I'll be starting out with 15 days on each island of NZ, then three one-week stays up the coast of Eastern Oz. I'm hoping to extend my travels in Oz, and/or head back to NZ or surrounding areas
Sounds like a mad trip coming up! I haven't been to the North Island of New Zealand, but I did an 11 day road-trip from Christchurch to Queenstown, via Arthur's Pass, Lake Tekapo, Mount Cook, and Milford Sound in January this year.
Will you be hiring a car in New Zealand or Australia? I go camping up the northern NSW coast most weekends, so can provide you with some off-the-beaten-track destinations or ideas, but first I'd need to know if you've got a hire car and camping gear, or if you're staying in hostels along the way!
Milly 3 months ago
For non-touristy things around Sydney, I'd head down south to the Jarvis Bay area. Lot's of national parks, secluded beaches, fishing, camping, bushwalks etc. and with enough choice that it's usually pretty easy to avoid the crowded spots. You'll most likely need a car to get around though.
I can recommend Meroo National park (google image it!) for a great place to camp which is a bit out of the usual tourist trail in that area.
Hope you have a great trip!
Pearse 3 months ago
"Touristy" things are hard to define. What may be touristy to one person may not be to another.
When we were in NZ we loved going to the vineyards and sampling wines. We thought that Queenstown was a spectacular place to go. Lots of outdoor activities, spent a few hours watching a demonstration of sheep herding (and sheering). Did the jet boats near there. Milford Sound is world famous but tightly regulated in terms of hiking, but worth doing a day (even without an end to end permit). 2 months agoAnswered by Don via WorldNomads.com
Visit the Wairarapa coast (near Wellington). It is spectacular. Stay in Greytown or Martinborough (which is are favoured spots for Wellingtonians for weekend breaks for vineyard tours and a nice atmosphere). Don't stay in Masterton, which is a dump. 2 months agoAnswered by Elliot Smith via WorldNomads.com
When are you going? I visited New Zealand in September/October which is truly off season, so even the most touristy areas like Milford Sound were quiet.
Best non-touristy thing I did was sailing up Queen Charlotte Sound (Marlborough Sounds), camping and swimming off the boat and seeing fairy penguins, dolphins and kiwis! I'd recommend the Queen Charlotte Track too if you're into walking, but don't want anything too full on. Is skiing touristy? Skiing by Wanaka is AWESOME, plus Wanaka is the less-touristy version of Queenstown if you don't fancy the crowds.
However, a tourist cruise up Doubtful Sound is also worth it - sea lions and penguins galore, plus swimming (and a lot of scrabble in the evening!) even in winter. 2 months ago