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rockgarden

Renting a Car in New Zealand

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I know from past threads that Auckland and surrounding areas are much easier to drive around than Sydney, AU. So, renting a car is something to consider.
We will be staying At the Sheraton Auckland. Would like to go to Taurunga and Rotorua. How far and how easy is the drive to these places? I know KiwiGirl probably has the answer on this one, but anyone who knows or who has done this - would be pleased to have your opinions. Is this an all-day excursion?
Thankyou.
Rosemary

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It is easy to drive in N.Z. We picked up our car from the airport when we landed. We
had booked Avis before we left home and we did the far north of Auckland right up to the very top. It was very easy for us as we drive on the same side of the road.

I think Rotorua is a couple of hours south of Auckland. We actually went there with a ship's tour way back in 1982. It is a most interesting area and our favourite was watching the sheep do their tricks.

Jennie

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Thankyou. I had this information - or almost - before, but just couldn't recall.
and I think it was you who told me. I knew either you or Kiwi would answer - I think Kiwi is on a ship somewhere at present. Anyway, if it is just a couple of hours away, that will be no problem. We are used to driving on both sides of the road, so that is no problem either.
We will be getting off the ship to the hotel, so is it difficult to get out of Auckland? Actually, I don't mind getting lost. Have seen some most interesting sights on occasion because of it. The Dh gets a bit frustrated so the only problem I can see is getting out of town onto the highway and then from the hotel to the airport. Once we are on our way to Taurunga and Rotorua I think it is almost a straight shot.
Besides that, Australians and New Zealanders are known for their
friendly and helpful ways, so see no problem if we do get lost. One way to meet the local people!!!

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Hi Rosemary,

Everything is signposted and we found it to be quite easy getting to Auckland from the airport and then we had to keep going, over the bridge and make our way north.

You of course, once you leave the city will be going south but getting to your hotel from the airport is quite easy.

Jennie

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[quote name='rockgarden']I know KiwiGirl probably has the answer on this one, Is this an all-day excursion?
Thankyou.
Rosemary[/QUOTE]

Who is Kiwi Girl?

Rosemary,
It would be a very very full day excursion.
You would be driving all the time and not see the sights.
Driving is easy once out of the CBD of Auckland.
If you want to do both,my suggestion would be to drive to Rotorua,see the sights ,overnight there,then across to Tauranga,and back up to Auckland.
There are so many places you would want to stop.
Depends on your time frame.

How are you getting on with your Sydney day tours?

David.

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OK, I blew it. I just knew after I sent it, that your title was wrong. Sorry!

We will be arriving on the Sapphire on Jan 30 and staying two nights. Would like to stay longer, but not possible. Anyway, The two places I had noted were Rotorua and Taurunga which just happened to be close together.
What do you mean a "full day?" I have been known to get up around 5:30 am and continue until at least 2:30 a.m. the next day - depending on just how the adrenaline is running. OK, I know we can't see everything in two days, so will just have to visit again. In the meantime, how much is gas(petrol) in NZ? Do we pack a lunch or are there many places on the road.
What is a typical NZ lunch - Brian will be looking for fish & chips - or roast lamb with mint sauce, roast potatoes, etc. AFter 12 days on the ship, he probably should n't eat anything for a few days.
Sydney:
So far, have booked a Blue Mountain tour all day for $82 AUD ea. If you go to activitytours.com.au you will see what we are going to do. Looks pretty good to me. So, if you have the time, check it out and let me know what you think.
I am sure I saw your "nom de plume" on another board - are you planning another cruise or was I mistaken?
Rosemary

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Hi again Rosemary,

No offence taken.......

A full day......well if you want look around Rotorua and visit all there is to see there that would be a full day........
Thermal wonderland,Geysers,Maori culture,The Lake ,Thermal baths.....shopping...trout farms....springs.....etc..etc.....
The drive to Roturua will take you through some great countryside....
All I was meaning was that if you do decide to rent a car and drive ,
Rotorua will be a great day in itself........but try to include Tauranga......
and you could be stretching it..........
Gas at the moment is running at NZ$1.18 per litre,and looking to rise....
Typical NZ lunch.......well that is the fun of driving around.....
On your drive to Rotorua you will pass by lots of roadside cafes and tearooms.....
Some really upmarket and trendy,and others in a time warp......
thats the fun of looking around..........
Re Sydney day Tours.....
If you would like some tips on seeing Sydney on your own.......
we go there several times a year and have some favourite day trips you can do on your own.........
You were not mistaken about the next cruise.......
Off on 15 Aug to join "Tahitian Princess " for a 10 day cruise.........
plus pre and post cruise stays in paradise.........
Tahiti is only 4/1/2 hour flight from NZ..........

David

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I hope you don't mind me butting in on this thread.
We will be on the 6th January sailing on the Sapphire.
We arrive in Auckland on the 29th, crash for a night at the Best Western Airport Gateway hotel, fly to Wellington next day, pick up a car and then drive to Rangitumau. After staying with my cousin near Masterton for the New Year, we plan to travel north.

My question is, would a trip that goes to Napier for 1 night then Rotorua for 2 nights before heading back to Auckland make good sense in driving times?
The only hotels we have not yet booked are for these 3 nights. We are looking at the Best Western chain as we don't need anything fancy and need to keep the budget down as we are away from England for a whole month.

My other question is this. Is it good to get away from the sulphur smells in Rotorua as one hotel advertises, or better to be nearer and in the thick of things? I have always wanted to see boiling mud since I was a little girl!

Thanks for any info Kiwi Kruzer.

Cinnamon

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Hi, have you got your car hire issues sorted for the NZ trip. I live in Tauranga NZ and know the area well. There are plenty of budget priced car hire companies as well as the major chains so you have a good choice on cost, some are as low as $30 NZ a day.

Driving in NZ is normally pretty easy but somehow the great Kiwi character of polite behavior does change when behind the wheel, so beware road rage in towns. There is also a pretty weird road rule [hopefully to be changed soon] about giving way to traffic turning into a side road in front of you, into which you also wish to turn. You must give way UNLESS there is a car behind you who is continuing on the main highway. This causes many minor accidents in NZ so make sure you are aware of this one. Car hire companies do not point this out. So its best to make sure about this.

Auckland to Rotorua, direct no stops is about 2 to 2.5 hours. For online maps and route planning try [url="http://www.wises.co.nz"]www.wises.co.nz[/url] a great info site.

Let me know if i can help any further.

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Well, I am glad I decided to visit this page again. Found out a piece of important information from KiwiIan - thankyou. That is a strange law - how do we know for sure that the person behind is going to go straight; unless, of course, NZ's always signal as required. Live in this part of the U.S.A., and you never quite know what anyone will do!!

Hi, KiwiCruzer - or David. Hope you enjoyed your Tahitian trip. Sounds quite a wonderful - if you enjoy sand, sea and snorkeling. What else is there to do??

We set off this coming Thursday, Jan 13th., so if you read this, give me some ideas re Sydney. At present, we have a tour to the Blue Mountains on the 16th., after arrival, we hope to get on the ferry over to see the zoo. The 17th., is probably going to be one of the Hop on busses, and then at night we just might visit the gambling casino and watch New Zealanders in action.
I know a trip on the bay at night is an option but we will have to wait and see just how we are perking along/or not.
Thank you for all your information. We are really looking forward to this part of our cruise.
Rosemary

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Have a great trip
But watch your bags at Sydney Airport......
Had an almost chaos ,when two guys
distracted us and almost got away with the carry on bag
containing all the tickets,wallet .credit card,insurance docs and cash....
Take care and be aware...........

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[quote name='rockgarden']We set off this coming Thursday, Jan 13th., so if you read this, give me some ideas re Sydney. At present, we have a tour to the Blue Mountains on the 16th., after arrival, we hope to get on the ferry over to see the zoo. The 17th., is probably going to be one of the Hop on busses, and then at night we just might visit the gambling casino and watch New Zealanders in action.
I know a trip on the bay at night is an option but we will have to wait and see just how we are perking along/or not.[/QUOTE]Having just got back from taking two Sydney newbies around town, you might want to have a think about the following:-[list][*]Much of the zoo is apparently being refurbished at the moment, so although it's still in a spectacular location, many of the exhibits are in a poor condition. When I discovered this, we scratched the zoo off the list of things to do.[*]If the weather is good when you're there, do think about the [URL=http://www.bridgeclimb.com]Bridgeclimb[/URL] - it's about a 3½ hour trip, but well worth it. If doing a day climb, do it in the afternoon when the sun is in a better place for pictures of the Opera House.
[*]Speaking of the Opera House, it's worth taking one of the standard tours - they're not expensive and run frequently during the day. There is a backstage tour but that leaves at a very early hour of the morning and costs considerably more.
[*]If you like real sailing, an ex-America's Cup yacht called [I]Spirit[/I] does [URL=http://http://www.kookaburragroup.com.au/3.html]harbour cruises of a different sort[/URL].[/list]Where are you staying? If it's near Circular Quay, I think the Explorer buses currently leave from Stand B just by the Circular Quay railway station.

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Globaliser
OK - so the zoo is out. So is the bridge climb - hubby can't take heights - gets the white knuckle grip if he is above five feet from ground.
We are staying at the Sydney harbour Marriott which is supposedly near the Circular Quay.
The sail on the bay sounds interesting and different. Shall look into that when we get there.
Thanks for the info.
Rosemary

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Hi, Rosemary

Hope you have a wonderful time. I like all of your ideas. we leave here on the 26th and are already running into flight problems. I'm glad you checked in here again, too. We were also planning on the zoo, so maybe we go to the one in Melbourne. I hope you get a chance to post and at least, let us know about the weather. Wishing you all the best and have a great time!

Janis

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Hi, Janis.
We are also going to go on a jet boat ride in Christchurch - it was a choice between a train, sheep, and whizzing down a river; [email]waimak.alpine.jet@xtra.co.nz[/email]
Will try to keep in touch after the cruise.
Rosemary

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[quote name='rockgarden']OK - so the zoo is out. So is the bridge climb - hubby can't take heights - gets the white knuckle grip if he is above five feet from ground.
We are staying at the Sydney harbour Marriott which is supposedly near the Circular Quay.[/QUOTE]I understand about climbing the bridge. But an alternative is the pylon lookout - the south east pylon of the bridge contains an exhibition and a lookout point. It may be that even this will be too much, but it's a more solid alternative than actual climbing.

I had a feeling that you might be at that hotel. The location cannot be beaten - the friends that I was taking round a couple of weeks back were there and it was a superb base. A handful of other recommendations, then, within walking distance:-[list][*]If you walk up the western side of Circular Quay you will get to the International Passenger Terminal where the large cruise ships dock. (Some of the smaller ones, which can fit under the bridge, now go to the Darling Harbour terminal because the IPT gets quite busy.) At the far end (the northern end) on the ground floor there is a branch of Doyle's which has superb views. It's more expensive than the one in Watson's Bay (to which the Bondi Explorer bus will take you) but it's right there on your doorstep.[*]On George Street, which is the street that runs immediately parallel to the route you would have just walked to do that, but a bit closer to the hotel, there is a pub called Phillip's Foote. It's a little bit touristy, but it does do that quintessentially Aussie thing of allowing you to buy your own piece of raw steak and cook it yourself on the barbie.[*]If you like Thai food, Sailor's Thai (also on George Street, on the other side, before the junction with Hickson Road) is good, inexpensive and fast - indoors, you all sit at a single long table wherever there is space for your party, but they do also have about three small tables out on the balcony.[*]Further still up George Street, there's a weekend street market which has quite a lot of Australiana which is good for souvenirs.[*]If you go a couple of blocks up the hill to Cumberland Street (landmark: the street to which the front door of the Shangri-La Hotel faces), there is a pub called the Australian Hotel which reportedly does good gourmet pizza as well as delivering doses of history.[/list]

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Hi, Rosemary

We've been getting videos from the library and a few show the jet boats. It looks like a wild ride. ENJOY! Christchurch looks like it will be a highlight of the trip. Looking forward to hearing about your trip.

Globaliser

Thanks for all the great suggestions.

Janis

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