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South Island Final Itinerary (mostly)

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The time is rapidly approaching! We arrive in Queenstown on May 21st and leave from Christchurch June 2nd.

Here's our (mostly) final itinerary. As you all know, we don't mind moving around and not spending lots of nights in one spot. We did finally realize we don't have enough time to get to the north part of the South Island. :-)

2 nights Queenstown - we'll spend the first day walking around town and trying to stay awake. The next day we plan to do the Dart River Safari in the morning and maybe a bit more walking up around the Glenorchy/Paradise area.

1 night Milford Sound Lodge - we signed up for their Bed and Boat package. On the way, we plan to hike the Key Summit Track. I realize there isn't much to do at Milford Sound at night, but I figure we'll still be getting over a bit of jetlag, plus we'll be tired from the hike.

1 night Te Anau - after our morning cruise and a look in the Milford Sound Discovery Centre, we'll head to Te Anau in the early afternoon.

2 nights Wanaka - we hope to visit a couple of wineries on the way, probably Mt. Difficulty for one. Is there anything like a central wine store in Cromwell that offers tastings?

We'd like to get into Mt. Aspiring National Park on our full day, hopefully do the Rob Roy Glacier walk. If the weather's really bad, we'll stay in town and see things there.

1 night Franz Josef Glacier - we're allowing most of the day for this drive.

1 night Hokitika (or maybe Greymouth) - we want to do a heli-hike at Franz Josef in the morning. If that isn't possible due to weather, we plan to drive up to Hokitika and poke around town.

Mr. Pickle is sort of interested in visiting Shantytown in Greymouth. I haven't had a chance to research much - is it worth the time?

1 night at maybe Springfield or Sheffield - we'll drive through Arthur's Pass, stop and look around up there, then either spend the night at the YHA hostel in Springfield or drive on to Sheffield for the night. Does anyone think one town is better than the other?

At this point, we are going to drive to Hakatere Conservation Park in Canterbury. http://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/places-to-go/canterbury/places/hakatere-conservation-park/ Mr. Pickle decided it would be cool to walk up Mt. Sunday, the location of Edoras in the Lord of the Rings films, and since I'm a major LotR geek, I'm all for it! :-D

I'm not sure where we should spend the nights of May 30th (the day we visit Mt. Sunday) and 31st. We don't think we have time to go much farther south, so we're considering Akaroa, then heading to Christchurch the night of June 1st. Our flight leaves in the evening, so we'll have a good chunk of June 2nd to spend in the city. Any help here would be appreciated.

I'd love suggestions for restaurants (budgeting approximately $20-25 for a main per person), coffee places, fun shops, etc.

Thanks so much for your help, everyone!

Lee Ann

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