2nd Thoughts? The SI West Coast Drive

Nov 16th, 2007, 03:02 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 61
2nd Thoughts? The SI West Coast Drive

First, a big congrats to everyone who was quoted and now gets a prize! Guess sometimes a good deed does go unpunished

or maybe not, here's the ?

Given the popularity of driving between Queenstown and Greymouth, now that you've done it what, if anything would you've changed?

For example:

How many days do you think the "perfect drive" should last?

Where would you stop over en route, either overnight or to spend more time seeing the sights?

Is there a hotel or restaurant that you'd love to revist?

Alternatively, what do you now wished you had passed over? (activity, sight, hotel or food place)

Other 2nd thoughts, now that you're all the wiser?

I've read and learned alot from the many trip reports but was hoping this ? might trigger a new perspective on an oft traveled route.

bk3 is offline  
Nov 16th, 2007, 03:03 AM
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Posts: 61
my those lines are annoying, my apologies as I'm not sure what caused that
bk3 is offline  
Nov 20th, 2007, 08:56 AM
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Interesting questions to ponder. We drove from Greymouth to Te Anau and I definitely have some thoughts. We did it in two days (actually less since we arrived by train in Greymouth about 1pm). I really wished we had an extra day because we had to push ourselves way too much. It was winter (and a cold one at that - June 2006) and so the roads were very slick in the late afternoon and in the morning. We ended up stopping for the night in Fox Glacier and splurged on a stay at the Te Waheke Inn - I highly recommend it. Mostly we stopped for pictures and took a few short walks to waterfalls and such. There were many places to do so that we didn't have time to do. I would love to go back in the summer and have longer days. There was one beach (can't remember the name) with driftwood all over it and it had several short trails that we would have loved to take, but we had to keep going.
jcasale is offline  
Nov 20th, 2007, 03:35 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Can only tell you what we did, and thoroughly enjoyed.
After a night at Wilderness Lodge, Arthurs Pass, drove to Fox Glacier Village. Did not go to Greymouth. Liesurely drive. Started late, stopped a lot, got to Te Weheke Lodge about 5 or 6. I also recommend this lodge.
Stopped for lunch in Hokitika. That could be the beach jcasale mentioned above. Strewn with driftwood, the Tasmanian sea is very rough there. But strolling the windy beach might have been fun.
OUr goal in Fox was the helicopter ride on the glacier, which was done the next morning, but we stayed the second night. We planned two nights just in case the first day's flight was scrubbed due to weather.
Hike to Lake Matheson is a must, as is the hike up to the glacier's terminus. There are glow worm areas nearby to see at night. Did not drive down to the ocean, but that might have been interesting.
Two or three good restaurants there in Fox.
The drive from Fox to Queenstown is a long one, but definately do-able. Stopped at the salmon farm for an excellent salmon(what else) lunch.
Several opportunities for short little hikes as you go through Haas Pass. We started out mid morning, an earlier start would have given us more hiking time in Haas Pass.
BillJ is offline  
Nov 21st, 2007, 01:03 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 748
We were on the South Island in September. No matter where you go you will see stunning scenery! Some highlights included:

TransAlpine train a half day trip from Christchurch to Greymouth

Hokitika we stayed at the Kapitea Ridge Lodge, loved it

Franz Josef we took a helicopter tour with a glacial landing, amazing experience and well worth every cent!

Driving from the Glaciers to Queenstown, I recommend going from Wanaka to Queenstown I think its route 89, but am not sure. At any rate, it isnt the main route, but is absolutely stunning but not for the faint-of-heart. The road becomes narrow and has some hairpin turns, but is beautiful.

In Queenstown we spent 3 nights at Azur. It is pricey, but worth it. The rooms are luxurious and have beautiful views.

All in all, there is nothing that we wish we hadnt done. Just allow plenty of time to soak in the beauty of the area. I wish wed had more time as there are things I still want to see/experience.
nevermind is offline  
Nov 21st, 2007, 01:43 PM
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One thing I forgot to mention before - I wished we had the time to go to the Pancake Rocks north of Greymouth. The pictures looked so interesting, but we just didn't have the time to detour and still make it to Te Anau in the day and a half we had.
jcasale is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2007, 05:38 AM
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Hi bk - It helps to use the 'preview my reply' function to see what you your post looks like before you post it.
Jed is offline  
Apr 4th, 2008, 05:32 AM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 7
we are going next month to south island bk3 tell me something if u were going again what would u do differently?
_Marsha_ is offline  
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