24 day itinary on both islanxs

Old Sep 24th, 2016, 10:00 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 112
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
24 day itinary on both islanxs

My wife and I are traveling in New Zealand from October 30 to November 22. We our both in our 70’s. Adventure sports, hiking, fishing, resorts, wine tastings are definitely not items on our agenda. Our main interest while traveling is photography. That makes our travel times much longer than what shows up in the GPS or aa.co/nz Maps. Our vacations are self-drive staying either one night or two in on location. We are planning of renting bachs through airbnb.com or homeawy.com. So far the only lodging we have booked is the first 2 night in Auckland

After some research and looking at the Fodor’s forums we have revised our itinerary.

October 30 Arrive Auckland 7:30 am (we are aware of the Auckland Marathon)
October 31 Auckland area
November 1 Drive to Rotorua
November 2 Drive to Raetihi or Okakune
November 3 Drive to Wellington
November 4 Wellington
November 5 Fly to Christchurch
November 6 Christchurch
November 7 Drive to Tekapo or Twizel
November 8 Mt Cook and return to Tekapo or Twizel
November 9 Drive to Queenstown
November 10 Queenstown area
November 11 Drive to Te Anau
November 12 Milford Sound boat trip and return to Te Anau
November 13 Drive to Wanaka
November 14 Wanaka area
November 15 Drive to Fox Glacier or Franz Joseph
November 16 Explore glacier area
November 17 Drive to Hokitika
November 18 Drive to Punakaiki and return
November 19 Drive over Arthur’s Pass to Christchurch
November 20 Christchurch
November 21 Christchurch
November 22 Fly from Christchurch 2:00 PM to Auckland for 7:30 PM flight to Los Angeles

Comments on the proposed routing will be greatly appreciated. We will be making the loop from Christchurch to Queenstown to Franz Joseph to Arthur’s Pass back to Christchurch. As shown above we are going clockwise. Is that the best direction or would it be better to go counterclockwise?
susnobie is offline  
Old Sep 24th, 2016, 10:03 AM
  #2  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 112
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sorry about the typos in the subject. It should have read 24 day itinerary on both islands.
susnobie is offline  
Old Sep 24th, 2016, 10:05 AM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 112
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sorry about the typos in the subject. It should have read 24 day itinerary on both islands.
susnobie is offline  
Old Sep 24th, 2016, 05:47 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,720
Received 83 Likes on 5 Posts
Generally speaking, the further south you go the colder it gets, so you might consider reversing the NI and SI on your itinerary if weather is a concern for you. Personally, I wouldn't be all that fussed in November, but I tend to like cool weather. Having said that, NZ weather is unpredictable.

Your itinerary is pretty full on, even for people not interested in "adventure sports, hiking, fishing, resorts, wine tastings". It's very much a driving itinerary with very little wiggle room for bad weather, road issues or, dare I say it, bad light for photography!

I'm quite a bit younger than you, but I find your proposed itinerary rather exhausting...granted, you may be more energetic than I am, but it is an awful lot of time behind the wheel with not much time for rest/relaxation/soaking up your surroundings and seeking the perfect photo op.

There's nothing wrong with the routing per se, but IMO, you've not left yourself sufficient time in each area you plan to visit.
Melnq8 is offline  
Old Sep 24th, 2016, 06:44 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,032
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It looks like you are considering/planning on staying in Twizel and making day trips to Tekapo and Mt. Cook Village. Is this because of limited accommodation choices in Mt. Cook Village and Tekapo? Glentanner is another option for Mt. Cook Village, if Mt. Cook Village is sold out.

As you're looking for holiday house rentals, you might want to look at https://www.holidayhouses.co.nz/ and https://www.bookabach.co.nz/ Make sure that linens are included, which you can do by filtering your accommodation search.
Keep in mind that NZ motels are generally very comfortable, with in-room kitchenettes. Laundry facilities are usually available.

I count 4 days/5 nights of your 24-day itinerary in Christchurch. Not that CC isn't interesting, but it seems too much, given that you'll have to skimp or rush through the rest of your trip. Or are you planning on day trips from Christchurch, such as to Akaroa or Kaikoura?

If this were my trip. I'd probably fly from Wellington to Nelson, and start a counterclockwise circle from there, going Nelson-Punakaiki-Hokitika-Fox or Franz Josef-Wanaka-Te Anau-Queenstown-Mt. Cook Village-Tekapo-Christchurch. If I wanted to fit in a trip to Arthur's Pass, I'd do it as a day trip from CC at the end of the trip, thereby eliminating the need to pass through CC twice. I'd visit Hokitika and Hokitika Gorge on the way to Franz Josef. Punakaiki to Franz Josef is a three-hour drive according to AA Drive distance calculator, which would give you ample time to stop in Hokitika and Hokitika Gorge along the way. I'd spend three nights instead of two in Queenstown, because there is a lot to see around Queenstown. A day and a half might not be enough. You'd want to drive to Glenorchy on one of your days.
Diamantina is offline  
Old Sep 24th, 2016, 07:16 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,032
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I wanted to add that the one-way auto rental charge for picking up a car in Nelson and dropping it off in Christchurch probably would be minimal with a rental of this length. Check APEX car rentals.
http://www.apexrentals.co.nz/

I see you've eliminated the Interislander ferry crossing and trip through Marlborough Sounds that was part of your original itinerary.
Diamantina is offline  
Old Sep 24th, 2016, 10:52 PM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 112
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Wow. A lot to chew on.

Melnq8, we are not concerned about the weather NI vs SI. My wife made the decision that we would do the NI first. My question on routing is it better to do the west coast north to south or south to north.

I know the itinerary is full. As Diamantina noted I have some extra time in Christchurch. I knew I had too much time there but had not decided where to add time or just give an extra day for the problems you noted. Still may cut something out of the agenda.

Diamantina, we have not decided on Tekapo or Twizel. There is lodging in both places. I had figured that a day trip to Mt. Cook and around the area would work from either place.

Bookabach listings are all on the homeaway websites now. I for some reason had not come across holidayhouses.co.nz.

As I stated above we have extra time in Christchurch. We are looking at a day trip out to Akaroa. Had not considered going to Kaikoura.

I was just looking at Queenstown and the area. I agree that we don’t have enough time there.

The thought of flying into Nelson is something we are going to look at. The other thought was to fly to Christchurch and leave immediately for Tekapo. We the ferry ride is off.

We have two cars booked through omegarentalcars.com. They had the best prices for the cars we are looking for and allow one way rentals without a drop fee. I just checked Apex and their prices are higher across the board than what Omega has. They do have 2016 models which Apex does not.
susnobie is offline  
Old Sep 25th, 2016, 01:05 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,032
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If Omega Rentals doesn't charge a one-way drop off fee, then it sounds like a great choice.
Diamantina is offline  
Old Sep 25th, 2016, 11:13 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,720
Received 83 Likes on 5 Posts
>

I can't think of any reason to suggest one over the other, other than possible weather factors - have you considered just winging it and following the weather once you've arrived?

As a keen photographer myself, I'm all too aware of how poor weather can ruin one's photos. NZ gets plenty of rain and blustery days, particularly along the west coast and at Mt Cook. If the day you've allowed to see Mt Cook is socked in, as it often is, there won't be much to photograph.

Diamantina might have some thoughts on your routing that I've not considered.
Melnq8 is offline  
Old Sep 26th, 2016, 01:12 PM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 112
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Melnq8 thanks for your latest post. Other than the rental cars and the flight between the islands we are flexible. I like your suggestion about seeing what the weather is like before deciding which way to go. The reason I was asking about clockwise or counterclockwise in Europe we have hit some areas where we were told to go one way or the other. Reasons being pullouts, going up or down in the area for the best views etc.
susnobie is offline  
Old Sep 27th, 2016, 02:03 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,032
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You wrote: "The other thought was to fly to Christchurch and leave immediately for Tekapo." I think that would be better than staying in Christchurch twice at both the beginning and end of the SI portion of your trip. Checking in, checking out of your hotel, moving your luggage from the car to your room. Why do it twice for the same place?

Clockwise or counter-clockwise around the South Island, I think it's a just a matter of personal preference or convenience. The question has been asked on Trip Advisor many times:
https://www.tripadvisor.co.nz/ShowTo...w_Zealand.html

You mentioned pull-outs. Sometimes they're on the left, sometimes on the right. If you drive clockwise on the South Island, along coastal portions at least, because you're driving on the left, you'll be on the ocean side. It'd be easier to pull over and re-enter the roadway later. You won't have to cross over to the ocean side. I'm using this as just an example—because according to your latest itinerary, you won't be driving past here—if driving north to south, or clockwise, from Picton to Kaikoura, it'd be easier to pull over, say, at Ohau Point fur seal colony. Along the West Coast from Haast to Fox Glacier, south to north, or, again, clockwise, it'd be easier to pull over at Knight's Point Lookout (a coastal overlook). But most of the time, you won't be driving along the coast. Also, you shouldn't find it too difficult to cross the roadway because most scenic routes on the South Island are not that busy, especially as you won't be here in peak summer season.

Sometimes pull-outs for coastal spots are not on the ocean side, because there's no room, such as the parking lot for Punakaiki. So I don't think it really matters which direction you drive in. By the way, the coast north of Punakaiki is beautiful, as well.

My preference is counter-clockwise. Just because I think it's fantastic, when after driving along the forested and sparsely populated West Coast, and then winding through Haast Pass and Mt. Aspiring National Park, the landscape opens up to this expansive view of dazzling blues lakes and sky (Lakes Wanaka and Hawea). But that's just me. I also like having the ocean to my right, but I can't even tell you why! (Chalk it up to personal preference.)

For your photography, aside from paying attention to the weather as Melnq8 stated, you might check sunrise/sunset times if you're hoping to capture that morning light; or morning, afternoon or sunset reflections on bodies of water, the mountains at twlight, so on. You'll also want to consider tide times when on the coast, because beaches are more accessible at low tide. But at some coastal areas, such as Punakaiki, you might want the big waves of high tide to photograph the blowholes.
http://rasnz.org.nz/in-the-sky/sun-rise-and-set
Here's a link to a tide forecaster:
https://www.niwa.co.nz/services/onli...ide-forecaster
Diamantina is offline  
Old Sep 27th, 2016, 02:57 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 2,032
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Forgot to mention, if you were interested in astrophotography at Lake Tekapo's Mt. John or Cowan observatories, you might want to time your visit so you're there closer to the new moon rather than full moon, so this might influence whether you drive clockwise or counter-clockwise.

Twizel, Pukaki, Mt. Cook Village, Tekapo are part of New Zealand's International Dark Sky Reserve because of the lack of light pollution, and, thus, attract stargazers and astrophotographers. However, in addition to dark skies, you also need clear skies. The skies can be stormy, cloudy, foggy in November, so, even if you are interested in astrophotography, don't let this influence your directional decision too much, as you could end up being disappointed.
http://www.earthandskynz.com/window-...ervatory-tours
http://darksky.org/idsp/reserves/aorakimackenzie/

South Island night skies are spectacular in general. But not all places offer night sky tours.
Diamantina is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
bel79
Australia & the Pacific
24
Jun 29th, 2019 02:22 AM
Ruthie_C
Australia & the Pacific
6
Sep 6th, 2015 01:21 PM
Krpas
Australia & the Pacific
8
Jul 22nd, 2015 07:11 AM
menicks
Australia & the Pacific
8
Jun 21st, 2015 06:25 PM
riskandreward
Australia & the Pacific
18
Jan 10th, 2014 03:12 AM

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


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:36 AM.