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Abel Tasman/Golden Bay or more time in Wanaka?

Old Aug 29th, 2013, 09:12 AM
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Abel Tasman/Golden Bay or more time in Wanaka?

We will have 15 days in the SI in February. I'm always most struck by snow capped mountains and lakes so am thinking of spending a few days in Wanaka to do some hiking after seeing Milford Sound. But, this means less time in the North-Abel Tasman and Nelson Lakes. Does anyone have thoughts about whether that makes sense? How unique is Abel Tasman? Beaches don't really interest me, but it does look quite lovely. Or would Nelson Lakes be a good compromise? It seems like people have mixed views on Wanaka-I am really just looking for somewhere gorgeous to go hiking, I don't care much about the town itself. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks!
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Old Aug 29th, 2013, 08:54 PM
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If you're willing to drive into Mt Aspiring Nat'l Park (about an hour's drive up the valley from Wanaka and very much worth the effort), Wanaka very much trumps Abel Tasman and Nelson Lakes given your interests.

However, I'm not sure what if any snow you'll have in February (but a much better chance than you'd have in Abel Tasman!)

Just to torment you a bit...we're currently in Glenorchy, surrounded by snow capped mountains...it's absolutely glorious, but it's winter!

You'll find alpine areas and many, many lakes in the Mt Cook/Queenstown/Wanaka/Glenorchy/Milford/Manapouri/Te Anau areas. Further north it's more about beaches and forests, not mountains.

You really can't go wrong with spending your time down south.
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