NYE - Highlights of New Zealand

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NYE - Highlights of New Zealand

Postby ericajohnson27 » Thu Jul 13, 2017 12:20 pm

I'll be doing the Highlights of New Zealand tour in late December that ends the morning of December 31st in Christchurch. My flight home leaves Auckland on January 2nd, so I've got some free time. Does anyone have advice or suggestions for where to spend New Years? Should I catch a flight back to Auckland, where I expect the celebrations are bigger, or do I stay in Christchurch for the change of the year?
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Re: NYE - Highlights of New Zealand

Postby g_traveller_5d07fda8 » Thu Oct 19, 2017 12:19 pm

Also doing this tour starting Feb. 4...and we have 4 days after arriving in Christchurch before we leave for Toronto from Auckland. Any advice about where to stay and what to do is welcome ( we have 4 days in Auckland before we join the tour). Thanks!
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Re: NYE - Highlights of New Zealand

Postby ExplorerWannaBe » Sat Nov 04, 2017 9:40 pm

EDIT: Just wanted to add that I did this trip last November and it's fabulous. Our CEO was Levi and he is just great.

Christchurch is a wonderful city and extra days to explore and enjoy it are great. Honestly, I preferred Christchurch to Auckland. It's nice to have an extra day or two in Auckland but it's your basic big city. The hostel G uses (All Stars on Bealey) is okay -- very nice staff -- but a little removed from the town center.

I much preferred the BreakFree on Cashel. The rooms are fantastic and it has superb breakfast buffet but more importantly, it's closer to restaurants and attractions. It got some good exercise in walking downtown from All Stars but it's just not as convenient.

We had a couple extra days in Christchurch due to the earthquakes last year which gave most of the people on the tour time to catch a cricket game. I chose to visit the Antarctic Centre near the airport but you can do that on your way home -- either take the bus out to the airport several hours early if you have an afternoon flight or go out there at midday and tour it in the afternoon then spend the night near the airport if you have a morning flight. I think I was there for about 5 hours but you can see most of it in 2-3 hours.

There's a museum on Cashel near the shopping that is devoted to recounting the traumatic earthquakes that destroyed much of the center of Christchurch. It's a great museum, give it a good 4 hours for the full experience. The city itself is quite walkable -- you have to take a bus to get to the gondola nearby but you grab that bus just outside one of the main museums. The trip itself will knock out all morning and possibly into the early afternoon, depending on how much time you spend up at top. The views are gorgeous.

I'm sure there's a lot more to be enjoyed in Christchurch but we only had so much time. Another option you might want to consider is to spend New Years in Wellington. It's a bigger city than Christchurch but has a homier feel than Auckland. We got an extra unexpected day in Wellington due to the earthquakes and really could have used yet another day because the city has so much to offer.
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