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Review: New Zealand


New Zealand

New Zealand - trip of a lifetime

  • By SilverTraveller ZoshJosh

    38 reviews

    Ribbon Ribbon

  • Nov 2012
  • Husband

97 people found this review helpful

We planned this trip for a few months beforehand. My husband and I did lots of research (dipping into here occasionally), talked to people, looked at maps and read all about it. We planned to organise it ourselves to custom fit around our commitments, desires and family. A few weeks during their spring/early summer would be great since we had no desire to bask in the sun on a beach or to have activities impeded by heat. I understand the summer can be too warm for me especially.

We have done and seen loads. We have been down caves looking for glow worms, on lake cruises, ridden on cable cars and trams and flown in what can only be described as a tin can with wings and 2 propellers and walked, off course. We sampled the cuisine on offer and listened to various music. Hubby kayaked and went quad biking over their usually deserted long beaches, sand dunes and an active army shooting range!!!! We saw geysers, bubbling mud pools, steam hanging over lakes and sulphurous pools. We saw turquiose blue rivers and lakes, glaciers, waterfalls and snowy topped vertiginous mountains We loved the musical Maori welcome and saw their sculptures (some x-rated showing a bit too much) and came across very friendly New Zealanders and ex-pats, their default setting. We went to see penguins on a reserve and saw the odd albatross flying around too. We saw Kiwis, tuataras, and the common pokekus, tuis, bellbirds (they really sound just like a bell). We saw rock formations such as the Pancake Rocks and the eerie Moeraki boulders. We also saw a partial eclipse of the sun though I can't promise you will see one there! We went to the WETA workshops (though we were only allowed in the shop part), where LOTR and Hobbit costumes and SFX were prepared for filming – SO good even Prince Charles and Camilla went there a few days later!! We went to a lot of places on the North and South Islands. As well as Auckland, where we stayed with cousins (my elderly mother-in-law is originally from NZ), we went to Paihia, Cape Reinga, Whangerei, Rotorua, Taupo, Napier, Wellington, Nelson, Greymouth, Fox Glacier, Lake Hawea/Wanaka, Queenstown, Milford Sound, Dunedin, Twizel, Lake Tekapo, and Christchurch. We hired a Rav 4 and toured staying in B&Bs, motels and hotels, all of which were lovely, at various price ranges. We can't say which was our favourite but there are one or two places where we wouldn't go again as we consider it done but a few places like Nelson and area where we would relax and holiday for a week or two. South Island is certainly more mountainous and more beautiful and less populated than the North. Driving is a breeze too – very relaxed and thoughtful drivers. Roads are long and relatively empty. I also unfortunately needed emergency dental treatment and we had to deal with a tyre puncture.

I will review a lot of the cities and experiences here but seperately and share with you tips and photos putting them into bite sized chunks. Hopefully, you will find some of them helpful in planning your trip or will recognise some of the places.

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This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.

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