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    by mkataoka Fodor's Editor | Posted on Nov 28, 16 at 01:31 PM
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Solo (mostly) coach trip - 45 days itinerary planning

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Hi all!

I'm from India and this is going to be my first trip solo, so I needed some thoughts on my itinerary. I'm planning to visit both islands in May and June because that's pretty much the only time I'm free this year. I've always wanted to go to NZ (Sorry, but like everybody else, LoTR got me hooked!)

I have deliberately avoided a guided tour because I don't want to rush through what has been my dream destination for over a decade now. So (gasp) I've pretty much planned this whole trip all by my lonesome and I needed some thoughts about if it's any good (who doesn't want validation?! ::wink wink:: ) or if it's a huge mistake and I should leave the planning to professionals! :)

Also, I'm going to be travelling by Intercity or Nakedbus from one destination to the next (except for a couple of places) so I do realize a bulk of my time will go in getting from one place to another. But I do not want to drive, and I don't mind watching the scenery from inside a coach.

I'd reach most of these places at late afternoon or evening, so the first day is mostly just settling in and resting. And, I'll be staying in hostels at all of these places.

So, here goes:

May 1 - arrive at Christchurch from Sydney (3 nights)

May 4 - Lake Tekapo (2 nights)

May 6 - Mt. Cook (2 nights) {considering 1 night at Tekapo and 3 nights at Mr. Cook. Works?}

May 8 - back to Christchurch for a night (1 night)

May 9 - Tranzalpine train to Hokitika (2 nights)

May 11 - Franz Josef (3 nights) {to see if it's possible to do a glacier heli-hike in case the weather does not co-operate on one of the days}

May 14 - Wanaka (4 nights) {Too much? Too little?}

May 18 - Queenstown (3 nights) {a day trip to Glenorchy while there}

May 21 - Te Anau (2 nights) {kayak Milford on 22nd}

May 23 - Coach to Dunedin reaching at noon. (1 night)

May 24 - Early morning flight from Dunedin to Nelson. Nelson (2 nights) {Abel Tasman walk and kayak on 25th}

May 26 - Coach to Picton. Interislander to Wellington. Wellington (3 nights) {there's a Super Rugby match on the 27th that I want to catch, if possible!}

May 29 - Northern Explorer train to National Park (2 nights) OR {do I just go on to Hamilton?}

May 31 - Hamilton (2 nights) {day trip or overnight at Coromandel? I haven't included it in, but if I skip National Park then maybe I can manage it. Also, Matamata and Waitomo from Hamilton. So, I'm still iffy about halting at National Park coz this leg is hectic!}

June 03 - Rotorua (4 nights)

June 07 - Taupo (2 nights)

June 09 - Auckland (4 nights) {All Blacks play Wales at Eden Park on June 11th, so I absolutely HAVE to be here during that time! I cannot go to NZ without watching a Rugby match!}

June 12 - Whangarei (3 nights) {Day trip to Cape Reinga ex-Paihia on one of the days. Maybe on the 14th?}

June 15 - back to Auckland for a night.

June 16 - Flight back home. Bye NZ! Thanks for the memories!

Thoughts?


tl;dr - Itinerary. Halp!

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