Best route for South Island??

Dec 23rd, 2009, 10:29 AM
  #1  
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Best route for South Island??

Hello, I am working on my NZ Itinerary and got confused while planning my time on the South Island. I plan on taking a flight from Rotorua into Queenstown. Is it better to go from Queenstown - Te Anau/Milford Sound - Tekapo/Mt. Cook - Glaciers - Christchurch or the other way around??
Piya is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2009, 02:08 PM
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If you want to see the glaciers and Tekapo/Mt Cook, it makes sense to make a loop from Christchurch.

You might do something like this - fly to Christchurch, drive to the west coast via Arthur's Pass and Greymouth (with a detour to Punakaiki if you have time), work your way to the glaciers, Queenstown, Te Anau and Milford, and then return to Christchurch via the inland route, which will take you through Lake Tekapo and Mt Cook.

Have you already booked those tickets to Queenstown?
Melnq8 is offline  
Dec 24th, 2009, 06:23 AM
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How many days will you have? What do you want to do at the various places? Reason for planning to fly to QT?
Bert867 is offline  
Dec 24th, 2009, 07:18 AM
  #4  
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No I have not booked the tickets to Queenstown yet..No particular reason for flying into Queenstown..just thought this would be easier and will save time as Mt.cook is in between Queenstown and Christchurch..right??
Piya is offline  
Dec 24th, 2009, 08:08 AM
  #5  
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Also, per this website copied below the driving distances on the route i chose is shorter..

I want to do all this in about 5 days..so saving time is crucial...i know it will be crazy and we will be driving long hours everyday..but we are fine with that..
Piya is offline  
Dec 24th, 2009, 12:35 PM
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I guess I'm a bit confused too Piya, because if you want to see both the glaciers (west coast) and Tekapo/Mt Cook (inland route), it's best to make a loop from Christchurch.

If you fly to Queenstown, you can certainly get to Milford/Te Anau easily enough - the drive to Te Anau is about two hours, the drive to Milford is another two hours from Te Anau.

But you'll need to choose either the glaciers (west coast) OR the inland route (Tekapo/Mt Cook) to get back to Christchurch, as both are situated between Queenstown and Christchurch but they're separated by a mountain range. Have you looked at a driving map?

If you're asking which route is better, the West Coast or the inland route, personally I much prefer the West Coast.

It goes without saying that I think you're trying to squeeze entirely too much into five days.
Melnq8 is offline  
Dec 24th, 2009, 01:49 PM
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Have a great trip. Tell us how it went.
Bert867 is offline  
Jan 1st, 2010, 01:02 PM
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yes I also think you are trying to fit too much in. Learnt a long time ago better to be able to say " didn't go to that area" than to have to say "I'm sorry I missed that, I was in that town". It also leaves the other places to do next time.
We used Arrowtown as our base when we did Queenstown. Highly recommend it about 20 min. drive away.
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