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9 days, starting and ending in Auckland - what to do!

Washington DC...
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9 days, starting and ending in Auckland - what to do!

I have 7 full days, and two partial days, to travel in New Zealand. I'm flying into Auckland, and then need to return to Auckland. I'm struggling to decide whether to stay in the North and visit Waitomo/Rotorua/Taupo/Tongariro, head to the South Island and visit some (but not all) of Abel Tasman, Milford Sound, and the glaciers, or try to do some combination (some of the north, plus Abel Tasman). Any suggestions? I'll be there from the end of November and early December, so I need to decide soon! I'm traveling with 2 other people.

Washington DC...
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1. Re: 9 days, starting and ending in Auckland - what to do!

One additional note - we are more interested in hiking/kayaking and seeing natural areas, rather than spending time in cities. However, we don't want to spend all of our time in one place doing a 5-day trek.

Wellington, New...
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2. Re: 9 days, starting and ending in Auckland - what to do!

Stay in the north island and go and visit the Coromandel

New Zealand
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3. Re: 9 days, starting and ending in Auckland - what to do!

welcome to the forum :)

You don't have time to visit both islands. Either stay in the upper North Island, including the Bay of Islands and Rotorua, or fly immediately down to Queenstown for stunning scenery and hiking or down to Nelson for fabulous hiking and kayaking. Frankly, you don't have time for both Abel Tasman and Milford/Doubtful.

Happy planning :)

Rarotonga, Cook...
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for Rarotonga, Waiheke Island, Southern Cook Islands, Auckland
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4. Re: 9 days, starting and ending in Auckland - what to do!

Stay in the North Island. Your visit to NZ seems limited and you would make better use of time if you arrive Auckland then collect a rental car to do two short tours.

1. Leigh - Matakana/Bay of Islands/Waipoua Forest - 3 days.

2. Waitomo Caves, Bay of Plenty thermal region, Coromandel - 4 days.

Excellent hiking, cave tours, kayaking, white water rafting, boat trips, snorkelling, native forests.

Auckland, New...
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5. Re: 9 days, starting and ending in Auckland - what to do!

Hi

With only 7 days I would definitely focus on one island or the other and to avoid taking up precious time flying I would recommend that you stay in the north island.

With 7 days you would have time to enjoy the Auckland Region and do a “loop” south of Auckland taking in the places you have mentioned.

You may wish to consider the following

Day 1

Arrive Auckland

Overnight Auckland

Day 2

Explore the Auckland Region

Overnight Auckland

Day 3

Drive to Taupo via Waitomo Caves

Overnight Taupo area

Day 4

Taupo/Tongariro

Overnight Taupo area

Day 5

Taupo Tongariro

Overnight Taupo area

Day 6

Rotorua

Overnight Rotorua

Day 7

Rotorua and back to Auckland

You will find all you are looking for in terms of walks, scenery etc in the above.

Hamilton, New...
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6. Re: 9 days, starting and ending in Auckland - what to do!

If it were me, I would miss the North Island all together and visit the South Island, so picturesque and heaps to do.

7. Re: 9 days, starting and ending in Auckland - what to do!

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