(Closed) Need Your New Zealand Tips

posted 9 years ago in Honeymoons
Post # 3
248 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2010

That’s so exciting!

Are you flying up to Auckland, then to Chch/Queenstown? It will probably be a bit too cold still to swim (depending on how brave you are??), but there’s lots of other things to do.

I spent some time in Christchurch the summer (it’s winter here now) before the one just been – definately go out to Akaroa, bit of a winding drive but it’s beautiful! Lots of little shops, and the whole town is quite French which is nice if you like cultural things (albeit not ‘New Zealand’ culture, though I guess they were French New Zealanders, so…?).

Orana Park is great, we could’ve spent a whole day there – but then it might not seem so flash compared with ones you might’ve seen in the States?

We found that the Antarctic Centre wasn’t really worth our time, it was more educational than entertaining. I guess if you like spending hours reading displays and finding out info on Antarctic wildlife & exploration then go for it ๐Ÿ˜›

We also liked going ice skating in Christchurch, but that was a novelty for us! But there is a rink there, if you think that would be fun.

Also be sure to check out the Botanical Gardens, you could spend a lot of time wandering around (great place for a romantic picnic!).

The Cathedral in the centre of town is beautiful (large, lots of stained glass, native timber, etc) and very historic (for our short history, anyway!), I always go back every time I’m in Christchurch. You can also climb the bell tower (I think it is), for a small fee (NZ$5 or 10 I think?) which gives you a great view.

You can go on a… ahhh, what are those flat boats they push with a pole in Venice? One of those, up and down the river, and go on tram ‘tours’ around the city.

I’m sure there was more but that’s all I can think of for now.

I haven’t been to Christchurch for 4 years but there’s tons on offer, it’s very touristy (= $$$). Depends on if you are into the outdoors/adventure, or ‘culture’y stuff?

Post # 5
1363 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

Go to Hot Water Beach and dig your own hot tub.  Go at low tide and bring an awesome spread.  i went with my mom and sister 10 years ago and we just brought our suits.  The 60-something couple who staked out their spot next to us brought a picnic bakset with a bottle of wine, cheese, and crackers, and some other nibbles.

 Here’s a link I found to the New Zealand tourism board site.  http://www.tourism.net.nz/new-zealand/about-new-zealand/attractions/coastal-highlights/hot-water-beach.html 

Post # 6
248 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2010

Oops I meant to say "…haven’t been to *Queenstown* for 4 years…", not Chch! That didn’t make much sense.

Erin – I agree, Hot Water Beach is great! (Went there for my holiday during the summer just been) Unfortunately it’s in the Coromandel and nowhere near where cowboyboot will be (closet will be Auckland, but still a couple of hours drive from there).

Gosh that’s quite a trip, I wonder if you might be biting a bit much off? You’ll be spending a rather lot of time driving… but I think this is my own prejudice showing through as I’m definately a girl for having lots of ‘non-driving’ time! But if you’re determined and keen to see as much as possible then I think it will be okay.

Were you thinking of going up to Abel Tasman from Chch via Kaikoura (the east coast), or through Hamner Springs (a pass across the middle of the island)? I would recommend the Kaikoura route. Hamner is lovely, but I think it’s best in either the snow of winter, or the heat of summer. Hot pools and cool rivers just aren’t the same without temperature extremes. By going the Kaikoura route you’ll get sea views the whole way, plus it’s a flatter and less winding route (and you’ll get enough of that as it is!). Also, if you want to go out on a boat (e.g. whale watching), Kaikoura offers lots of things like that.

Then Abel Tasman (Kaiteriteri beach is amazing!), and as you come down the western side of the island I’d go via Westport (well, you don’t actually go through it, but near it), and down the coast. Stop at Punakaiki – see if you can time it with the tide, the blowholes are quite something to see.

Personally I’d skip Arthur’s Pass and keep going down the coast (then inland at Haast) to Queenstown – it’s a bit quicker (130km shorter), and just as scenic (esp once you get over the pass, and still have to drive for ages to get to Queenstown) – the Fox Glacier is something worth seeing.

Hope that helps, will keep thinking ๐Ÿ™‚ 

Post # 7
156 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

You’re going to love NZ, I certainly wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

If you have a little bit of time in Queenstown head to Arrowtown for a few hours. It’s less than 30minutes drive from Queenstown and is such a cute little town. You can head to the library and grab a pan & instruction sheet and go panning for gold in the river, it’s only about $5NZ as a bond which you get back when you return the pan.

Also, if you only do one adventure thing in Queenstown do the Kawarau Jet. It leaves from the centre of town and is well worth the money (much better value than the more expensive and shorter Shotover jet).

 I can also recommend walking around the top of the Skytower in Auckland while you are here, it’s a great way to see the city from one vantage point while adding a little bit of a thrill.

 We might even be in Auckland when you are, we are getting married October 10 and staying the 9th and 10th at the Skycity hotel.

Hope you have a wonderful honeymoon Miss Cowboy Boot!!

Post # 8
599 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

We spent four months in New Zealand and still want to go back because we didn’t get to see everything we wanted to! One of the highlights of our trip was hitchhiking from Wellington to Auckland through the center of the North Island. We lived in a van for most of our trip though. My Flickr Site has a lot of photos of NZ.

We flew into Christchurch and had the worst turbulance going over the mountains ever, I almost cried. My lovely Fiance laughed at me though >.<

Our favorite parts of the South Island were:

– Riding a bicycle through Renwick (near Blenheim). We rented bicycles for $5 each (I think?? maybe it was $15…) and they had these little “saddle bags” to put bottles in. There are 25 wineries in a 5km radius! We had so much fun! I highly recommend the small boutique one called Huia. That was by far our favorite. Trail Map

– Glenorchy! This is about 15 km (if memory serves) north and west of Queenstown. We had a pretty bad experience in Queenstown, it was really talked up to us, but when we got there it was just another over-priced tourist trap. We spent one cold night there in a parking lot then moved on. Glenorchy has some AMAZING scenery and hikes. The Dart River valley is so beautiful and there is even a tiny “town” there called Paradise. If you like walking outside and what not, that’s the spot.

– Driving on the West (Wet) Coast was beautiful. If you can swing it, I recommend it. There are the pancake rocks to see, and just tons of great scenery, plus a chance for penguins! The drive from Greymouth (via Moana) through Arthur’s Pass was another highlight, stunning. We kept saying that no matter where you drive, you can’t get bored with the scenery.

– Aoraki/Mt Cook was amazing. We went on a hike to the glacier (not on it) which was great fun. In the snow! The lakes up there are BRIGHT Turquoise, and Twizel has something about it that made me feel very moved. The scenery around Twizel is so wild, I loved it. The drive through the Lindis Pass was spectacular, too.

– We worked for an older couple in exchange for a campsite for about a week (maybe more) at a campground in Mt Somers (pretty close to Chch), this was another highlight. Yvonne and Dave. I don’t know if they’re still there, but it was tons of fun. Dave even drove us to see where they filmed some scenes for LOTR, huge fun! He was an extra in the second movie!

– Christchurch itself was so fun. We watched a lot of rugby, which we both got VERY into while in NZ. Went for drinks with some people we met around town, walked around to see all the sights, drove on the Summit Road, etc.

I’m sorry, there is just too much awesomeness to really narrow it down. I am sure that no matter where you end up going though, you will LOVE it. We had fun everywhere (except Queenstown o.O) I am jealous, I wanna go back!! Have fun!

Post # 9
45 posts
  • Wedding: July 2010

We spent about 2 weeks on the South Island in January – my little sister (and BM) lives in Christchurch. My Fiance and I travelled with her for a week, and then on our own for a week

You are going to have such a great time!

Our highlights were…

Marlborough/Blenheim, we had a great time wine tasting – wish we had done it at the beginning not the end of our trip, as we didn’t get to buy much wine and enjoy it on our way round ๐Ÿ™‚

Oamaru – lots and lots of penguins, and then Moeraki Boulders, and Fleur’s Place (fantastic food) on the way to the Otago peninsula which is glorious.

We had lots of fun in Queenstown, but we didn’t need heaps of time there. Arthurs Pass is stunning, but the glaciers were the best – we took a helicopter ride up and hiked around on Franz Josef glacier and it was one of the best things i have ever done.

We decided not to head to Abel Tasman, but had a couple of days in Kaikoura, visiting with my sister’s friend, dolphin swimming and whale watching. we took the coast road, and it’s stunning.

Akaroa – we had a day there, and it was glorious. there is a little cafe on the way there with the most incredible views of the bay – great stop for breakfast on the way.

hope it helps

Post # 10
1145 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2000

I love love love Queenstown. They have hot air balloon, bungee jumping. One thing I loved and ALWAYS rave about it is the riverboarding. You get in a wetsuit and flow down the river with a boogie board. It is a blast. Like riverrafting but more mellow. I  must do that again before I die!! You can jump off a cliff or just float around or go in a miniwhirlpool.  New Zealand is hands down, beautiful and romantic. Have fun…ooooh and an RV..great idea because the landscape changes dramatically.  On the southern island… wine country, Dunedin looks like Europe and even has a castle and there’s a place that is done up all Art Deco like the 1930’s. I forgot the name right now because their wine was way too good. Fun, fun, fun!!

On the southern tip , you can take a boat overnighter (Real Journeys–was the company) into the fjords (thru the National Park) and it is divine.

Post # 11
156 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

@808bride – I think you are thinking of Napier??

Post # 12
1145 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2000

Yes..Napier, that’s the one. Very cool, retro, nice artisan jewelry. We did the citywalk tour. It was free, short and interesting…and had really good wine. Gewurtztraminer ๐Ÿ™‚

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