9 day tour itinerary help

Apr 13th, 2007, 12:06 PM
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9 day tour itinerary help

I'm from Scotland and my wife and I will be visiting New Zealand in October, as part of a round the world trip, to see our daughter who works in Auckland. We plan to see as much of the country as we can before we leave two weeks later so any advice would be great. We arrive on a Thursday (4th)and our plans at the moment include leaving on the Saturday (6th October) for Rotorua, then travelling down to Wellington and taking the ferry and train down to Christchurch then on to Queenstown, possibly via Dunedin (the Scottish connection!). The only definite step I've taken so far is to book single flights back from Queenstown to Auckland on Monday 15th. What I'm not sure about is how much time to spend and where stopping along the way - we plan to stay in bed & breakfast type places but I've not booked anything yet.
Apr 13th, 2007, 04:48 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
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Could you fly from Rotorua or Wellington to Dunedin or Queenstown? You want to spend as much time in the southern SI as possible IMHO
Tim_and_Liz is offline  
Apr 14th, 2007, 06:27 AM
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True, Tim and Liz - but there is also plenty to be said for leaving planes out of it unless absolutely necessary.

IMHO a trip that involves "journeys" gives you a much better feel for a country that hopping from centre to centre without seeing anything in between.

That's my preference - so I find ches's itinerary very sane, although it has to said nine days is not very long.

But we are all different.

Ches -
You will certainly get a "feel" for NZ travelling like you plan to. But .. you won't have time to do the things that most people do when they are in Dunedin, Queenstown, Picton.

I suppose what I'm trying to say - is that if the journey is the thing, then go for it.

I'm personally not a fan of Queenstown. It's probably the place I like least of those I have visited. Great things to do thereabouts - a trip on Milford or Doubtful Sound - yes - a simple trek around Te Anau - yes. But will you have time to do any of that?

I appreciate that getting back to Auckland is essential, and you have already arranged that - so maybe you should try to find some extra time somewhere. I will contradict myself here and suggest eliminating one of the overland sectors. And as the ferry trip from Wellington to Picton is pretty special (oh - I hope you have good weather though) then maybe - is it possible to fly from Roturua to Wellington? It must be, surely?

Happy planning,. And have a great time. NZ is a wonderful place.
chimani is offline  
Apr 15th, 2007, 02:48 AM
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Thanks for the replies.
I appreciate it's not a lot of time but it's the maximum we can spend in NZ so we would like to see as much of the country as possible. We only need to be in Queenstown to fly back to Auckland so if you can suggest a better alternative close to it then feel free. We were told that it's worth doing the crossing from Wellingon to Picton - I also believe it can be rough and we're not great sailors so I'm not sure if flying Wellington to Christchurch is a better bet. Is the countryside between Picton and Christchurch worth seeing?
Apr 15th, 2007, 03:42 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 18,328
Pretty difficult to see both islands in 9 days. I would check aatravel.co.nz which has some sample itineraries and travel times. How much time do you want to spend in a car each day?

Travel times would be something like
Day 1 Auckland/Rotorua
Day 2 1/2 day Rotorua, travel to Taupo
Day 3 Overland to Wellington
Day 4 Wellington to Christchurch by ferry/train
Day 5 Overland to Mt. Cook/Twizel
Day 6 Mt. Cook to Queenstown

With that, you have only three days to add for sightseeing. Most of the above days are nearly ALL travel.

Matter of opinion, but considering you would probably have seen some nice coastal scenery in Scotland, you could probably skip the ferry crossing. I would say that the Picton-Christchurch trip is worthwhile mainly if you have an interest in either winetasting or whalewatching (in which case you would stop in Kaikoura overnight). It isn't the most spectacular part of NZ. You might even consider going west via Nelson and the glaciers, to Queenstown.

mlgb is offline  
Apr 15th, 2007, 04:02 AM
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Hi Chas (get it right this time!).

I guess I should lay out my stall.

I did the crossing Picton to Wellington and it was a fabulous journey, so I concur with whoever has told you it is a good thing to do. However!! I had great weather (early Sept) and am a travel by ship addict. I had also spent the previous day walking an easy part of the Queen Charlotte track, being dropped off and picked up by the mailboat, in glorious weather again, and only seeing two other folk all day.

Prior to that I had travelled up by road from Christchurch (shuttle bus) and spent two days at Kaikoura. I wasn't lucky with the whale watching (no sightings) but that was OK. What I will never forget is approaching Kaikoura from the south - amazing. The snow capped mountains seem to come right down to the sea.

So that journey for me was magical. So I do think it is worth seeing. BUT it depends on the context and yours will be very different from mine.

Most people make a beeline for Fiordland, and spend time there, but you don't have to. Have you considered flying Roturua or Wellington to Queenstown, travelling up the West Coast and taking the train back to Christchurch? That's another wonderful journey. And fly back to AUK from CHC.
chimani is offline  
Apr 17th, 2007, 12:13 AM
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OK -Plan B.
Would it be easier to have a two centre trip. We want to see Rotorua so I guess somewhere between there and Taupo would be best. What would be the most suitable location on the South Island to cover the best locations i.e. somewhere fairly central that won't involve long drives. We are committed to leaving from Queenstown as previously stated.
Apr 17th, 2007, 06:14 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,793

You could fly into Christchurch (or maybe Westport?) and drive down the west coast of the SI, visiting the glaciers, to Queenstown or Fiordland, flying out of Queenstown.
Tim_and_Liz is offline  
Apr 17th, 2007, 06:14 AM
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Sorry if you just want to base yourself in two places, then Queenstown is probably a good place to base yourself. You can visit Glenorchy, wine areas, Fiordland from there.
Tim_and_Liz is offline  
Apr 21st, 2007, 11:41 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 786
Hi Chas
I would definitely fly from Wellington to Christchurch, it is only an hour but cuts out what could be a rough trip on Cook Strait and extra time. The air fares are probably less than the ferry crossing. You will enjoy Dunedin so plan on two full days there, it is full of history to do with the Scots settlers. I would think it more interesting for you than Christchurch. There are masses of B & B's, farm stays, lodges, hotels etc. Look up www.jasons.com for all accommodation and other travel suggestions.
Have a great time.
KathyNZ is offline  
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