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South Island-Itinerary Advice

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We would like to visit South Island in February 2013. We would rather not have set reservations if possible and be able to flexible with our travel. Firstly, is this possible in February or will we have a hard time finding lodging. Our budget for lodging is somewhat open.
We want to be able to have enough time in each place and not too rushed. Is it better to focus on a few areas we were thinking, Milford & Doubtful Sound, Fox Glacier, Nelson and Abel Tasman. I would love to go to Kaikoura but I think it is going to be a big detour and I am concerned about the strong possibility of rough seas. Any suggestions on the best not to be missed day hikes would be appreciated. Are the trails always muddy as it does rain so much? My mom is thinking of coming and she is very concerned about the trails and the condition and difficulty. Any other thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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