We are going to NZ in November and I am having trouble planning the most efficient, adventurous and relaxing 17 night honeymoon trip to both islands. I'm trying to avoid daily check in and out of hotels except when necessary. Also I'm open to flying when needed or going on a bus (in place of us driving) and I'm also trying to avoid very long drives. Here's what Im thinking:
Day 1: Arrive in Auckland
Day 2: Rent car, drive to Waitomo Caves in the am, then head to Rotura in the afternoon
Day 3: Rotura
Day 4: Drive to Napier early am
Day 5: Napier - wine tour
Day 6: Catch a flight early am to Nelson
Day 7: Nelson - go to Abel Tasman for the day
Day 8: Blenheim
Day 9: Kaikoura early am for full day, then drive to Christchurch in the evening
Day 10: Take 8 AM TranzAlpine train from Christchurch to Greymouth, then rent a car to continue to Franz Josef
Day 11: Franz Josef or Fox Glacier ? surrounding area (suggestions welcome)
Day 12: drive to Wanaka, spend day there (suggestions welcome on what to do)
Day 13: Wanaka, Drive to Queenstown mid day
Day 14: Milford Sound bus departing early am, overnight cruise around the Sounds
Day 15: Helicopter back from Milford to Queenstown arriving at 1130 am
Day 16: Queenstown
Day 17: Queenstown
Day 18: Fly to Auckland early am, catch 7 pm flight back to USA
My issues are days 4-9 - Napier-Nelson-Blenheim-Kaikoura. Is one night enough in Blenheim ( I LOVE LOVE Sav Blanc). But it seems there isn't much to do in Blenheim, or is there? Should I cut out Napier and replace those days with the South island? Perhaps use those days in Blenheim, Picton, etc? Or elsewhere? Or cutting Napier and adding 1 extra day in Blenheim and one extra day in Queenstown.
Please help! Thank you!
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