Hello! We will be in New Zealand October 11-26. The first 5 days will be spent on the North Island and the rest on the South Island. I'm wondering whether it will be easy to find accomodation on the spot that time of year or whether we'll need to plan a bit further ahead. I know there are school holidays that extend into early October, but I think we'll just be catching the tail end our first couple of days in town (correct me if I'm wrong!). We're hoping to do a mix of camping and more standard guesthouse-type accomodations, but don't want to be tied down to a set schedule if we don't have to be. Also, for camping, if you have any suggestions for places to buy camping gear in Auckland, that would be great. We're debating whether to bring our own from home or buy once we're there and then donate it at the end (we'll be flying into Auckland and out of Christchurch, so I'm guessing renting isn't an option). Tips on donation centers that might accept camping gear in Christchurch would be great too.
Can you please suggest for following places.
Auckland, Queenstown, Rortorua, Christchurch, Franz Josef
Can somebody recommend an active guided bus tour that covers all New Zealand (around 10 days)? I don’t want to have hassle driving on the left side, so we’d be willing to join a group and travel on a bus. We’re middle age couple, but still physically active, and would like to be on a tour where we could do some 2-4 hours hikes to see the scenery and not to be stuck on the bus or on the ship all the time.
Thank you in advance for any tips.
I am interested in staying at some DOD campgrounds on occasion throughout our trip to save some money, and not have to book every night in advanced (and I'm guessing the camping is a little more my style rather than the large RV parks). I'm noticing that a lot of DOD campgrounds are first come first served, and I am wondering if this becomes a problem in peak season. Are these likely to fill up quickly in areas near tourist attraction, such as Franz Josef Glacier, Queenstown, Mount Cook? If they do, are we likely to find last minute space available in nearby holiday parks as a backup plan, or would these be booked as well, and we would end up having to drive on to another town? We only need non-powered sites, but won't be self-contained, so won't be able to freedom camp.
Has anyone had to do the overnight stop over in Auckland on the connecting flight from Bris to Queenstown? We arrive in Auckland airport at 11:40pm and depart 7:10am the next morning.
Just wondering if it's worth going to one of the airport hotels nearby once we've picked up baggage etc or whether we should just sleep there overnight? Would also help to know how early we need to check in for AKL to ZQN flight also. Not too keen on novotel prices so don't suggest that please.
Thanks for your answers :)
I originally planned to go to the Coromandel from Auckland to see Cathedral Cove and Hot Water beach (tide permitting) but am now thinking if it would be better to see the sights closer to Auckland instead. Would I regret not going to the Coromandel? With an early start, we should arrive at the Coromandel by mid morning. We will then stay overnight at Whitianga. Will this give us a enough time or will it be better to stay in Auckland and maybe see one of the islands around Auckland or to go to a neighbouring suburb. We'll only have one full day in Auckland and I can't decide whether to spend an extra day there or visit another town. I understand Cathedral Cove is very picturesque with a nice walk and a good beach.
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