Budget Week Trips - North Island
I have just moved to Wellington from the UK. I have travelled around New Zealand several times before. I am not sure how far you would be willing to go up the north island if you need to get back to Wellington.
I would personally recommend renting a campervan and traveling from Wellington to Auckland and returning the van at Auckland. Most companies allow one way rentals. The drive itself is around 11 hours directly but you could visit multiple towns and landmarks, i.e Lake Taupo, Gisborne, Napier etc. In Feb the weather will be great for trying out some adventure activities. I recommend the HukaFalls Jet in Taupo ($95ea) and black water rafting.
If you need to return to Wellington after one week then you can fly from Auckland to Wellington for around $70 each. The flight time is 1Hr and there are flights every 30mins daily from Auckland to the capital. Air New Zealand is the main airline in NZ. If you use this website you might pickup a cheaper flight from around $45 each. Grabaseat.co.nz: Although it would be possible to drive back to Wellington in around 11 hours.
The second option would be renting a sports car and doing a tour of the island. You could travel up nearly anywhere in the north island within 2 days. There are a few companies out there. Apex Car Rentals is cheapest if you have a low budget. Other companies include Avis, Budget etc. I am still only 16 myself so i don't spend much time in youth hostels but there are large numbers of motels across the island from around $60 per night upto $120 on average.
I would recommend you purchase The AA's guide to New Zealand Accomodation. This is a large book with all forms of accomodation from luxury hotels to campsites. For only $9.95 you can't go wrong. You can pick this up in Borders Book Store (Borders.co.nz) or directly from the AA when you arrive in Wellington. (aa.co.nz)
GoodLuck and enjoy your visit to the worlds youngest country :)
Rent a Car!
Sarah and I ventured out of Auckland to enjoy the North Island by renting a vehicle from Europcar in Auckland's CBD. It ended up saving us quite a bit of money not to rent from the airport location, because it was 10-15 NZD per day less than what we had quoted over the internet.
We ended up paying 135 NZD for 4 days rental, including unlimited mileage. Our vehicle was a Puegeot, and it ran nicely... with plenty of room for the two of us.
If you would like to rent from the location in Auckland that we used for your trip, go to the website and use:
Location Code: AKLC01
Motorhome - the best way to travel
To have a motorhome and travel, stay where you love it, drive if you want to - that's freedom in travelling for me. Ok, there is not a lot of space in that home, but you always can stay in a motel, if you need more space for a night :o)
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