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Honeymoon in New Zealand - 12 Day Trip

Trip details:

Hi,
I am planning my honeymoon to New Zeland 6 days and Bora Bora 4 days .
Dates jan 25th to Feb 6th
I stay in Chennai
Getting married on Jan 21st in Chennai
Contacting early for better rates.
Pure Vegetarian.
both Love driving, road trips and adventure.
Prefer staying at smaller and quaint, romantic boutique hotels and not at common brands like sheraton, hyatt etc. what matters to me more is the location and exclusivity of the hotel than the brand. So I am fine with a five star to a three star hotel type budget.
Want to include some extremely romantic surprise elements in the trip for my fiance ;)
I am estimating the budget to be around 6 Lacs for travel and stay. But that needs to be worked out.
Waiting for a reply. Hope this unique platform helps me out!

Thanks,
Puneet

... Show more

Introduction:

Firstly, congratulations on your upcoming wedding. New Zealand and Bora Bora are great choices for the honeymoon. January is peak tourist season at these places, so you are wise in starting the planning early.


Since you only have 6 days in New Zealand, I would recommend flying between the major stops - Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Queenstown - to save time. You can always hit the road on day-trips from each place.


Even with 6 days in New Zealand, it will be a tight schdule. So, in the interest of having a more relaxed honeymoon, I would suggest dropping one of the four places. From Chennai, you'll most likely fly into Auckland, so we can't drop that one (also your flight to Bora Bora will probably be from here). Christchurch is the least interesting of them - if I had to pick one to drop i.e. - so lets drop that one.


Honestly, 6 days is too short for New Zealand. If possible, try to increase the duration of the trip to at least 10 days. I am giving you an itinerary of 12 days for New Zealand.

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Trip sketch:

Jan 28 - Auckland


Jan 29 - Waiheke Island (day trip near Auckland), see below



Jan 30 - Waitomo Glowworm Caves on the way to Rotorua. Overnight at Rotorua.


Jan 31 - Explore Rotorua, and the nearby thermal attractions of Waimangu and Waiotapu.


Feb 1 - Drive to Wellington (5 hours scenic route with a few interesting stops)


Feb 2 - Wellington


Feb 3 - Journey to Kaikoura - Ferry + train + whale watching at Kaikoura


Feb 4 - Christchurch


Feb 5 - Drive to Queenstown (5-6 hours scenic route)


Feb 6 - Queenstown


Feb 7 - Milford Sound (day trip from Queenstown). Photo below.



Feb 8 - Fly back to Auckland in the morning. Finish any leftover sightseeing that you couldn't do on the first day. Catch your flight back home at night. 


A map of all the towns above is as follows,

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Festivals:

The following festivals and events will be happening in New Zealand during your stay. Nothing too spectacular, but can make for an interesting experience in time spent participating in something that the locals do. See if any of these interest you and we'll try to include them in the overall plan:


Jan 31 - Flight 4 Life Kite Festival - Lake Hood, Ashburton (near Christchurch)


Feb 6 - Waitangi Day - in all major cities, with celebrating Maori culture and general entertainment.


Jan 31 (Wellington) and Feb 3 (Napier) - New Zealand vs Pakistan cricket ODIs.


Jan 26 - Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta - upto 600 yachts take part in one of the world's largest one-day regattas

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Trip preferences By Puneet Goyal
Replies (+)

Puneet Goyal wrote:  

Hi Ashish, I just added my fiance to this discussion.. 

We liked the options you suggested in the trial question and now we want to get down to the bookings and finalise our iterinary. 

Jan 26th to Feb 8th are our travel dates + - days for best fare..

Newzeland only.. Bora bora may turen our too pricey..

Waitig for your reply!!

Thanks,

Puneet and Shweta

Aashish Gupta wrote:  

Hi Puneet,

Thanks for choosing me to plan your trip. First things first, lets get your flights finalized and booked. Can you help me with

- the minimum and maximum number of days you would like your trip to be (e.g. at least 10 days, but no more than 15 days)

- the earliest date you can fly out (is Jan 26th the earliest you can leave?)

That will help me narrow down the flight choices and find the best fare.

Aashish

Puneet Goyal wrote:  

Hi, I can fly out on Jan 26th back by Feb 8th.. The trip can be no more than 14 days including travel time to and fro.

I actually have seen some fares and im getting a return business class fare for both of us @ 2.15 lacs and economy at 1.6 lacs for malaysian airlines.

Pls let me know of anything better.

Puneet

Puneet Goyal wrote:  

I was also seeing some new zeland itirenaties on the nz govt website and found this - http://www.newzealand.com/in/trips-and-driving-itineraries/all-nz/bond-with-your-loved-one-from-auckland-to-queenstown/#route-map

What do u think of this? 

Also, please include a combinjation of good city hotels and heritage hotels in the stay places!

Aashish Gupta wrote:  

Yes, the Malaysia Airlines fare is certainly the lowest. If you leave on the 31st and return on the 11th, you can get it slightly cheaper for INR 77K round trip each.

The itinerary on the govt site looks pretty good overall. But first lets finalize the dates and flights to and fro. We can get into all the details after the flight bookings are done.

Puneet Goyal wrote:  

Okay. I think we can finalise on 26th Jan to 8th Feb because I dont want to leave too much gap between the wedding which is on Jan 21st. Also pls include shwetapatwari4@gmail.com as a co traveller. I am not able to add her by clicking that button for some reason. She is not a registered member.

Aashish Gupta wrote:  

She will need to first register as a user on this site to be added to the discussion.

Please go ahead and book the flights and let me know the exact arrival and departure times into and out of New Zealand. I will take a detailed look at the itinerary and see what we should add/remove for your trip. Let me get back to you by Monday on this.

Puneet Goyal wrote:  

Okay.. Ill book my tickets and send you my exaat arrival details and timings soon. 

Is the following timeline good ?

Book tickets

Book hotels

Book the local sightseeing tours

then book the car..

The look for places to eat..

anything else i need to consider?

aslo what are the ways i can get free upgrades at every place? like hotels, cars, flight etc? any tips?

Thanks, Puneet

Puneet Goyal wrote:  

Also, any suddestions for any romantic surprises I can give to my wife? ;) Something I can plan earlier.. or have u heard anyone do anything similar earlier?

Aashish Gupta wrote:  

Yes, that timeline sounds about right.

I can't help much with getting free upgrades but if I come across any ideas while doing the research, I'll let you know. We should be able to plan a few romantic surprises though.

I'll wait for your arrival/departure details.

Puneet Goyal wrote:  

Hi Aashish, Ive uploaded our flight details. Pls check!

Aashish Gupta wrote:  

Got it. So we have from Jan 28 morning to Feb 8 evening to plan for. I'll get back to you with an overall plan so we can finalize the hotels first.

Did you get a chance to look at the festivals and events list I sent? Are there any that you'd like to include in the plan?


Festivals and Events By Aashish Gupta
Replies (+)

Aashish Gupta wrote:  

Hi Puneet,

The following festivals and events will be happening in New Zealand during your stay. Nothing too spectacular, but can make for an interesting experience in time spent participating in something that the locals do. See if any of these interest you and we'll try to include them in the overall plan:

Jan 31 - Flight 4 Life Kite Festival - Lake Hood, Ashburton (near Christchurch)

Feb 6 - Waitangi Day - in all major cities, with celebrating Maori culture and general entertainment.

Jan 31 (Wellington) and Feb 3 (Napier) - New Zealand vs Pakistan cricket ODIs.

Jan 26 - Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta - upto 600 yachts take part in one of the world's largest one-day regattas.

Puneet Goyal wrote:  

Jan 31 - Flight 4 Life Kite Festival - Lake Hood, Ashburton (near Christchurch) - This festival looks interesting but not big enough to go...

Feb 6 - Waitangi Day - in all major cities, with celebrating Maori culture and general entertainment - We can participate in whichever city we are in. DOnt know whether we should plan according to a specific event and placer and go there.

Jan 31 (Wellington) and Feb 3 (Napier) - New Zealand vs Pakistan cricket ODIs - No India :( .. But I want to take a tour of the cricket stadiums in all the places I visit

Jan 26 - Auckland Anniversary Day Regatta - upto 600 yachts take part in one of the world's largest one-day regattas - This would have gotten over by the time we reach


Itinerary overview By Aashish Gupta
Replies (+)

Aashish Gupta wrote:  

Hi Puneet,

Below is the overall plan I suggest. I've taken some cues from the itinerary you had posted and modifications based on my research.

Jan 28 - Auckland

Jan 29 - Waiheke Island (day trip near Auckland)

Jan 30 - Waitomo Glowworm Caves on the way to Rotorua. Overnight at Rotorua.

Jan 31 - Explore Rotorua, and the nearby thermal attractions of Waimangu and Waiotapu.

Feb 1 - Drive to Wellington (5 hours scenic route with a few interesting stops)

Feb 2 - Wellington

Feb 3 - Journey to Kaikoura - Ferry + train + whale watching at Kaikoura

Feb 4 - Christchurch

Feb 5 - Drive to Queenstown (5-6 hours scenic route)

Feb 6 - Queenstown

Feb 7 - Milford Sound (day trip from Queenstown)

Feb 8 - Fly back to Auckland in the morning. Finish any leftover sightseeing that you couldn't do on the first day. Catch your flight back home at night.

How does this sound? I left out the Franz Josef Glacier from the itinerary you had posted as some of the scenic drives are really worth doing (instead of flying to make time for it).

 

Puneet Goyal wrote:  

Hi Ashish, theres a new development, Ive postponed my honeymoon to Mar12 because my best friend has got engaged and he is getting married on Mar 8th and 9th. So we as 2 couples are planning to go on the honeymoon together. Mar 12th - Mar 26th. Im going to Kabini on Jan 26th to 29th.

Aashish Gupta wrote:  

Hmm, ok - are you still planning to go to New Zealand in March then? Are the flights booked already?

Puneet Goyal wrote:  

Hi I have cancelled my flight in Jan and we are still planning to go to new Zealand. I will get back to you round 1 St week Jan after booking out flights for March. Sorry for this sudden change. 

Thanks,

Puneet 


Which are the best hotels that suit my honeymoon requirements?

Replies

Stay Options:

I am picking a really interesting place to stay in each of Auckland, Wellington, Queenstown and Bora Bora:


1. Auckland - Peace and Plenty Inn - Devonport is known as the "village" of Auckland because its history long preceeds the arrival of the Europeans: back to the times when Maoris ruled this area. That feeling of history, and of being in a more intimate part of the city, is brought to life in this superlative and romantic B&B. Set in a lovingly restored Victorian mansion, it is a place that still proudly serves high tea (on Saturdays and Sundays), decorates its rooms with thoughtfully chosen antiques (chandeliers, fireplace screens, steamer trunks) and serves a sumptuous breakfast. The host is an expat Brit who shares her love for her adopted country with great passion. Shops are around the corner and the home is surrounded by lush gardens.


2. Wellington - Ohtel - A small, chic, ecofriendly, waterfront hotel packed to the gills with collectible mid-century modern furniture. It is unbeatable value, a total sensory experience, and one of my top picks for something unique and memorable.


3. Queenstown - Remarkables Lodge - The hosts, Brian Savage and Colleen Ryan, sailed the world for 10 years chartering their yacht, came ashore in Queenstown and took this well-established lodge and re-invented it from the ground up. With an understated level of class that puts it above many, it's a top retreat tucked into the foot of the very remarkable Remarkables mountains.


4. Bora Bora - St Regis Bora Bora Resort - Note that this will be very expensive. One of the island's swankiest hotels. I did try and find the quirky, quaint type of places, but seriously Bora Bora is one place in the world where you shouldn't miss out on staying in the finest hotels.


5. Queenstown - I would suggest Rees Hotel and luxury Apartments.


It is easy to get vegetarian food in New Zealand. I am also vegetarian and had no problem at all. Each place has, at least, a few vegetariam items on the menu.

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