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Old 10-17-2012, 01:25 AM   #1
WAMUMOF4
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NZ's can you please help me with some advice about NZ?

I am trying to get myself enthused on a trip to NZ next year we currently have a flight booked from Auckland to Perth on the 21 June and i also have Perth to Gold coast booked, originally DS15 wanted to go skiing in NZ for his 16th birthday now he wants a Disney Cruise instead
DH wants to go to the Field days at Mystery creek which will take up between 2 and 3 days. I would like this to be a low budget trip so we could still go to USA in December. Our other option is to just fly to the Gold coast and have a week there and loose the money for our return flights that's my option but DH is saying he really wants to go to the field days which means we would have about 9 days in NZ.
I have to be honest i have always thought of NZ as somewhere we would go when we retired so i really dont know what we should see and do and i really didn't think we would be going in winter
What can we do in NZ in June near Mystery creek/Auckland? Where do you recommend we stay? Is hiring a motor home a good option or to cold?
in advance
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Old 10-17-2012, 02:20 AM   #2
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Don't want to ignore you WAMUMOF4, but I can't really contribute much as I live in the South Island. Personally I don't think June would be my first choice of month to tour, too early for good skiing ( ski fields typically open mid-late June and coverage can be marginal), and other than that days are short and cool/cold.
I did spend my childhood in Hamilton, but that was many years ago. Back then it was a nice place to live, but didn't offer much in the way of tourism. I'm not sure if that has changed in recent years .
Rotorua is only a couple of hours from Hamilton though, and has lots of touristy things to do.


Edited to add :- re tourism in the Waikato, I have just remembered there is the Waitomo Caves.
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Old 10-17-2012, 02:48 AM   #3
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Sorry, I'm not much use to you either as we live in the South Island as well. We did live in Auckland for a few years but didn't make it any where near Mystery Creek field days. Friends of ours go every year as they are farmers. Sorry I can't help with that area.

However, in 9 days you could probably have a good look around from Wellington to Auckland (taking in Rotorua definitely). I don't think I would want to do it in a campervan at that time of the year though.
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Old 10-17-2012, 02:51 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caroline NZ View Post
Don't want to ignore you WAMUMOF4, but I can't really contribute much as I live in the South Island. Personally I don't think June would be my first choice of month to tour, too early for good skiing ( ski fields typically open mid-late June and coverage can be marginal), and other than that days are short and cool/cold.
I did spend my childhood in Hamilton, but that was many years ago. Back then it was a nice place to live, but didn't offer much in the way of tourism. I'm not sure if that has changed in recent years .
Rotorua is only a couple of hours from Hamilton though, and has lots of touristy things to do.


Edited to add :- re tourism in the Waikato, I have just remembered there is the Waitomo Caves.
Thanks for answering anyway i have no idea what is where but DH really wants to go to the field day he has talked about it for years i guess i will have to do more research
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Old 10-17-2012, 02:55 AM   #5
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Sorry, I'm not much use to you either as we live in the South Island as well. We did live in Auckland for a few years but didn't make it any where near Mystery Creek field days. Friends of ours go every year as they are farmers. Sorry I can't help with that area.

However, in 9 days you could probably have a good look around from Wellington to Auckland (taking in Rotorua definitely). I don't think I would want to do it in a campervan at that time of the year though.
Thanks i was thinking it would be to cold to hire a campervan but looking at the prices of accommodation we just thought it might be a more economical way instead of hiring cars and hotels
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Old 10-17-2012, 03:04 AM   #6
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I live in Auckland, honestly I would not be in a rush to come here in june

If you are coming specifically for the field days I would do that then head to Rotorua (I grew up there - nice place to visit, not so much to live lol). Lots of touristy things to do that are very specific to that region, not everything there has to cost a lot of money and I would probably avoid things like the gondola/luge and focus on the things you can't do anywhere else - although as a kid I used to love going to paradise valley http://www.paradisev.co.nz/. Honestly, I have not been back since I moved away at 17 so I'm going to be of limited help but google is your friend. From Rotorua you could head to Taupo (just under 1hour drive), the lake is gorgeous and there you can also do Huka Falls on your way and also Orakei Korako http://www.orakeikorako.co.nz/ which is pretty amazing but I'm not sure how the prices compare to other things. If your son wants to ski he might be lucky, there is usually snow on whakapapa/turoa mid-late june and whakapapa is just over an hour from Taupo. Failing all that you could head from Hamilton to Waitomo Caves http://www.waitomo.com/waitomo-glowworm-caves.aspx and then back up to Auckland, the west coast beaches are pretty cool in winter - quite wild and windswept if that's your thing. I am really struggling to come up with anything to suggest in Auckland City though

Ultimately though I think you will find for a family costs add up pretty quick - accommodation in all those tourist hot spots are pricy and food costs alot as does petrol. It is mostly cheaper for us to fly to Aus and holiday there! Although if you sign up to those deal a day type of sites grabone.co.nz for example you can get some good deals on accommodation and activities
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Old 10-17-2012, 03:34 AM   #7
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The North Island Ski Fields don't usually open until late June, so may not be open for your visit.

I would recommend coming for Field Days and then taking a domestic flight down to the Sth Island. The upper North Is has a lot to offer, but more so from Dec - late April. The rest of the year tends to get alot of rain while the South Is (albeit colder) is usually much drier (except the West Coast). It is also, IMO, much prettier. If it was me, I would fly down to Queenstown and spend a week visiting Wanaka, Arrowtown and Milford Sound. You will be blown away by the scenery.

Nz need not be for retirees. My family (inc. our young son) have as much fun travelling around NZ as we do at theme parks, it's just a different kind of holiday. The great thing about NZ is the holiday can be as expensive or cheap as you want. We spend most of our kiwi road trips doing a variety of short scenic bushwalks which don't cost a cent.

I wouldn't recommend a motorhome. Not only could it be a bit cold, but it is rarely the cheapest option. Look into a cheap rental car with a reliable smaller company such as Apex and book nights at motels or holiday parks. While motels might come with a stigma elsewhere in the world, in NZ they are generally very comfortable. Plus they come with the benefit of self-catering - a bit like the apartment style accommodation on the Gold Coast.

If the South Island is not an option look at spending some time in the Rotorua/Taupo region. Besides Field Days, a good zoo and a lovely Botanical Gardens, Hamilton doesn't offer much for tourists. Your son will love the Luge in Rotorua and there are many great walks in the region. There is also a fun Prawn Fishing place in Taupo.

North of Auckland there is a place called Snow Planet where your son could ski regardless of the season. I haven't been because it's quite expensive, so can't personally vouch for it. However, everyone I know who's been there seemed to have fun. There are many fabulous Regional Parks in Auckland and the Islands of the Hauraki Gulf are great.
In the Coromandel Region there is a fun little theme park style place called Waterworks which is kiwi ingenuity at it's best and huge fun for all ages. Although, as it's name suggests, a lot of the activities involve water and June is quite a cold month to go wet. Still, well worth the visit, if you find yourself in the area.
I could actually go on for ages recommending places to go in both the North and South Is, but it does depend a lot on your interests and time frame.
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:17 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beee View Post
I live in Auckland, honestly I would not be in a rush to come here in june

If you are coming specifically for the field days I would do that then head to Rotorua (I grew up there - nice place to visit, not so much to live lol). Lots of touristy things to do that are very specific to that region, not everything there has to cost a lot of money and I would probably avoid things like the gondola/luge and focus on the things you can't do anywhere else - although as a kid I used to love going to paradise valley http://www.paradisev.co.nz/. Honestly, I have not been back since I moved away at 17 so I'm going to be of limited help but google is your friend. From Rotorua you could head to Taupo (just under 1hour drive), the lake is gorgeous and there you can also do Huka Falls on your way and also Orakei Korako http://www.orakeikorako.co.nz/ which is pretty amazing but I'm not sure how the prices compare to other things. If your son wants to ski he might be lucky, there is usually snow on whakapapa/turoa mid-late june and whakapapa is just over an hour from Taupo. Failing all that you could head from Hamilton to Waitomo Caves http://www.waitomo.com/waitomo-glowworm-caves.aspx and then back up to Auckland, the west coast beaches are pretty cool in winter - quite wild and windswept if that's your thing. I am really struggling to come up with anything to suggest in Auckland City though

Ultimately though I think you will find for a family costs add up pretty quick - accommodation in all those tourist hot spots are pricy and food costs alot as does petrol. It is mostly cheaper for us to fly to Aus and holiday there! Although if you sign up to those deal a day type of sites grabone.co.nz for example you can get some good deals on accommodation and activities
Thanks that gives us some places to look into I was actually a little shocked at the accommodation prices we are looking at $300+ a night skiing is no longer a priority for us as he want to do another Disney cruise instead of skiing for his birthday so we are trying to make that happen as well as utilising the flights we already have paid for.


Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderlustNZ View Post
The North Island Ski Fields don't usually open until late June, so may not be open for your visit.

I would recommend coming for Field Days and then taking a domestic flight down to the Sth Island. The upper North Is has a lot to offer, but more so from Dec - late April. The rest of the year tends to get alot of rain while the South Is (albeit colder) is usually much drier (except the West Coast). It is also, IMO, much prettier. If it was me, I would fly down to Queenstown and spend a week visiting Wanaka, Arrowtown and Milford Sound. You will be blown away by the scenery.

Nz need not be for retirees. My family (inc. our young son) have as much fun travelling around NZ as we do at theme parks, it's just a different kind of holiday. The great thing about NZ is the holiday can be as expensive or cheap as you want. We spend most of our kiwi road trips doing a variety of short scenic bushwalks which don't cost a cent.

I wouldn't recommend a motorhome. Not only could it be a bit cold, but it is rarely the cheapest option. Look into a cheap rental car with a reliable smaller company such as Apex and book nights at motels or holiday parks. While motels might come with a stigma elsewhere in the world, in NZ they are generally very comfortable. Plus they come with the benefit of self-catering - a bit like the apartment style accommodation on the Gold Coast.

If the South Island is not an option look at spending some time in the Rotorua/Taupo region. Besides Field Days, a good zoo and a lovely Botanical Gardens, Hamilton doesn't offer much for tourists. Your son will love the Luge in Rotorua and there are many great walks in the region. There is also a fun Prawn Fishing place in Taupo.

North of Auckland there is a place called Snow Planet where your son could ski regardless of the season. I haven't been because it's quite expensive, so can't personally vouch for it. However, everyone I know who's been there seemed to have fun. There are many fabulous Regional Parks in Auckland and the Islands of the Hauraki Gulf are great.
In the Coromandel Region there is a fun little theme park style place called Waterworks which is kiwi ingenuity at it's best and huge fun for all ages. Although, as it's name suggests, a lot of the activities involve water and June is quite a cold month to go wet. Still, well worth the visit, if you find yourself in the area.
I could actually go on for ages recommending places to go in both the North and South Is, but it does depend a lot on your interests and time frame.
Thanks,Taupo has been recommended by a NZr who works with DH as well. Our time frame is short we will have between 7-9 days depending on which day we fly in for the field days. Unfortunately because the field day is in June we really dont have a choice about the time of year
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Old 10-17-2012, 01:03 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by WAMUMOF4 View Post
Thanks,Taupo has been recommended by a NZr who works with DH as well. Our time frame is short we will have between 7-9 days depending on which day we fly in for the field days. Unfortunately because the field day is in June we really dont have a choice about the time of year
yes that is a shame that the time of year is set as it is far nicer earlier in the year - weather turns blah in early May. But I'm sure you will fill 9 days very nicely. I would have suggested Coromandel and the Waterworks if it wasn't so cold in June as Waterworks is a pretty amazing place and the Coromandel as a whole has a very laid back vibe but best in Summer. I second the suggestion of Motels, its really going to be your best option as a family and cheaper as you will have facilities to make some of your own meals and going at a less than ideal time of year accommodation should be cheaper. When I am traveling in NZ I use wotif.co.nz to find good deals closer to the time.

Have had a bit more of a think about this and your cheapest activities are going to be things like scenic walks - the redwood forest in Rotorua has things like mountain biking tracks and horse riding trails (I'm sure someone out there is doing this as a tourist activity that is surely not too over the top price wise) otherwise just walking through it is lovely http://www.redwoods.co.nz/index.php, the Department of Conservation would be a good place to look as well http://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-rec...rotorua-lakes/. I would also highly recommend the buried village in Rotorua http://www.buriedvillage.co.nz/ it was always my favourite touristy thing to do when we had visitors from out of town. In Taupo something like Craters of the Moon http://www.cratersofthemoon.co.nz/ht...or-s_site.html is a much cheaper option at only $14.50 for a family than Orakei Korako. I know you said that skiing has been given up for a cruise but if whakapapa is open its actually comparable price wise to doing some of the pricier tourist things and would be an all day activity so if you are going to Taupo anyway its a good option - you don't even have to ski, when I was a kid and begged my mum & dad to take us to the snow we went and hired a toboggan, think you can hire them for about $20 and it is fun for the kids.
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