Next spring we hope to visit our friends in Tasmania, and travel to the Australian mainland and New Zealand, staying away for about 2 months. Which order should we visit the countries in, which months are best, and how long do we need to do the trip justice? Have you any suggestions for places not to miss while keeping the budget realistic?Gill White, 11 June 2012
Thank you for your question.
With two months you can certainly do both Australia and New Zealand justice and a visit in the Spring is a wonderful time to travel. Since you are planning to include Tasmania, the order of the itinerary doesn’t really matter. The South Island of New Zealand and Tasmania are on similar lines of longitude and have similar climates. I would recommend you try and travel during the Spring months of March and April when the temperatures should still be warm.
I would start your trip with a visit to the Australian east coast spending time in Sydney and Melbourne and then into South Australia. There are all manner of activities and excursions that could keep you busy though it very much depends on what you like to do. I would certainly suggest a trip to the Blue Mountains outside Sydney for walking, the coastline west of Melbourne for a scenic self-drive and a visit to the lovely wineries of South Australia. This and a trip over to Kangaroo Island for a wildlife excursion should all take a leisurely three weeks. You could then spend time with your friends in Tasmania before flying on to New Zealand.
It is quite possible to do the main sights of New Zealand in three weeks. Typically this would involve a self-drive itinerary from North to South starting from the city of Auckland. I would then include a number of stops in the North Island taking in the dramatic thermal plateau surrounding Rotorua, well known for Maori culture together with the scenic wine country of Napier and the capital Wellington. A journey on the InterIslander ferry to the South Island allows you an opportunity to visit gorgeous National Parks, take in whale watching, glacier walks and stay in wonderful lodges or boutique B&Bs. You can conclude your journey in the South Island and fly out from there.
You may not wish to stay away for a full two months but a stopover in a city in the Far East or in the USA would help break up the journey and can be included on a number of different flight tickets. It is something we usually recommend and is very easy to organise.
A trip like this can be done in a number of different ways but if you have two months I would recommend you take it all. You will find this will allow you to really appreciate both countries without feeling too rushed.
We would be delighted to talk through an itinerary with you if you wish.
- Answered by Christopher