13 days in New Zealand: Help with Itinerary

Aug 26th, 2019, 10:33 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 10
13 days in New Zealand: Help with Itinerary

Hi All,

My wife and i are travelling to NZ for a 13 day trip. Please advise if this itinerary seems fine or should we make some changes.

Nov 24 – Fly into Auckland by noon.
Nov 25 – Rent a car and drive to Rotorua or alternatively ferry to Waiheke island from Auckland?
Nov 26 – Rotorua
Nov 27 – Do a Hobbiton set tour from Rotorua.
Nov 28 – Fly from Rotorua to Christchurch. Rent a car from Christchurch airport and head straight to Arthur’s Pass.
Nov 29 – Arthur’s Pass National Park
Nov 30 – Fox Glacier (Fraz Joseph)
Dec 1 – Wanaka
Dec 2 – Queenstown (via Crown Range route)
Dec 3 – Queenstown (Milford Sound)
Dec 4 – Queenstown activities
Dec 5 – Lake Tekapo/ Pukaki (Mt Cook)
Dec 6 – Drop rental car at Christchurch Airport and fly to Auckland.
Dec 7 – Fly out of NZ.

Thanks!
oftravelsandtales is offline  
Aug 27th, 2019, 03:12 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,893
Do you already have your ticket from Rotorua to Christchurch? If not, there is a direct flight from Rotorua at 7:15 a.m.that arrives in Christchurch at 9:10 a.m.
It'll take you about 2 hours to drive to Arthur's Pass, though you might want to stop at a supermarket before you leave Christchurch.
On Nov. 28, sunrise will be around 5:46 a.m. and sunset at around 8:48 p.m. The day will be long, so maybe you won't need a second day and night in Arthur's Pass.

I'd plan on spending two nights in Franz Josef instead. This way you can take your time driving from Arthur's Pass to Franz Josef on Nov. 29, stopping to see some major attractions along the way, such as Hokitika Gorge and possibly Punakaiki/Pancake Rocks, which will be a bit out of your way and will require some backtracking. Before going to Franz Josef, you'll want to buy groceries at New World Market in Hokitika because there are no supermarkets in Franz Josef or Fox.
https://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-re...lowholes-walk/
https://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-re...ka-gorge-walk/

You'll still have a full day in Franz Josef on Nov. 30. Franz Josef Glacier is still open. https://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-re...josef-glacier/

The glacier access road to Fox Glacier is closed indefinitely, but the govt. will attempt to maintain access to the glacier by foot and cycle. Visitors can still visit the glacier on helicopter trips and scenic flights. And you can still walk to Lake Matheson (and there are plans to extend its track). For more information: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/a...ectid=12261550
https://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-re...matheson-walk/

Please note the West Coast can get lots of rain, which can cause slips and road closures.

On Dec. 2 or 4, you might want to drive from Queenstown to Glenorchy. This is a 45-minute drive (each way). Please take care on this road. Take care on all South Island roads, especially if the weather is poor.

Dec. 5 will be a busy day (from Queenstown to Aoraki Mt. Cook, then Lake Tekapo). You'll pass Lake Pukaki on the way to Aoraki Mt. Cook. Lake Pukaki is on/near the main roadway (SH8) But the best views are along Mt. Cook Road (SH80), the spectacularly scenic road from Lake Pukaki to Aoraki Mt. Cook.
The drive from Queenstown to Aoraki Mt. Cook will take 3 hours 20 minutes without stops, but this is a scenic drive and you'll want to stop, probably a lot. Of course, you'd want to spend a little time at Aoraki Mt. Cook, as well.
Then the drive from Aoraki Mt. Cook to Lake Tekapo will take 1 hour 40 minutes.

If you leave your car to go for a walk, please don't leave valuables, such as wallets, laptops, mobile phones, cameras, medicine. Please try to store your luggage in the car's boot.

Last edited by Diamantina; Aug 27th, 2019 at 03:15 AM.
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Aug 27th, 2019, 07:53 AM
  #3  
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Hi Diamantina,

Thank you so so much for your detailed response

I have revised itinerary based on your and others inputs:

Nov 24 – Fly into Auckland by noon. Rent car at airport.

Nov 25 – Early morning drive to Hobbiton for organised tour and stay the night in Rotorua.

Nov 26 – Rotorua

Nov 27 – Fly from Rotorua to Christchurch early evening. Rent car from Christchurch airport.

Nov 28 – Drive to Hokitika via Arthurs Pass.

Nov 29 – Franz Josef Glacier.

Nov 30 – Drive to Wanaka

Dec 1 – Wanaka

Dec 2 – Queenstown (via Crown Range route), Glenorchy

Dec 3 – Queenstown activities

Dec 4 – Queenstown (day trip to Milford Sound)

Dec 5 – Mt Cook.

Dec 6 – Drive to Christchurch Airport via Lake Pukaki & Tekapo. Drop rental car and fly to Auckland in the evening.

Dec 7 – Fly out of NZ.

I'm undecided on whether to stay in Arthur's Pass or Hokitika on the night of Nov 28 - what would you advise? Also, would you recommend staying 1N in Te Anau for visiting Milford Sound or a day trip from Queenstown should be doable?

Thanks again!
oftravelsandtales is offline  
Aug 28th, 2019, 11:28 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,893
I'm undecided on whether to stay in Arthur's Pass or Hokitika on the night of Nov 28 - what would you advise?
Sorry, I can't help as I've only gone over Arthur's Pass during the day. Can you change to an earlier flight? You wrote you'd be driving "early evening". How early? Remember, you'll still have to pick up your car and possibly shop for groceries, if needed. As I've never done this drive "early evening" at this time of year, I wonder if you'd be driving with the setting sun in your eyes? Or do you expect to be driving in the dark? The first part of the drive is flat, as but as you climb into the mountains it gets winding. Plus, you'd miss the scenery.

As for your second question, you wouldn't have time to go to Te Anau. If you had a couple of days to spare, you could, but your trip will already fast-paced. You wanted to see Queenstown, so make sure you have enough time for it.

Last edited by Diamantina; Aug 28th, 2019 at 11:36 PM.
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Aug 29th, 2019, 04:11 AM
  #5  
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Posts: 10
Hi,

Thanks for your response. We'll drive to Arthur's Pass on the morning of Nov 28 from Christchurch, and sleep that night at Franz Joseph. To make the journey to Milford Sound easier, i have included a 1 night stay at Te Anau by tweaking the itinerary as follows. Hope this would work!
Nov 24 – Fly into Auckland by noon.

Nov 25 – Drive to Hobbiton (2.5 hrs) for organised tour. Drive to Rotorua (1 hr) (Mitai Maori village evening cultural show, Polynesian spa).

Nov 26 – Rotorua (Wai o Tapu, Redwood forest)
Nov 27 – Rotorua (waimangu volcano valley). Fly from Rotorua to Christchurch early evening.
Nov 28 – Morning drive to Arthurs Pass (2 hr) and then to Franz Josef Glacier (3 hr).

Nov 29 – Drive to Wanaka (4 hr).

Nov 30 – Wanaka

Dec 1 – Drive to Te Anau (3 hr). Dec 2 – Milford Sound cruise. Drive to Queenstown (4 hr).
Dec 3 – Queenstown activities

Dec 4 – Queenstown + Glenorchy

Dec 5 – Drive to Mt Cook (3 hr). Stay at Tekapo

Dec 6 – Drive to Christchurch Airport (3 hr). Drop rental car and fly to Auckland in the evening.
Dec 7 – Fly out of NZ.
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