We’re in the early planning stages for a one-month March or April trip to New Zealand. A little about us and our priorities. Both in our 60s, recently retired, and active walkers/hikers (but no longer backpackers). Our passions are nature, photography, art and archaeology. Whenever possible, we try to select quieter, less visited sites where we can spend some time absorbing the surroundings. We’re probably not interested in big ticket activities such as the Doubtful Sound overnight cruise or glacier helihikes (we’ve done a lot of glacier-related stuff in Alaska). We’d like to start our trip in Wellington because it sounds like a great place to visit and we enjoy walkable cities. After Wellington we’ll fly to Christchurch, pick up a rental car, and start our tour of SI. Any suggestions or comments would be appreciated, especially where we should be spending more time on the ground and less in the car (right now we’re at 23 days but that could be expanded to 30). Also we’d love to know about any obscure (i.e. tranquil) places on SI that might warrant a detour.
-Wellington – museums, dining, general sightseeing (3 nights)
-Arthur’s Pass – walks: Devil’s Punchbowl (1 night)
-Punakaiki – sightseeing: Pancake Rocks and Motukiekie Beach, canoeing, walks (2 nights)
-Fox Glacier – walks: Lake Matheson, Gillespie Beach (1 night)
-Wanaka – walks, biking, kayaking, sightseeing (3 nights)
-Glenorchy – walks, sightseeing, e.g. Paradise Road (1 night)
-Te Anau - Milford Sound daytrip, glow worm caves, walks (3 nights)
-The Catlins – Curio Bay, Purakanui Falls, Nugget Point, wildlife viewing, etc. (2 nights)
-Dunedin – art gallery, RR station, Otago Peninsula (1 night – maybe 2?)
-Oamaru - Moeraki Boulders, Katiki Pt, wildlife viewing (1 night)
-Aoraki/Mt Cook – walks, kayaking, etc. (3 nights)
-Timaru - museums, art gallery, rock art center (1 night)
-Christchurch – general sightseeing (2 nights)
Thanks for sharing your experience and insights!
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