Thanks Jim, I went out to Air NZ after your first post. Not use to a bike as “normal” baggage, I was expecting to pay $75-$200 per leg (2 bikes x 2 flights adds up quickly), this is a nice surprise! I have a nice Thule bike bag/carrier, but it may bust the 23Kg mark, so I am sure I will have to pay something, but I already like Air NZ. I assume you have flown them do you prefer them over Quantas? And I have been looking at rough prices (using 2018 prices as a gauge for my 2019 travel). Looks like $1,000-$1,300 for late Fed to mid-March time frame.
I have been checking out the areas you suggested too, Rotorua looks rad, we will hit that area for sure.
Thanks again Jim, I am stoked already and it is a year and a half away…ug.