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73 Reviews
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great, if a little dry
This guide book gives very comprehensive information on sights to see, accommodation (divided by budget), restaurants, and more. There is also a lot of interesting history, both to the country generally, and to each specific region or town. The overall effect is, however, just slightly overwhelming, having the feeling of a directory. This isn't helped by the dense...
Published on 28 Nov 2010 by Tim

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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not up to LP's usual standard
The previous editions (see other reviews) may have been great, but the new Sept 2006 version is a real disappointment. Just used it for 3 weeks in NZ. For years I have used Lonely Planets. They give you information. Something has gone wrong with this NZ one. Far too much is the worst sort of travel writers' gush. Far too little is the sort of info LP are otherwise...
Published on 20 Jan 2007 by Robin Fellgett


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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great, if a little dry, 28 Nov 2010
By 
Tim (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: New Zealand (Lonely Planet Country Guides) (Paperback)
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This guide book gives very comprehensive information on sights to see, accommodation (divided by budget), restaurants, and more. There is also a lot of interesting history, both to the country generally, and to each specific region or town. The overall effect is, however, just slightly overwhelming, having the feeling of a directory. This isn't helped by the dense print, and lack of pictures. That said, these do enable the book to have pretty compact dimensions. I wonder if, however, some of the more obscure destinations could be omitted, in order to allow more space to elaborate on the most popular sights.

For planning a visit, there is more than enough information. However, it might be hard to prioritise, because there is just so much in the book. There are five suggested tour routes, but these only get a page each. I would like a bit more guidance on prioritising where to go.

It would be nice to have more of the maps in colour.

Lonely Planet must have recognised some of these shortcomings, because it has produced a "discover New Zealand" book, which is basically a much pruned-down version of the text of this book, but with a larger, better-spaced-out text, colour maps, and colour photos of suggested highlights to visit. If you don't quite such comprehensive information as the larger book provides, you might want to consider the "discover" version instead. But both are excellent.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lonely planet, not as good as it used to be., 19 Nov 2010
By 
F. Martin (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: New Zealand (Lonely Planet Country Guides) (Paperback)
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I used to be a big fan of lonely planet guides but recently I've found them disappointing and the New Zealand guide is no exception. I gave this book to a friend of mine who has travelled extensively in the country and his overall impression was whilst factually accurate there were some surprising gaps and an overly onerous approach to the logistics of travelling and not enough guide material for the places being visited.

I agree with this description and in fact the same is true of all the lonely planet guides. I suspect this is because they are aimed almost exclusively at the backpacker traveller and less relevant for the modern internet age when guidebooks don't really need to into massive detail regarding how to get to places. When I visit places, I almost exclusively use the internet to make my travel and accomodation arrangements. What I need from a guidebook is lots of portable information about places to visit and sights to see when I get there. In that regard, the Rough Guides do the job much better.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Industry standard, 15 July 2006
By 
Spider Monkey (UK) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This book, as expected from lonely planet, is superb. My girlfriend and I travelled around NZ for five weeks with no other guide book in our bag, nor did we need any other. The information is easy to access, clear and truly excellent. Prices change, but the things to see and the great restaurants to visit etc do not. NZ is so breathtaking to travel around and this book will help you to get the best from it.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A travel classic, but I miss the photos!, 18 Nov 2010
This review is from: New Zealand (Lonely Planet Country Guides) (Paperback)
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I have been using Lonely Planet series for more years than I'm prepared to admit and have always found them an invaluable travel companion.

This is the third edition I have used of the New Zealand guide book and, as usual, it's really helping me in planning my trip.

It contains all the usual information, ranging from cultural advice and political history through to the usual "Where to stay" and "what to do".

Although the book is excellent and jam-packed with pretty much everything you would need to know, it only gets 4 stars from me for 2 reasons:

1. I remember the "olden days" of Lonely Planet guides when there were lots more colour pictures. These have now been cut to a short set of travel suggestions and small pictures, at the beginning of the book. It used to be the colour images that inspired me most, when I was flicking through the guides.

2. It doesn't always come up with the goods it promises. For example, when I was looking into swimming with dolphins, the early section of the book says that Kaikoura is the place to go and tells you to look in that section. When you do, you find a couple of lines, hidden in the description of whale watching tour companies. I really would have loved more information on this. Luckily I spotted it before we travel, so I can use the web to research instead.

That aside, it's a great book and the regular updates from the Lonely Planet writers and intrepid travellers help make the books a valuable guide that I certainly wouldn't leave home without.
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34 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent guide, 18 Feb 2005
By 
A. de Fleury "markdefleury" (Bath, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
As usual with Lonely Planet the layout and presentation of the book was excellent. It certainly gives you a great template to to plan your travels and the descriptions of hotels and B&B's were always spot on. The only problem was was that a lot of the prices were already outdate even though the book was published in Spetember and I went in November 2004. There is also a little bit of a Lonely Planet trail. Sometimes its worth taking a turning not mentioned in the book and finding a beach etc with no other backpackers. However, its difficult to see how any book could do full justice to New Zealand!
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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not up to LP's usual standard, 20 Jan 2007
By 
Robin Fellgett (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
The previous editions (see other reviews) may have been great, but the new Sept 2006 version is a real disappointment. Just used it for 3 weeks in NZ. For years I have used Lonely Planets. They give you information. Something has gone wrong with this NZ one. Far too much is the worst sort of travel writers' gush. Far too little is the sort of info LP are otherwise justly famous for. A real shame - lets hope LP are going to quickly revise and re-write it. Meanwhile, I'd suggest checking out the alternatives.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Huge amount of information, 19 Mar 2011
By 
Bill Crawford "Big Bill" (Newcastle, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: New Zealand (Lonely Planet Country Guides) (Paperback)
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This book runs to over 700 pages and is packed with information. The main part of the book (almost 600 pages) is structured in a region by region manner with each (of 17) regions then presented with an intro, and broken down by area with maps, and information on accommodation, eating, drinking, travel advice, history, attractions/sight-seeing and a host of other useful details. The front part of the book includes sections covering the whole of the country with similar coverage to the regions (as laid out above) and other aspects like suggested (incl alternative) itineries. At the back is a useful directory giving general and helpful advice on a number of subjects (eg climate, children, insurance, post, disabilities, visas etc). There are additional small sections on transport, health and language and of course, an index. The whole book is written in a highly informative helpful way in a light-hearted and informal style which makes reading much easier than the stuffier traditional travel guides you often come across. The reason for 4 stars (as opposed to 5) is that there are few colour pictures in, so in a sense, the huge amount of info doesn't quite come to life, but then it is a fairly weighty book (about the size of a DVD box, with double thickness) and if you are taking it with you, you might not thank them for the additional size and weight that would be necessary if it contained dozens of photos. All in all, if you need a book that gives you every bit of info you could possibly need to plan your trip - this is it. See the country for yourself - that is better than colour photographs any time.....
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just the job, 8 Feb 2009
By 
I made this New Zealand Lonely Planet purchase (print Sept 2008) solely because the previous print that I held had been updated. On balance, this was a wise decision this time, as the layout had undergone a change - an improvement, and the entries for activities, tours, and sleeping etc reflected the latest position. The only downside, albeit minor when you got used to it, was that a section of 32 pages had been bound out of order in the book. I couldn't be bothered to complain as I was shortly due to leave the country with the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Company In New Zealand, 9 Jan 2011
By 
Sam D (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: New Zealand (Lonely Planet Country Guides) (Paperback)
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This book is jam-packed full of pearls of wisdom on New Zealand, ranging from where to find the cheapest crayfish in Kaikoura to how to bike your way around the wineries of Marlborough, from bone carving in Hokitika to glacier climbing the Franz Joseph and anything and everything in between.

Cities and towns are highlighted with suggested itineraries, walking tours, activities, as well as information on shopping, eating, drinking, and sleeping. But Lonely Planet knows that most visitors to New Zealand don't come all this way just to spend time in the cities. They want to experience the great outdoors, something that of course New Zealand has in great abundance. And so this guidebook offers plenty of advice and information on the where, how, and when of having a totally unique Kiwi experience.

Anyone considering a trip to New Zealand should pick up a copy of this new Lonely Planet New Zealand guidebook. It will lead you in the right direction and be an invaluable accompaniment on your travels. As someone who's in Australia for the next couple of months, it's definitely got me wanting to pack my bags and hit the road.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lonely Planet, 9 Oct 2010
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This review is from: New Zealand (Lonely Planet Country Guides) (Paperback)
We have used Lonely Planet guides several times when travelling independantly in countries such as Morocco, Egypt, Mexico, USA,Australia etc. and found them invaluable for deciding which areas to visit, finding our way around, choosing accommodation and restaurants and learning about local customs and history.
Our next trip is a tour of New Zealand in a campervan and I have used L.P. to plan our itinerary. This edition has given me a clear idea of what there is to see and do in each location and how many days to spend in each. We are keeping most of the trip flexible but,using Lonely Planet information, have been able to pre-book our first 2 campsites and our last one, ensuring we get to stay where we want to without worrying if the sites are full, being New Zealand's busiest time of year.
The book is a well presented, comprehensive guide, very easy to read and follow and quite entertaining, giving interesting facts on different locations.
Whether you are travelling on a budget or looking for something more upmarket, this guide book will suit your needs.
If you plan to travel independantly, study this book well in advance and take it with you on your trip and you won't go far wrong
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New Zealand (Lonely Planet Country Guides)
New Zealand (Lonely Planet Country Guides) by Charles Rawlings-Way (Paperback - 17 Sep 2010)
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