10 Nights in South Island

Jun 22nd, 2004, 10:35 AM
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10 Nights in South Island

I'll make this easy with multiple choice as to how I should spend 10 days on the south island.

1 - Move quickly, and do the whole loop starting in CC, down to Dunedin, across to Milford, back to Queens, up to Franz J, and up to Nelson and leave
2 - Shorten it by skipping Dunedin and going from CC to Queens, then up to Franz and Nelson and leave
3 - Flip it, skipping Duneding again and go north from CC to to wine country, then down to Franz J and end up a few days in Queenstown including Milford trip.
4 - I'm an idiot, there's another better choice.

metrofan is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2004, 11:05 AM
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Dunedin is certainly a nice area, but I would skip it to allow more time elsewhere. It does not make sense to try to go down to Dunedin and up to Nelson in only 10 days.
ALF is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2004, 11:54 AM
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On our last campervan trip, we spent 6 weeks in both the north & south island. To me personally, the south island is the most spectacular of the two islands, and worthy of more time. You do not mention any interests, eg. fishing, general sightseeing, etc. as you interests would impact upon what places to visit. My favourite places would have to be.....Lake Tekapo, Lake Hawea, and Wanaka, then Queenstown & Remarkables, Skippers Gorge, then down to Stewart Island, Lake Tenanu & Milford Sound (a must...have you thought about the Milford Walking Track). Then up the west coast, you have Franz Joseph Glacier, then I would cut back into the centre of island enroute to the Marlborough region, some nice quite fishing lakes. Also there are scenic passes through the centre of the south island, eg. Haast Pass, Arthurs Pass, and Lewis Pass, from memory. However, I think the answer to your question, really comes back, "What are your interests?"
tropo is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2004, 12:15 PM
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Good question - I should have invested more time in my orginal post. We will be there on our honeymoon. We are spending four nights on the north island at some luxury resorts and want to be more active when we head south. After that we are spending three nights in Sydney and heading home to manhattan. We would like to do lots of hiking and tramping. We don't fish. We are big lovers of food and wine adn that will color the whole trip. We are scenery lovers and will take lots of photographs. And we would like to catch as much wildlife as possible. other than that, relaxing and eating and rest rest rest.
metrofan is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2004, 01:48 PM
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We enjoyed sea kayaking and hiking in Abel Tasman. Stayed in Motuka and found 2 nice restaurants. Visited the wineries where there are nice restaurants as well. Enjoyed the yellow eyed penguins in Dunedin (quite rare). The boat trip on Doubtful Sound was long so you might want to do the Milford Sound trip and do the Rotoburn track on your way to Milford, just gorgeous. There are lots of tracks out of TeAnu. Don't forget the Pancake Rocks, veryunusual site. Good Luck. Alana
alana is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2004, 02:27 PM
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What time of year do you plan to visit?

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2004, 06:51 AM
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We'll be there Nov 7 thru 24.
metrofan is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2004, 02:13 PM
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metrofan, if you like bushwalking (as we say in Australia), you will certainly like the Sth Island of NZ. Once you arrive you can get brochures from National Park people, or tourist information centres. If you love scenery, then stick to road through the centre of the south, after heading south from Christchurch, thats where you will get see the beautiful lakes, and more so Mt.Cook. Stay at Mt.Cook Chalet, and do the mountain walks they have, just bloody beautiful.
Milford Track is great, but you need a few days for that one. Lots of walks around Lake Tenau, Make sure you go on the Milford Sound Cruise. As for wineries & food, head for the Marlborough region, up near Picton. Their Sauvignon Blancs are the best in the world, try them with NZ's seafood.
tropo is offline  
Jun 25th, 2004, 12:04 PM
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We did 8 days driving around the South Island for our honeymoon. We decided to skip Dunedin and do a loop from Queenstown to Milford, up the west coast and then cut across to CC. With 8 days we didn't have enough time to see everything we wanted to see. Here was our itinerary to give you an idea:

Day 1- Fly into Queenstown

Day 2- Queenstown- We did a lot of adventure sports while we were here.

Day 3- Drive to Milford Sound, did the sound cruise, then drove up to Wanaka. The drive through the park to get to the sound is spectacular, the most amazing scenery I have ever seen.

Day 4- Left Wanaka and drove through Franz Joseph, stopped and hiked to the base of Fox Glacier. Spent the night in Hokitika. The drive through Franz Joseph is also breathtaking.

Day 5- Hokitika to Christ Church via Arthurs Pass.

Day 6- Christchurch, we had planned to drive to the Marlborough this day but had too much fun the night before to consider doing wine tours. CC was the first sign of night life we had seen since Qtown.

Day 7- CC to Lake Tekapo. We had been planning to drive to Mt Cook but decided to stay at the lake and fish. The lake has amazing crystal blue water. We had nice views of Mt Cook on the drive. We tried to get a room at a hotel that was filled and were refered to a friend of the hotel manager who rented us an entire house on the lake for $60!

Day 8- Tekapo to Queenstown. We hit a bunch of wineries in the Central Otago region on the way to Qtown. It was a lot of fun and the last winery we visited was conveniently located next to the AJ Hacket bungy site. The wine definitely helped make the decision to do it. We spent the night in Qtown and flew out the next day.

We didn't feel rushed but at the same time we didn't get to do as much hiking and exploration as we would like to have done. We planned our itinerary day to day and just drove into towns and got hotels. It worked out pretty well. Also, you may want to bring some CD's or buy some in CC. A lot of areas do not have radio reception. We bought 5 or 6 while we were there. Hope this helps.
raceloughren is offline  
Jun 25th, 2004, 01:33 PM
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We went to Oamaru last December and saw both blue penguins and yellow eyed penguins, we really enjoyed this part of the trip.
We did the overnight cruise on Doubtful Sound and saw some dolphins, the cruise was good, but unfortunately it rained all the time so it was not really a highlight of our holiday as it should probably have been.
The scenery around Wanaka and Queenstown (we did the Dart river safari) was really good, we really enjoyed swimming with seals and walking in Abel Tasman.
We actually loved everything we did and saw in New Zealand!
MietteMeg is offline  
Jul 6th, 2004, 06:59 AM
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can't thank y'all enough!
metrofan is offline  
Jul 30th, 2004, 12:53 PM
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Here's what we've settled on for the honeymoon. We've decided on a few extra days in Queenstown for more activities, though we dunno if we should do Wanaka.

Nights in:
Franz Josef
metrofan is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2004, 06:25 PM
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My husband and I spent 8 days in NZ for our honeymoon 2 months ago. Great choice!

I like your idea of spending a few extra days in Queenstown, so much to do in and around there (the drive to Glenorchy and past on Paradise Road was a BLAST! and the hike / tramp at the end (at the Dart River) was awesome though we only hiked through a portion of it as it was really icy).

I also agree with your idea to skip Mount Cook (we didn't much care for it). We did stay one night in Wanaka. There's lots of good hiking around there and it's a good place to relax and get prepared for the adventures in Queenstown!

I would probably suggest not overnighting in Greymouth but I really don't know if it's feasible to drive from Nelson to Franz Josef. There's more to do in Franz then Greymouth.

The one regret I have is not going to Doubtful or Milford Sound. We really didn't have the time but it really seems amazing and it would probably be tough for you to fit in as well.

Best of Luck to you! Have fun & Congrats!
Canadian_Traveler is offline  
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