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Thread: Route planning

  1. #1
    Dawn's Avatar
    Dawn is offline All Knowing Deity
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    Default Route planning

    Right me ode spooners, route planning time. We are happy to see where things take us but of course we have to have some sort of vague route.

    You're the people on the ground. You're the people with the inside info. I'm looking for 'must see' places, recommendations of good roads, best and easiest routes to places, suggestions of a best route. We're picking the campervan up in Auckland and handing it back in Christchurch 4 weeks later.

    We want to see a little of everywhere so come on give us your ideas and your invites if you're up for a visit! Let us know when would be most convenient for you. We'll take a video diary that we can post somewhere with everyone on saying Hi! We're ever so nice really, we won't set fire to your house or anything as long as you give us beer and cake. Fingerscrossed and Taff and WG have already taken the tentative steps into the unknown by kindly offering their hospitality so come on join the gang.

    Oh, and don't worry if you're one of those quiet, prefer to keep yourself to yourself types and feel unable to take the risk, we'll pass quietly by and won't even think about spraying graffitti on your walls
    Passionate about the unfathomableness opportunities of kiwi-a-gogo-land

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    Youve got to kayak round the abel tasman Dawn! about 2 hours from Picton to Nelson in a camper then another hour to Kaiteriteri. Good campground on the beach there, so out of season should be on the front row ok.

    If you travel traval Rotovegas to Taupo, about 30-40 mins out of Rotorua look out for a wee sign on the left handside for Kerosene Creek. About 5 km down this unsealed road are un molested hotpoles, by which I mean no entry fee, no knobs n whistles. Change in the camper or behind a tree - but it is such an awsome chill out. Well worth the effort.

    Guess you should call and see us as you pass as well!

    Cheers

    Nick

  3. #3
    RedAlligator is offline Member
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    helloo

    Ok I would suggest may be the Coromandel as its really lovely & pretty. Hahai beach may be and take a very very strenuous walk to Cathedral Cove from there. Hot Water Beach also. Not a huge amount in the Coromandel, its just very nice.

    Rotorua has already been suggested which I definitly think is a not to be missed.

    May be the Waitomo Caves for the walk round the glow worms or a bit of Black Water Rafting.

    The Hawkes Bay region which again is lovely and great for visiting all the wineries. Napier is nice.

    On the south island - Blenheim & Nelson are meant to be really nice. I havent been myself though. Kaikoura is meant to be nice too, especially for a bit of whale watching and great seafood. If you get a chance to visit Hanmer Springs which is just hot pools but very pretty hot pools.

    I cant give you any routes unfortunately, being a non driver, sorry. I wouldnt have a clue.

    How long you going to be in Auckland for. Definitly up for a visit will PM you details.

    have a fantastic trip.

  4. #4
    Taffy's Avatar
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    4 weeks to do the whole of NZ? Whistle stop tour or what!

    Well, maybe as a route (although I dont know all the roads) you should head north first, take in a bit of north shore and northland. I doubt you'll have time to do the whole of Northland, so you'll have to cut it short!

    After that, swing on round to the Coromandel for a nice scenic drive. Some lovely spots up that way, although dont fall in love as the houses there cost squillions!

    After Coromandel, head down to Tauranga/Mount.

    Next across to Hamilton Best part of the whole tour

    After that, you can cut down to Rototua, and on to Taupo.

    From Taupo, head across to the eastern BOP to places like Whakatane, then do the Gisbourne, Hawkes Bay, Napier bit.

    From there, you can either go down to Welly through Woodville etc, or cut across and have a squizz at Palmerston North before going down. You'll miss New Plymouth with this route, but I reckon that would be a hard journey in a camper anyway.

    From Welly, hop on the interislander, and in to Picton.

    After that, you're on your own! Never been to the south island
    Taffy

    The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.

  5. #5
    kokopeli is offline God like figure
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    Best campsite in Auckland is the Kiwi Camp at Takapuna Beach. Head north across the Harbour Bridge and turn right. It's right bang on the water's edge and you share the same view as the $12 million mansion next door. Buy a Kiwi Camp card for $30 and you'll get 10% off. They'll also give you a map with directions to all their other camps.

    The other big name in campsites is Top Ten. They also do a club card for $30 - 10% off. Top Ten camps are a bit more expensive than Kiwi, but they're usually a bit newer.

    Head north from Auckland to Cape Reinga. You'll be there and back in three or four days - depends on how much driving you can handle. Must Do stops on the way include the Kauri Museum at Matakohe (Take SH1 north, turn left onto SH12 at Brynderwyn). Ninety Mile Beach (SH12) and the Kauri Forest at Waipoua. Take the car ferry ($12) at Rawene and keep going north. Don't be put off by the gravel road to Cape Reinga - campervans are all-wheel-drive-off-road-under-water-go-anywhere machines!

    Come back south on the east coast (SH 10) to check out Waitangi, Paihia and Kerikeri. Top Ten camps at Kerikeri and Whangerai are good.

    If you don't want to go that far north, hit the thermal pools at Waiwera (SH1 north from Auckland). Campsite round the corner (KiwiCamp I think). We'll want to see the photos of you coming head first down the big slide though!

    If you head south through the Coromandel check out Miranda Springs (campsite and pools side by side about 15kms west of Thames) and the Driving Creek railway on the outskirts of Coromandel town. We got to the top of the Coro Peninsula in our van, but we got stuck and had to be rescued (What was I saying earlier!?) The drive from Coro Town to Whitianga is awesome. Keep rolling to Hot Water Beach, but get there at low tide to enjoy the Hot Water part of the beach.

    Keep going east along the Bay of Plenty. The campsite at the bottom of Mount Maunganui is even better than Takapuna. Then on to the Thermal Wonderland at Rotorua and on through Taupo, where it will rain. A lot.

    You'll have to make a choice then - do you want to see Napier and Hawkes Bay or head down to Welly and come across to the Mainland?

    Once over the Cooke Straight, you can go clockwise on the South Island (Picton, Kaikoura, Christchurch etc) or anti-clockwise (Picton, Nelson, Greymouth etc). West Coast for the glaciers and Milford Sound, East Coast for whale-watching. Shanty Town just outside Greymouth is a good day out for the kids.

    Lake Wanaka is fantastic, but will probably be busy with skiers. The best campsite there is Mount Aspiring campervan park - keep going south along the lake and its on the left about 1km out of town. Take the Cordona Pass to Queenstown for breath-taking views.

    The campsites in Queenstown will be heaving at this time of year, so you might want to push on to Te Anau. Use the Kiwi camp there - the Top Ten is next to the lake, but they put two vans on each pitch, so you'll hear the neighbours snoring. Watch out for the sandflies..... You'll need a full day to get to Milford, do the boat trip and get back to Te Anau. We booked when we got to Milford and they let the kids go free. Do the Nature Experience and get soaked under the waterfalls.

    Hit Dunedin for the Albatross colony and MacFods cafe. The fledgling chicks might still be in their nests. Invercargill for Burt Munro and........ Burt Munro. The campsite at the agricultural showground in Invercargill is, well, an experience.

    There are three decent campsites in Christchurch. Amber Park on Blenheim Road, Top Ten in Papanui and North South just out near the airport. Top Ten is pricey and noisy. So noisy that we got up and went to a different camp at 3.00am. Amber Park is on a main road, so the hoon's might keep you awake. The facilities at North South are a bit older, but it's nice and quiet (once the planes stop for the night) the people who own it are lovely.

    Hope that helps.
    Last edited by kokopeli; 09-06-2007 at 06:21 PM.

  6. #6
    Dawn's Avatar
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    Wow, thanks for all the help guys. This is fantastic stuff. It all helps so much!!

    Passionate about the unfathomableness opportunities of kiwi-a-gogo-land

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    kokopeli is offline God like figure
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    Hi Dawn,

    I keep remembering different places..... This thread will rumble for weeks.

    Levin motorcamp, just off the main road in Levin is a good place to break the journey between Taupo and Welly. The kid's playground on the main street is awesome, probably the best we found, and the wildlife sanctuary at Owlcatraz is fab. It's easy to find on SH57 at Shannon.

    The big campsite at Tahuna Beach in Nelson is good, but make sure you get a pitch to the left of the office. The amenities building on that side is brand new. The ones on the right side aren't so great. It's a short hop from Tahuna to the World of Wearable Art museum - our kids really enjoyed that. It's worth a trip to Kaiteriteri and Golden Bay further along the coast. The massive flying fox just outside Motueka is awesome. We did it in January and the kids still talk about it. Don't sit in the front seat unless you want to get wet though!

    Christchurch has got heaps of attractions. Obvious ones for the kids are the Gondola ride into the Port Hills, Orana Wildlife Park on McCleans Island Road, and the Antarctic Centre which is next to the airport.

    Any ideas where you're going to settle once you finish your tour?

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    Wow I think you guys have pretty much covered most of the places to see.

    Well to add some food for thought to this never ending list I've added in places that we loved and would go back to as well which are doable in your time frames (hopefully):

    * Pahia - Great fishing get a chartered boat around $80 each and you go away with some awesome fish. You may even see the odd penguin or two. If not you'll hear and smell them!

    * Russell - this is a small town but only open during high season really so you'll probably want to bypass this for now

    * Tauranga

    * Hamilton - Do the glow worm caves at night. There are free ones if you take the car out past the main hotel. Again info centre will give you directions. Take a few torches and off you go. It's great fun. About a 25min roudn trip.

    You can also do sheep sheering there as well! Not tried that yet.

    * Rotorua - wander round some of the free parks and get a wiff of egg. Great way to get a feel for the traditional NZ even if it is touristy. They also have the best pie shop just on the turnoff to the Aquatic centre.

    * Taupo - Go to the info centre and they'll tell you what road to go up to see the free hot pools. I cant remember the name of it but it's 3mins by car from the city centre. Great sceneray just sitting there bathing away. And free of course.

    *Napier - visit the Marineland there - I loved it, probably the biggest marineland I've seen.

    * Martinborough - Great for the adults not to sure about the kids tho. There are glow worm caves there as well. Info centre will give you a map. be prepared to walk through hip deep waters!! This is only a wee cave and you only see a few glow worms but worth it for clambering about for 5 mins in the dark in water! Take a few torches.

    *Woodville - Stop in at Yummy mummy's cheesecake shop. To die for cakes in there. Stock up as they dont yet do internet orders LOL

    * Wellington - Tepapa museum, free entry. Go up the cable car. Great views. Enjoy a stroll along Oriental Bay and stop in at a few cafes. Not really anywhere you should avoid. I would say pop in but we dont know where we're going to stay when we come back from our holidays in Aug

    South Island

    * Kaikoura - do the sea whale trip rather than the air one but remember those sea sickness tablets.

    * Franz Josef - Gotta see the glaciers, you can do a small walk for free to see the bottom on the glaciers or an organised trip. We did an 8min snow landing for around $100+ each and landed on the glacier. This was something so unreal.

    *Wanaka - great lake area. You can get the kayaks and kayak out to the wee island. Great place to chill out before decending on Queenstown.

    *Queenstown - Do the icebar, kids as well. Luge. Mind you this isnt as good as the one in Rotorua. Loads of activity sports to do down there. We stayed in a holiday park next to the indoor mini golf. Another most. Best mini golf in the world I think

    I've probably missed out heaps more to do but will add them in when I remember.

    Most of all HAVE FUN on your travels. They go in way too fast!!!

  9. #9
    kokopeli is offline God like figure
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    Kaikoura - do the sea whale trip
    I'm with Amy on that. We saw three sprerm whales, including a truly magnificent breach that David Attenborough would have been proud of. I'm ashamed to admit that I was too busy fumbling with the camera and missed the footage of a lifetime. Got some great video of the dives and a couple of albatrosses in full flight. That doesn't sound right does it? Is is just albatross for plural? Albatrosses? Albatrossi? Albatrai perhaps?

    We also followed Nick and Jacky's directions to Kerosene creek. Awesome place. Imagine a steaming Radox bath, only with an endless supply of hot running water in the middle of nowhere. Priceless.

    There won't be many quiet havens left by the time we've finished 'eh. Omigod, I've gone native.........

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by kokopeli View Post
    That doesn't sound right does it? Is is just albatross for plural? Albatrosses? Albatrossi? Albatrai perhaps?
    According to this albatross - alphaDictionary * Free English On-line Dictionary it's albatrosses, but according to this Definition of albatross - Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary it can be either albatross or albatrosses

    Dawn's not going to be short of places to go is she..... thanks for the suggestions oh loyal members

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