Which City in NZ

Old Jan 8, 18, 7:49 pm
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Which City in NZ

I'd like to visit Queenstown, Christchurch or Wellington in NZ. I'm not interested in sports/adventure activity. I have more interest in seeing unique things either natural or manmade (something I can't easily see back in the US). I'll only be there for a few days and don't plan to drive so having public transit or other ways to get around easily is important as well. I'd appreciate any recommendations on where to go of the three cities.
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Old Jan 8, 18, 8:05 pm
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When do plan to visit?
Landing at AKL airport? How much time?
Queenstown (and near by Wanaka) is the home of (touristy) adventure activity and in winter snow sports. And the scenery.
Wellington is more cultural, especially Te Papa museum
Christchurch is not worth it, if you only a few days. A lot was destroyed in major 2011 earthquake

Queenstown, New Zealand, sits on the shores of the South Island’s Lake Wakatipu, set against the dramatic Southern Alps. Renowned for adventure sports, it’s also a base for exploring the region’s vineyards and historic mining towns. There's bungee jumping off Kawarau Gorge Suspension Bridge and jet-boating on the Shotover and Dart rivers. In winter, there's skiing on the slopes of The Remarkables and Coronet Peak.
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Old Jan 8, 18, 9:21 pm
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I plan to visit in March.
Yes landing at AKL then flying to one of those cities for 3 days.

I know queenstown seems to be the most popular place but since I'm not interested in sports or adventure activities, I don't know if that would be the best choice.
If christchurch isnt worth it, I guess that leaves wellington?
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Old Jan 9, 18, 12:50 am
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Wellington is a bit like Georgetown in DC, so you can judge if that interests you. It is the capital, a small sleepy city but with some good food and pubs, but weather can be dreadful (cold, wet and very windy). Not generally considered a tourist attraction though there are some good parts. Personally I'd stick with Auckland if all you want is a NZ city experience.
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Old Jan 9, 18, 2:19 am
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Originally Posted by eng3 View Post
...I guess that leaves wellington?
Unless you take an organized commercial tour, most spectacular sights on the South Island are most easily accessed by car. Without a car, I'd also choose Wellington.
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Old Jan 9, 18, 1:58 pm
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I’d suggest Rotorua as an alternative. There you have lovely scenery (lakes), thermal areas and the Maori cultural experiences. All doable by bus tours.
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Old Jan 9, 18, 8:30 pm
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Of the 3 choices offered above from a city perspective, I would choose Wellington. Otherwise, the one I would pick (having been to both of the other 2 options) would be Napier, which you can also fly to on the North Island.

That said, if you are only in NZ for a few days and want to stick with city and nature, staying in Auckland makes more sense.
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Old Jan 9, 18, 9:27 pm
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At those other cities (Rotorua, Napier, wellington, etc) are there some sights that are very unique? For example, somewhat near auckland is the waitomo glowworm caves. That seems unique as I think the glowworms are native to NZ. Scenery, pubs, sports, etc GENERALLY don't interest me if it pretty much the same as something I can see back in the US. I can see lakes, mountains, pubs, sports, etc back home in the US fairly easily. But if I'm going to see something very unique that I can only see in NZ or that is rather rare (or at least not in the US), then that would interest me alot more. I'd like to go outside auckland to south island or wellington. The restart mall in christchurch made out of container boxes seems fairly unique. It might be interesting to see but that alone isnt enough of a reason to go. Queenstown seems to be just for sports/adventure which doesn't interest me. Besides, one can do the same sport almost anywhere in the world. Wellington seems to have a long list of historical landmarks. I'm still looking through to see if any of it interest me.

As for rotorua and Napier, I forgot to mention, I need to fly to sydney afterwards so having a direct flight is important. There is mainly where the 3 cities I listed came from.
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Old Jan 9, 18, 10:28 pm
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You are not going to get to Waitomo unless you have a car or an organised tour. Its over a 2 hour road trip
https://www.aa.co.nz/travel/time-and...ce-calculator/
google map

The geothermal area around Rotorua is unique.

You can get non stop flights to SYD from AKL, WLG, CHC & ZQN (Queenstown). All others places will need a NZ domestic flight

Airlines that fly Australia (CNS* MCY* BNE OOL SYD CBR MEL ADL PER) to/from New Zealand (AKL WLG CHC DUD ZQN) (not from all airports to all airports).

Last edited by Mwenenzi; Jan 9, 18 at 10:34 pm
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Old Jan 10, 18, 6:06 am
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Yes, those cities are the only ones which offer direct flights to sydney. I wanted to go somewhere other than AKL, that is why I was limiting myself to those 3 cities.
I understand where Waitomo is located. I was just giving an example of the type of place I found interesting and unique. That is my main interest, something unique, man made or natural.
Are there any unique places in WLG, CHC, or ZQN or within day trip distance?
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Old Jan 10, 18, 2:44 pm
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Originally Posted by eng3 View Post
Yes, those cities are the only ones which offer direct flights to sydney. I wanted to go somewhere other than AKL, that is why I was limiting myself to those 3 cities.
I understand where Waitomo is located. I was just giving an example of the type of place I found interesting and unique. That is my main interest, something unique, man made or natural.
Are there any unique places in WLG, CHC, or ZQN or within day trip distance?
There are glow worms in Te Anau, a good day trip from Queenstown. Otherwise can’t think of anything you wouldn’t find elsewhere in the world. Wondering about the point of the trip...
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Old Jan 10, 18, 6:43 pm
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Originally Posted by Eltham View Post


There are glow worms in Te Anau, a good day trip from Queenstown. Otherwise can’t think of anything you wouldn’t find elsewhere in the world. Wondering about the point of the trip...
Te Anau seems interesting. It sounds like it is on the way to Milford Sound. I wonder if there is a tour where I can see both in one day from queenstown
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Old Jan 10, 18, 7:15 pm
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Originally Posted by eng3 View Post
. wonder if there is a tour where I can see both in one day from Queenstown
Have you tried google?
A lot of packaged bus/chopper trips from Queenstown
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Old Jan 10, 18, 8:06 pm
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Yes I have tried google and I did not find any tours from queenstown that allow me to see both in one day. Just one or the other.
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Old Jan 10, 18, 8:57 pm
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Queenstown is a breathtaking place. Yes, you'll get the most out of the area with a car, but I don't think you'd be disappointed with Queenstown. It isn't just about adventure and extreme sports. It's a truly beautiful area, and there is a lot to do just around town to keep you busy for a couple days. It is also a hub for organized tours all over the area. Sorry unsure if you can combo Te Anau and Milford Sound into one trip, but I think Milford on a day trip from ZQN is really pushing time so you'd be better to overnight in Te Anau in that case.
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