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Advice on New Zealand - North or South Island?

(13 Posts)
PenguinRocks Wed 20-May-15 13:46:19

We are due to spend three weeks in New Zealand next Easter. We can't decide whether to go to North Island or South. We, as a couple, have been to both long before we had children but can't work out which would be better / more interesting etc for them. Our girls will be 6 and 8 when we travel. Any advice / opinions would be very useful. Thanks.

specialsubject Wed 20-May-15 14:23:33

I prefer south for long walks, scenery and peace - but with kids I'd go north for volcanoes! Don't miss Rotorua and the areas round it, you could spend a week there. They are too young for the Tongariro crossing but you could also do the bird island Tiritiri Matangi, walk up Rangitoto, visit the Coromandel..

and I'll stop there as that's three weeks done!

PenguinRocks Wed 20-May-15 14:31:53

Thanks for those suggestions. Out of all the places you have mentioned we have only been to Rotorua so I'm quite inspired by the other places you mentioned.

PotatoesNotProzac Wed 20-May-15 14:36:05

Hard call.

South Island has glaciers. North Island has rotorua.

I think north island. You could also do black water rafting in the glow worm caves and go for a day trip to White Island which is an active volcano.

Swimming with the dolphins as well.

PenguinRocks Wed 20-May-15 14:39:25

I really wanted to take the girls hiking on the glaciers but my youngest is too young to go helihiking and too small to do the round hike up. We've done both and were exhausted by the hike from the base of the glacier so don't think she'll cope. I'm beginning to think our love of South Island (the one we prefer) is not going to be as much fun for the girls. Any ideas / suggestions for North island?

youngestisapyscho Wed 20-May-15 14:49:40

My husband is from NZ and I lived there for a year before we had DDs.. we are finally taking our DDs there in Feb, they will be 9 and 13. We are sticking to North Island as his parents are in Auckland and other family near Wellington. Loads to do in North.. Rotorua, Lake Taupo, Wellington, Napier, Waitomo glow worm caves, Bay of Islands... it would have been too much rushing around to try and go South as well... we will most likely go back when the girls are older and do South Island.

Aquilla Wed 20-May-15 14:49:55

Te Papa is the big museum in Wellington and very child friendly. Wellington zoo is good too although not as good as Auckland's. You've also got waitomo caves in the north and good beaches. Heaps to do in Rotorua as people have said. Still lots of empty spaces family friendly walks if you think you will be missing out!

youngestisapyscho Wed 20-May-15 14:51:21

We are there for 3 weeks too...

specialsubject Wed 20-May-15 18:21:29

having just checked, both west coast glaciers are now inaccessible on foot (even with guides) - this is because of collapses and movements. So it is heli hikes ($$$$$$) or nothing.

PenguinRocks Wed 20-May-15 18:34:01

Are you stopping over anywhere on the way there/ way back or are doing the whole lot in one go?

youngestisapyscho Wed 20-May-15 20:25:02

No stopping, we didn't want to waste any of our time in NZ... We flying Cathay Pacific and have just a 1 hour stop on way there and I think a 4 hour stop on way back, both in HK. As I said, in laws are in NZ so will return again, and the DDs may appreciate places to stop when they are older. I have stopped in Singapore before which is nice for a day or 2.

PenguinRocks Wed 20-May-15 22:08:04

We are considering stopping in Singapore- just to break the journey a little and to give our girls a different experience. I think we have now decided to go to North island. I'm getting a little excited now, it's beginning to feel real.

youngestisapyscho Thu 21-May-15 10:23:43

It's such a lovely place.. just expensive to actually get there! Lucky we have family to stay with and give us use of a car. Hope you have a great time.

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