12-14 days South Island New Zealand itinerary

Old Sep 20th, 2012, 04:50 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
12-14 days South Island New Zealand itinerary

Hi, I need some help planning a tour in the south island of nz this coming november. I will be traveling with my folks! We would like to avoid the cities and concentrate more on a scenic holiday. We will be renting a car and these are the places I must have in the itinerary:

Landing in Christchurch ( how many days should I spend in this place? I have read that people are suggesting staying out of this place hmm ? )

Drive to Lake Tekapo (Mt Cook?)

Drive Wanaka

1. Will 1 day be enough at each of this places?

Then of course to Queenstown, I would like to try out water rafting, I assume this would be the right place to do it.

2. Should I add in Te Anau?

En route to Franz Josef Glacier. Seems like a long drive if I have to put Te Anau in.

Lastly I guess it would be Greymouth/Hotitika and then a train ride back.

So that's roughly what I have got now.
I would like to know how many days I should spend at each town, my folks and I usually cover our venues quite eagerly.
Wonder if anyone has anywhere better I should add in?

Tannyw is offline  
Old Sep 20th, 2012, 05:25 AM
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 193
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
This is probably just about do-able, although the South Island is massive.

Why have you been advised to stay away from CC? Is it because of earthquake risk? If not, then I would say spend 2 nights here. It's a nice relaxing city.

I would try spend 4-5 days in the Wanaka & Queenstown area as, for me, it is the highlight of any trip to NZ.

Te Anau is only worthwhile if you are visting Milford Sound, otherwise it's just a bog standard village.

Why Greymouth/Hokitika? Again, there is nothing special here IMO. I would much more recommend Kaikoura or Stewart Island or even the Otago Peninsula outside Dunedin.

In just under 2 weeks you shouldn't try to see the whole south island - I would do a loop from CC to Wanaka/Queenstown, then Milford Sound if you think you'd be interested and then back to CC via the Catlins and Dunedin/Otago Peninsula.
pgriffin is offline  
Old Sep 20th, 2012, 01:54 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,168
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I respectfully disagree with pgriffin about Te Anau. It's hiking nirvana. If you don't like hiking, well there you go.

Many people plan a stopover in Hokitika as it's a convenient choice. It's known for it's greenstone (jade). Hokitika Gorge is well worth the detour if you have time.

Whether or not you find Christchurch worthwhile really depends on your particular interests. It's very much a city, so if cities aren't your thing... It's a city recovering from a massive earthquake and loss. There's a shortage of accommodation as a result, so you'll need to book well in advance. Many of the major tourist attractions are gone, some forever, but it's definitely a city desperately trying to recover. Walking the perimeter of the Red Zone is an unforgettable experience and the New Start Cashel Mall demonstrates the resilience of the residents.

One day in each location would never be enough for me, but we all have our own traveling style.

The usual 'must see's' for first time visitors to the South Island generally include Arthur's Pass (either by train or car), the West Coast (glaciers), Queenstown, Te Anau/Milford and/or Doubtful Sound, Lake Tekapo and Mt Cook (which are easy to combine as they're not very far from one another).

This distance calculator might help you in your planning:


Here's a map of potential white water rafting areas:

Melnq8 is offline  
Old Sep 22nd, 2012, 03:37 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 72
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
If you are a hiker, I agree the Te Anau is great but you can also do boat trips to see the fjords and also see the hydroelectric plant tour which is amazing. Queenstown and Wanaka are great. But no one mentioned going north, to Marlborough. Best wine country, fabulous hiking and glorious food, lovely towns. Skip Christchurch and get out asap!!

RSS is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
Australia & the Pacific
Jul 31st, 2017 10:34 AM
Australia & the Pacific
Mar 27th, 2008 09:37 AM
Australia & the Pacific
Oct 29th, 2007 05:47 PM
Australia & the Pacific
Jan 30th, 2005 07:56 PM
Australia & the Pacific
Jan 17th, 2003 03:25 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information