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    by mkataoka Fodor's Editor | Posted on Nov 28, 16 at 01:31 PM
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New Zealand S. Island - 17 day self-drive itinerary

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Hello! My husband and I are spending 17 days, 16 nights on the South Island of New Zealand in October for our honeymoon. We fly in and out of Queenstown from Los Angeles and will be renting a sedan and doing a mix of camping and inexpensive airbnb while there.

We are in our mid thirties, active, and love nature, sightseeing and prefer those over cities/museums. Would very much appreciate feedback on whether this itinerary is doable, and suggestions on how to amend (too much time or too little time in certain places). We have 2 days not scheduled, so if there is anything we are missing, please let us know! I would like to see some wildlife (whales/penguins), but not sure the Kaikoura or elsewhere is better. Thank you in advance!

Oct 5- 22
5 – Land Queenstown, explore, rest and adjust to time zone, stay in Queenstown
6 – Land Queenstown, explore, drive to Glenorchy and back, rest and adjust to time zone, stay in Queenstown
7 – Queenstown to Wanaka (1.5 hr+) Drive along the Haast Pass and walk up to the beautiful Blue Pools. Visit Rob Roy Glacier or Lake Wanaka?, stay night in Wanaka
8 – Drive – Wanaka to FJ Glacier (4 hrs), stay near FJ glacier- Recommendation?
9 – Hike to FJ glacier in AM, Mount Cook or Fox Glacier, stay near FJ glacier-Recommendation?
10 Franz Joseph Glacier to Punakaiki (3 hrs), stay Punakaika
11 – Drive to Abel Tasman (4 hrs), camp in park
12 – Kayak and explore Abel Tasman, camp in park
13 – Drive to Nelson (1 hr) in AM, beach in the afternoon, rest in Nelson
14 – Nelson to to Hanmer Springs or Kaikoura
15 – Drive to Lake Tekapo (5 hrs from Kaikoura, 4 hrs from Hamner Springs), stay in Lake Tekapo (stargaze, camp)
16 – Lake Tekapo to Queenstown or Arrowtown
17 – Queenstown/Arrowtown to Te Anau, stay in Te Anau overnight
18 – Do Milford Sound cruise + kayak, stop at Key Summit on Roteburn trail, stay in Te Anau overnight
19 – drive from Te anau. Stop in Queenstown
20 + 21 free days?
22 Queenstown or southern coast (20-21), if time

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