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NZ itinerary - including North Island? Suggestions please.....

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Will be in New Zealand around December 17. Trying to decide whether to include a few days on North Island or not. If we do so, here is tentative itinerary:

Day 1 Arrive AKL late afternoon (after flight from US to SYD, SYD to AKL - whew!!)
Day 2 Adjust to jet lag in AKL area
Day 3 Taupo via Wairere Falls
Day 4 Taupo to Tongariro
Day 5 Tongariro to Wellington
Day 6 Wellington to Abel Tasman via ferry
Day 7 Abel Tasman
Day 8 Abel Tasman
Day 9 Abel Tasman to Kaikoura
Day 10 Kaikoura to Hokitika via Arthur's Pass
Day 11 Hokitika/Punakaiki Rocks
Day 12 Hokitia to Queenstown via Franz Joseph
Day 13 Queenstown
Day 14 Queenstown
Day 15 Te Anau/Milford Sound
Day 16 Te Anau to Curio Bay
Day 17 Curio Bay
Day 18 Curio Bay to Lake Tekapo
Day 19 Lake Tekapo to Christchurch
Day 20 Depart Christchurch to Sydney
Day 21 Sydney
Day 22 Depart Sydney to US

The other option is to arrive in Christchurch, skip North Island and adjust schedule to possibly include a couple days in the Marlborough Sounds.

Too many wonderful sights to from which to choose. Appreciate your recommendations.

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