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First Time - Assistance with NZ- South

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Background:
Have friends who are retiring in 2017 and joining them for (their choice) a trans-Pacific cruise leaving Sydney and ending up in Honolulu with two stops in NZ (Picton and Wellington) plus three stops in French Polynesian islands. We decided to fly into Sydney pre-trip for 6 nights/five days. This is in mid April, 2017.

I started looking at air fares and of course thinking - "Go all this way and only have two days in New Zealand?!" So my wife and I are going to go a week early to NS South Island. Of course that's not enough time, but it's better than two days, right??

Both my wife and I will be 65 at the time, we enjoy moderate hikes (1/2 day), living in the mountains we enjoy mountain scenery, but we really miss water and enjoy beaches. (Some of our favorite places are the walks above the Atlantic in Portugal and on the Amalfi Coast on Footpaths of the Gods.)

With that background, here is what I currently have for our time on the South Island:
April 5 Wed Arrive Auckland, connect to Queenstown
Overnight at Intercontinental Hotel

April 6 Thu Explore Queenstown
Hike ??
Overnight at Intercontinental Hotel

April 7 Fri Bus/Cruise to Milford Sound
Overnight on Milford Sound (realjourneys.co.nz)

April 8 Sat Bus back to Queenstown, arrive 3:30 pm
Overnight at Intercontinental Hotel

April 9 Sun Check out of hotel
Pick up a rental car
Drive to Oamaru??
Overnight at ??

April 10 Mon Drive to Akaroa
Overnight at ??

April 11 Tue Day trip from Akaroa
???

April 12 Wed Check out of hotel
Drive to Christchurch, return rental car
5:00 pm Fly to Sydney

I'm pretty sure we want to do the overnight cruise to Milfors Sound. My question primarily is what should we do from April 9-12 when we leave Queenstown? I have us going up the east coast - but am wondering if that's the best option for a first time visitor?

Any suggestions are appreciated!

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