Do
- stay in YHA hostels: clean rooms, friendly staff, great place to meet people, ok
- price and they
can help with transportation, tours and information. But of course
- some are better than others (www.yha.co.nz);
- cook your own dinners, nice way to save some money;
- take buses, the system is very good;
- rent a car if you can for some special places, you will see more and save some
- time (e.g. North Island or Catlins on the South Island)
- visit Auckland and Waiheke Island, the Kauri Forest, Waitangi, Bay of Islands,
- Rotorua and Wellington on the North Island;
- hike the Tongariro Crossing on the North Island. We waited for 4 days but
- unfortunately it kept on raining and we couldn't walk it. We did hear great stories
- (www.tongarirocrossing.org.nz);
- spend more time on the South Island because there is much more to see and do!
- Visit the Catlins, Mount Cook, Milford Sound, Franz Josef glacier, Otago Peninsula
- and Oamaru penguin colony;
- spend money and go on a whale watch trip in Kaikoura on the South Island.
- Worth every penny!(www.whalewatch.co.nz);
- walk the Abel Tasman Track on the South Island. Not too difficult and a fantastic
- track! Book the
hut in advance and bring insect repellent for the nasty sandflies
- at Awaroa Hut;
- cross the South Island with the Tranzalpine from Christchurch to Greymouth or
- vice versa (www.railnewzealand.com/Tranzalpine.html);
- see a kiwi! Hard to spot them in the wild (only a few left) but you can see them
- in a kiwi house.


Don't
- visit the Waitomo Caves if you're short on time. It's ok but a bit expensive for
- just about 20 minutes in the caves (by boat);
- go to Queenstown unless you want to skydive, bungeejump or party;
- think about a day hike on one of the glaciers when it's pouring! We did but
- afterwards even the guides said that it was madness and that they should have
- cancelled the trip. It was pretty scary and we were happy that we made it back
- safe and sound!

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