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12 Days in S.I. NZ

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Like many first-timers planning to go NZ, I feel pretty overwhelmed by where to start, and I'd love some guidance. We'd be traveling from, I hope, March 23 - April 5 (flying back on April 6). That's 12 days total, NOT including the flying. We would arrive on Day 1, and depart on Day 13.

Facts about us:
-We're a mom and dad and 10-year-old daughter.
-We're flying from California.
-Husband and daughter like a lot of relaxing. I like to traipse about. I can get them to traipse with me some, but they REALLY need their down time. I can take them on walks in nature, but couldn't be too strenuous. It would be good to stay in places that have a nice vista, say if they want to sit and read or walk around the land; as well as in towns or cities where I can walk out and let them be.
-Daughter loves all things to do with animals (land and sea) and water.
-I love mountains.
-Husband loves beer ;) Seriously, if there's any good beer to be had, let me know.
-Would prefer to spend 2-3 nights in one spot, doing daytrips, rather than driving every other day to a new place although I know that reduces how much ground we can cover.
-Don't really want to do too many long drives (I consider long to be 3 hours+)
-We do like to have our wifi

I haven't booked flights yet, but my plan would be to fly into Christchurch and back from Queenstown; or vice versa. Here are some things that appeal to me from my brief research. This variety may be absolutely insane - and that doesn't mean I'm not interested in everything else, too! That's why I need your help! ;)

I'm putting an asterisk beside what I think are priorities, partic. for daughter's enjoyment (but that can change, too):

-Te Anau*
-Milford Sound (Maybe - I hear much about the sandflies, and I'm very allergic to all insect bites, huge hives and pain
-Lake Tekapo
-Aoraki/Mt. Cook
-Castle Hill/Arthurs Pass*
-Kaikoura* and/or Akaroa* (if can't do both, will choose one over the other based on advice, itinerary, etc.)
-Farmstay with animals
-Some days to just wander around wherever*
-Night sky

I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

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