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Advice for 21 Day New Zealand Motorhome

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Our family (Myself, husband, boy / girl twins - turning 12 during trip) are doing our first NZ motorhome trip from 12 December 2015 to 2 January 2016. We are all fit and enjoy the outdoors but not keen on extensive hiking. We are hoping to have a mix of adventure, education, wildlife and scenic experiences. We don't like to 'rough it' too much so are mainly sticking to established holiday parks - invested in Top 10 membership to take advantage of discounts on admissions, ferry etc. After months of research it's still very difficult to choose between places and experiences when everything NZ seems so incredible. I've included possible activities - am sure not all will be possible but please say what you think is most suitable. So here's our run down - ready for the experts guidance!

12. Auckland pick up Motorhome 11am to Coromandel (2nights)
• Head south out of Auckland headed for Coromandel - free camp at designated area around Thames district

13 Driving via Coromandel and Waiau Falls to (Hot Water Beach Top 10 Holiday Park is booked)
• coastal route to Waiau Falls and Kauri Grove lookout walk (30 min walk)
• Coromandel town (lunch?), Whitianga.
• On to Hahei and walk to Cathedral Cove (2.5km - best towards low tide at 3.17pm).
• From Hahei south to Hot Water Beach (low tide).

14 / 15 Coromandel to Matamata to Rotorua / Taupo (Top 10 Rotorua / free camp Taupo)
• Hobbiton tour - The Shires™ Rest Matamata (10% discount with Top 10)
• Skyline Gondola and luge
• Agrodome
• Wai-O-Tapu Geothermal Wonderland or Te Puia
• Aratiatia Rapids / Huka Falls

16 Taupo to Wellington (Wellington Waterfront Motorhome Park in city is booked)
• Scenic driving through Tongarriro National Park to Wellington. Not much time here. Explore Wellington City by night - have dinner.

17. Wellington to South Island (Kaikoura overnight)
• Te Papa Museum - tour booking at 10.15
• Check in for Interislander Ferry by 1.45pm for 2.45pm departure from Wellington
• Ferry to Picton - have dinner on Ferry or in Picton / Blenheim
• Drive to Kaikoura (Is this too much? Figured we haven't driven this day and will still be light - reduce driving next day to Arthurs Pass)

18. Kaikoura to Arthurs Pass (scenic driving) maybe stay at Jacksons Retreat Holiday Park (10 mins from Arthurs Pass)
• Whale watching in Kaikoura (if it's a good day - not really planning on it)
• Otira Viaduct Lookout (just past Bealey) near Arthurs Pass
• Arthurs Pass Visitor Centre - can do national park walks from here (30mins to waterfall) or can do walks from accommodation

19. Arthurs Pass to Hokitika (Drive on a bit and stay at either Ross - Empire Hotel - paid campground $20 per powered site including showers OR Hari Hari Campgrounds $30 per powered site right next to small pub, toilets and showers, free wifi in bar)
• LOOK OUT FOR SEALS, PENGUINS & DOLPHINS ALONG THE COAST TO HOKITIKA
• Hokitika Gorge Scenic Reserve (30 mins from Hokitika - must do- lake Wanaka early morning for reflections) Dorothy Falls?
• Hokitika Wilderness Gallery
• lots of shops and galleries / glass studio
SHOULD WE JUST GET TO FJ AND HAVE 2 NIGHTS THERE?

20. Ross / HariHari to Franz Joseph Glacier (short drive)
• Glacier Heli-Hike (2.5hrs) - this is one of our luxury excursions and surprise for kids!!!
• Glacier hot pools (free with Heli-hike)
• Maori Cultural Centre & Gallery (Jade carving / sculpting - carve your own if it's not too busy)
• West Coast Wildlife Centre
• The Tartare Track (short Walk - Old gold mine works?) or Gallery Gorge walk - 2 hrs

21. Franz Joseph (via Lake Matheson - Fox Glacier - Haast) to Wanaka Scenic driving (Maybe stay at Aspiring Holiday Park - Free wifi, unmetered showers, free hot tubs)
• Lake Matheson - awesome scenic views and short walk
• Haast information centre- lots of information and free museum, good for a leg stretch
• Blue pools walk to swingbridge (30 mins easy return walk) just outside of Makarora
• Puzzling world (in Wanaka)

22 / 23 / 24. Wanaka (via Arrowtown) to QUEENSTOWN (Top 10 Holiday park - 3 nights)
• keep an eye out for roadside fruit stalls
• Cromwell - Goldfields mining centre (guided tour for $25 recommended, also pan for gold)
• Arrowtown - Lakes District Museum & Art Gallery $8 entry
• The Arrowtown Jade & Opal factory
• Shotover jet
• Kea 6 line ziptrek
• Skyline Gondola and luge
• TSS Earnshaw cruise / Walter Peak farm & BBQ lunch
• Kiwi Birdlife Park (or should we wait and do this in Dunedin or Christchurch?)
• Queenstown Ice Arena?

25 / 26 drive to Te Anau in afternoon (Top 10 holiday park - 2 nights)
• Milford Sound drive, Cruise
• Te Anau glowworm caves

Is there a way we could fit in Doubtful Sound here as well?

27 / 28. Te Anau to Dunedin
• Cadbury world
• Baldwin Street (Steepest street in the world)
• Larnach Castle
• Portobello Peninsula
• Otago Peninsula scenic driving - Penguin place (blue penguins)
• Royal Albatross Centre
• Orokunui Eco Centre - bird sanctuary
• Wildlife tours (penguins, fur seals, Hookers sea lions, albatross)????

29. Dunedin to Omarama or Mt Cook in the afternoon (maybe Omarama Top 10 holiday park) IS THIS NECESSARY?

30 / 31/ 1. Omarama to Mt Cook / Lake Tekapo / to Christchurch (3 nights - maybe Top 10)
• Mt Cook (Lake Pukaka)
• Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre (At Hermitage Hotel) $20
• Lake Tekapo - Best view from Mt John University Observatory
• Church of the Good Shepherd
Christchurch (haven't researched this much yet - can I cut a day out here for elsewhere?)
• Bus tour explaining earthquakes etc (11am and 1pm daily)
• Quake City (Earthquake museum) need at least 2hrs
• International Antarctic Centre
• Akaroa??

2 Flight to Brisbane @ 2pm

I appreciate any suggestions! Thanks in advance!

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