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help: winging it in north island

27 Dec 2010 Rob1982 said

ok so i was enrolled in the grand adventurer trip that i just found out (to my dismay) was cancelled due to low enrollment... so now ive got to pick up the pieces and book something else for my 2 weeks in NZ 'cause i dont want to change/cancel all my flights... im thinking of doing a 7 day scenic southern trip for the 2nd of my 2 weeks in NZ but i need help planning out my first 6 days which will be spent on the north island.<BR><BR>any recommendations about how to plan/where to go for 5-6 days in the north island on your own? i want to see auckland for a day, then waitomo caves, roturua and the maori performace, i wouldn't MIND seeing the bay of islands, and if at all possible, i've heard lake taupo is gorgeous. problem is, when you're doing it on your own, w/o a guided trip i've heard booking transportation to and from each place isn't cheap/easy, and it takes a while to get from place to place. <BR><BR>does anyone have any suggestions/recommendations for how i can plan 5-6 days on my own, without a guided tour, in the north island? if i can get my scenic southern set up that'll take care of my south island experience. THANKS SO MUCH EVERYONE <img src="" alt="Smiler" width="15" height="15"><!--graemlin::)-->
  • Read the responses 7 responses so far
  • 13 Jan 2011 Rob1982 said


    ok so my plans have changed slightly and now i am doing the scenic southern trip that drops me off in wellington, leaving me the following 3 days to see north island and get myself to Auckland.

    my key points of interest are lake taupo (just wanan go see it, ive heard its beautiful), rotorua (i wanna see that maori performance everyone tells me about), waitomo caves (i cant miss the glow worm caves), and if i can MANAGE it, a brief visit to bay of islands and then i have to get to auckland to fly home.

    can this be done in 3 days? ive looked into the magic bus and all that, but they seem to have longer passes that have many more stops, and dont go in the directions i need in the times i need them… same with kiwi experience. is it cheaper/easier to just buy individual bus tickets to each place and stay in hostels overnight? are any of these places things you can do/see 2 in one day? or do i need a day in each place? i wish i had more time but due to complicatoins, all i’ll have is 3 days, so i have to work with what ive got

  • 13 Jan 2011 ptooma said


    with only 3 days and no car, you are definitely squeezed for time and are not going to get to the Bay of Islands. Spend a day in Auckland, another day in Waitomo – here’s a full day adventure:

    Can drive by Lake Taupo, but spend a day in Rotorua. – visit Te Puia
    and see the Maori Hangi dance performance.

    - Vic

  • 14 Jan 2011 Rob1982 said


    is it worth my while to perhaps just rent a car and drive myself? is it inexpensive/uncomplicated to rent a car in wellington and drop it off, say, in auckland on my 3rd day? ‘cause it would certainly help to not have to rely on bus schedules to get where i have to go. i could drive myself wherever and whenever i want to go. I also imagine it would be fun to get to drive on the left side of the road, an interesting part of my travel experience lol

  • 15 Jan 2011 Rob1982 said


    i will look into that for sure…last thing i need is to wind up getting to the north island and winding up not seeing anything b/c i couldnt get to and from places quickly enough

  • 15 Jan 2011 Pervy said


    the rental companys sometimes have great deals on relocating cars back to Auckland, be a good option to see if thats possible.

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