It has been around 2 weeks since I came back from last minute holiday with my family.
Why I say it was last minute?? Is because I'm not plan to join this holiday, it was suppose to be my parents, sister and brother only. Then one and another things happen, I decided to join, rushing to buy the ticket and applying for the visa.
At first, I was scared I will not get my visa on time, but luckily I got my visa a week before my departure, and instead of 20 working days, I got it after around +/- 7 working days. Lucky me!
Okay, so this is my recap of 7 days in New Zealand.
Mostly, the itinerary was made by my sis and my bf.
Important things to do:
1. DO RESEARCH!! a lot!!
New Zealand is huge, and mostly u need to drive, so do all the research of what you wanna do and the location, the distance and time from one place to another place, what car rental that suits you, see the availability time of the attraction you wanna visit, the hotel, prepaid sim card provider, etc
2. PLAN THE ROUTE
my sis plan the route from auckland - matamata - rotorua - tongariro - hamilton - auckland
3. BOOK HOTEL
we always change location and is far from one and another, so mostly we only stay one night in every hotel, so is important to know where u wanna stay and book in advance to get a good price or incase is fully book in peak season.
4. BOOK CAR RENTAL
book car rental in advance to get cheaper price and the car that you want. Before book the car, make a comparison from one car rental to another, like the price, the years of the car, how many driver included, insurance, etc.
5. BOOK POPULAR ATTRACTION
the main reason they choose north New Zealand is because of Hobbiton, so if you want to get the date and time that you want it, you need to book in advance to secure the spot.
6. MAKE ITINERARY
some people are spontaneous, some people like things organise. In this case I like the later part, because it make things more easy if we go to new country/destination, save more time, so in there we can spend the most of the time and not waste it to search what to do and where to go.
Okay, stop the long intro, here the 7 days itinerary
DAY 1 (AUCKLAND)
- arrive in Auckland 12.15pm
- pick up car at Go rentals at 1pm
- check in Pullman Hotel (old hotel)
- look for simcard in CBD (bought 2degree sim card)
- eat in random japanese restaurant
- viaduct harbour
- giapo (ice cream)
- dinner at indochine (not recommended)
- countdown (groceries like woolis)
DAY 2 (AUCKLAND - MATAMATA - ROTORUA)
- go to Hobbiton at 7am (2h15m) - breakfast sandwich at car
- arrive in Hobbiton 9.30am (book @10am)
- kaimai cheese factory
- check in Ibis Rotorua (nice hotel)
- Hamurana Spring
- Countdown and Wendys (water + quick late lunch)
- back hotel, got pick up at 5.15pm for Temaki Maori Village (book at 6.15pm)
- arrive hotel around 10pm
- stargazing at waipahu
DAY 3 (ROTORUA)
- breakfast at capers (not recommended)
- kuirau geothermal park
- wai-o-tapu thermal wonderland
- lunch (nandos)
- polynesia spa (got the deluxe spa)
- check in at Sport of Kings Motel (recommended)
- save n pack (groceries for dinner and breakfast)
DAY 4 (ROTORUA-TONGARIRO/WHAKAPAPA VILLAGE)
- breakfast at motel
- huka falls
- huka honey hive
- check in at Chateau Tongariro (recommended)
- lunch at Pihanga cafe (the rest was closed)
- Taranaki falls 2 hrs walks
- dinner at 7.30 at Ruapehu Restaurant
DAY 5 (TONGARIRO - WAITOMO - HAMILTON - AUCKLAND)
- glowworm cave + rakarui
- zealong tea
- dinner at sichuan style chinese (recommended for fish soup)
- check in Novotel Ellerslie
DAY 6 (AUCKLAND - HAMILTON - AUCKLAND)
- hamilton garden
- lunch at sichuan style chinese
- one tree hill
- tamaki drive
- auckland cbd
- dinner at genta japanese izakaya
- melt ice cream (worse)
DAY 7 (AUCKLAND AIRPORT)
- check out from novotel
- go rental office to return the car
- shuttle to airport
- back to syd