I'm planning a trip to the South Island NZ at the beginning of October. I have 3 itineraries that I'm playing around with and just can't decide which one. My husband and I have a total of 6 days to spend in the South Island, flying out on the morning of the 7th. We'll be flying in from Auckland from Australia. We like some active activities, i.e kayaking, but also enjoy the scenery.
Question about 1st itinerary: Is it too rushed from Milford Sound up through the west coast, or is it doable with time to actually get out and do some short hikes on the west coast:
The first itinerary:
1. Fly to Christchurch-arrive at 7:40am and drive to Akaroa. Kayak and do the penguin tour at night. Stay in Akaroa
2. Drive to Dunedin and do Elm Wildlife Tour from 3-8pm; stay in Dunedin
3. Drive to Te'Anau (either straight over or through Catlin Coast)-stay in Te'Anau
4. Milford Sound Cruise at 8:55, then drive to Wanaka with a stop in Queenstown
5. See Haast and drive to Fox Glacier and through to Hokitita
6. Drive from Hokitita to Westport to Nelson
7. Fly out from Nelson
The second itinerary is similar, but done in reverse and adds an extra day to the west coast, which cuts off Akaroa at the end.
The third itineray is the same as the first one through the Milford Sound Cruise, then instead of driving to Wanaka, we would drive to Queenstown and overnight there. On Day 5, we would drive to Mt. Cook and hike and then to Lake Tekapu. On Day 6, we would drive back to Christchurch and fly from Christchurch.
Any thoughts/suggestions would be helpful.
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West Coast New Zealand vs time for activities, i.e kayaking in Akaroa