new zealand: north or south island?


Mar 4, 2008
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#1
Ok. I gave up on the whole hokkaido idea. Too expensive.

Just wondering which is more scenic? North island or south island? And where are the scenic spots in north island?
 

HighTone

Senior Member
Jul 4, 2011
512
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Altona
#2
Ok. I gave up on the whole hokkaido idea. Too expensive.

Just wondering which is more scenic? North island or south island? And where are the scenic spots in north island?
I thought NZ is more expensive than going to Japan? Anyway, South Island should be more scenic. North is more city like.
 

wangxu94

New Member
Nov 17, 2011
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Christchurch, New Zealand
#3
I'm living in South island now and the scenery is amazing. I haven't been to north island yet though so I can't really say which is better.

If you do choose south island, though, I must say that Milford Sound and Mt Cook is a must-visit. :)
 

ZerocoolAstra

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2008
9,522
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rainy Singapore
#4
Tough call to choose between the 2.

South Island has more spectacular topography. There is a plate boundary down the middle which has caused the mountain range to form. Quite interesting to see the change from tall trees by the roadside to rolling plains as you drive across this plate boundary.

North Island is also very interesting, with towns like Rotorua, Hamilton, Taupo and so on. Interesting places include Lake Taupo, Bay of Plenty, Mt Egmont (Mt Taranaki) and the huge Kaori forests.
 

giantcanopy

Senior Member
Feb 11, 2007
6,232
2
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SG
#5
Ok. I gave up on the whole hokkaido idea. Too expensive.

Just wondering which is more scenic? North island or south island? And where are the scenic spots in north island?
South island is a nice route to drive around, each major scenic spot is not too long a drive from one another, and usually never far from human civilisation/food/petrol/lodging etc.

I am not sure how much more savings you might get compared to Hokkaido ( considering actually now Japan fares are much cheaper than the last I visited some yrs back )

Ryan
 

#6
Planning to go South Island this August. How is the road there during winter? Is it advisable to rent a car or should I just take bus from city to city
 

ZerocoolAstra

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2008
9,522
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rainy Singapore
#7
Planning to go South Island this August. How is the road there during winter? Is it advisable to rent a car or should I just take bus from city to city
If I were in your shoes, I'd pick a self-drive trip in NZ without any hesitation. Lots more freedom afforded. Go anywhere, stop anywhere.
At higher elevations, you may need to be concerned with black ice causing loss of grip.
 

Jun 11, 2006
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#8
be very careful when driving in Winter, ice may be on the road, and if you go to the mountains or even to milford sound, the road can be covered in snow, not adviseable for novice

Planning to go South Island this August. How is the road there during winter? Is it advisable to rent a car or should I just take bus from city to city
 

nsng

Member
Feb 28, 2004
388
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nns555.zenfolio.com
#9
I have been to both North and South Island and even though the South is more photegenic with its mountains, lakes, fjords, etc. the North can offer beautiful seascapes and geothermal regions. Some of my best landscape photos have been taken in NZ. Here are 2 links to my North and South Island photos,

Zenfolio | N.S. Ng | New Zealand

Zenfolio | N.S. Ng | North Island, New Zealand 2011

The best way to see NZ is by driving.

N.S. Ng
 

Deyeno

New Member
Jan 22, 2009
80
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Singapore
#10
South Island is more scenic on all coasts, but if you want a more diverse then the West Coast of the South Island great.

Search for
1: Pancake Rocks
2: Fox or Franz Josef Glaciers
3: Lake Matherson
4: Haast Pass
5: Arthur's Pass
6: Queenstown

Some of the places I would recommend you to visit. If you self drive I would if you have the time, fly into Christchurch, rent a car, drive north to Blenheim, with stops at Kiakoura to where you can see seals, and they have whale sighting trips there.

When at Blenheim, visit some wineries, then you can travel to Picton and see the Marlborough Sounds, travel over to Nelson, goto Farewell Spit, travel down to Wesport via the Upper and Lower Buller Gorge Roads, then travel to the West Coast from Wesport by the Coast Road, via Charleston, then Greymouth, with stops at the Pancake Rocks etc ...

The rest is upto your imagination.
 

Deyeno

New Member
Jan 22, 2009
80
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Singapore
#11
Planning to go South Island this August. How is the road there during winter? Is it advisable to rent a car or should I just take bus from city to city

If you travel by bus you wont see much and its pretty much point to point.

If you rent a car, in Winter it will be especially dangerous driving in certain area's, especially inland from Christchurch to the West Coast, via Arthur's Pass (State Highway 76), while the scenery is spectactular, you will cross the Southern Alps, via Arthur's Pass and from Springfield to Greymouth depending on the time of day you could encounter snow on the roads, but in early mornings there will be frosts, which will create icy conditions which will require extra care.

Your biggest danger during the winter no matter where you drive in NZ, will be Black Ice, this is ice you dont see at all. This is usually found in shady sections of the road where the sun cant shine and melt the ice. This usually happens when there is a heavy frost during the night where temperatures can goto -15C and it literally freezes all moisture. When you walk on grass when their is a frost it will crunch below your feet.

Just becareful, and ask the local's what the road conditions are or check with the Automobile Association.

Cheers ....
 

Apr 7, 2008
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#12
I have been to both north and south island last december and i must say the scenery in south island is alot better. Most memorable is arthur pass, fox glacier hike, queenstown, milford sound, mt cook, and many beautiful blue mirror lakes.
Definitely you must self drive as you can stop anytime and have more freedom.
I dont think its cheaper than hokkaido this way.
Also i dont advise you to go in winter. The daylight is short and you may not get to see much.
In summer the temperatures are still on the cool side and you can maximise the day to the fullest.
 

tearai

New Member
Nov 26, 2011
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#13
South Island depending on the time of year. Spring and Autumn are perfect with the varying colours of blooming trees or the changing colours in Autumn. Milford Sound, the Canterbury Plains and Southern Alps offer spectacular scenery. On the contrary the North Island offers amazing beaches, fantastic mountain ranges in the islands' centre, but for photography the abundance of green forests may not offer you the variety you are looking for.

Travel within NZ can be painful if you are not driving as internal air travel is expensive and there is only a single train line. However, there is a great bus concept call the Kiwi Experience where you can jump on and off as the bus travels the length of the country.

Wherever you choose to go, you will love New Zealand. It is an amazing country.

Good luck
 

K S Kong

Senior Member
Dec 11, 2007
765
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www.flickr.com
#14
Been to North and South island about 7 to 8 times, personally prefer the South Island. But travel at
Winter time daylight are very short, sunrise at about 8 plus, began to turn dark at 4.30 pm,
also the dark side of the road may be cover by snow , more dangerous for driving.

some photos for North Island: NZ North Island (2007 Summer) - a set on Flickr
some photos for South Island: NZ South Island (20110520-0603) - a set on Flickr
Some Winter photos: NZ South Island (2000 Winter) - a set on Flickr

Enjoy your holiday!:)
 

Dec 3, 2004
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#15
Aug 7, 2010
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Singapore
#16
Hi TS,
I've been to NZ for 6months last year for Work and Travel. I feel South Island is really much nicer than the North.

Cost of living is slightly more ex than Singapore so I would say its quite affordable. If you cook on your own, you can really save alot on meals. If you stay in Backpackers, it will cost you around SGD $20-25/night($30-$35 in Mt Cook Village). Pretty affordable.

South Island has more splendid and spell binding sceneries. I feel the best way to travel NZ is to go for walks or hikes and take in the sceneries. Best one day walk I would recommend is Tongariro Crossing, no park charges but you have to pay for transportation there. Having a car would definitely help alot or you can try hitching a hike. Tried it and certainly an awesome exp.

If you wanna hike, and see great landscapes, you have to go before or after winter(late June to around Sept). NZ is a place that i believe you can go all year round.

If you just wanna see sceneries, i think the place is pretty affordable. but if you wanna do some activities, the cost that add up might be quite a sum.

My 2cents.

Cheers,
Alan
 

dniwkh

New Member
Mar 19, 2012
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#17
how is the earthquake situation in christchurch?

thinking of going south island this July but put off by the many earthquakes.
 

Aug 7, 2010
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Singapore
#18
Not sure about the situation now for Christchurch. But while I was there last year, I skipped Christchurch and focus on other areas of South Island. The other parts of South Island weren't affected.
 

Feb 27, 2009
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#19
Hi peeps,

I am going to nz for my honeymoon in Dec for 16 days, arriving at Christchurch and departing from Queenstown. Anyone can share the itinerary with me for some reference? Appreciate a lot!

Thanks in advance!
 

drogba2012

New Member
Jun 30, 2012
4
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bali
#20
New zealand is very good for Photo hunting, good place and good atmosfer for honeymoon too
:)
 

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