Coach trip round New Zealand

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Coach trip round New Zealand

Postby ellen22 » Thu Mar 18, 2010 2:36 pm

Hiya,

I'm going to be travelling solo round NZ by coach in July - anyone have any tips or advice on what not to miss? I'm especially hoping to swim with dolphins and go for a walk on the glaciers :D .

Any advice/tips would be much appreciated!

Thanks,
Ellen x
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Re: Coach trip round New Zealand

Postby jimshu » Thu Mar 18, 2010 3:25 pm

How much time have you got here?
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Re: Coach trip round New Zealand

Postby ellen22 » Thu Mar 18, 2010 4:39 pm

I have a month - I'm flying into and out of Auckland.
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Re: Coach trip round New Zealand

Postby jimshu » Fri Mar 19, 2010 12:16 am

You on a coach tour and have you worked out an itinerary?
GAP's tour here-
http://www.gapadventures.com/trips/nort ... 2010-11-15
is good.If you're not going on that, use it to base your own itinerary on.
When you get to Napier, I suggest you do not miss the Cape Kidnappers Gannet Colony Tractor Safari.This is an exciting day out, but tide dependant as they take you along the beach.I posted photos on my Facebook account.
http://www.facebook.com/#!/album.php?ai ... =652863280
We've done this 3 times now and it just gets better.
Also keep up with this-
http://www.facebook.com/moko.the.dolphin?v=wall
And you should be able to track where he is entertaining the punters, and you may be lucky as we were, to coincide your visits to where he is.

Rotorua has many options for thermal areas and very scenic walks.So if you don't do the Tongariro crossing , there are photos on that Facebook gannet safari album of Waimangu Thermal area.A boat trip on the lake is available.Waiotapu thermals is wonderful also.

Then from Napier it is a full days bus journey across to New Plymouth and Mt Taranaki.
There will be photos on my faceboook site of that area.The Camphouse is a very rustic but enjoyable accom, and cheap, set in the heart of some stunning walking trails around the mountain.
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Re: Coach trip round New Zealand

Postby ellen22 » Fri Mar 19, 2010 2:14 pm

Hi,

I'm getting one of the Kiwi Experience bus tickets, so working out an itinery at the moment to decide which one to go for. I have a rough idea of what I want to to do but not really worked out how long I'll spend in various places.

I had a look at your pictures though - Rotoura looks amazing, it's definately on my list of places to visit. I'd also quite like to go ski-ing for a day or two if I get chance is there much of that in July?

Thanks for your help :)
Ellen
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Re: Coach trip round New Zealand

Postby jimshu » Fri Mar 19, 2010 4:48 pm

http://www.nzski.com/
For ski info.Or just google ski new zealand and there are many sites specific to main skifields you can get to.
It's height of the season in July ,plan on the South Island skifields ,Mt Hutt, or down around Queenstown or Wanaka,as they are great places to base yourself to take in skiing and all the adventure sports, trekking etc in that area.
July being mid winter, there are so many things I'd like to recommend, but are very weather dependant so best to plan a conservative itinerary.And leave a few free days so if weather is good, then go and do them on the spur of the moment.

Start by planning to spend one third of your time in North Island, 2/thirds South.
Leave free days in your itinerary but have a list of possible things to do, on the spur of the moment, because of the weather.

1 full day,at least Rotorua.Tongariro Crossing will be very iffy that time of year.Ditto Mt Taranaki.So plan for Napier area so the GAP itinerary seems to be appropriate.Use that as your plan.


Leave some free days in Queenstown area, so if the weather is good, you can do activities like this.You should be able to book and go on the day, for that time of year.

http://www.dartriver.co.nz/dartriver/WildernessSafari/
This is what we'll do next time down that way.
I'd suggest,building a list of activity operators, and when you arrive anywhere, you can contact them and go as the weather allows.Every town/city has an Information /visitors site, but preplan your possible activities, as you'll waste valuable time in them.
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Re: Coach trip round New Zealand

Postby ellen22 » Sun Mar 21, 2010 10:32 am

Thanks for that - I've had a look at the link and it looks great. I'm definately going to try and get some in whilst I'm down there.
I've also seen some glow worm caves to visit and possibly Milford Sound too, although I'm debating whether to go up to the top of the North Island as I don't want to be rushing round too much as would like to spend a couple of days in Kaioura as it looks lovely there and want to visit a vineyard too :D
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Re: Coach trip round New Zealand

Postby owena » Sun Mar 21, 2010 12:18 pm

this is a great thread. We are planning to spend a month in NZ with some friends next February. Our prime reason for going is to walk the Milford Track but we are starting to look at other things that we would like to see. Our friends lived there for a year so they have given advice on what they think are the must not miss places. I bought the Lonely Planet book yesterday. Hovever, as our Galapagos trip is in 2 weeks time we are trying not to get distracted from that too much!

It would be great to hear how your tript planning goes
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Re: Coach trip round New Zealand

Postby ellen22 » Mon Mar 22, 2010 4:47 pm

It is proving rather useful!

I've got the Rough Guide book which I'm reading through at the moment - it says that it's possible to do a day trip to Milford Sound from Queenstown which I'm going to look into as if I choose a coach pass with it included it adds a couple of extra days which I don't really have (mainly as I keep finding things I want to do!)
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Re: Coach trip round New Zealand

Postby jimshu » Mon Mar 22, 2010 5:05 pm

That's the way our country is.There are so many really interesting places things to do, it becomes more a decision of what to leave out rather than what to do.
And if you are going to try and do the top of the NI, then you will be on the road so much more, and less time to actually do things.
Yes, there are day trips into Milford.Don't prebook it.As the weather will determine if it's actually worthwhile going there on the day.Wait til you get to Queenstown, and get weather advice .
That time of year, we get a lot of cold, wet, windy fronts come through.Great for the winter sports though.And that is why I suggest not prebooking activities but planning to work around the weather.
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Re: Coach trip round New Zealand

Postby ellen22 » Tue Mar 23, 2010 3:12 pm

Yes, that's the only reason I'm not sure about going further north than Auckland. I'm leaving all booking until I get to NZ as I don't know where I'll be when until I get there really, I'm just trying to get a rough-ish itinery sorted and seeing whats available. I just hope the weather's good enough to do some on the activities on my list :)
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Re: Coach trip round New Zealand

Postby jimshu » Tue Mar 23, 2010 3:33 pm

Write out your plan.The GAP tour is useful as a basic itinerary.


You'll find plenty of help here at these sites as you move around.Take a list of their addresses with you.-
http://www.newzealand.com/travel/i-site ... s_home.cfm
Probably your first stop when you get into Auckland.
Then you'll meet up with others at your backpackers/accom, etc and while on the Kiwi Experience bus and discuss with them what their plans are.
And adjust what you do, subject to the weather.But stick basically with your plan.
In the short time you have, I'd say miss out north of Auckland which will mean you can pick up and do more on the shorter itinerary.If you are into winter sports, then plan the 2/3'ds of your time down south.
That time of year, coming through Central North Island, try for a night at De Brett's, Taupo.They have cabins for cheap accom.May cost more than a backpackers, but thrown in will be evenings soaking in the hot mineral pools while it's pouring with rain, or the frosty night is setting in.Just invigorating.Used to take the whole family there.
You'll love it and who cares about the weather while you're soaking.
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Re: Coach trip round New Zealand

Postby ellen22 » Wed Mar 24, 2010 5:55 pm

Thanks for the tip. I've got as far as Waitomo in my planning so far. I'll get there eventually :)
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Re: Coach trip round New Zealand

Postby molly7 » Sat Sep 25, 2010 12:10 am

Hi,
i just got back from a 2 weeks trip to NZ so obviously my experience was a lot shorter than yours will be. A few tips:
- Use a GAP or Contiki Itinerary to make your own but definitely do it on your own as it is a lot cheaper.
- Dont miss Bay of Islands. The coach drive up there is almost as beautiful as the Islands themselves.
Depending on the weather/time of year you can swim with Dolphins there if you go on a cruise (i went on one in the middle of winter and it was rainy and bad weather so we didnt see any dolphins - which i didnt mind so much because im from Aust and they are everywhere here. but it was great to get out and see the islands)
- Waitomo and Rotorua are pretty over-rated to be honest. you really dont need much time there.
- Wellington and Christchurch are beautiful cities.
- Auckland is just like every other big city in the world.
- Queenstown is the place i would have liked more time in as there is endless activities, its beautiful, and is a great party town.

- The real star of a trip to NZ is definitely the countryside while you are travelling from one destination to the next. So a coach is definitely the best way to go
Hope this helps a little.
Molly
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Re: Coach trip round New Zealand

Postby molly7 » Sat Sep 25, 2010 12:13 am

Also, at Fox Glaicer they have this tour called a Helihike. you go probably 2/3rds of the way up the glacier in a helicopter then go for a hike around for a few hours.
It is definitely worth spending the money here if you can as it is probably a once in a life time experience. I didnt do the helihike a just did a scenic helicopter ride and it was worth every penny.
If you do the helihike there is also some great photo opps. so id definitely go for that if you want to walk on the glacier.
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