Australia & the Pacific Forums

Post New Topic

Recent Activity

View all Australia & the Pacific activity »
  1. 1 Perfecting my NZ Itinerary
  2. 2 Add Mt Cook or not.
  3. 3 Sydney Airport Transportation Suggestions
  4. 4 New Zealand- 4 days Auckland with 2 year old)
  5. 5 Trip Report Western Australia (Denmark and New Norcia)
  6. 6 Itinerary questions on dream holiday
  7. 7 Trip Report Gariwerd - The Grampians
  8. 8 Real estate question
  9. 9 Moonee Valley, Caulfield, or other track
  10. 10 Food to Try Out
  11. 11 Trip Report Whale Watching - Port Stephens NSW vs. Hervey Bay QLD
  12. 12 Queenstown-Mt Cook road
  13. 13 7 night NZ, south island for active couple
  14. 14 Wainui Falls
  15. 15 18 Days tentative NZ Itinerary help
  16. 16 Sydney Neighborhood for Nightlight and Sightseeing
  17. 17 Trip Report Come join me on Rapa Nui, or Easter Island...
  18. 18 More authentic experience of Maori culture
  19. 19 Day trips from Wellington
  20. 20 2-week NZ Itinerary Questions
  21. 21 Agrodome Farm Tour
  22. 22 Recommended length of time for mother to visit me in NZ?
  23. 23 Please help create an itinerary in NZ's SI
  24. 24 3 days on North Island, NZ
  25. 25 Australia Visit in Feb'18
View next 25 » Back to the top

Please help with New Zealand Itinerary - 12 days

Jump to last reply

Hello all,

My husband and I will be traveling from West Coast USA to NZ for the first time. We are in our 30s and mostly interested in the beautiful NZ scenery. A few details about the trip.
- Excluding travel days - we will have 12 full days in NZ.
- We will be traveling mid-March.
- We are flying in and out of Auckland.
- We plan on renting a car and driving
- We are ok with skipping - Fox/Franz Glacier tours/treks - done glacier trekking in Argentina and given all the other beautiful places to see we would like to skip them this time, Christchurch - more interested in Queenstown and Wellington, wildlife, Maori culture related shows - saw one in French Polynesia few years back - so ok with skipping it this time around.

I have reviewed a lot of itineraries on the forum and have been able to narrow down the places we want to visit. But we would really need a very efficient itinerary to accomplish all this. So I would really appreciate any help with optimization and advice on the following.
Here are the places we want to see.

Rotorua - mostly interested in geothermal activity
Abel Tasman National Park - want to spend a day hiking/kayaking
Pancake Rocks
Aoraki Mount Cook - want to spend 1 to 2 nights here to explore the area
Queenstown - want to spend 2-3 nights
Te Anau - Milford Sound - want to do a day trip with a afternoon cruise - trying to decide if one night in Te Anau will be enough.
Other areas of interest which I don't think we can fit in are - Bay of Islands and Tongariro National Park :(

Tentative Itinerary
Day 1 - arrive in AKL at 10:30 pm - go to sleep - preferably hotel close to airport
Day 2 - Drive to Rotorua (3 hours) - spend day exploring - drive to Taupo in evening (1 hr). Sleep in Taupo.
Day 3 - Drive to Wellington (4.5 hour). Spend whatever time is left exploring Wellington. Spend night in Wellington
Day 4 - Take InterIslander Ferry to Picton (3 hours). Drive to Nelson (2 hours). Spend day exploring Nelson - sleep in Nelson or Marahau (1 hour away)
Day 5 - Explore Abel Tasman National Park. Drive to Punakaiki (3.5 hours)
Day 6 - Explore Pancake rocks. (Drive close to Aoraki Mount Cook - to shorten the drive the next day - which town?)
Day 7 - Finish Drive to Aoraki Mount Cook (? hours) - need help - this drive seems too long to cover in a day from Punakaiki - any suggestions on breaking it up? Sleep in Mount Cook
Day 8 - Explore Mount Cook area - sleep in Mount Cook
Day 9 - Drive to Queenstown via Wanaka (3 hours). Explore Queenstown. Sleep in Queenstown
Day 10 - Explore Queenstown. Sleep in Queenstown or Drive to Te Anau and sleep in Te Anau?
Day 11 - Head to Milford Sound (2hours). Afternoon cruise - drive back to Queenstown.
Day 12 - Explore Queenstown. Afternoon take flight to Aukland.
Day 13 - Fly back home from AKL

Does it seem doable?
Would appreciate advice with Days 6 and 7 specifically with regards to drive from Pancake Rocks to Mount Cook.
We want to drive through the Arthur Pass - as have read it is very beautiful. Is it possible with this itinerary.
Should we substitute any of the above driving for a local flight? Was debating if we should take a flight from Rotorua to Wellington or Queenstown.

Thank you in advance!
Anu

17 Replies |Back to top

Sign in to comment.

Advertisement