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Old 12-08-2018, 06:40 PM   #21
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Going to NZ first part of Feb 2019 for a little over a month.
Flying out of SFO directly to Auckland,NZ. 12-13hrs


This will be the longest flight by far I have taken.Hopefully it will not be
too much of a drain. Using economy with window seat.


I will have 3 days in Auckland prior to the main trip with Flying Kiwi tours
using the Ultimate Explorer option.


Then 2 days in Auckland before heading back thru HOUSTON, TX

I went solo on a Flying Kiwi Aventure Tour of the Southern island in February of 2014. I was 56 and had retired in May of 2013. I had a blast. It was a great mix of people and I have met up with four of the people I met on the trip since then. February is I think the best time to go. I hope you enjoy the trip as much as I did.
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Old 12-10-2018, 03:12 AM   #22
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We will travel NZ too, starting mid February in Christchurch, leaving mid March from Auckland. It will be self drive.
We are sooo much looking forward to it, as we had to cancel last winter due to a broken foot of DH.


Have a great trip! Will wave when we see Flying Kiwis passing by.
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Old 12-10-2018, 10:15 AM   #23
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I went solo on a Flying Kiwi Aventure Tour of the Southern island in February of 2014. I was 56 and had retired in May of 2013. I had a blast. It was a great mix of people and I have met up with four of the people I met on the trip since then. February is I think the best time to go. I hope you enjoy the trip as much as I did.

Did you mainly camp on trip ?
Did you use their equipment?
Did you purchase travel insurance ?



I plan to bring my own tent and quilt (bag).
Hire (rent) one of their bikes.


Thanks
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Old 12-18-2018, 08:59 AM   #24
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Thanks for all the info! We're going in Feb 2019 after a cruise from Sydney to Auckland. Then we're staying about 3 weeks. We'll travel by train and bus from Auckland to Wellington and Christchurch then will rent a car after the train ride over the mountainsand work our way to Queenstown. We used a travel agency there to book our hotels, car, train etc. tix, program the GPS, pick us up on arrival etc. So looking forward to it.

We "sort of" went last year with a cruise around NZ (then 12 days in Sydney and Newcastle). Because of weather we missed a few things in NZ and got back to Sydney a day early. The one day in Auckland was definitely not enough. Amazingly I thought the nonstop 18+ hour flight from Houston to Sydney wasn't bad and we travel coach (bulkhead, 787).
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Old 12-18-2018, 09:12 AM   #25
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There were a few things we absolutely loved, but man there was nothing better than renting our cabin-style hotel in Queenstown right down by the base of the lake and just a blocks walk from town... but you MUST go to the Onsen Hot Pools if spa is something you like. An amazing experience on a dark starry night for sure. We upgraded to the romance/honeymoon package.



I might recommend the museum in Christchurch and Waitomo Glow work caves along with the LOTR land tour up there on the north island.


DW And I covered 1800miles over 12 days when we visited NZ, absolutely loved the culture, the people, the scenery and the adventure! Don't drive 2 hrs at night in a storm right when you land to get to your first lodging reservation...and make sure its not inside an old NZ Ferry... although it was kinda cool staying in a retired ferry, the old diesel smell got old that first night. Billy the sheep shearin owner was a helluva guy though.
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Old 12-21-2018, 09:22 AM   #26
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Did you mainly camp on trip ?
Did you use their equipment?
Did you purchase travel insurance ?



I plan to bring my own tent and quilt (bag).
Hire (rent) one of their bikes.


Thanks
Sorry, I just now saw this. I brought my own backpack, sleeping pad and sleeping bag. I rented their tent and opted not to share the tent. It was roomier than my backpacking tent. I did purchase travel insurance, but only for healthcare since I booked the trip only three weeks before going.

I did the Routeburn Track backpacking which was awesome, ice glacier hiking, sea kayaking, white water rafting, swim with the dolphins, and hang gliding. It was all really amazing.
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Old 12-28-2018, 04:37 AM   #27
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We will travel NZ too, starting mid February in Christchurch, leaving mid March from Auckland. It will be self drive.
We are sooo much looking forward to it, as we had to cancel last winter due to a broken foot of DH.


Have a great trip! Will wave when we see Flying Kiwis passing by.


We are headed to Christchurch early Feb, leaving Aukland mid March....sounds like a possible forum meetup might be in order!
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Old 12-28-2018, 05:06 AM   #28
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Don't forget to go to jail in Christchurch for a night or two...
https://www.jail.co.nz/
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Old 12-28-2018, 10:20 AM   #29
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Ouch, the price is nice but the shared facilities are no longer my choice.
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Old 12-28-2018, 10:26 AM   #30
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Good airfare 620.00 RT direct from Houston Auckland / American Airlines
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Old 01-31-2019, 04:20 AM   #31
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I wish you a great trip. Unfortunately we had to cancel our bookings (again) as DH will go to hospital next week for bladder tumor.
Some things or trips are not meant to happen.


Enjoy your trip!
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Old 01-31-2019, 06:35 AM   #32
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Ouch, the price is nice but the shared facilities are no longer my choice.
Sorry to hear you're delayed. Once you get there, well worth the looooong flight.
I don't recall any problem with shared facilities, but is a free world, after all. Until you land in jail!
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Old 02-04-2019, 08:41 AM   #33
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I just returned from my second trip, went to the South Island again.

Had the worst time with allergies though. Apparently pollen is especially bad this year, though it seemed to be a little better towards the end of my trip in late January.

You should expect to spend $15 every meal or so per person, more for dinner. NZ dollar is about 68 cents to the USD.

Restaurant prices include tax and tip. So if a steak dish costs 35-45 NZD, it’s not too bad.

Some hotels and motels can be pricey, especially around Queenstown.

When you drive, there are a lot of signs reminding you to drive the left side of the road.

It tends to get very windy, especially in Wellington. Also the sun is intense, so use sunscreen liberally and frequently.
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Old 02-11-2019, 09:26 AM   #34
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I just returned from my second trip, went to the South Island again.

Had the worst time with allergies though. Apparently pollen is especially bad this year, though it seemed to be a little better towards the end of my trip in late January.

You should expect to spend $15 every meal or so per person, more for dinner. NZ dollar is about 68 cents to the USD.

Restaurant prices include tax and tip. So if a steak dish costs 35-45 NZD, itís not too bad.

Some hotels and motels can be pricey, especially around Queenstown.

When you drive, there are a lot of signs reminding you to drive the left side of the road.

It tends to get very windy, especially in Wellington. Also the sun is intense, so use sunscreen liberally and frequently.
Thanks...... nice to have an idea of what to expect if we ever get there..
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