4 weeks in New Zealand


johnieutah

Link Posted 17/10/2016 - 16:48
Guys, I'm off to New Zealand in a few weeks (for a month).

I will be travelling with the wife (a sort of delayed honeymoon), and we are both not in to the "extreme sports" scene and more looking at the hikes/walks side of things, and of course lots of beautiful scenery for some great photo opportunities (luckily she is very patient with me).

Current plan is around 1 week on the north island and then 3 on the south. I know this is not enough to cover everything, but we will have a car so I am looking at a round trip to encompass a good selection of the best bits.

Who's been and what can you recommend? I'm also keen to hear on what wasn't so great as expected... it's all too easy to read a lot of blogs etc... where everything is fantastic and people tend to get carried away IMO.

Ideas and suggestions much appreciated.
Last Edited by johnieutah on 17/10/2016 - 16:49

bwlchmawr

Link Posted 17/10/2016 - 17:24
Have a wonderful time. I'd love to have gone there when I was younger.
Best wishes,

Andrew

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richandfleur

Link Posted 19/10/2016 - 02:05
johnieutah wrote:
Guys, I'm off to New Zealand in a few weeks (for a month).

Good choice.

johnieutah wrote:
Who's been and what can you recommend?

What sort of itinerary have you put together so far?

Stuey

Link Posted 19/10/2016 - 08:31
There used to be a series called 'Worlds Greatest Motorcycle Rides' it covered New Zealand - I don't ride but watched it hoping one day to drive similar routes.

If you can track it down on tinterweb it may provide some inspiration

Edit: I located it on YouTube - the New Zealand episodes appear to be there😀
K10D, K5 plus plenty of clueless enthusiasm.

My Flickr site link
Last Edited by Stuey on 19/10/2016 - 08:37

petrochemist

Link Posted 19/10/2016 - 10:00
I only had 2 weeks and part of that was working - so I couldn't cover as anywhere near as much as I wanted too. The drive south took about a week of that, but it may have been lengthened by my taking diversions & stopping for Photos...

Fiordland national park is a must. If you spend 2 weeks there it wouldn't be wasted, especially if you can include an overnight cruise on one of the sounds. I only managed Milford sound & a short cruise on Doubtful sound (started from Te Anau & ferried out by boat & coach), both of which were stunning. I think Milford sound remains my favorite spot in the whole world!

The volcanic spot of Rotorua is supposed to be another must see, though I didn't have time The smaller volcanic spot I visited instead wasn't nearly as impressive - it had been unusually dry when I visited so there was much less steam than usual, so it lost much of it's drama.

On the route down I found parts of the route between Taupo & New Plymouth (North Island) particularly worth finding - IIRC may favorite spots where along the 'lost highway' (part of route 43?) The ferry into Picton & the Franz Josef Glacier where other spots that stick in the mind...

I'm certain NZ has loads of other options that I missed!
Mike
.
Pentax:K5ii, K7, K100D, DA18-55, DA10-17, DA55-300, DA50-200, F100-300, F50, DA35 AL, 4* M50, 2* M135, Helicoid extension, Tak 300 f4 (& 6 film bodies)
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Far to many tele-converters, adapters, project parts & extension tubes etc.

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johnieutah

Link Posted 19/10/2016 - 20:02
Stuey wrote:
There used to be a series called 'Worlds Greatest Motorcycle Rides' it covered New Zealand - I don't ride but watched it hoping one day to drive similar routes.

If you can track it down on tinterweb it may provide some inspiration

Edit: I located it on YouTube - the New Zealand episodes appear to be there😀

This the one you're on about?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEhlm4pvduU

Will check it out. Thanks!

johnieutah

Link Posted 19/10/2016 - 20:11
petrochemist wrote:
I only had 2 weeks and part of that was working - so I couldn't cover as anywhere near as much as I wanted too. The drive south took about a week of that, but it may have been lengthened by my taking diversions & stopping for Photos...

Fiordland national park is a must. If you spend 2 weeks there it wouldn't be wasted, especially if you can include an overnight cruise on one of the sounds. I only managed Milford sound & a short cruise on Doubtful sound (started from Te Anau & ferried out by boat & coach), both of which were stunning. I think Milford sound remains my favorite spot in the whole world!

The volcanic spot of Rotorua is supposed to be another must see, though I didn't have time The smaller volcanic spot I visited instead wasn't nearly as impressive - it had been unusually dry when I visited so there was much less steam than usual, so it lost much of it's drama.

On the route down I found parts of the route between Taupo & New Plymouth (North Island) particularly worth finding - IIRC may favorite spots where along the 'lost highway' (part of route 43?) The ferry into Picton & the Franz Josef Glacier where other spots that stick in the mind...

I'm certain NZ has loads of other options that I missed!

Definitely looking at either Milford or Doubtful Sound... edging towards Doubtful purely because we've heard it's a lot less touristy although harder to access. Is it worth putting the effort in to see both?

Thanks for the tips.

johnieutah

Link Posted 19/10/2016 - 20:28
richandfleur wrote:
johnieutah wrote:
Guys, I'm off to New Zealand in a few weeks (for a month).

Good choice.

johnieutah wrote:
Who's been and what can you recommend?

What sort of itinerary have you put together so far?

For the north, we've got a week... starting the first few days in Auckland (to recover from jetlag), and then heading out along the east cape down through to Wellington. I think we'll have about 3/4 days to do this drive, so if anyone can recommend interesting towns to stay in that would be great. We're not interested in Hobbitland in the middle so that will be skipped

For the south we'll have 15 days. Definitely want to visit the Franz Josef glacier, and one of the "sounds". Other than that, I guess we're pretty open, as long as we do a round and end up in Picton where we need to drop the car off. Any hikes in and around the lakes would be great (e.g. Tepako, Hawea, Wanaka).
Got the return ferry booked and then a nice train ride back up to Auckland.

Really looking forward to it and giving the 50-135 another good work out.

Stuey

Link Posted 19/10/2016 - 20:31
johnieutah wrote:
Stuey wrote:
There used to be a series called 'Worlds Greatest Motorcycle Rides' it covered New Zealand - I don't ride but watched it hoping one day to drive similar routes.

If you can track it down on tinterweb it may provide some inspiration

Edit: I located it on YouTube - the New Zealand episodes appear to be there😀

This the one you're on about?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SEhlm4pvduU

Will check it out. Thanks!

That's the first on on north island then there is the second on south island 😀
K10D, K5 plus plenty of clueless enthusiasm.

My Flickr site link

richandfleur

Link Posted 19/10/2016 - 22:28
What sort of things would you like to see (to take photos of) and do (activities you find fun)?

(You've said you'd like to skip the hobbit stuff, but what does that mean?
Those movies were shot throughout NZ )

After Auckland, and the Sky Tower type content, Coromandel might be an interesting diversion on your way south.

Basically the tourist route sends you down the middle of the North Island, and you'll see a lot of contrasting landscapes on this section alone.

Coromandel or North of Auckland is very beachy, then Rotorua is a thermal area, Taupo is a lake just south of Rotorua and both areas have hot pools.

After that you're into alpine areas as you pass the North Islands big mountains and south towards Wellington.

richandfleur

Link Posted 19/10/2016 - 22:59
The Glow Worm caves at Waitomo and the Black Water rafting experience are likely pretty good too. There are several ways of making your way down to Wellington, and you have enough time to cherry pick the bits you want to see in advance
Last Edited by richandfleur on 19/10/2016 - 23:00

McGregNi

Link Posted 19/10/2016 - 23:21
From Picton I'd be heading straight to Nelson, then onwards into the Abel Tasman National Park for some coastal walking and swimming with seals, kayaking etc.

The Buller Gorge route to the west coast is superb, and over there you've got the Punakaiki rocks and blowholes. After the glaciers further south you've got the lovely Haast pass route over to the lakes, Wanaka and Queenstown, before you head towards the fjords.

I'd be tempted to head back the same way on the west coast, just to see it all again and to take the central Arthurs Pass route over the alps towards the east coast, checking out the devils punchbowl falls and castle rock areas on the way. The hydro dam areas and high plains of Central Otago, whilst vast and deserted in an awe-inspiring way, are not particularly photogenic, with big vistas, but little detail and only distant mountain ranges.

Take the inland route via Geraldine towards Christchurch, before going inland via Hamner Springs for some natural hot spas. You can head from there north central to the Nelson Lakes before Picton again.

Lucky you! I grew up in Christchurch, but have only been back three times in 23 years, and there's no prospect for now of another trip. Look forward to hearing of your travels and of course seeing the photos
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petrochemist

Link Posted 20/10/2016 - 12:13
johnieutah wrote:

Definitely looking at either Milford or Doubtful Sound... edging towards Doubtful purely because we've heard it's a lot less touristy although harder to access. Is it worth putting the effort in to see both?

I think it is, the road to Milford sound is it's self a fantastic bit, with many crystal clear pools just to either side. (Reflections of the mountains in these worked brilliantly through my sun glasses). There's also a lodge at the sound where you can stay the night & get incredible views of the stars if the weathers kind.

Certainly less people around doubtful - I suspect those I saw all either came out for the overnight cruise or where working as support staff for the cruises!
Mike
.
Pentax:K5ii, K7, K100D, DA18-55, DA10-17, DA55-300, DA50-200, F100-300, F50, DA35 AL, 4* M50, 2* M135, Helicoid extension, Tak 300 f4 (& 6 film bodies)
3rd Party: Bigmos (Sigma 150-500mm OS HSM),2* 28mm, 100mm macro, 28-200 zoom, 35-80 zoom, 80-200 zoom, 80-210 zoom, 300mm M42, 600 mirror, 1000-4000 scope, 50mm M42, enlarger lenses, Sony & micro 4/3 cameras with various PK mounts, Zenit E...
Far to many tele-converters, adapters, project parts & extension tubes etc.

.[size=11:].Flickr WPF Panoramio

phb

Link Posted 22/10/2016 - 19:42
I have been fortunate to go to NZ in 2002 and 2014. On both occasions I used a motorhome. I would advise selecting your route carefully as travel times can be longer than expected and there is is so much to see en route. The locations in books such as Lonely Planet and Rough Guide tend to be very popular.
If you can only manage one of the longer walks then I recommend the Tongariro Crossing. It is busy but fascinating with a great variety of scenery.it also is only one day.
On our second trip we were recommended the books called NZ Frenzy. There are two volumes , one for each Island. I can recommend these as Scott Cook shows some great places with few visitors. It's a bit wacky in ideas but there are some real gems in there.link. suggest you download or buy in advance as we didn't see many copies in NZ.
One tip you may have read about is to make sure your walking boots are cleaned before you travel . The Customs/Immigration at the airport are red hot on this and one can be fined for having contaminated boots. Put them in a plastic bag and hand them over. They will then probably clean them again for you!

I have some photos from my last visit on my website link, go to gallery and North and South Island. some of these places came from NZ Frenzy.
Have a great trip - it's a beautiful country. You will want to return for longer next time. Send me a message if you want more info

Paul

tigershoot

Link Posted 22/10/2016 - 20:54
We too are heading to NZ for three weeks early next year. It's one of the reasons I got my K3ii as I want to know the location of all the wonderful photos I hope to take! We plan on two weeks in a motorhome starting and finishing in Christchurch, then spending a few days on the North Island. I just wish we had longer as I can't imagine we are going to go again - it's a heck of a trek to get there.
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