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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: Alternatepriorities on July 11, 2015, 05:35:22 PM

Title: New Zealand Honeymoon
Post by: Alternatepriorities on July 11, 2015, 05:35:22 PM
My wife and I just enjoyed a rather mustachian wedding with our families and a few close friends. Since we live in Alaska we spent the next week camping and seeing the state with our families rather than taking an immediate honeymoon. We're looking to take a mustachian honeymoon over Christmas break (she's a teacher) and she'd really like to go to New Zealand. I spent a couple of weeks there a few years ago and really enjoyed it. We'd like to do a great walk or two (maybe another tramp), see some of the country, and maybe even spend a couple of nights someplace a little fancier at the end. I know it's the peak of the tourist season, but that can't really be helped with the school schedule.

Are there any local mustachians on here with experience on the walks? The Kepler Track and tongariro crossing were great on my last visit despite serious rain and wind. What recommendations do you have for finding the best values during the peak of tourist season? Anything you'd list as a must see?

Title: Re: New Zealand Honeymoon
Post by: nzmamma on July 11, 2015, 05:51:41 PM
Try for local flight deals, flights are expensive in NZ but you can get some for $29 auckland to wellington or christchurch on a regular basis if you are quick.
Title: Re: New Zealand Honeymoon
Post by: Ocelot on July 11, 2015, 11:09:02 PM
I'm in NZ and have done quite a few of the major tramps/walks, albeit mainly as runs. Generally the best thing you can do to keep costs down is book early - like now - accommodation, flights etc. nzmamma is right about grabaseat, failing that most places can be flown to for ~$100 each way if you book early. If you enjoyed the Kepler and Tongariro, I'd also recommend the Queen Charlotte track and the Abel Tasman National Park tracks, both at the top of the South Island, and the Greenstone et al which roughly connects Queenstown and Te Anau. Those are all 2 - 5 days roughly as a walk.
Title: Re: New Zealand Honeymoon
Post by: the lorax on July 11, 2015, 11:17:44 PM
The Queen Charlotte walkway is also very nice - you take a boat out to the start and then walk between lodges, not sure if you can camp or not, been a while since I did it. The Abel Tasman area is also lovely. It depends what kind of scenery you are keenest on really. The Mackenzie Country/Mt Cook/Arthurs Pass areas are all spectacular- big mountain country. QC and Abel Tasman are coastal, possibilities to do kayaking etc. Then there are the Catlins, down Dunedin way - lots of little forest walks to waterfalls. Banks Peninsula is lovely but smaller scale and the one multi day tramp is privately run so won't be as cheap. I'm not that familiar with walks in the North Island, only one I've done up there is the Tongariro Crossing which is pretty amazing!
Great Walks-wise, the QC is one I think, there's also the Milford and Dusky Sound one (harder logistically). The Lonely Planet guide to tramping in NZ used to be excellent- it's what I used when I came out here 12 years ago, not sure if it's still in print
Title: Re: New Zealand Honeymoon
Post by: Ocelot on July 12, 2015, 01:31:54 AM
You can definitely camp on the QC and Abel Tasman, at designated areas. Be aware they can fill up at peak times, which is easily avoided by timing your days to arrive/pitch up before, say, 4pm.
Title: Re: New Zealand Honeymoon
Post by: Alternatepriorities on July 17, 2015, 03:00:14 PM
Thanks for all the suggestions. Looking at the price of getting out of Alaska over the Christmas break we might change our plans, but we're still looking for a way to make it happen.

@Ocelot. I'm curious why you recommend the Greenstone track over the Routeburn? We were already looking at those when I posted and I'd been considering doing it as a loop combining the two. I think it would limit us to a single hike for the trip, but it looks like a fantastic walk.

@thelorax. I tried to do the Milford track last time but it was already booked by the time I started planning. I was hoping that 6 months would be early enough to secure a couple of bunks in the huts but it's already full again.
Title: Re: New Zealand Honeymoon
Post by: Ocelot on July 17, 2015, 10:01:42 PM
The Routeburn is also a great walk - I didn't mean to give the Greenstone preference, was just giving a couple of suggestions/areas. A loop there would be a good option.
Title: Re: New Zealand Honeymoon
Post by: Taran Wanderer on July 17, 2015, 10:47:57 PM
Routeburn is pretty awesome. It doesn't end on Milford Sound like the Milford Track, but the sound is just a short bus ride away. Routeburn wasn't buggy at all, and I hear the Milford track can be a bit buggy. It's also easier to reserve, but still need to do it months in advance.  And tying it together with the Greenstone or the one that goes north to Lake McKerrow could be fantastic.

If you decide to head north, the Bay of Islands is nice, warm, and subtropical. Heck, that time of year, all of New Zealand is warm, and the landscape and people are pretty nice any time.

Regarding flights, some friends got a smoking deal on shoulder season flights through Fiji on Fiji Air.  I don't know if you'd get the deal during the high season, but it's worth a look. The only bummer is the layover in Fiji........   

Finally, I hear exchange rates are pretty favorable right now, like 1USD = 2NZD.  That's practically mustachian. Enjoy your trip!
Title: Re: New Zealand Honeymoon
Post by: alice76 on July 18, 2015, 04:01:03 AM
I highly recommend Tongariro. You can do a 4 day circuit that incorporates the crossing plus explore other gorgeous terrain. The huts were clean and comfortable.