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a VirtualTourist member from Nice asked on Aug 15, 2016

New Zealand

3 weeks stay, need advise please

Hi, I will appreciate all your advise please.

period of stay = 18 nov, 9 dec

about me = 36 y.o., travelling alone, backpackers style (hostel, couchsurfing...), I will rent a cheap car (omegacar rental ? the cheapest I found for the south island from nelson to christchurch), I love sports,.. ready everymorning from 8 or 9am and sleep not late in order to enjoy a maximum

My itinerary =

North Island
day 1 / arrival auckland 12h05.... stay in auckland
day 2 / drive to tongariro park
day 3 / tongariro alpine crossing 8 hrs (sleep in tongariro)
day 4 / rotorua
day 5 / afternoon, drive to coromandel peninsula (+stop at matamata for LOTR? I am not a big fan but it's an option)
day 6 / coromandel peninsula
day 7 / back to auckland and flight to nelson + drive in abel tasman area

South Island
day 8 / abel tasman
day 9 / abel tasman
day 10 / drive to punakaiki or hokitika
day 11 / drive to franz joseph area
day 12 / drive to wanaka
day 13 / wanaka
day 14 / drive to te anau
day 15 / kepler track, trek
day 16 / kepler track, trek
day 17 / kepler track, trek, drive to queenstown
day 18 / queenstown
day 19 / drive to aoraki (in which city to find hostel because there is not a lot of choice in aoraki ?)
day 20 / drive to christchurch
day 21 / flight to auckland, visit the city
day 22 / flight back to Europe at 14h05

2 Answers

answered on 8/15/16 by
a VT member from New Zealand

Just to say the Kepler Track is high altitude, and even though you will be here in Summer, it can snow and be very extreme in weather. Therefore you will need clothing for all climates, at the very least a blizzard jacket, and very good walking boots. Most likely it won't be cold, but just because it is summer doesn't mean it can't be cold. I've been snowed on in the region middle of January and December is colder than Jan.
In recent years December hasn't been as warm as it used to be.
Having said that, The Kepler Track is amazing.
If you are not a fan of LOTR, and as you have such little time, I would spend that time in Coromandel Peninsular and not Matamata. (I love Matamata, but just being realistic here). Very glad you are going to Coromandel. I do see that Matamata is kindof on the way to Coromandel from Rotorua. You would need to book your LOTR tour if you did that and give yourself about 1.5 hrs to get into the peninsula.
When you say "sleep in Tongariro" what exactly do you mean? Camping?
When you drive back to Auckland from the south, give yourself plenty of time as often there are traffic holdups around that part of Auckland, but of course you will be dropping off your car as well.
For Aoraki Mt Cook you could stay in Tekapo township, I was there recently and there is a campground there.
Please avoid sleeping in your car as the locals will likely become hostile as they don't like this practice.
You will have a great time, welcome to kiwiland !!

answered on 8/16/16 by
a VT member from Nice

Thanks Kiwi for your advices.
About Tongariro, I didn't decide yet, but that should be Turangi. (and next morning I will live to Rotorua). or may be camping I don't know yet ))
Dont worry I will not sleep in the car )) I did few times when I visited USA west coast and national park but I rented a Grand Cherokee 4*4. This time I will rent the cheapest car (=smallest) and I am tall (1m88) so if try to sleep in this car, my body will be broken after one night or 2

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