3 Week Trip Itinerary

Jan 10th, 2019, 06:42 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 2
3 Week Trip Itinerary

Hello all, first time posting here. Just looking for advice for our trip itinerary. This is the first time my spouse and I will be travelling to New Zealand, I've always wanted to go.....the #1 place on my list We are active and adventurous but also enjoy time to relax. We like to do a bit of everything on our trips, a lot of nature/mountains, hiking (we do short, half day and day hikes), kayaking, site sightseeing and a bit of cities to experience them.

Wondering what the expert thoughts are on our itinerary, I have done a fair amount of research already. We have most of our accommodations booked but may be able to adjust a few:

Arrive from Canada at 6:30AM in Auckland on March 2nd
  • Day 1-3 - Auckland, first day check in, some sightseeing around the harbour/city. Day 2, day trip to Waiheke Island. Day 3 Auckland museum and climb a volcanic cone.
  • Day 4 - Rent car, drive the Hobbiton, do tour. Drive to Rotorua for the day/night
  • Day 5 & 6 - drive to Tongariro NP (Staying at Chateau Tongariro) planning to do Tama Lakes hike, any suggestions for additional short hikes for Day 5 or things to see?
  • Day 7 - drive to Wellington, explore city, Te Papa, cable car (I know it is a fairly long drive for 1 day/night, my spouse really wants to see Wellington)
  • Day 8 & 9- Ferry crossing - don't have accommodations booked yet. Day 8, thinking of doing a wine tour. Day 9 would like to take a water taxi to hike part of Queen Charlotte Track. We are trying to decide where to stay, Picton or Nelson? Any wine tour suggestions for Blenheim area or Nelson?
  • Day 10, 11 & 12 - Staying in Motueka, Abel Tasman, kayaking, water taxi and hike part of ATT. Any other suggestions for this area?
  • Day 13 - Fly from Nelson to Christchurch, likely staying in Christchurch for 1 night, explore city
  • Day 14 - Drive to Mount Cook, staying in Twizel 1 night. Planning to hike: Hooker Valley Track and maybe Kea Point Track. May do a hike on Day 14 and morning of Day 15 before leaving.
  • Day 15, 16 & 17 - Wanaka - Mount Aspiring NP, planning to do Rob Roy Track. Any must see/do things in this area?
  • Day 18 & 19 - drive to Te Anau (staying in Te Anau) - first day do a short/half day hike around Te Anau, maybe part of the Kepler Track? Next day, drive to Milford Sound for cruise, driving back do Key Summit hike. Is there other things not to miss at Milford Sound or on the way?
  • Day 20 & 21 - drive to Queenstown, explore Queenstown & Glenorchy. Any must do/see items?
  • Day 22 - fly back to Auckland and fly to Canada
Of the areas we plan to go to, are there any roads that shouldn't be traveled with a rental car (dirt)?

Thanks in advance
cao80 is offline  
Jan 16th, 2019, 04:26 AM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,907
Stay in Picton for access to Blenheim/Marlborough wine country and Queen Charlotte Track.
The Visit Picton website is helpful: Picton Marlborough New Zealand, Visitor information Guide
Picton is less than a half hour drive from Blenheim. You'll pass Johanneshoff Cellars from Picton enroute to Blenheim. Johanneshoff Cellars is only about 10 minutes drive from Picton.
Here's a link to an interactive wine trail map for Marlborough.
Wine Trail Map | Wine Marlborough

On your drive to Motueka, you'll have a chance to visit wineries in the Nelson region. Here's a link for those wineries:

If going to Raspberry Creek Car Park, make sure you rent a car that is okay to drive on Wanaka-Mt. Aspiring Road (also known as Matukituki Road) beyond the Treble Cone turn-off. Some rental cars are prohibited from driving on this road beyond the Treble Cone turn-off. For instance, Apex rental cars notes:
"Apex vehicles are not permitted to travel on the following roads:
Skippers Canyon Road
The road to Macetown
Matukituki Road beyond the Treble Cone access road turn off
Glenorchy-Paradise Road beyond Priory Road turn off"

Last edited by Diamantina; Jan 16th, 2019 at 04:34 AM.
Diamantina is offline  
Jan 16th, 2019, 03:34 PM
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 43
We stayed at the U residences in Wellington formerly known as At Home Wellington. Great location right across street from Tepapa museum. We drove down from Tongariro, got in early afternoon. The cable car is OK but I think I would spend more time walking along the harbour or at the Tepapa. We had dinner at the fish shack, a few blocks from the U hotel and it was excellent.
if planning to do Queen Charlotte track then stay in Picton.
on drive to Nelson take the Queen Charlotte scenic drive. Very windy but lots of scenic stops.
if you have a few days in Able Tasman you may want to do the hike from lodge to lodge. They transport your luggage and you just take your day pack. The hikes aren’t too long or strenuous.
we did the Tongariro crossing. It was hard because we aren’t in great shape and ages 59 and 63 with bad knees, but it was rewarding and we had a great day. So glad we did it.
The chateau has 2 washers and dryers for guests.
For the Rob Roy track you need to cross a couple of streams so a 4 x 4 may be handy. You can rent one for the day in Wanaka.
barbloves2travel is offline  
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