Any advice on vacationing in New Zealand?
I've never been and its been surprisingly hard to google. What are the good cities to stay in? Places to visit? things to do?
I enjoy wildlife watching, hiking, swimming, kayaking, hanging out on beaches etc
Kiwi here. You will definitely want to check out Kaikoura, which is in the South Island. Amazing little town with so much to do.
The biggest city in the South Island is Christchurch and it's a shit hole. Spend as little time there as possible.
What would be the best time to visit in between May and August? I'm thinking of getting married there and spending a week or two there on a honeymoon, and we really want our anniversary to be in late spring or summer.
Kiwibro here travelled all around the country. Summer here is November to March dude, southern hemisphere and all that. Hire a camper van and get schooled our road rules so you don't kill anyone, we fucking hate that. Freedom camping is easy and DOC campgrounds are cheep.
Hit up Northland, it's beautiful, make sure drive both sides of it too. Don't spend anytime in Auckland. Napier is nice and quiet, great beaches (ocean beach) and better wine. Rotorua is a tourist trap, might be nice to have a spa though and eat some hangi. Lake Taupo is beautiful and there is good fushing. Hit up Raglan beach for surf bums and hippies. The desert road is a beautiful drive and you should do walks around Mt. Ruapehu and Tongariro. Wellington is great and my home town. Loads to do in and around the city (great craft beer bars, check out garage project). You can head over to the Wairarapa for more wine and old white people.
Skip Nelson, go straight for motueka and golden bay. Kaikora is cool for whales but tired and touristy. Hammer springs is romantic as fuck. Christchurch is pretty much a dead city but banks peninsula is really nice esp Littleton and akaroa. Lake Pukaki and lake tekapo are stunning and right by Aoraki/Mt. Cook. Queenstown for adventure tourism, arrowtown for a slice of history. Dunedin is pretty cool, fieordland is the best hiking in NZ. West coast of the south island is culturally sparse but a beautiful environment, good to check out Fox and Franzjospeh glaciers.
Hit up any tourist Isite for info on walks, activities and accommodation. Going off the beaten path is rewarding, look for the green and gold DOC signs.
Google any of that lot and you're well on your way to a good holiday down unda chur bro
It wouldn't be wasted, just terrible weather everywhere in the north island and west coast of the south. Max temp probably 16 degrees and raining sideways. Only nice thing is snow in the southern alps.
Basically ignore the first half of what I posted. Fly into Christchurch and head straight to Queenstown. Its pretty nice there in winter, loads to do. Hamner, wanaka are fine but you're really limiting your options if you travel here in winter to snowsports and sitting around fires getting drunk. There won't be wildlife around, snow makes the hiking shit, you have to be a hard man to go swimming/kayaking in winter around here, beaches just plain suck in winter.
U r welcum
Question for the New Zealanders here.
Which one of the proposed flags are you going to vote for? Or are you for the existing flag.
Option 5 Red Peak
If we choose a fern or the fucking hypno flag in the first referendum I'll be voting to keep our current flag.
My preference is for Red Peak. Not sure if I would want to change the flag.
To OP: NZ has a very small population but most people are in the North. If you want an uninterrupted scenic holiday then definitely go to the South.
Amerifat here. I just got back from there about a month ago, was on South Island for it all centered around Queenstown. Mt. Aspiring NP was really good, and the glaciers were alright but a bit of a hike to get there, and if you've seen a glacier up close before, it might not be a good idea unless you're passing through. Plus you have to double back the way you came through Queenstown to get to Fiordlands, which is what we did, unless you're doing a circuit and going to Christchurch or the north end of the island. Also did Doubtful Sound cruise on a beautiful day, and it was more than worth it. Stay away from Milford Sound if you can - it's much small and more touristy for sure. Camping was plentiful, but it was the down time of year for them, so if you can get reservations it might be a good idea in peak season.
We only had like six days in country, so couldn't do a whole hell of a lot. Plenty of places to turn off and hike/tramp around. Just hope you have enough time to do it. And you can do it all for pretty cheap (minus the flight).