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20 days between NZ and AUS- planned itinerary, need advice


Mar 22nd, 2014, 11:57 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 2
20 days between NZ and AUS- planned itinerary, need advice

Hello all,
My wife and I are planning to travel between January 2015 and end of February and are traveling from United States. We love hiking and wildlife. We've planned a tentative itinerary below and are looking to see if we made any major mistakes. Thanks!

Day 1 Travel day
Day 2 Fly into Sydney - check out harbor
Day 3 Sydney - beaches - bondi beach
Day 4 Sydney - blue mountains
Day 5 Travel to Adelaide to Kangaroo Island
Day 6 Kangaroo Island - Flinders Chase
Day 7 Kangaroo Island - Admirals Arch, Hanson Bay and Seal Bay
Day 8 Kangaroo Island to Adelaide
Day 9 Adelaide to Christchurch
Day 10 Christchurch  to Arthur’s Pass and Avalanche Peak hike
Day 11 Pass to Queenstown
Day 12 Queenstown all day and then Routeburn
Day 13 Routeburn Track
Day 14 Routeburn Track shuttle to Te Anau
Day 15 Milford Track
Day 16 Milford Track
Day 17 Milford Track
Day 18 Milford Track -and back to Te Anau
Day 19 Te Anau to Mt. Cook National Park
Day 20 Mount Cooke to Lake Tekapu to ChristChurch
Day 21 ChristChurch to the US
Day 22 travel day
jjustice13 is offline  
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Mar 22nd, 2014, 04:46 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,693
Well, your itinerary isn't exactly relaxing. It's quite ambitious and leaves absolutely no wiggle room for contingencies such as bad weather, etc. Don't underestimate jetlag and the time it takes to get from point to point.

I see some problems with your South Island itinerary.

Day 10 - The drive from Christchurch to Arthur's Pass takes about two hours. Avalanche Peak is a 6-8 hour hike. I don't see how you can possibly fit all of this into the day you arrive from Australia. What time does your flight arrive? Have you considered the time needed to collect your rental car, get your bearings and get to Arthur's Pass?

Day 11 - Arthur's Pass to QT is a six hour drive, and this via the shortest, least scenic route, which involves backtracking to Christchurch and heading down via SH 1.

A much more scenic (and longer) route would be to continue west from Arthur's Pass and head down the West Coast via the glaciers and Wanaka. You'd need more time for this of course.

Day 12 - The Routeburn Track is accessed from Glenorchy (40 minute drive from QT) and from Milford Road (3+ hour drive from QT). I assume you're planning to walk it from Glenorchy, then be picked up on the other side? Most walkers take three days to walk the Routeburn - how long do you plan to walk on Day 12?

I assume you're taking a shuttle from Te Anau back to Te Anau Downs to catch the boat to Milford? This involves backtracking - have you looked into possible accommodation closer to Te Anau Downs?

Day 19 - Te Anau to Mt Cook is almost a six hour drive. You've not left any time here to explore the many tracks of Mt Cook.
Melnq8 is offline  
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Mar 23rd, 2014, 05:38 AM
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Thanks, Melnq! This is great information for our consideration and will help us think through adjustments on our itinerary!

thanks again!
jjustice13 is offline  
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Mar 23rd, 2014, 11:08 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 50,347
Hi jjustice,

do not underestimate the time needed to drive from one place to another in NZ. We did, and we ended up changing our itinerary mid-trip as we realised that what we had planned was going to involve far too much driving and not enough doing.

your trip seems to have a lot of doing, which is good, but as Melnq8 points out [and thanks again to her for the wonderful advice she gave me in my planning stage, which stupidly I didn't fully take on board until it was almost too late] you haven't really allowed for getting between places, problems you might encounter that could slow you down, and down time.

For example, if there are problems on the roads this can lead to long delays as often there is no other route to take. Road works, which are frequent, mean that the speed limit is reduced to 30 kmh and the top speed limit is 100 kmh, however many roads are very windy and you can be lucky to do 1/2 that.

We loved our trip, and I'm sure you will too, but do not underestimate the driving times and effort required.
annhig is offline  
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