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Old 05 February 2008, 07:02   #11
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I'm going to New Zealand too! We'll probably be arriving just as you are leaving

Unless things have changed a lot in the last few years, it's almost impossible to go wrong. I've not been to North Island, which is busier, but on South Island even the touristy stuff is great.

* Whale watching in Kaikoura is good (plus swimming with dolphins and/or seals)
* Dart river jet boat from Glenorchy is a good alternative to the Shotover thrill rides
* Heli onto a glacier is cool. We'll probably take a fixed wing flight this time, and land high up on the glacier.
* The gold rush towns on the west coast are interesting, and the drive over Arthur's Pass is worthwhile.
* If you want to bungy jump then The Ledge and Kawarau Bridge in Queenstown can both be done without taking a whole day (unlike some of the bigger ones).

. . . and that's just a few highlights off the top of my head. Can't wait!

John
I just got back yesterday!

I would second all of the above, especially the endorsement that you really cannot go wrong just about anywhere on the South Island (try not to refer to is as the mainland to people of the North!).

Also, try and catch as much Montieth's, Speight's and Canterbury Draught beer as you can! A tour of the vineyards is also great, but get someone else to drive.
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Old 05 February 2008, 07:13   #12
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Already mentioned, but whale watching at Kaikoura is good. If you get down south to Fiordland, try Doubtful Sound rather than the more popular Milford Sound. If you're a rugby fan, the Grail in Christchurch is the place to go - especially after a Crusaders game. And the "French" colony at Akaroa is worth a boat trip too.

Deeply jealous. Hope you post some good pics. Enjoy.
Swimming with 'Flipper' at Akaroa is the real deal. The 'Grumpy Mole' in Christchurch was the place for a post match p'up, but you're going out of season. It's owned by Justin Marshall ( ex All Blacks and Crusaders scrumhalf now with Ospeys) and his b-in-law. His other b-in-law is my sons godfather and my best boating mate.
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Old 05 February 2008, 08:19   #13
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Originally Posted by SeaSkills View Post
Already mentioned, but whale watching at Kaikoura is good. If you get down south to Fiordland, try Doubtful Sound rather than the more popular Milford Sound. If you're a rugby fan, the Grail in Christchurch is the place to go - especially after a Crusaders game. And the "French" colony at Akaroa is worth a boat trip too.

Deeply jealous. Hope you post some good pics. Enjoy.
We already have a night booked on Doubtfull Sound (http://www.doubtfulsound.com/)

Mark F I am a fan of red wine, so I'll see if I can look those up! We are definitely going on a jet boat ride, shame you can't drive them though!

Probably going for the fixed wing glacier flight and if we get to Christchurch I'll check out Flipper and "The Grumpy Mole" Mollers!

Thanks everybody - keep em coming!
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When a boat looks that good who needs tubes!!!
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Old 05 February 2008, 12:11   #14
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Also, try and catch as much Montieth's, Speight's and Canterbury Draught beer as you can! A tour of the vineyards is also great, but get someone else to drive.
. . . and a trip to Mac's brewery if you're around that way

John
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Old 05 February 2008, 13:13   #15
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Hi, If you are in Queenstown around the end of March, "War Birds over Wanaka" is a really cool day. I think you can go for A ride over the lake in a spitfire if you have the money.
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Old 06 February 2008, 10:14   #16
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Hi, If you are in Queenstown around the end of March, "War Birds over Wanaka" is a really cool day. I think you can go for A ride over the lake in a spitfire if you have the money.
We're in Queenstown until the 21 March - late enough?
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When a boat looks that good who needs tubes!!!
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Old 13 February 2008, 04:26   #17
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We liked it so much we moved here ...

Hi Cookee and all,

Had a holiday in NZ at Easter, and moved here with permanent residency 4 weeks ago, now living in Dunedin. What a fabulous country this is. Not many ribs here, though, everyone seems to have clunky looking aluminium boats, some with clunky looking aluminium "tubes".

We chose Doubtful Sound over Milford, and it was idyllic, really other worldly. Had a fantastic day whale watching out of Kaikoura - saw 4 sperm whales, and a pod of 150 or so dusky dolphins, so do that one if you can.

If you like walking (they call it tramping here), then the Tongariro Crossing on North Island is a breathtaking day, in every way.

Curiously the weather was coldest for us when we were in the Bay of Islands - saw dolphins there, but couldn't swim with them, because of the juveniles. And a week after we moved on from there, they were flooded out in the whole region with torrential rain.

Have a good one!

cheers,
Simon

PS: We've been on the beach or in the sea countless times in the past 4 weeks. No wetsuits needed, just plenty of factor 30 and the bodyboards. Just to warm you up during your Northern Hemisphere February ...
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Old 13 February 2008, 06:23   #18
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A few more ideas

Blackwater rafting - Its been a while since I did this, but it was just so much fun - you float down an under ground river in wet suits and tyre tubes - it could be done in a busy day trip from Auckland.

http://www.waitomo.com/black-water-rafting.aspx

Best day trip in Auckland is a walk to the top of Rangitoto, or a trip out to the West coast beaches.

In the South Island, my favourate place is Lake Wanaka - At the head of the lake is a valley walk (tramp) upto the Aspiring Hut up the Matukituki Valley. The walk is mostly flat, but it has fantastic views of the mountains and is one of the most accessible was to get into the mountains.

http://www.lakewanaka.co.nz/index.cf...lks_and_Tramps

From queenstown, the skippers canyon road is a fun trip, and you've got to try a bungy jump at least once - I'll never do it again, but it was worth it!

Beware that you'll probably get hooked on bowl sized lattes.

As an aside, Pop from this site was based in the Bay of islands - although he hasn't posted for a while.

Enjoy!
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Old 13 February 2008, 06:40   #19
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If you get over into the Coromandel's Driving Creek Railway and potteries is a great trip, http://www.drivingcreekrailway.co.nz/Introduction.cfm
We also rated the sail on the ex America's cup boats round the sound great also.
Have fun
James
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