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Thread: Trip Planning Stages (Hawaii & New Zealand)

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    Super Duper
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    Trip Planning Stages (Hawaii & New Zealand)

    We're in the early stages of planning a trip next year (2016) to Hawaii and New Zealand. The thought is to stop over in Hawaii for about 3-4 days shooting landscape and trying to stay away from the crowed areas with people. From there we'll fly down to Auckland renting a car and spend 2-weeks driving exploring both the north and south islands stopping in Christchurch before dropping off the car and flying back to Hawaii where we'd spend an additional 2-3 days before heading back to Tucson.

    I realize there's no way to avoid the crowds in Hawaii so what we're looking at is a primetime to visit New Zealand when the weather is nice the sky has clouds and the tourists are not as plentiful. Current thinking is a timeframe between Nov and Feb for the trip and let the chips fall where they are for Hawaii. New Zealand is the main attraction and we're leaving Hawaii as a nice place to be for a short while.

    I've been to New Zealand before but never ventured beyond Auckland, beside that was close to 20-years ago. One of the areas I'm interested in is Bruce Bay or somewhere similar. Primary interest is landscape both inland and beach. Any comments are welcome. Also need a little information on hotels/motels I need to see how plentiful they are.

    Regarding Hawaii, again I'm interested in landscapes, waterfalls, lush forest, beaches, and of course lava. I'd also like to visit Kalaupapa if time permits either coming or going. The only tourist activity will be to pay respects at Pearl Harbor.

    Any thoughts, suggestions on the trip are very welcome. Currently the plan is for Sandy & I to visit Hawaii then meet Ken Doo in New Zealand so it looks like a party of 2-3 for the trip. My main worry is being able to rent a vehicle large enough for 3-adults (remember I'm 6-9 and Sandy is 6 and Ken is what 5'7) and all our equipment.

    Don
    Don Libby
    Iron Creek Photography
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    Re: Trip Planning Stages (Hawaii & New Zealand)

    Don:

    When my wife and I visited New Zealand we rented a camper van and I would always chose that option. A place to stop was never an issue and was often in parks exactly where you want to be for photography. Campers that sleep three are not a problem, although if Ken snores it might be .
    My impression of New Zealand is that it doesn't matter where you go, it's all like one big National Park. I would however highly recommend highway 6 along the west coast of the south island. There are too many highlights to mention, but for example a portion of the road is very reminiscent of Big Sur, but with beautiful pebble beaches followed by easy access to the terminus of the Fox glacier etc., etc.
    I'm really jealous, but looking forward to your shots.

    Tom

    PS I made my first gallery wrap and I'm very happy with the result; however I now wish I had a 44" printer

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    Senior Member 4season's Avatar
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    Re: Trip Planning Stages (Hawaii & New Zealand)

    Pearl Harbor: If you want to visit the Arizona Memorial, get your tickets for the shuttle boat in advance, because that's how the park service manages crowds.

    White sand beaches: The older islands (northernmost) have the most of it, while the southernmost island of Hawaii has all of the fresh lava flows.

    I've never done it, but you might want to consider a helicopter tour of Kauai's Na Pali coast.

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    Re: Trip Planning Stages (Hawaii & New Zealand)

    watch out for car breakins in the pearl harbor parking lot; and they don't let you take bags inside

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    Re: Trip Planning Stages (Hawaii & New Zealand)

    I love Bruce Bay. Very isolated. Its been a few years since I was there.
    Theres a lodge right there too, but know nothing about it, http://www.mahitahilodge.co.nz/.
    If you look at google earth & go north the road goes inland very slightly parallel to the beach. As it turns right you can just make out a track to the beach. I camped out there a few times in the past in a small van. No views of beach but small walk & are there. Walked the beach as far as I could north until meet the river.

    Theres a Camping ground south of Haast, at Okuru. Stayed there once. They have cabins there. The beach is difficult or impossible to get to because of river or lagoon in the way, but could be a good base for a few days. Uncertain about Motorcamps at Haast. I like the Haast beach... tons of drift wood everywhere... Going south theres more, Neils Beach, Jacksons Bay (walks). Further south is Cascade Saddle with views of the river.

    Ship Creek looks to be roughly 7 kilometers north of Haast. Theres an interesting walk, which I never did do, a swamp forrest walk with water reflections of forrest. Been meaning to. What I did do there on a good day, small surf, low tide, low creek levels, north side of beach, was cross the creek & walk along the beach. I'd do this again but only on a good day. From memory theres basalt pillar rock (nothing unusual) for 1.5 kilometers or so going north & a narrow beach. Walked around a seal or sea lion or similar all the way to Cole Creek where the narrow strip beach opened out to a bigger beach.

    From Ship Creek can also drive north & there was a small road sign, "Cole Creek", then an area where can park up. A few years ago, it was easy walk along a creek to the beach which at the time I had good weather & really liked the place. Walking south along the beach the beach narrows... On google earth going north on road from Ship Creek can see a triangle area, its the car park at Cole Creek.
    Heres a Dept of Conservation PDF brochure of the Haast area.
    http://www.doc.govt.nz/Documents/par...onal-walks.pdf

    The White Heron, Kotuku or Great Egret... Its on our $2 coin...
    Breeding season is September to January at Okarito Lagoon, or Whataroa area, north of the glaciers Fox & Franz Joseph.
    I've seen one, once, & got surprisingly close, 20-30 meters, no camera. Want to visit Okarito Lagoon. I'm guessing the best way is to take a tour (company) of the lagoon. Guessing a 3-400mm lens would be good although just a guess.
    http://www.doc.govt.nz/nature/native...-heron-kotuku/

    Trueman Track, short walk close to Punakaiki;
    Also, at the beach, depending upon age & fitness & at low tide, on the north side, someone showed me & we climbed over the rocks. The first part was difficult, to climb up a 4 foot high rocks & over the other side. Its possibly easy depending upon fitness & whether rocks slippery or not, but theres more similar scenery going north, very short distance. Was over 10 years ago, but I think its 1-200 meters or so, north. If not, Trueman track worthwhile alone.
    http://www.doc.govt.nz/Documents/par...k-brochure.pdf

    Greenstone, Pounamu, Nephrite or Jade is in many West Coast beaches and rivers.
    Legally it all belongs to the local native people/tribe, the Maori. I'm uncertain about a nice piece size of a coffee cup or smaller. Personally I'd help myself, for personal use, not commercial... Theres a lot of green coloured stones, much of it is serpentine, same as greenstone but softer & a few hundred thousand years younger in age. A stainless steel knife will scratch most stones, but if its greenstone the stainless steel will wear away on the stone, like pencil lead on paper.

    Hotels/Motels could be difficult around Christmas & New Year depending upon where one is. There are some large to very large rental camper vans available with ordinary car license. These are often self-contained and camping is allowed in many many places. By driving out of a small town, theres signs, "Freedom Camping Begins Here" or driving toward town, "Freedom Camping Ends Here". So basically, one can camp in many many picturesque places, on the road side..... in a self-contained vehicle. It will have toilet, sink, maybe shower built in.

    I'm in Queenstown South Island & visiting family in Tauranga North Island in September so hope to visit some of these places & might update some info later.

    Wayne.

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    Senior Member etrump's Avatar
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    Re: Trip Planning Stages (Hawaii & New Zealand)

    when are you planning on going Don? Faith and I are starting to plan a NZ visit for April. Thanks to the replies, very helpful.

    Don, you might want to consider Hana for your few days in HI. Great lush greens, waterfalls, killer sunrises and lava nearby. Of course no flowing lava but checks most of the boxes including rainbow eucalyptus nearby as well.

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    Re: Trip Planning Stages (Hawaii & New Zealand)

    We haven't given up on the idea however it had to be put on the back burner due to a request to hold a workshop in Israel next October. Thanks for the information as it'll be useful for when we do the trip.

    Don
    Don Libby
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