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Linda from Texas asked

Things to do and places to stay

Hello, We are planning a trip to New Zealand in March.  We will be there for 10 days.  We are trying to make plans now but we aren't sure the best way to get the most out of our time.  Any recommendations or thoughts on staying at an airbnb vs. hotel vs renting rv, car rental, best things to do and see?  Thank you for any advise!! 

New Zealand

2 Answers
answered by
Linda from Pittsburgh

We were there for 3 weeks.  We spent two weeks on the south island and one on the north.  We preferred the south island.  If you have been to Yellowstone National Park, I would skip Rotorua.  We loved the QueenstownChristchurch, and Milford Sound Highwayarea, and Doubtful Sound.  We really liked the Coromandel area on the north island and the Abel Tasman National Park.  You can't do all of that, so for itinerary, pick what you feel you would like then try to put an itinerary together.  We had a car.   

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answered first by
Claudia from New York City

Hi Linda,

It depends on:

1. What do you want to see and do?

2. Where you're flying to, is it Auckland or Christchurch, etc.

3. Would you be comfortable driving on the 'wrong side' (left side) of the road?

4. What's your budget for accommodation?

Here's what I would do if I only had 10 days in New Zealand:

Day 1-3

Fly into Auckland, stay three nights at a hotel in downtown Auckland like the Crowne Plaza or Hilton Auckland. Spend a day exploring Auckland and another day at Waiheke Island. Take a guided day trip from Auckland to Waitomo Glowworm Caves and Rotorua.

Day 4-8

Fly from Auckland to Queenstown and get a hotel in Queenstown for 4- 5 nights. Check out Sherwood Queenstown and Crowne Plaza Queenstown. I'd take a day trip to Milford Sound, a day trip to Arrowtown, spend at least two days exploring Queenstown and a day tour to the Central Otago wineries.

Day 9-10

Fly back to Auckland for two more nights. Take a day trip to Hobbiton, if you're a Lord of the Rings fan. has a few suggested itineraries. I'll highlight 2 of the routes:

1.  8-day itinerary visiting Auckland, Tauranga, Rotorua, Hobbiton, and Hamilton.

2. 10-day City Splendor Tour, starting from  Auckland and ending in Queenstown. This itinerary includes Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Queenstown. You fly from city to city.

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Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Auckland (city)
  2. Waitomo Glowworm Caves (attraction)
  3. Rotorua (attraction)
  4. Queenstown (city)
  5. Milford Sound (city)
  6. Arrowtown (city)
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