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Les's avatar

Anyone have any 'must see' places/things in New Zealand?

Asked by Les (9612points) May 28th, 2008

I’m going to Antarctica for two months in September, and we deploy from Christchurch. I hope to spend around a week in New Zealand after my time on the ice, and am looking for any suggestions! Those of you Flutherites who live(d) there, I want to hear from you especially!

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6 Answers

Les's avatar

And I just saw the ‘siblings’ now. Whoops. Well, the question still stands.

bluemukaki's avatar

Hanmer Springs on the South Island,
Kaikoura on the South Island,
Napier on the North Island

tupara's avatar

September in the South Island will be end of winter/early spring so it won’t be too warm ( but after Antarctica..) and there will still be plenty of snow (and lots of great skifields). I live in the South Island (Otago) and there is plenty to do there if you like the outdoors.South Island is hiking heaven. Hanmer Springs is OK (a bit touristy) but there is an even better hot springs called Maruia Spings a bit further up on the Lewis Pass and I’ve mentioned Wecome Flat in a previous post ( I think it was “most beautiful place you’ve ever seen?”). Are you just going to be in the Sth Island? What sort of activities are you after? Queenstown is a great place if you like both your adventure tourism and lots or bars to go to afterwards. If you let me know what you like to do I can probably be more helpful.

Les's avatar

@tupara: I’ll answer here, so maybe others can feed off of my response. I love outdoor activities, but am not that into skiing (I live in Wyoming, near Colorado USA. I know. It’s a sin I don’t ski more). The hot springs sound wonderful. The way I like to travel is to treat it like I’d never be back. So, I don’t mind some touristy stuff. But I like the natural side of places. I like native things: cultures, places, sights, you know. I will most likely be mainly on the South Island, and more than likely by myself or with one other person who isn’t much of a traveler. Really, I’m up for anything. I’m an amateur photographer, so anything where I can take my camera and get some great shots would be good.

tupara's avatar

The South Island has breath-taking scenery pretty much everywhere but Christchurch and the Canterbury plains which are the only flat bits. Less than a quarter of the population live in the S.I so it’s relatively empty and a lot of it is national parks. Dunedin is a great little city, nice and cosy, an art and cultural centre, NZ’s alternative music capital, close to lots of beautiful places ( you can see seals and penguins at local beaches) a good stepping off point to central Otago (mountains and lakes galore) or the Catlins coast (eerily empty and desolate with amazing beaches and great little known surfing spots) so it could be a good place to base youself if you don’t want to travel too much. The west coast of S.I. is also windswept, desolate and gorgeous (fjords, glaciers) and Okarito is one of my favourite places ( kayaking on the lagoon which is the only nesting place of the white heron with the Southern Alps towering above you). There is so much. You’ll probably meet NZers in Antarctica who will have good ideas too.

Adagio's avatar

If you’re going to be in Auckland, even briefly, Bethells Beach on Auckland’s West Coast is a gorgeous location to see. Black iron sands, no shops, even when the car park is full the beach just swallows everybody up and it never feels crowded. The West Coast of New Zealand is very moody and magic, although there are those who will prefer the calmer waters of the east coast.each to their own If you’re into the natural environment and unpopulated places I think you would really enjoy it. And as for photography,there is most shortage of material. From the central city I would allow about 45 minutes to drive there, not during peak hour traffic that is. Enjoy your downunder sojourn.

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