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Thread: It was either NZ or Disney? We chose NZ

  1. #1
    Duke's Avatar
    Duke is offline Senior Member
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    May 2006
    Lake Milton, Ohio

    Default It was either NZ or Disney? We chose NZ

    hello MTNZ, I hope everyone is doing great. Well, we finally made the commitment to visit NZ for the first time, I am calling it our research getaway. During May25- June09 we will be crusin the South Island in a van. Planning for a getaway/ potential new lifestyle in NZ can be difficult since we have never been there. So if anyone can recommend any must see/do/eat/meet we would appreciate it greatly. We are a young family in our 30/27/5 and very active. I have chosen a route to take and this is it, any advice would be helpful.
    Arrive in Christchurch and take in the beautiful landscape and aw for the next 2 days making our way to Lyttelton Harbour for jobs/homes.
    Cruise south to Lake Tekapo for some fresh air and tranquilty... and hike
    Head southeast for a coastal night stay.....ocean wave lullaby
    Visit Dunedin for a day, then explore the Otago peninsula before venturing off to the Catlins for a couple days.
    Drive north through the remarkables making Queenstown a lunch destination and settling down in Wanaka
    Continue north west to Haast...would like to hike this area. we both are horticulturalists and the travel guides rave this place for plant life.
    Next plan the north route on the westcoast and see as much as we can ending the route in Karamea for major hiking, one day.
    Leave the westcoast and enjoy 2 days in Abel Tasman, considering a kayak adventure
    Curl back around southeast to Kaikoura for an open view and soak in the springs before returning the van in Christchurch
    This wil be the end of the research getaway.
    We plan to move to New Zealand in the future. I will be looking for an industrial boilermaker construction job. This will be the first time for us out of the USA, so any advice would be helpful. Thanks again and see ya soon NZ!!!

  2. #2
    LilAmy's Avatar
    LilAmy is offline God like figure
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    May 2006
    Wellington Central

    Default Re: It was either NZ or Disney? We chose NZ

    Hi Duke,

    Welcome to the forum. So is it only the South Island you plan to travel? I've been to both and they are like two different countries so I would advise visiting the North as well.

    Whilst you are in the South I would highly recommend a Snow Landing on Frans Josef glacier (not too far from Haast). It is amazing, there are many variations to viewing the glacier such as heli-hikes etc but these can get cancelled last minute so watch out. I wasnt particualry taken by Haast as a place to visit but that's just me.

    In Kaikoura you'll be in heaven. We found it really relaxing. Another must is whale watching, do this by boat and not air as you get to see more by boat.

    Wanaka is lovely. Amazing views. You can hire Kayaks and kayak out to a small island which is great. Nice and peaceful. Usually no one there.

    Queenstown is a tourists heaven. At the shore/jetty there is an underground aquariam, great for the kids and adults. Do the shotover jet. Great thrill ride. You can buy packages from the tourist information site which saves you money. We did one for the Shotover Jet, Helicopter ride and Luuge all great fun spesh for those big kids in their 20's tee hee.

    Whilst in Queenstown you should give the indoor crazy golf a go. This is not far from a Holiday Park (cant remember the names sorry). Oh and the ice bar!

    As for the other places you're visiting I cant help you there as we've not reached them yet but it would be good to hear your thoughts on it once you get back. Try and pick up a Jasons travel book at the airport as these always have free vouchers in them which may save you a buck or two.

    Good luck with your travels! Look forward to hearing about them on your return.

  3. #3
    MotherBear's Avatar
    MotherBear is offline The missing link
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    Jan 2005
    currently Ras al Khaimah, UAE, ex Wales, UK
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    Default Re: It was either NZ or Disney? We chose NZ

    Sounds great, Duke. ?Plenty to see and do and I'm sure you'll have a great time. ?Just be sure to take plenty of warm clothing with you as it can get pretty chilly in SI at that time of year.

    Sorry, don't have any personal info to share with you as I've only been to NI and just a small area of that. ?Looking forward to sampling SI in the future though once we've made the move down (if they'll have us, of course ?:-/).

    Good luck with your plans.
    Mother Bear

    Try to bloom wherever you are planted.

  4. #4
    Glenda's Avatar
    Glenda is offline All Knowing Deity
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    Jan 2005
    Bay of Islands

    Default Re: It was either NZ or Disney? We chose NZ

    We loved touring the South Island - the scenery is awesome. However, we did it in summer. Be prepared to be a bit cold in May/June, especially in a campervan, possibly with snowfalls in the southerly/high altitude areas you wish to travel. It may also be that some activities you would like to do are closed until the spring.

    Have fun!
    In NZ since June 2005
    Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness - Chinese proverb

  5. #5
    selchie's Avatar
    selchie is offline All Knowing Deity
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    May 2005
    Behind the Redwood Curtain
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    Default Re: It was either NZ or Disney? We chose NZ

    I'd say your time is already well packed, without more suggestions from me. However, one short stop on your way down the east coast would be the Moeraki Boulders. Catch them at low tide for the best viewing. Don't stop at the touristy beach access with the gift shop and visitor's center. The ask for money to use their stairway to the beach. Just a wee bit south of that is free public access with a parking lot. You walk a few hundred yards further, but it doesn't sound like you're adverse to the exercise.

    Have fun, and good luck on your reconnaissance trip.
    If men had wings and bore black feathers, few of them would be clever enough to be crows.
    - Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, mid-1800s


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