Best way to do New Zealand

By djtech | Dec 14, 2018, 08:06 PM
Hey Ausbt,

Planning a trip in April to New Zealand with family. Visiting Auckland, Queenstown and Christchurch. Would start in Queenstown and end in Auckland. Any ideas best way to work through these 3 cities. Here is my current plan:
Explore Queenstown, drive through Fox-Glacier to Greymouth, take the TranzAlpine train to Christchurch, explore christchurch, fly to Auckland and then explore Auckland.

Again, any help/suggestion to streamline this or better way to travel between these 3 cities is appreciated. Also appreciate information on driving conditions in New Zealand (road smoothness, lots of turns?, etc), attractions in these cities or New Zealand in general.
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By akronflyer | Dec 14, 2018, 08:48 PM
Re Auckland there a some very good well priced Restaurants such as Mixed Moon in New Lyn which is in west Auckland .Another good area for Eateries is Kingsland , [Eden Park is there ] Petra Shawarma is a Jordanian Restaurant You can drive from the city or get the Train from Downtown.
A great place to stay in the CBD is M Social right on the waterfront or if you would like to stay on the North Shore Takapuna Oaks which is actually in Bayswater
By all means get the Ferry from the City to Devonport , an historic area, go up Mt Victoria for amazing views Another dormant Volcano is Mt Eden , worth driving to the top Visiting some of the Islands of the Hauraki Gulf such as Waiheke [ many Vineyards] and Great Barrier Island for its stunning scenery
I use Go Rentals alot , good service and located at Auckland Airport
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By Stuart Jackson | Dec 14, 2018, 10:37 PM
TranzAlpine train fairs on Kiwi Rail website don't offer the cheaper starter and promo fairs so it can be cheaper to ring Kiwi Rail to book your tix

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Dan Ho

By afloskar | Dec 14, 2018, 10:57 PM
Christchurch is nothing special. Have a look around but not all that great. A good day trip would be to mt hutt for skiing and Rakaia gorge and surrounding farmland.
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By djtech | Dec 14, 2018, 11:52 PM
Christchurch is nothing special. Have a look around but not all that great. A good day trip would be to mt hutt for skiing and Rakaia gorge and surrounding farmland.

Have heard a lot of this same sentiment. Was planning 1 day and a half in Christchurch before flying to Auckland in the afternoon. Would that be enough time to explore the city and surrounding?
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By Pabs | Dec 15, 2018, 01:08 AM
Your plan sounds pretty good in terms of flow of travel. I definitely recommend driving from Queenstown to Fox Glacier and Greymouth, but make sure you set time aside to drive into and explore Wanaka....it's just as beautiful as Queenstown but less commercial and touristy.

Driving conditions wise, the roads are usually really good and smooth if you stick to main roads, secondary roads can be pretty narrow and hit and miss. Expect lots and lots and lots of bends and hills particularly on the west coast. Weather can be a major consideration, although April is early the chances of heavy rain, ice and snow are there.

I disagree about Christchurch, it's a great city with a fair bit to see and do (botanical gardens, museum, Antartic museum, the paper cathedral, etc).
Auckland depends what you are into, lots and lots to do, from museums art etc, to great food places, amazing beaches forests and bush walks etc.
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By GBRGB | Dec 15, 2018, 01:09 AM
Just give yourself lots of time, so much to see, I do north or south island trips, did one including both islands once and it seemed very rushed but still enjoyable, I also enjoy driving New Zealand, the roads are good and coming from Oz the distances are mild compared to here, the next point of interest is only ever an hour or two drive.
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By afloskar | Dec 15, 2018, 12:12 PM
Christchurch is nothing special. Have a look around but not all that great. A good day trip would be to mt hutt for skiing and Rakaia gorge and surrounding farmland.

Have heard a lot of this same sentiment. Was planning 1 day and a half in Christchurch before flying to Auckland in the afternoon. Would that be enough time to explore the city and surrounding?

Yeh that should be good. I personally would spend more looking around surrounding places and maybe half a day at most in Christchurch.
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By patrickk | Dec 15, 2018, 08:55 PM
Also there are wonderful temperate rain forests in the south not to be missed so maybe track a little further south of Queenstown to the Milford sound area for a day or two. Also a day trip from Christchurch to mt cook shouldn’t be avoided either.
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By milesrolls | Dec 16, 2018, 02:19 PM
I'm with patrickk with Mt Cook Village. Get in a heli or plane for some good views or hike up to Sealy Tarns (3h return). It's breathtaking part of the world and one of the best spots on the South Island. It's a one way road so many people skip it, but it's definitely worth it.
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By Red Cee | Dec 16, 2018, 05:28 PM
Disagree with the negative review on CHC. Have spent three days there, and still need more time. The coast to the South along the Littleton Harbour is very scenic, lots of little coves to explore. In CHC city, just walk around, there’s heaps to see and do. The Botanical Gardens and Avon River are a must.
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By tommygun | Dec 17, 2018, 10:11 AM
My suggestions come from the perspective of seeing things in New Zealand that are unique or different to other places. On that basis, time in Auckland might be reduced in that the city has many similarities to Sydney (including the horrible traffic!). The ChCh gardens are nice, but no more so than say Melbourne. I would suggest finding time to drive north from ChCh along the Kaikoura coast to Picton, then catching a ferry to Wellington - the coastline and the journey by sea through the Marlborough Sounds and across Cook Strait are well worth it. That can all be done in one (longish) day. I think a day in Wellington would be more rewarding than a day in ChCh ( do include Te Papa museum, which in 2 hours or so will give you an insight into Kiwi history and customs). You can then fly up to Auckland in 40-50 mins. Take the "Crown Range" road from Queenstown to Wanaka via Cardrona, much more scenic than Hwy 6. Then, driving to the West Coast and Greymouth, be aware that from Haast northwards the road is largely narrow and winding and the time it will take to cover x km will be much greater than you are used to in Australia for the same distance. You may encounter a lot of campervans. Do stop on the way north of Haast to see some of the wild and (often) windy beaches, the penguin colony and perhaps walk on a glacier. The drive from Queenstown to Greymouth nonstop would take 8 hours (not the 7 that google maps claims) and an overnight stop at Fox Glacier township should be included for sure.*Check road conditions before leaving Queenstown - there can be long road closures due to slips near Haast. If so you'll have to go via Hwy 8 across the Mackenzie country, a lovely drive itself, via Tekapo to ChCh from where you can still do a day return trip on the TranzAlpine train).* I hope this helps.
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