10 Night South Island Itinerary Suggestions Please

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Dec 1st, 2017, 09:28 AM
  #1
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10 Night South Island Itinerary Suggestions Please

Aloha! We leave Hawaii April 27, 2018. Arrive Wellington on the 28th, two nights there and then the ferry to Picton on April 30 arriving early afternoon and pick up rental car. Flying back to Wellington from Nelson on May 10 and then back to HNL. I realize we don't have enough time to see it all this trip, and since this is our honeymoon, we want to relax some and don't want a lot of one night stays, do want a night or two in Greymouth to do the glowworm cave excursion. We like to hike (not all day hikes)Thanks for all your help and suggestions.
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Dec 1st, 2017, 10:51 AM
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"I realize we don't have enough time to see it all this trip". Best just to focus on the top of the South Island then. It's bigger than it looks, driving will take longer than you think and because of the geography actual roads are limited. With some routes there is only one road to take.
You could do a nice relaxed loop of the top South:
Kaikoura 1 night
Christchurch 2 nights
over Arthur's Pass to Greymouth
Greymouth 3/4 nights. This may seem a long stay but use it as a base. It seems a shame to be on the West Coast and not visit Fox or Franz Josef Glaciers so do a day trip if you are interested.
Nelson 3 nights.
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Dec 1st, 2017, 12:49 PM
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No I disagree concentrate on the bottom of the South Island, just because it will be a different type of scenery than what you are seeing in Hawaii. Milford Sound, Te Anau, Queenstown, Wanaka, the Glaciers etc. I agree though that 10 days is not a lot of time to do that.
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Dec 1st, 2017, 12:52 PM
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One alternative would be to fly to Queenstown first, pick up your car from there, do Queenstown, Milford etc, then drive back up the West Coast, see the glaciers, Lake Mathesion, Greymouth, end up in Nelson, then drive to Picton and take the ferry to Wellington, fly home.
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Dec 1st, 2017, 11:04 PM
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We already booked our ferry trip, 50% cancellation fee, $332.00 for two to fly to Queenstown. Don't want to spend any more money on travel other than lodging. Then it turns out Andrew has a cousin in Timaru we have to visit.I think we'll go Picton-Westport for a night, 2 in Greymouth and do things around there, two in Fox Glacier area then two in Wanaka/Queenstown then up to Timaru for a night, then one night somewhere on the way back to Nelson, 1 night in Nelson and then home. We'll do the things we missed on the next trip. Thanks for your help.
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Jan 8th, 2018, 11:44 PM
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ok, this is what it's looking like. We decided we can't pass up Milford Sound/Queenstown so we will be flying back from there.
2 nights Wellington
Ferry to Picton
1 night Murchison
2 nights Greymouth with glow worm cave rafting
2 nights Franz Josef-unsure about doing the heli/glacier tour-don't want to buy 4 layers of wool clothes and quick dry pants that we wont ever wear again, but it's still an option
1 night Queenstown
1 night Milford sound cruise
1 night Queenstown
2 nights Nelson or somewhere in Golden Bay
Fly Nelson to WLG/Aukland/Honolulu/Hilo
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Jan 9th, 2018, 05:52 AM
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We took the helihike years ago and didn't buy any special clothing. The tour operator offered coats (which we already had) and boots with crampons.

It's NZ, it doesn't get that cold...and you're going in April!

Looks like despite your best efforts, you have quite a lot of one night stays.

I assume, and I hope you are flying from QT to Nelson?

Do be aware that Nelson to Golden Bay is at least a two hour drive over very windy Takaka Hill (aka Marble Mountain). Is there a specific reason you want to see Golden Bay (instead of just exploring the area closer to Nelson, as in Abel Tasman, Kaiteriteri and all the pretty spots in between?). Less driving.

I realize I'm late to the party here, but with the above itinerary, you will be spending the bulk of your time in the car.

What happened to Timaru? I thought there was a cousin there?
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Jan 9th, 2018, 07:39 AM
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Thanks for the info on the clothes. Only one, 1 night stay, in Murchison. Then drive to next place for two days. Yes, flying from QT to Nelson. Cousin never responded to emails. There's something in Golden Bay Andrew wants to visit, if not, we'll hang around Nelson.
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Jan 9th, 2018, 01:22 PM
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That sounds like a better plan Mat.
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Jan 9th, 2018, 01:59 PM
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I'd assumed Milford was an overnight??? What am I missing? Do you mean three nights in QT with a day trip to Milford? That's certainly not clear from your post above.

1 night Murchison
1 night Queenstown
1 night Milford sound cruise
1 night Queenstown
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Jan 9th, 2018, 04:52 PM
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yes, 3 nights in Queenstown with a night on a Milford Sound boat. Sorry for the confusion Mel. Bus will take us to MS and back.
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Jan 9th, 2018, 04:53 PM
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the night on the boat is in the middle of the Queenstown three night stay.
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Jan 10th, 2018, 05:59 AM
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I assume you'll have a car? If so, might I suggest you drive yourself to Milford?

More flexibility, no herd. So much to see and do on this drive that you can't do on the bus. You'll not have the commentary, but that's no great loss IMO.
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May 10th, 2018, 01:57 AM
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DH and I had lunch with Mat and Andrew today. They have had a great trip around the South Island, however it has been very stressful as the day they left the Big Island the volcano started erupting, and their house is only 1/2 a block from one of the fissures. They arrive home tomorrow, hoping with all my heart their place is still standing.
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