marlborough (it is divine but the most expensive thing) but wine harvesting time is may 😦
– beachride road run to karakoura
– whale watching and swimming with dolphin at karakoura (may bunk if marine doesn’t fantasize you)
– hanmer springs hot mineral pool spa(spend whole day there)
– Glacier trekking at fox or frank josef glacier (besides driving, I loved this the most)
– queenstown, the most happening young city of NZ
– Milford sounds
– go bungy at QT: 47 then 68 then 139 mts fall into the river. Could only do 47 mts. My pockets were empty by that time.

One week is too less to cover it all. Total travel distance is 2980 kms. Do just one island if you are fixed with time or increase it to at least 10 days.

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From → New Zealand

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