a VirtualTourist member from Hurricane
If we were to plan a driving vacation to New Zealand, how much time should we allow. We were thinking 2 weeks there.
You would be pushing it to see the whole in country properly in 2 weeks. Perhaps if you allowed 2 weeks for each island. There is so much to see and do and you don't want to have a flying visit to each town you plan to go to.
So for 2 weeks, what would you be the area to focus on ?
Which Island will you be in? Are you used to seeing mountains, ie are you from Switzerland? Do you already live on an island?
These and more details determine how we can advise on what to see.
We live in St. George, Utah, high desert, lots of red rock mountains. We are open to any suggestions as to the best to see of New Zealand. We have traveled extensively and have lived all over the United States. I grew up in South America. I know we can't see it all, but we are open to suggestions. We love staying at B and B;s and love being among the locals and avoid thre big cities and tourist traps. Cities we have visited and loved are Prague, Budapest, Bavaria, Madrid, Malaga, Bogota, Colombia, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Costa Rica.Guatemala,
The mountains of the South Island are worth seeing and quite different to Utah. So in that part of New Zealand (the South), there are also Fjords and Glaciers and Lakes.
Queenstown and Wanaka are , in my opinion, very worth while towns to visit with their surrounding scenery, and depending on when you come, will have snowy mountains or not.
You can visit Fox and/or FranzJosef Glaciers (West Coast), with helicopter tours available.
Tours to Milford Sound to see some Fjords, which takes some time travelling there.
If you care to venture over to the East Coast you could visit the wild Catlins and the Otago Peninsula Albatross colony.
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Cities are relatively small by world standards and nightlife is mostly of the natural kind. However we do great cafes and scenery. Hope you have fun :-)
we only managed the north island in two weeks..
I have done parts of both islands in two weeks by car, but you need to be selective of where you go, for example, we omitted the Bay of Islands, and went to the Coromandel Peninsula instead, as it is closer to Auckland.
In 3 weeks, by car, a friend and I covered most of the country. People from New Zealand were worried, but we were living in outback Australia, and used to long drives.
Two weeks would give you enough time to see one island, but even then not all of it. If your interests include seeing countryside, i.e. wildlife, bush, mountains and beaches, then I would plump for the North Island, partly because the distances are less great than the South Island. You could plan a trip from Auckland (assuming that is your entry point) and travel to the Coromandel (3 days), Bay of Plenty (3 days), Rotorua (2 days), Hawkes Bay (3 days), Wairarapa (a day) and Wellington (2 days) and that's about it. I could suggest highlights of these places if that's what suits you.
Ded0823 I'd love to know how your trip went. Ozziegiraffe - I'd be keen to know what your 2 week itinerary was. We are planning 12 days on both islands and I've had a few telling me that it's ridiculous. We too are used to driving long distances as well as narrow' windy roads and we know that the NZ roads take quite a bit of extra time!