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Old 30th January 2012, 06:09   #1
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Default North Island - New Zealand Travelogue on progress

It's long time i've posted something in travelogue. NOt that i stopped visiting places. It's lack of time.
But this time, i'm here in New zealand (NZ) North Island on a work trip for couple of months.
Kiwis has a very relaxed work culture, so i'll be fortunate enough to travel to few places in North Island.
ON top of that there are 2 liong weekends, that's icing on cake.

I'm based in hamilton and been to rotorua this weekend.
Landed here last week and planned to drive down to rotorua which is a little more tha 100+ KM from my place.
Booked a car from Budget rent a car and bbooked it without a GPS with 150 NZD for 2 days.
Here in NZ, everything is little on a little expensive.
When i enquired everybody suggest to have a GPS as routes are mapped not like US.
I never used GPS before neither in US/Canada and always use mapquest/google map printout in all of my previous travels.
So when i added GPS total cost came to 181 NZD for 2 days.
GAs, yeah they are expensive too. 2.119 NZD for a litre, which is around 85 INR per litre.
I just wanted to have a feel of NZ in my this trip.
Include Gondola+Luze in activity and visited Geo Thermal and maori village for sight seeing.
Thought of doing a helicopter ride on top of active volcano, but the price was more than 700 NZD.
Got the car from budget, a toyota camry automatic transmission and left budget at around 10AM.
Budget opens here at 9AM.
REached Skyline rotorua at around 11:30AM and purchased tickets for 5.
We bought 5 people gondola, which is 125 and group luze ride which is only 21 bucks.
SO total 146 NZD for this activity.
Bird eye View of rotorua lake and city on top of skyline was a pleasant scenic experience.
There was swing where you will ride the swing and when they release the swing it'll gain momemntum of 150 KMPH in 2 sec.
Price was 30 NZD per person, but we did not do that.
Around 2 hours spending there and getting some Souvenirs left the place and straight headed towards WAI-O-TAPU: a Geothermal Wonderland that's what they call here.
It has it's famous chapagne pool.
Ticket to enter into this place is 32 NZD per person.
We did a trek of 3-4 KM there and then left for "whakarewarewatangaoteopetauaawahiao". Yeah thats the place name and they say it whakarewarewa.
It has a semi active volcano, where volcano erupts sometimes. May be once in an hour.
It has also a Maori village (native New zealanders).
Ticket to enter into this place is 30 NZD per person.

THat's enough description.
I'll let pictures talk, but the pictures are not doing the justice to portray the beauty of this scenic place.
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Last edited by akas_chauhan : 30th January 2012 at 06:26.
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Old 30th January 2012, 09:47   #2
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Default Re: North Island - New zealand Travelogue on progress

Awesome pics akas_chauhan. Are those hot water springs 3rd to 5th from last photos?
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Old 30th January 2012, 18:27   #3
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Default Re: North Island - New Zealand Travelogue on progress

Dont miss the glow worms or the Bay of islands in the north, the south is supposed to be more beautiful than the north although I have never been to the south
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Old 31st January 2012, 00:08   #4
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Default Re: North Island - New Zealand Travelogue on progress

NZ is beautiful. Did you get to visit some of the places where they shot the 3 LOTR movies?
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Old 31st January 2012, 05:01   #5
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Default Re: North Island - New zealand Travelogue on progress

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr.sinha View Post
NZ is beautiful. Did you get to visit some of the places where they shot the 3 LOTR movies?
Yes it's beautiful. I've not yet visited those sets yet, but i'll do visit them before leaving NZ.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pvgeorge View Post
Dont miss the glow worms or the Bay of islands in the north, the south is supposed to be more beautiful than the north although I have never been to the south
Definitely no missing and i might go there this weekend.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rahul_sinha View Post
Awesome pics akas_chauhan. Are those hot water springs 3rd to 5th from last photos?
Thanks Rahul. Yes those are hot water streams. They say it Geothermal Geyser.

Last edited by akas_chauhan : 31st January 2012 at 05:04.
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Old 31st January 2012, 06:38   #6
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Default Re: North Island - New Zealand Travelogue on progress

Few more picture from those areas.
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Old 31st January 2012, 06:39   #7
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Akas,

This is great Travelogue, lots of of useful details, costs and explanations with telling pictures. The costing part is a huge help,thanks for starting this.

I had my plans all set 2011 oct, got a AA Road Map and even had places of stay fixed in and almost ready to go, but the World Rugby Finals threw my plans out the window. Car rentals got expensive, rooms were not available in Auckland and cost escalated all round, we went to Vietnam & Cambodia. NZ is still on the radar so your T-Log is God sent.

Attaching my planning sheet which I sent to SOTC, would like you to comment when you can.

In the meantime, keep them coming.

--Ramky
=====
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File Type: xls NZ DETAILED PLAN.xls (37.0 KB, 273 views)

Last edited by ramkya1 : 31st January 2012 at 06:47.
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Old 1st February 2012, 15:12   #8
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Default Re: North Island - New Zealand Travelogue on progress

Quote:
Originally Posted by ramkya1 View Post
Akas,

Attaching my planning sheet which I sent to SOTC, would like you to comment when you can.

In the meantime, keep them coming.

--Ramky
=====
Thanks Ramkya. Good to know it's useful for you.
I glanced @ your plan. Looks good.
Some suggetions. NOt much there in cape Ringa except it's north most point.
There is a hole in the rocks sight seeing, one sand dune and some activities you can do @ Ahipara.

SO i would suggest rather to go to other beaches like cathedral cove and it's near to AUckland.

You might also want to add "pink and white terrace" - which is 8th wonder. You can club this while visiting Rotorua.

Waitomo is good, but the black water rafting tour takes 3-5 hour, depending on what you choose.
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Old 1st February 2012, 15:20   #9
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Arrow Re: North Island - New Zealand Travelogue on progress

Quote:
Originally Posted by akas_chauhan View Post
Thanks Ramkya. Good to know it's useful for you.
I glanced @ your plan. Looks good.
Some suggetions. NOt much there in cape Ringa except it's north most point.
There is a hole in the rocks sight seeing, one sand dune and some activities you can do @ Ahipara.

SO i would suggest rather to go to other beaches like cathedral cove and it's near to AUckland.

You might also want to add "pink and white terrace" - which is 8th wonder. You can club this while visiting Rotorua.

Waitomo is good, but the black water rafting tour takes 3-5 hour, depending on what you choose.
Hai, Thanks for the feedback.

I know Cape Ringa is actually 2 expensive days in terms of time, but I want to touch the North and South Ends of NZ, like I did in UK. There are good ATV facilities around Ringa if I can get the time.

Will look up "pink and white terrace" and plan for it. They say the glow worm cave rafting in Waitomo is a great experience, I am planning for the time. NZ is turning out to be surprisingly expensive!! I have found the drive cum stay packages from agencies the most economic.

Looking forward to more of your pictures.

--Ramky
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Old 1st February 2012, 17:39   #10
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Default Re: North Island - New Zealand Travelogue on progress

Beautiful NZ. Bought back old memories, really fond ones. I had been to Australia and NZ way back in 1999 and plan to visit it again this year sometime in May, with both my kids. Its a country that grabs you by the collar and demands you stand and take a look around. Blessed with natural beauty like no other place, it is the best destination. The thermal activity in town near to Rotorua and the town itself is a wonder. I particularly remember the one Geyser which they activate every morning at around 10 sh and then different times during the day for tourists and that too with soap suds.

The thermal park is one of its kind with novel names given to the pits like Devil's Inkpot etc. Ill see if i can dig up old pictures to post. Little has changed here i can see except the cars have got more modern and perhaps tourists have increased.

A must visit for everyone.

If you could put in the costs and the places you stayed with recommendations, it would do a great deal in helping others to budget a travel out there.

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Old 2nd February 2012, 06:03   #11
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Default Re: North Island - New Zealand Travelogue on progress

After Rotorua we returned back at reached room at around 9PM.
Next day we are going to Cathedral beach via thames (A gold mine there), coromandel peninsula, whitianga to cathedral cove.

Weather was OK, not so sunny we would like to as we were heading for beaches.
Started around 7:30AM from Hamilton. Stopped by at Thames at around 9AM, gold mine will open at 10AM. so instead of wasting 1 hour, we just moved ahead. Drive from Thames via coromandel is a very scenic one with equal curvy zig zag road. ON top of that most of the roads in NZ are 2 lanes and max speed limit of 100 KPH.

Stopped car at couple of places are passengers in car were not feeling good due to curvy road. SLowed down and reached whitianga at around 11:30AM. Whitianga is famous for water sports activities, but we did not have much time. SO did not stop there.
Reached at Hot water beach at around 1PM. You can enjoy this beach only @ low tides. It was high tide when we reached there. So we could not find any hot water. LOw tide timing for that day was after 4PM when we enquired with locals.

THen we moved to cathedral beach. Lot of tourists here. Car parking was a pain here. You need to wlak around 45 mins down to the beach and then back. Total hiking around 90 mins. If you enjoy waliking/running you will love this trail. This place has some very scenic views from top.

Now enough talk. Allow me to show the snaps.
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Old 2nd February 2012, 11:16   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akas_chauhan View Post
After Rotorua we returned back at reached room at around 9PM.
Next day we are going to Cathedral beach via thames (A gold mine there), coromandel peninsula, whitianga to cathedral cove.

..................

Now enough talk. Allow me to show the snaps.
WOW!! Some pictures. Looks like you had a swell time there. Pic No.10 rocks

@V-16: I've done a lot of costing work for NZ, have an excel sheet somewhere with costs, there's also a site which helps you do that, let me dig that up and post it later. I was packed to go, went to get the ticketing done with the Travel Agent and cancelled at the counter looking at the ticket fare.

--Ramky
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Old 2nd February 2012, 11:53   #13
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Default Re: North Island - New Zealand Travelogue on progress

Few more pictures fro hot water beach and cathedral cove.
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Old 2nd February 2012, 16:52   #14
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Those who want to plan NZ would do well to check the following link:

New Zealand Driving Holidays NZ Self Drive Tours Package Holidays New Zealand

I have studied the same, the KIWI COMBO BLUE PASS is the best deal, works out to about 4600 NZD for two for 20 days with a small car option. With a concrete plan, even with an upgrade to intermediate car, one can swing the whole deal for same amount or about 2 L INR with insurance and GPS. Savings would come from forward planning on flight cost, least cost I heard for a round trip, Mumbai -Auckland - Mumbai would be 50K per person. You're looking at about 2-2.5 L per person for 21 days for a NZ trip.

I don't know if there are better ways to work this out?

--Ramky
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Old 3rd February 2012, 04:02   #15
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Default Re: North Island - New Zealand Travelogue on progress

Some more from cathedral cove beaches.
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Last edited by Technocrat : 8th February 2012 at 00:28. Reason: Restored post after removing Blurred & inappropriate images, Thanks
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