9 days in South Island - please help with itinerary

Nov 22nd, 2007, 05:53 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 131
9 days in South Island - please help with itinerary

Hello!
We are planning a 9 day trip to South island in Feb 2008 with our parents. The itinerary we have arrived at is as follows. I was just wondering if we are running around too much...is this itinerary doable?
Also, will it be cold in NZ in feb?

Feb 2- fly into ChristChurch from Singapore
Feb 3- Spend the day in ChristChurch (mustdos?)
Feb 4 - Take the TranzAlpine to Greymouth. Rent a car at GreyMouth and drive to Fox Glacier.
Feb 5 - Hike at Fox Glacier. Should we do the heli-hike? Is it worth it?
Feb 6 - Drive to Queenstown via Wanaka
Feb 7 - Spend the day at QueensTown
Feb 8 - Overnight Milford Sound cruise. Is the overnight cruise better than the day cruise? Is it worth doing the day cruise and spending one more day at queenstown?
Feb 9 - back from the cruise
Feb 10- Spend the day at Queenstown. Catch an evening flight to ChristChurch
Feb 11 - fly back to Singapore

we are not very adventurous, so we would pass on the bungy jumping and such at queenstown. In that case, will we need 2-3 days at queenstown?
Also, instead of flying back to ChristChurch, is it a good idea to drive back ? (is there an alternate route we can take, so we see more places on the way?)

Any recommendations for places to stay at ChristChurch and queenstown?

Thank you for all your help.
love_travel11 is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2007, 07:13 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 14,983
Hi love_travel -

Just a few comments -

The helihike is expensive, but a wonderful trip if the weather is nice, and it has to be nice for the helicopters to fly. Great views from the top of the glacier - much prettier up there than from below.

Keep in mind the drive from Queenstown to Milford Sound is four hours ONE way.

Your itinerary is pretty full for nine days - you'll be spending a lot of time in the car and changing accommodation every night, but if that's how you like to travel, it might work for you.

With your limited time, you'll probably want to fly back to Christchurch from Queenstown - the drive takes over six hours with no stops.

There's plenty for non adventurous types to do in Queenstown - you'll have no trouble filling two days or more.
Melnq8 is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2007, 07:19 AM
  #3  
Jed
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,546
One suggestion - Can you stay in QT the night of Feb 10, then catch an early plane to CHC to connect to a plane to Singapore? That would save an unnecessary night in CHC.

Otherwise, it looks like an ambitious itinerary, but doable.

We did the overnight Doubtful cruise, which we thought was good.
Jed is offline  
Nov 23rd, 2007, 06:09 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,276
The TranzAlpine train is fabulous - you will love it. I agree with the concern about the long drive from Queenstown to Milford Sound. If your reason for being in Queenstown is to go to the Sound, what about staying in Te Anau? It's a great little town on a huge lake and you can take a boat ride across the lake to the gloworm caves. Very cool! I didn't know that they did overnight cruises on Milford Sound. We just did a day one. The overnight on Doubtful Sound looked really nice, but we didn't have time (and our weather was not the best since it was a very cold winter). February should be much warmer. Actually - cold winter was still about 50 during the day which is warm by Chicago winter standards ;_)! The South Island is beautiful and you will love it.
jcasale is offline  
Nov 24th, 2007, 08:47 AM
  #5  
Jed
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,546
Seeing the gloworms at Te Anau is very good. It takes a few hours, and there are several trips a day, so you can see them without staying overnight.
Jed is offline  
Nov 26th, 2007, 04:11 AM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 131
Hello! Thanks for all the help you guys provide...
Have made a few changes to the itinerary. The modified one is as follows:

Feb 2- fly into ChristChurch from Singapore
Feb 3- Spend the day in ChristChurch
Feb 4 - Take the TranzAlpine to Greymouth. Rent a car at GreyMouth and drive to Fox Glacier.
Feb 5 - Hike at Fox Glacier
Feb 6 - Drive to Queenstown via Wanaka
Feb 7 - Spend the day at QueensTown
Feb 8 - Day at Queenstown. Later, drive to Te Anau. Overnight at Te Anau
Feb 9 - Milford Sound day cruise. Overnight at Te Anau
Feb 10- Back to Queenstown
Feb 11 - Catch a morning flight to ChristChurch and then fly to Singapore

Any thoughts on this itinerary? (Decided to skip the overnight cruise this time - Is this a mistake??)
Any suggestions for places to stay?

Thanks!!
love_travel11 is offline  
Nov 26th, 2007, 04:50 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 119
A few suggestions,

Milford Sound is amazing, its worth every penny,if you had the time consider doing it overnight.
Also I know 9 days is short but there are other places like Franz Joseph - the glacier, Kaikura - whale watching & this one you could drive from Christchurch. Also Lake Tekapo & Hokitika has a black sand beach. Te Anu & Queenstown are nice esp. if you have kids. Hokitika - is only if you have the time.
NZ is a hectic vacation, so you will need another one when you get back , but its the only way to do it.Enjoy it.
drsaloni is offline  
Nov 26th, 2007, 08:30 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,104
We've just returned from Christchurch and were very impressed with the new art gallery - spectacular architecture and good paintings.
The Botanical Gardens in Hagley Park were good, particularly the rose garden.
We stayed in a lot of the Bella Vista motels - all new and modern, clean and with friendly helpful staff. I think they averaged out at $120 NZ per night for two people.
marg is offline  
Nov 27th, 2007, 12:30 AM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 131
TTT

any comments on our itinerary? Please help!! Thanks!
love_travel11 is offline  
Nov 27th, 2007, 10:01 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 17,627
In Christchurch, a good moderate choice is the Windsor Hotel B&B, which is an old boarding house I believe. (windsorhotel.co.nz) It has a great location on Armagh Street, on the tram route and walking distance to the botanic gardens, Arts Centre, Canterbury Museum, and Art Museum. The rate includes full-on English style breakfast. It does not have in room TVs or private baths, but they do keep the shared baths very clean. The staff is very helpful for providing guidance. If you can arrange your Christchurch leg to include the weekend, the craft/farmers market at the Arts Centre is there. There are some good vendors with cured meats, cheese, breads etc. My favorite craft stalls are the ones with the tiny pewter figures (nice light weight gifts), the wood turners, and the hand made soap (I think it's called Blue Earth).

If you aren't that adventurous, there are also glacier overflights that include landing but not hiking. Be aware that you may be cancelled due to weather.

In Queenstown the best low key adventure is the TSS Earnslaw which is an old steamship on the lake, you visit a station where there's a little sheep dog demo. It used to be you could also book it to include a tea. You could visit some wineries in the area. The drive up to Glenorchy is beautiful.

I haven't done an overnight cruise, but I did spend a night at Milford Sound after hiking the Track. I think it's worthwhile to be there in the morning when it's quiet. I think you can work it into your itinerary.
mlgb is offline  
Nov 27th, 2007, 03:25 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 14,983
love_travel -

I think your itinerary looks okay - certainly doable.

As for where to stay, we've stayed at the following places and would return to any of them:

Christchurch - Del Lago Motel
Fox Glacier - Matheson Motel
Queenstown - Villa Del Lago
Te Anau - Explorer Motor Lodge
Melnq8 is offline  

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 -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:18 PM.