Hi fellow NZ travelers,
I have done a lot of research on our November 2016 trip to the South Island. I've used the driving distance calculator and advice from this forum as well as other sources. Now I am ready to fine-tune it some more with your help. Please see the itinerary further below.
We like to hike, we like the alpine and lake topography. We added Abel Tasman because of the beauty of the coast and the kayaking opportunities. Plus we want to see another micro climate on the island. All of the activities we plan to do will be hikes/walks, horseback ride, kayaking. We want to get to know the South Island and not race through it (tough not to do in 14 days).
We were hoping to do 14 days but that's tricky given all we want to see.
Is this itinerary too quick and ambitious? (we're trying to avoid one night in one town situations)
Is any of it redundant in terms of what we'll see?
Would you spend less or more time anywhere?
We're 3 nights in Mt Cook because we want to star gaze at the planetarium and with their guide. Three nights gives us insurance for a clear sky at least one night (we hope!). I'm thinking we should scale this back to 2 nights.
Thank you in advance for looking through it and providing feedback!
We'll be coming from several days in Australia. We arrive in Christchurch late evening.
Day 1 Christchurch [Do 1/2 day and drive to Mt Cook in the afternoon] (overnight at Mt Cook)
Day 2 Mt Cook; Edmund Hillary Center; stargazing; (overnight at Mt Cook)
Day 3 Mt Cook: Guided 1/2 day hike; Terminus Lake hike; stargazing (overnight at Mt Cook)
Day 4 Queenstown, Gibbston? (overnight in Queenstown)
Day 5 Glenorchy for the day, horseback riding 1/2 day; (overnight in Queenstown)
Day 6 Daytrip to Milford Sound with Real Journeys; (overnight in Queenstown)
Day 7 Routeburn Track hike with Ultimate Journeys
Day 8 Routeburn Track
Day 9 Routeburn Track; (overnight in Wanaka)
Day 10 Wanaka, Arrowtown? (overnight in Wanaka)
Day 11 Drive via Haast to Franz Josef Glacier (overnight near Franz Josef Glacier)
Day 12 Franz Josef Glacier visit; drive to Okarito, Hokitika, Punakaiki, (Overnight in Punakaiki)
Day 13 Drive Punakaiki to Kaiteriteri (Abel Tasman National Park); 1/2 day kayak Kaiteriteri; (overnight in Kaiteriteri)
Day 14 Abel Tasman N.P. full day hike; (overnight in Kaiteriteri)
Day 15 spend another day in Abel Tasman? Or go to Charlotte Sound instead?
Day 16 Blenheim, 1/2 day wine tour in the PM (overnight in Blenheim)
Day 17 Drive to Christchurch via Kaikoura . Late afternoon flight to Sydney, Australia
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