New Zealand: who wouldn’t choose it?

20160224_201202You seem to get a mixture of furrowed brows and raised eyebrows when people ask for a rough sketch of your round the world trip. I guess that’s because everybody has their own wishlist.

But say New Zealand….and they’re smiling. All of them.

Maybe it’s because they were enchanted by the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies filmed in Matamata. Or because their own trip was magical, and full of special memories. I went on social media today for help planning in the New Zealand leg of our trip, and the responses were swift and enthusiastic.

‘Climb Mount Taranaki !’, yelled Rex on Facebook. ‘Anywhere with a non English sounding name!’ suggested Phil, a former British ex pat there.

A bit more detail followed from Jo, recommending Queenstown, Milford Sound, Whangarei and Napier….and the glow-worm caves. For Helen, it was a problem knowing where to start: she provided a numbered list, including hot springs on the beach at Coromandel, a ferry ride from Wellington to Picton, Rotorua and Kaikoura, for whale watching.

AD130-Waitomo-Waikato-Tourism-HoldingsKeen traveller Michelle answered the call on Twitter, and picked Becky`s brain for us : she’s on the south island at the moment, and suggested an Earnslaw boat trip, Wanaka, and Abel Tasman national park.

Julie, meanwhile, has already listed New Zealand on this site, after reading our top ten travel experiences so far feature. She loves the place; remembering dolphins and whales in the wild, along with Maori dancers, Polynesian springs, thermal mud and white water rafting.

Quite honestly, we could say yes to ‘all of the above’. But soon we need to knock these suggestions, and a few more from you, hopefully, into some kind of itinerary.

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So. Here are the key facts!

  • Arrive late September
  • Staying for nine days
  • Want to see both North and South islands
  • Happy to hire a car for part of trip
  • Would consider couple of ‘organised’ trips (coach?)
  • Need accommodation somewhere between ‘backpacker’ and ‘luxury’
  • Love natural wonders, breathtaking views, walking (rather than hiking) cool cities and inspirational history, cultural sights, great local food, meeting new people.

OK–the floor is open. We need to squeeze New Zealand into nine days–where have you loved, and where might you think twice about if you visited again? Did you try an organised trip or fix your own schedule? Which view will stay in your mind forever? (And you know that little restaurant….yes, that one. Sneak us the number, please?)

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14 thoughts on “New Zealand: who wouldn’t choose it?

  1. Mount Eden on the north island! The walk from Epsom Road towards Mount Eden Domain, up Mount Maungawhau then all the way down to Three Kings. You will reach the highest natural point in Auckland, then come down all the way to trendy cafes like Circus, Circus, a vintage bookstore called Time Out and the Candyman sweet shop on Mt. Eden road to name a few. Stop for a bite at Mt Eden Village Fish Shop. Some of my favourite hangouts when I lived there in 2013. Also recommend the Waikowhai Coastal Walk on Hillsborough Road. Only the locals know of these hidden gems. It’s off the beaten track. You really get a feel of the country and her people here.

    1. Books, sweets AND fish and chips?! All sounds amazing. Thanks so much for reading and commenting. Maybe we could follow each others` blogs? (More prize draws coming up soon on here, too!)-Jane.

      1. That would be awesome! Yes, I would certainly follow your blog and your adventures. Happy planning! Just adding my 2 cents worth.

  2. check out the homestays, definitely between hostel and luxury, such a lovely way to stay.
    OR hire an RV….lots of people do. The car ferry will get you from North to South island…and, as I mentioned earlier, is a beautiful way to do it

    1. Yep, homestays sound like a great mid price solution Helen, thankyou…also considering the RV option too, and the ferry!! All great ideas–thanks so much 🙂 –Jane

  3. Hi Nigel and Jane! I’m more experienced with the South Island (best island in my opinion.. but shhh..)

    Must see’s are definitely Milford Sound and Queenstown, both are just magical! The Scenery is breathtaking.

    If you’re looking to do an organised tour check out Awesome Tours, they are Based in Dunedin (which has great heritage and wildlife) but will cater to all your needs and arrange a fully personalised tour of the South Island for you! http://awesometours.co.nz/

    Dunedin also has lots of great walks etc, have a look at my post of Tunnel Beach! There’s a cool Farmers Market at the Old railway station (google it ‘Dunedin railway station’, its beautiful!) every Saturday morning that boasts amazing local produce and delicious food!

    New Zealand is an amazing place! You’ll need more than 9 days! Once you’ve visited you’ll be itching to come back 🙂

    If you have any questions in particular, I’d be happy to help

    – Laura

    1. Thanks so much for these recommendations..some locations are popping up repeatedly so are definitely on our list! We know 9 days is a crazy-short time for NZ but it’s quite a whistlestop world tour! ( We’ll just have to keep travelling..!) -Jane

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