Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
TLCOhio

Auckland/NZ North Island: Options, Ideas for Early 2020??!!

Recommended Posts

Getting ready in mid-February 2020 to do an Oceania Regatta sailing from Auckland to Tahiti.  Planning for a week before this 18-day cruise to do some exploring in and around New Zealand's North Island by rental car.  During our first Australia-NZ adventure in 2014, we had wonderful cruise ship stops in Wellington, Napier/Cape Kidnappers, Tauranga/Rotorua and Bay of Islands.  After finishing that cruise, we had a couple of excellent days in Auckland, including going to scenic/fun Waiheke Island.  For early 2020, we are looking to fly into Auckland, get our car on Feb. 11 and head south.  Many options consider??!!  What's best, new, interesting, scenic, etc., etc.?  We want to head south in the direction of Wellington, maybe sample a little wine action, etc.  Then, drop the car and fly back to Auckland for the boarding of our cruise ship on Feb. 17.  Insights and ideas?

 

From NBC television, they have a weekend travel series titled: “THE VOYAGER WITH JOSH GARCIA” with many interesting visuals, highlights and details.  Their early May video segment covered and related to Auckland.  It was titled "Awesome Auckland".  Josh tours Auckland, the "City of Sails," climbing to the top of Harbour Bridge; visits a local farm that's famous for its sheep; takes a lesson in sailboat racing onboard New Zealand's most famous racing yacht.  This series is very well produced and brings back many nice memories.  Reactions? 

 

Full Auckland video profile at:

https://www.nbc.com/the-voyager-with-josh-garcia/video/awesome-auckland/3947906

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Sydney to NZ/Auckland Adventure, live/blog 2014 sampling/details with many exciting visuals and key highlights.  On page 23, post #571, see a complete index for all of the pictures, postings.  Now at 221,706 views.

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1974139

 

Here are just four sample screen shots from this NBC-TV, 20-minute video that focuses on profiling Auckland and nearby New Zealand options. Fun, exciting reporting.:

(Open your screen/viewer wider to see these pictures larger/better!)

1248953133_ScreenShot2019-06-23at5_58_28PM.thumb.png.a5739837de72c2595673949e874e68da.png

 

412570206_ScreenShot2019-06-23at5_50_06PM.thumb.png.db6965419a2f8c0bebd4e73d1c71ef0b.png

 

1176566755_ScreenShot2019-06-23at5_49_54PM.thumb.png.23c3a7cb07d1acd0aef9433daa0b820e.png

 

2027217999_ScreenShot2019-06-23at6_04_46PM.thumb.png.83e6b0bd544e3541b3d6609189c96be4.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suggest heading straight down State Highway 1 to Wairakei, which is very close to Taupo. There you can do the Craters of the Moon geothermal walk https://www.cratersofthemoon.co.nz/, visit the Prawn Park https://hukaprawnpark.co.nz/, visit Huka Falls https://www.newzealand.com/int/feature/huka-falls/ - even better do a jet boat ride to the base of the falls https://www.hukafallsjet.com/nz/. It's probably best to stay in Taupo, there is more choice of accommodation there. Auckland to Wairakei takes about 3.5 hours without stops so if you leave early in the morning you could get to the Prawn Park for lunch, assuming you like prawns.

 

Next day you might like to take a boat trip out on the lake in the morning to see some Maori rock carvings, then carry on heading south. At Turangi turn right, then left a bit further down the road, to go over the hill to the Tongariro National Park. This is a lovely drive through some beautiful NZ bush. Stay the night at the Chateau Tongariro on the slopes of Mt Ruapehu. There are some lovely walks you can do here if you feel energetic. It will only take about 80 minutes to get to the Chateau.

 

Next day carry on around Mt Ruapehu, through Ohakune to Waiouru, then carry on down State Highway 1. After Mangaweka look out for the Mangarere Rangitikei Rest Area where you can get great views over the Rangitikei River. It's just a small area when you can pull off the road. After Ohingaiti look for the turn-off to Highway 54 which will take you through some interesting countryside, then take Colyton Rd to Ashhurst. Go through the Manawatu Gorge to Woodville, and take State Highway 2 south. If you have time the Pukaha National Wildlife Centre is worth a visit. Travel through Masterton and Greymouth and turn off to Martinborough. Spend two nights here and do some wine tasting. This is one of New Zealand's top wine regions, and they make some wonderful Pinot Noirs. It will take around 5 hours driving to Martinborough, without including stops.

 

Then head back to State Highway 2 and cross the Rimutakas to Wellington, which should only take about 75 minutes. 

 

This is only four nights so would get you to Wellington on the 15th. You could break the trip up a bit more by exploring some of the towns on the way to Taupo then staying in Taupo two nights and going back to some of the Wairakei sites next day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another option would be to go to Whanganui from the Chateau ie go straight ahead on State Highway 4  instead of turning left to Ohakune. It's a lovely drive to Whanganui. Spend a bit of time exploring there, including going up Durie Hill in the elevator and climbing the tower. Then go on to Palmerston North on State Highway 3. Perhaps stay a night there, then go on to Martinborough through the Manawatu Gorge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, OzKiwiJJ said:

Another option would be to go to Whanganui from the Chateau ie go straight ahead on State Highway 4  instead of turning left to Ohakune. It's a lovely drive to Whanganui. Spend a bit of time exploring there, including going up Durie Hill in the elevator and climbing the tower. Then go on to Palmerston North on State Highway 3. Perhaps stay a night there, then go on to Martinborough through the Manawatu Gorge.

 

Appreciate these great suggestions  comments and follow-up.  Am getting ready now for departing in mid-July to be seeing, for our first time, Jasper/Banff, doing the Western Canada Rocky Mountaineer rail adventure, having three days in Vancouver, then sailing up to Alaska, doing a post-cruise excursion to Denali, etc.  After getting back from this "adventure", then I will turn the page and start to focus 100% in preparing for this exploring of NZ's North Island, plus planning for these various islands in the South Pacific. 

 

Keep it coming!!  This is very helpful as we research and plan for early 2020. 

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

SE Asia/Mekong River, Etc.!  Live/blog from early 2018, first adventure through SE Asia, stops in Hong Kong and Bangkok, before exploring all over Vietnam and Cambodia, seven days sailing on the Mekong River. Now at 47,518 views.

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2591474

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From the Washington Post yesterday, they had this headline: “Americans will need a travel document to enter New Zealand, starting Oct. 1”with these highlights: “Previously, Americans visiting New Zealand could simply show up, passport in hand, and enter the country. However, starting this fall — or spring, for Southern Hemisphere dwellers — the island nation will require some extra minutes of pre-departure planning.Though the United States is one of 60 visa-waiver countries, Americans and other nationals from this group will need to apply for a New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA) for travel starting Oct. 1.”  

 

For many of us doing the South Pacific, we will start out or end our trip in Auckland.  Hence, this information might be "need-to-know news."  This story also details: "The form will become available in July on the New Zealand Immigration’s website and mobile phone app. The cost: 9 New Zealand dollars (about $6) for the app submission and 12 New Zealand dollars (about $8) for the online form. Visitors must also pay the new International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy, which is earmarked for tourism infrastructure and environmental protection. The fee costs 35 New Zealand dollars, or $23."

 

Full story at:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/travel/americans-will-need-a-travel-document-to-enter-new-zealand-starting-oct-1/2019/06/26/a4f23482-977a-11e9-8d0a-5edd7e2025b1_story.html?utm_term=.5ac9156964c0

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

AFRICA?!!?: Fun, interesting visuals, plus travel details from this early 2016 live/blog. At 46,046 views. Featuring Cape Town, South Africa’s coast, Mozambique, Victoria Falls/Zambia and Botswana's famed Okavango Delta.

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2310337

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From Forbes magazine three days ago, they had this headline: “Ten Bucket List Trips For The Next Decade” with this opening highlight for this listing of great potential future travel options: “With the imminent arrival of the Roaring Twenties, why not give your travel life a jolt? New decade, new you... New travel plans..

 

One of these top ten tips was for New Zealand.  Here is part of their headline to suggest: "Island-Hopping" .  Hare are some of their profile highlights: "New Zealand, also known as the 'real middle earth,' may be the best place on the planet for an outdoors-loving traveler to escape. The North and South Islands of New Zealand are all about the wilderness said species inhabit. Trust us that the natural environment in New Zealand is supernatural in its beauty—and, as an added bonus, the people of New Zealand (also known as Kiwis) are equally awe-inspiring in their friendliness. Which is perfect, considering you will spend quite some time navigating from place to place—and therefore relying occasionally on the kindness, aka directions, of strangers—though, in this situation, the journey truly is the destination.  Head to Hawke's Bay for some glamping and wine tasting along the nation's gorgeous East Coast."

 

Full story at:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/katherineparkermagyar/2019/12/11/2020-travel-goals-10-bucket-list-trips-for-the-next-decade/#19b69f8d5f9d

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

 

Lisbon, NWSpain, Bordeaux/Brittany: Live/blog, June 2017 from Portugal to France along scenic Atlantic Coast.  Now at 30,001 views.  Many interesting pictures, details for history, food, culture, etc.:

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2511358

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From the New York Times Travel Section yesterday, they had this headline: “After Volcano Blast, New Zealand Asks if Adventure Tourism Can Last with this sub-head: "The eruption on White Island has set off an intense debate on exploiting nature for thrills."

 

Here are some of their story highlights: “The tragedy has set off an intense debate among New Zealanders about tourism, including whether nature is being wrongly exploited for thrills and whether enough precautions are being taken. The country has a famed marketing campaign, '100% Pure New Zealand,' which includes ads filled with people rappelling down cliffs, helicopter snowboarding and white-water rafting — but also has a legal system that makes it hard to sue when things go wrong. Tourism is the country’s biggest export, representing nearly 6 percent of its economic output, roughly double the industry’s share of the economies of Australia and the United States.  And the business is booming. In a country where growth is hard to find, tourism revenue has soared 50 percent over the past six years.”

 

Interesting questions and background from this reporting about such "adventure" tourism in New Zealand and in other countries.  At our ages, we are not too "CUTTING-EDGE" for being too risky with such tourism that pushes close to any danger points.  Fascinating as to how much tourism has grown recently in New Zealand.  This profile also noted: "The industry directly or indirectly employs more than 14 percent of the work force, providing 393,279 jobs last year."

 

Full story at:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/15/world/australia/white-island-volcano-tourism-new-zealand.html

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

 

Panama Canal? Early 2017, Fort Lauderdale to San Francisco adventure through Panama Canal.  Our first stops in Colombia, Central America and Mexico, plus added time in the great Golden Gate City. Now at 29,144 views.

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2465580

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did catch this item about an upcoming "BIG EVENT" set for New Zealand.  It will be the 36th America's Cup to be contested in the picturesque Hauraki Gulf of Auckland in March 2021. Considered as the world’s oldest and most prestigious sporting trophy, this much anticipated Cup race will involve continuous innovation and evolving technology in the sailing world.  Don't think that we will be returning to New Zealand in March 2021, but it's nice to know that it is upcoming for the Auckland area.  

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Amazon River-Caribbean 2015 adventure live/blog starting in Barbados. Many visuals from this amazing river and Caribbean Islands (Dutch ABC's, St. Barts, Dominica, Grenada, San Juan, etc.).  Now at 65,302 views:

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2157696

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From the Travel Section of the London/UK Guardian this past week, they had this headline: “New Zealand's landscape under pressure from booming tourist industry” with this sub headline: "Country could face Venice-style overcrowding and lose tranquility that attracts visitors in the first place." 

 

Here are more of the story highlights: “New Zealand’s booming tourist industry is threatening to ruin its most popular landscapes and could see the country face the kind of overcrowding seen in cities such as Amsterdam, Venice and Barcelona. International visitor numbers are approaching four million and could rise to 10–13 million every year by 2050, said the report by the parliamentary commissioner for the environment,  'The sheer numbers of people are eroding the sense of isolation, tranquillity and access to nature that many overseas tourists seek when visiting New Zealand.'  Increasing pressures from tourism have impacted six main areas, the report found: visitor density and loss of natural quiet, water quality degradation, solid waste generation and management, infrastructure development and landscape modification, biodiversity loss and biosecurity risk, and greenhouse gas emissions.”

 

Great that New Zealand is so popular and glad that we will be there in February 2020 before things get too busy and/or crowded.  BUT, there is a challenge and serious questions as to how the economic/job benefits of tourism are "BALANCED" . . . versus . . . the potential environmental pressures cited in this government report.  

 

Full story at:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/dec/18/new-zealands-landscape-at-risk-from-booming-tourist-industry-report-says

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

AFRICA?!!?: Fun, interesting visuals, plus travel details from this early 2016 live/blog. At 47,947 views. Featuring Cape Town, South Africa’s coast, Mozambique, Victoria Falls/Zambia and Botswana's famed Okavango Delta.

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2310337

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Many will be flying into and/or out of Auckland's airport before doing cruising as we will be in boarding the Oceania Regatta on Feb. 17.  

 

From Travel Section of the Sydney Morning Herald and other Fairfax newspapers in Australia earlier this week, they had this headline: “Best new travel discoveries of 2019” with these highlights: “If only every airport looked like this. Auckland Airport is investing $1 million every working day towards building one of the best airports in the southern hemisphere and one that is capable of handling 40 million passengers a year. A refurbishment of its restaurant precinct also earned it top honours at the 2019 Airport Food & Beverage Awards in Dallas. There's even a pizzeria here deemed the best in Oceania. Accessing the Pacific Islands has never been so easy. See aucklandairport.co.nz.

 

Full story at:

https://www.traveller.com.au/traveller-writers-name-their-best-travel-finds-of-2019-h1kbew

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Sydney to NZ/Auckland Adventure, live/blog 2014 sampling/details with many exciting visuals and key highlights.  On page 23, post #571, see a complete index for all of the pictures, postings.  Now at 227,033 views.

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1974139

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From the Sacramento Bee newspaper today,  they had this headline: “2020 is here: Auckland's Sky Tower lit up as New Zealand celebrates New Year with these highlights: “New Zealand has welcomed in the new year with a fireworks display in Auckland. This footage shows the Sky Tower being lit up for the 2020 countdown, with fireworks bursting into the air on the stroke of midnight.”

 

Happy New Year and best wishes for a great 2020.  

 

From the AP Newswire this morning, they had this headline: “Cheers, tears, prayers for 2020: A new decade is ushered in” with these highlights: “Revelers around the globe are bidding farewell to a decade that will be remembered for the rise of social media, the Arab Spring, the #MeToo movement.  More than a million people descended on a hazy Sydney Harbour and surrounding areas ahead of the ringing in of the new year despite the ongoing wildfire crisis ravaging New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state.”  

 

Full California newspaper and  AP stories/pictures at:

https://www.sacbee.com/news/nation-world/world/article238860558.html

https://apnews.com/5ad9012c0e0aa91f816d57da58a176a1

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Recently completed Calgary, Jasper/Banff National Parks, Western Canada Rocky Mountaineer rail adventure, Vancouver, sailing up to Alaska, post-cruise excursion to Denali, etc.  Lots of visuals and details from our first visits to these scenic areas!!  That live/blog is at: 
https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2682584-live-terryohio-silver-muse-alaska-canadarockies-pix’s/

 

From the Sacramento newspaper and the AP, here are visuals from Auckland and Sydney's super scenic harbor as they welcome the New Year!!:

(Open your screen/viewer wider to see these pictures larger/better!)394824459_ScreenShot2019-12-31at5_33_29PM.thumb.png.dfb727d9dc842cdb03692c506fdc5ce0.png

 

1317722003_ScreenShot2019-12-31at12_03_04PM.thumb.png.daf0fd8ef64f2230c9eda3d0dfdf79a4.png

 

1137121440_ScreenShot2019-12-31at12_08_06PM.thumb.png.9cf4bba623a2683a9e857958167f0f41.png

 

749290904_ScreenShot2019-12-31at12_17_36PM.thumb.png.75532feb1e2db8295396265e23ecfb61.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of my NZ friends suggested we head down to Rotorua for a day and see the Maori village cultural exhibit (WHAKAREWAREWA ).     So we're taking a day precruise to drive down there from Aukland.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Appreciate this suggestion and follow-up for Rotorua.  In 2014, we did visit Rotorua and very much enjoyed the Maori village program, etc.  Below are a few visual highlights from that part of our earlier Australia-NZ adventure.  Keep up the great sharing, ideas, tips, etc. Getting closer for our Feb. 8, 2020, departure date to Auckland.  

 

THANKS!  Enjoy!  Terry in Ohio

 

Norway Coast/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise from Copenhagen, July 2010, to the top of Europe. Wonderful scenic visuals with key tips. Live/blog at 238,273

www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1227923

 

This Maori performance starts its ceremonies outside and then we enter the Wahiao Meeting House. Fortunately (with some skill), I was in a prime front row seat to be able to get great pictures, video, etc. Plus, experience the quality for how these members share these cultural traditions.:

(Open your screen/viewer wider to see these pictures larger/better!)

RotMaoriOneA12_zps6143b709.jpg

 

RotMaoriOneA5_zps8a2a9557.jpg

 

RotMaoriOneA2_zps3517f252.jpg

 

RotMaoriOneA4_zps65024ba5.jpg

 

RotMaoriOneA1_zps2e2d6f01.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...