10 days on the South Island

Jan 1st, 2006, 08:47 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 29
10 days on the South Island

I have 10 days to spend on the south island in February. I would love some advice on "must see" spots. I will be renting a car however I do not want to be staying in a different place every night. I am interested in areas where I can got to a B&B for 2 or 3 nights at a time and do day trips from there.
Am not looking for a detailed itinerary however would very much appreciate some general advice.
many thanks and happy new year,
Colle is offline  
Jan 1st, 2006, 10:25 AM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 468
Well you have to go down to Queenstown/Te Anau/Anaka region. Day trips include Milford Sound and heaps of other little towns.

I also recommend driving SH8 past Lake Tekapo, Lindis Pass, Lake Pukaki (the glacier lakes). The only place to stay on the way is probably Twizel or Lake Tekapo but you wouldn't want to be there that long (unless you are fishing or water sporting).

Some visitors like to go up the East coast (drive Haast Pass) to see the glaciers. Depends on where you are from. The west coast is beautiful but it does rain there and you'd tend to spend only 1 night in a place.

Otherwise wineries around the north of the south island.

Guess it depends on what you like to see.
wilees is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2006, 06:27 AM
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Posts: 5,546
wilees - "Some visitors like to go up the East coast (drive Haast Pass) to see the glaciers." Did you mean the West coast?
Jed is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2006, 07:25 AM
Join Date: Jul 2004
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yup west coast. that's what i meant. My husband grew up in Greymouth so I do know that. honest. i'm just a bit spacially challenged.
wilees is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2006, 07:30 AM
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I'd plan on spending 2-3 nights each in Queenstown and Te Anau, using the rest elsewhere, maybe the West Coast and Dunedin.

Spent a week on the SI in July 2004. This was our 2nd trip there. Spent one night in Christchurch (Chch), one night in Twizel (from there took the spectacular road along Lake Pukaki to Mt Cook for an afternoon), three nights in Te Anau (did the magnificent drive to Milford and back one day, the glow worm cruise on the other), one night in Queenstown for bungy jumping and the Shotover Jet boat ride, then one night in Chch at the end. All in all, we wished we'd had more time for the trip, and it would have been nice to have at least one more night in Queenstown as there is so much there to see and do.
RalphR is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2006, 09:21 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Are you flying into Christchurch or Queenstown?

In my opinion -

CC - worth 2 nights
QT - 3 nights
Dunedin 2-3 nights (city, Otago, Catlins)
Overnight cruise either Doubtful or Milford sound
Wilderness Lodge Lake Moerecki 2 nights
Te Anau - 1 night at most
Jed is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2006, 08:12 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,119
OK, one night in Te Anau may be enough if you do an overnight cruise on one of the sounds, but otherwise 2-3 nights is good if you want to avoid a late drive back to Queenstown, Dunedin or whereever after a day of sightseeing.
RalphR is offline  
Jan 4th, 2006, 04:43 PM
Join Date: May 2003
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10 nights? Up to 3 nights in each spot? How about -
3 nights Christchurch including 1 all-day trip to Akaroa
2 nights Dunedin including half a day around the Otago Peninsula
3 nights Queenstown, broken to include 1 additional night at Te Anau to go on Doubtful Sound/Manapouri day tour.
1 night Wanaka or Twizel or Tekapo on way back to Christchurch via lakes route OR...
1 night Hokitika on way back to Christchurch via West Coast.

twoflower is offline  
Jan 30th, 2006, 12:34 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 243
After considering every possible itinerary, here's what we finally ended up with:
arrive Christchurch, drive to Dunedin
stay 2 nights
Drive to Te Anau, glowworm caves Day 3
Day 4 DRive to Milford, over night cruise with Real Journeys
Day 5,6,7 Queenstown
Day 8 Lake Tekapo
Day 9,10 Christchurch (day trip Akaroa)
Day 11 depart
We are not avid hikers and could not justify the time required to drive by the glaciers. Depends what you like to do.
RichardJ is offline  
Jan 31st, 2006, 07:15 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,546
Looks good to me.

A suggestion - make your reservation for the TA glowworms ASAP. We were the last to get on the afternoon trip.
Jed is offline  
Jan 31st, 2006, 11:32 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 243
When I emailed Real Journeys on Jan 3 to book the Doubtful Sound trip for Nov 2, I was told they are fully booked. I was stunned. A tour group bought out the boat. So I had to switch to the overnight on Milford Sound and made our Glowworm Tour reservation at the same time. I felt rather silly asking to reserve 10 months in advance, but I am glad I did.
RichardJ is offline  
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