Oceania (Australia, New Zealand & the South Pacific) - NZ sightseeing ideas?
Sep 2, 11, 3:28 pm
I booked an award ticket on V Australia arriving on Jan 3 and leaving on the 19th, to/from Sydney. I was in Australia a few years ago and loved it, but I want to focus on NZ this time. So I thought about spending a couple of days in SYD upon arrival, then most of the remainder of the time in NZ.
My primary focus is landscape photography and natural beauty. I'm in my 30s, will be traveling alone, and I'm not too fond of long car drives. I'd be open to some milder adventures too, but nothing too radical, I don't think.
Budget isn't my primary concern, although I don't want to spend more than I have to. I was also thinking of maybe jumping to a small south pacific island, but I don't want to waste too much time traveling and not relaxing/seeing sights.
At this point I haven't done a lot of research, so I'm open to some general guideance to help point me in the right direction so I can better focus my research efforts. Looks like a car rental is almost required in NZ, which is fine. But like I said, not a big fan of long drives.
Any ideas to get me pointed in the right direction would be appreciated.
Sep 2, 11, 6:40 pm
Perhaps you could give a few more clues about what you are looking for? NZ has natural beauty nearly everywhere, and a huge variety of scenery for such a small country.
As for a side trip to South Pacific, there are plenty of options with a short flight from Auckland (Noumea, Vanuatu, Norfolk Island, Niue, Fiji, Samoa, Cook Islands, Tonga, Tahiti).
Early January is peak travel season down under so a good idea to plan ahead. Some areas (particular near beaches & lakes) have accommodation fully booked between Christmas and mid January, and similarly internal travel (flights, ferries, etc) is also heavily booked on some routes.
Sep 2, 11, 7:43 pm
Well I'm not sure what I'm looking for. Not a wine drinker or a big foodie. I do like some moderate hikes, mountains, wildlife, etc. Not into swimming or just laying on a beach. I do like some guided nature tours, wild life reserves, zoos, etc. Great natural photography opportunities are my primary objective.
Sep 2, 11, 8:10 pm
There are great national parks ESP on the south island. Abel Tasman on the top and the ones infiordland route burn Milford etc on the bottom end there is also mt cook and environs with Tasman glaciers or the west coast with fox or franz Josef glaciers. There is also kaikoura with whale dolphin and water activities. Each of the national parks have single or multi day trips which you couldjoin with others and see and photograph the beautiful changing scenery while on foot. There is also dunned in with albatross penguin and seal colonies on the outage peninsula.
Nz is a can't miss destination for nature photography. These are just some ideas.
Sep 2, 11, 8:42 pm
Ya after doing some research tonight, it seems the south island has the most natural beauty. I saw the suggestion below on another site. I really don't want to hotel hop that much..I'd rather spend at least 2-3 nights in a location otherwise it doesn't feel much like a vacation.
Ideas to tweak the schedule below?
Day 1 - Arrive Christchurch and drive to Lake Tekapo
Day 2 - Mount Cook
Day 3 - 8 - Queenstown
Day 9 - Wanaka
Day 10 - Frans Josef
Day 11 - Arthurs Pass
Day 12 - Kaikoura
Day 13 - Christchurch
Day 14 - Depart
Sep 2, 11, 9:22 pm
There is only one place to stay at mt cook. The hermitage has a variety of lodging options. There are long and short hikes and I would definitely recommend going on the Tasman glacier rafting for great pictures
You have a long time relatively in town There is a lot to do but very expensive. Do doubtful sound. Real journeys from qtown. 12hour day trip but the sound is awesome and much less visited than Milford. You can also do one day hikes from qtown or wanaka or te anu if you don't want an overnight. I've done route burn track from town which was 3day 2 night and one of the best experiences ever
Helihiking in franz Josef is also wonderful.
Not sure what you are doing for a day in arthur pass so you can probably combine and move on to kaikoura.
The intercity buses are also a great option if you don't want to drive. They are like a tour bus with stops for tea and scenery and you can enjoy the scenery
One thing on the north island that is super for pictures is the geothermal activity in and around rotorua and taupo
What activities are you interested in.
Sep 3, 11, 5:03 pm
In my (biased) opinion the south island is the best part for scenery. The drive down the centre of the south island from CHC to ZQN is arguably the most scenic in NZ. Its also a great experience seeing things from the air