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Old 22-09-2017, 11:44 PM   #1771
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Auckland one day can finish liao. It was a Sunday and I drove park for $10 all day
do u mean there is a $10 all day parking? or all ur parking fees adds up to $10

All the guidebooks never recommend spending more than a day in Auckland. Even when you search for '1 month in new zealand' type of itineraries, many of the model itineraries blow through auckland in 1 day or so. Auckland is there simply because most international flights land in Auckland airport and thus, most tourists start their holiday in Auckland.

When it comes to culture, Wellington wins Auckland. When it comes to activities and adventure, Queenstown wins. When it comes to scenery, hikes and landscape, the rest of New Zealand wins.

If you skip Auckland and just start driving southwards when you arrive in Auckland airport, you can likely save at least half a day. Spend that extra time in the South island, or in North island towns like Taupo.

That said, just my personal views. Feel free to disagree!
actually lonely planet's 10 day itinerary says to "spend a few days shopping, eating, drinking and experiencing NZ at its most cosmopolitan", and they have a 2 or 4 days itinerary just for auckland. while Fodor's 8-10 days northern island itinerary catered 2 days for auckland

anyway, i will be driving southwards upon arriving as u suggested. but on the way back, i have 1 full day in Auckland. maybe i do a day trip out if there is really nothing interesting.

my current plan for north island:
day 1: SG to Auckland
day 2: arrive Auckland airport at 1145 -> Waitomo
day 3: Waitomo Glowworm Caves -> Taupo
day 4: Taupo -> Tongariro National Park -> Taupo
day 5: Taupo -> Geothermal park -> Matamata
day 6: Matamata -> Hobbiton -> Tauranga (Mt Maunganui)
day 7: Tauranga -> Te Whanganui-A-Hei (Narnia cave), Hot Water Beach, -> Auckland
day 8: Auckland
day 9: Auckland -> Auckland Airport
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Old 24-09-2017, 10:50 AM   #1772
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Just came back from 17 days in the North and South island. Started driving from Auckland, with Queenstown as the final destination.

Some thoughts:

Driving in New Zealand, to be honest, is not difficult. The areas where you can and cannot overtake are clearly marked out.

It's true that there's less traffic at night, but in my opinion, it's not different from how there's less traffic at night in the rural areas of America/Eastern Europe. Didn't stop me from driving, but I limited my night time driving as far as possible, i.e. 2 hours max. The universal safety rules apply: (i) drive to the conditions, go below the speed limit where necessary, e.g. when its raining, (ii) don't drive at night when the temperature drops below freezing, especially at altitude when there might be ice on the road. I followed the NZ South Island transport authority's facebook page religiously, and their updates on road closures and iced/snowed roads were very frequent and accurate.

Am thankful I took the advice from the guys in this forum to just book a coach day trip to Milford Sound from Queenstown instead of driving. It wouldn't have been worth driving 4 hours there and 4 hours back. Paid nzd 70 bucks per pax for the coach by booking early on bookme.co.nz, which included the cost of cruise tickets and a light fish & chips lunch. If I had driven, I think petrol alone would have costed me $80-ish?

Hiking Roy's Peak is worth the pain. Started the trail at 4am, and caught the sunrise at 7am.

I stopped by Arrowtown when driving between Wanaka and Queenstown. There are pharmacies in all 3 towns, but there were significant price markups in Queenstown and Wanaka, compared to Arrowtown. Maybe because Queenstown and Wanaka are more touristy? E.g. the same tube of Lanolin hand cream costed 8 bucks in Arrowtown, and 12 bucks in Queenstown and Wanaka. These were non-promotion prices. Manuka honey was cheaper in the Arrowtown pharmacy too. But if you aren't picky about brand, by far, the cheapest Manuka honey I found was in Queenstown airport, air-side. Cuz of gst waiver and buy 4 get 2 free promotion.
Hi can provide the link for milford sound cruise with lunch for 70 nzd? For me the (lazy) reason is 1 less moving to another hotel at te anau for 1 night. Thanks

Last edited by winguy; 24-09-2017 at 10:52 AM..
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Old 24-09-2017, 03:15 PM   #1773
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book me.co.nz

depends on your luck if your preferred date got offers or not.

Hi can provide the link for milford sound cruise with lunch for 70 nzd? For me the (lazy) reason is 1 less moving to another hotel at te anau for 1 night. Thanks
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Old 24-09-2017, 04:33 PM   #1774
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book me.co.nz

depends on your luck if your preferred date got offers or not.
This must be the one as it says "fish n chips". Departs Queenstown very early at 0645 though.
https://www.bookme.co.nz/things-to-d...-n-cruise/2933

What's the difference between the first 3 rows? All the same so just choose the 69.50 one?
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Old 24-09-2017, 05:04 PM   #1775
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Have you booked?
Quick hand quick leg.
From Queenstown 0645, reach Te Anau maybe 0900.
Drive and stop along the only road to Milford plus lunch for 5-6 hours.
Milford cruise starts at 3pm.
Cruise around 2 hours.
Then Bus Reach Te Anau at 1900hrs, drop some off.
Queenstown maybe 2100hrs.
Worth it if you got at NZ70.
I got mine at NZ 85 but full BBQ lunch
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Last edited by WWH123; 24-09-2017 at 05:32 PM..
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Old 24-09-2017, 05:12 PM   #1776
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Anyone good cruise to recommend for Milford South?
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Old 24-09-2017, 05:30 PM   #1777
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Jucy Cruises - crowded like refugees fleeing 🤗
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Old 24-09-2017, 06:21 PM   #1778
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Any value and decent hotel with free parking, 2 single beds (or more/larger), private bathroom, walking distance to city centre to recommend for Queenstown? Havent found the ideal one yet. Thanks.
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Old 24-09-2017, 06:39 PM   #1779
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Try Earnslaw Lodge or Alexis Motel

Any value and decent hotel with free parking, 2 single beds (or more/larger), private bathroom, walking distance to city centre to recommend for Queenstown? Havent found the ideal one yet. Thanks.
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Old 24-09-2017, 09:52 PM   #1780
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This must be the one as it says "fish n chips". Departs Queenstown very early at 0645 though.
https://www.bookme.co.nz/things-to-d...-n-cruise/2933

What's the difference between the first 3 rows? All the same so just choose the 69.50 one?
Yes, this is the one. It starts early because it's 8 hours drive in total there and back. You will not find a cheaper deal anywhere else.

Assuming 2 pax, you are paying $140 dollars for a day trip.
The alternative is to drive there by yourself, pay $80 for petrol, $80 for 2 cruise tickets, and whatever amount you feel like spending on lunch. And be 8 hours worth of driving fatigued at the end of the day.

Personally, the choice was quite clear to me.
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Old 25-09-2017, 04:01 PM   #1781
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I was based in Auckland for a few years, and I would also recommend to skip Auckland. :/ the rest of Nz has so much to offer, I think.

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Old 25-09-2017, 04:03 PM   #1782
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Christchurch city has quite a lot of free parking iirc. Perhaps there's a time restriction la (fp after 5pm etc), but I don't rmb having much issues in that area. Is it still rubble and parking spots over there? Lol

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Old 26-09-2017, 10:03 PM   #1783
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This must be the one as it says "fish n chips". Departs Queenstown very early at 0645 though.
https://www.bookme.co.nz/things-to-d...-n-cruise/2933

What's the difference between the first 3 rows? All the same so just choose the 69.50 one?
Darn there is no explanations to the first three rows... Anyone able to find out the so much difference in prices?
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Old 27-09-2017, 06:33 AM   #1784
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Price discrimination lor. You book early, you'll get the cheapest price. Then more expensive, then most expensive.

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Old 27-09-2017, 09:11 AM   #1785
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do u mean there is a $10 all day parking? or all ur parking fees adds up to $10



actually lonely planet's 10 day itinerary says to "spend a few days shopping, eating, drinking and experiencing NZ at its most cosmopolitan", and they have a 2 or 4 days itinerary just for auckland. while Fodor's 8-10 days northern island itinerary catered 2 days for auckland

anyway, i will be driving southwards upon arriving as u suggested. but on the way back, i have 1 full day in Auckland. maybe i do a day trip out if there is really nothing interesting.

my current plan for north island:
day 1: SG to Auckland
day 2: arrive Auckland airport at 1145 -> Waitomo
day 3: Waitomo Glowworm Caves -> Taupo
day 4: Taupo -> Tongariro National Park -> Taupo
day 5: Taupo -> Geothermal park -> Matamata
day 6: Matamata -> Hobbiton -> Tauranga (Mt Maunganui)
day 7: Tauranga -> Te Whanganui-A-Hei (Narnia cave), Hot Water Beach, -> Auckland
day 8: Auckland
day 9: Auckland -> Auckland Airport
When you drive to Taupo -> Tongariro National Park, you will drive via desert road. Please drive slow and with care, cause desert road got a 2 blind spot which is 90 degree turn.
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