A New Zealand holiday is filled with natural wonders, wildlife spotting, adventurous skiing, romantic spas and family-friendly fun.
So many options can cause the slightest of headaches when trying to decide on an itinerary. Fortunately, our expert travel consultants are here to give you invaluable guidance on what holiday is best for you.
"I'm travelling to the North Island with my wife. What's the best way of getting around?"
The North Island is so beautiful and hiring a camper van is definitely the best way to travel around and see the sights. During peak times (July and Dec-Jan) it’s always highly recommended to pre-book into the holiday parks. I'd recommend about two weeks to see all the island has to offer, but at least ten days is enough to cover the highlights.
- Renee Tapa, Travel Consultant, Flight Centre Brookside, Qld
"If I only have 24 hours in Auckland, what are three must-do activities?"
Auckland is a great city for a 24-hour transit. I'd recommend taking the Auckland Airport bus straight to Britomart for some retail therapy. Britomart is right by the harbour and offers a great mix of restaurants, cafes and chic designer boutiques.
Next, since you're already right by the ferry building, set sail on a harbour cruise to see Auckland city and get a glimpse of Rangitoto Island. Finally, when back on land, I would head to the SkyTower for breathtaking views over the city and coastline.
- Josh Stent, Travel Consultant, Flight Centre Ivanhoe, NSW
"I'm going on a ski trip to Queenstown with my mates. Where are the best slopes to check out?"
Queenstown has plenty to offer when it comes to skiing and snowboarding. If it’s your first time hitting the slopes I would recommend starting off at Coronet Peak as it has great beginner slopes and a ‘magic carpet’ to get you up the hill. It’s also a good place to get set up for your week of skiing with a large hire shop and helpful staff.
After that I would recommend trying out The Remarkables for steeper slopes and a few jumps. However, my personal favourite would have to be Cardrona, as it’s a great all-rounder offering lots of different runs, a terrain park and it’s not usually over-crowded.
A must-do to finish off your ski day is to head down to Fergburger in the town centre of Queenstown for the best burgers you will ever taste!
- Amy Hiles, Manager, Flight Centre Earlville, Qld
Need more New Zealand inspiration?
"My family (two adults and two kids under five) are visiting Wellington for three nights. What are your top tips for family-friendly things to see and do?"
Wellington is a great choice for families! If your kids love animals, Wellington Zoo is a great place to start – especially if the kids are fans of The WotWots, because the cartoon is set in this zoo.
Similarly, Staglands Wildlife Reserve just out of Upper Hutt is a great family-friendly place with lots of animals to get up close and personal with.
I also recommend taking a cable car up to the Botanic Gardens where the kids can explore and play in the playground. After all that, have a 'fluffy' (babycino) in the cafe.
Weta Wokshop is a huge drawcard where you can see the props of the Middle Earth movies, although coming face-to-face with an Orc might be a bit daunting for some littlies!
- Annie Lindsay, Travel Consultant, Flight Centre Tuggeranong, ACT
"My boyfriend and I love off-the-beaten-track experiences. What are your top lesser-known recommendations for travelling New Zealand?"
Avoid the bigger cities and go regional. I recommend visiting smaller cities and towns for beautiful wineries, the freshest produce and friendly locals.
Hawke’s Bay is a massively underrated area of New Zealand and my hometown of Havelock North is a tiny picturesque village where you can go on biking or horseback tours of world-renowned wineries with the sweeping Te Mata Peak as your backdrop.
Hastings has extensive markets with a Thursday night market in summer and the Farmers’ Market every Sunday morning where local farmers and small shop owners gather to sell their goods.
Also drop by Aunty’s Garden at Waipatu Marae, a community garden with seasonal vegetables available year-round to the public, in return for a small donation. Then take all your food out to Waimarama Beach for a night’s camping, complete with bonfires.
- Jasmine Zerjal, Travel Consultant, Flight Centre Albert Park, Vic
"I want to hire a car and road trip the North and South Island. Do you have any tips on the best hire car companies?"
There are a couple of different options in New Zealand depending on whether you are more budget or convenience driven. The most cost effective when it comes to the rate per day is Ezi Car Rental. They offer older vehicles than some of their competitors (three to six years) but this equals a cheaper price.
Ezi Car Rental has a NZ$230 fee for travelling one-way across the islands. You will need to pay to take the car on the Interislander ferry at your own expense and it's also worth noting their car depots are not located at the airport, so a shuttle will pick you up and take you to your car.
If you are after a newer car and more convenience, car rentals such as Thrifty will make your trip hassle free. Their depots are at the airport and there is no one-way fee as long as you are hiring the car for a minimum of three days per island.
There is no need to pay for the car to go across on the Interislander ferry, as there are convenient depots at the ports where you can leave and pick up your car at no extra expense.
No matter which rental you choose, you are guaranteed to have a wonderful experience driving through the beautiful landscape that New Zealand has to offer.
- Dana Wissemann, Travel Consultant, Flight Centre Beenleigh, Qld
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