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10 day self-drive itinerary

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Nov 1st, 2016, 12:09 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Oct 2016
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10 day self-drive itinerary

Dear Fodorians,

My husband and I are first-timers in New Zealand this December 2016, would like some advice on a good itinerary for 10 days self-drive, starting and ending in Christchurch.

We're looking to do Christchurch (2 days max), Te Anau, Dunedin?, Milford Sound, 2-3 wineries, maybe Fox Glacier.
We won't mind 1 golf course (half day), and aren't adrenaline junkies.so won't be bungy jumping. But light hiking and trekking is good. Mostly interested in scenic routes/wildlife/wine/culture.

Thank you for any tips and we look forward to visiting beautiful NZ!

Lea & Oli
LeeLeeToo is offline  
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Nov 1st, 2016, 09:41 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,693
With 10 days it's possible to make a loop from Christchurch-Christchurch, but it's a lot of driving. Distances in NZ are greater than they appear on a map, and you will need to decide what your priorities are and how much driving you're willing to do in a day.

Because you want to go as far south as Dunedin, I suggest you consider a one way route instead, flying back to Christchurch from Dunedin or Queenstown. This will give you more time to see the places you've driven to and will significantly reduce your time in the car.

Essentially there are two main routes from Christchurch that will
lead you south, the inland route and the West Coast route.

The inland route includes Mt Cook, the West Coast route includes Arthur's Pass and the glaciers. The West Coast route is longer.

To do both, in a figure 8 type loop, will mean spending a lot of time in the car and less time in the places you want to visit.

An example of the inland route: Christchurch-Lake Tekapo/Mt Cook - Wanaka - Te Anau - Milford - Queenstown OR Christchurch-Lake Tekapo/Mt Cook-Wanaka, Te Anau - Milford - Te Anau- Dunedin.

An example of the West Coast route: Christchurch-Arthur's Pass-Greymouth-Franz/Fox Glaciers-Wanaka-Te Anau-Milford-Quenstown.

You'll find wineries around Christchurch, Cromwell, Wanaka, and Queenstown amongst others. Cromwell-Arrowtown-Wanaka-Queenstown areas are know for their Pinot Noir.

No shortage of golf courses - options around Christchurh, Arrowtown (25 minutes from Queenstown), Wanaka and Queenstown.
Melnq8 is offline  
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Nov 1st, 2016, 01:42 PM
  #3
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 572
This is only 4 weeks away. Can you get the flights you want and have you looked at booking the rental car and accommodation?
From 26 December all of NZ are on their annual holidays so it gets very busy. There will be accommodation in the less touristy places but it might be where you want to stay.
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