Final Itinerary for New Zealand comments please

Old May 1st, 2008, 10:18 AM
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Final Itinerary for New Zealand comments please

This is a continuation of our trip as we fly from Sydney to Christchurch.
As we are still in a position to make changes with the exception of Air would love some feed back. This part of the trip was difficult to plan I'm hoping that I've not over done the daily drive and allowed enough time. Would love to have spent hours walking the tracks as so many do but I have mobility issues and short walks are now about it. We love meeting and talking to people, good food and red wine. Travel makes me happy.
So here goes -
Oct 9 Quantas to Christchurch - still working on car rental options
overnight at Salerno Motel
Oct 10 Twizel - Aoraki Lodge B&B $150
Oct 11 - 14 Catlins Nugget Lodge $160 What to see/do Groceries etc
Oct 14 - 17 Manapouri Beechwood Lodge $400 What to see/do musts
Oct 17 Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise $595.00p/p
Oct 18 - 19 Arrowtown The Orchard Cottage $185. So much to see what are must see and do.
Oct 20 - 21 Lake Moeraki Wilderness Lodge $1964. What should I expect?
Oct 22 Arthur's Pass Bealey Hotel $130 I'm hoping that this won't be too much driving
Oct 23 Hamner Springs Settlers Inn $145
Oct 24 & 25 Punakaiki Flax Haven $235.00P/n This place looks spectacular hope its all it appears.
Oct 26 & 27 Motueka The Old School House $530 total What are must see's
Oct 28 - 30 Picton Craglee Lodge
Nov 1 Christchurch Salerno Apartments
Nov 2 Christchurch to Auckland
Nov 2 - 4 Rotoura Wgongataha Lakeside Lodge B&B - wanted to find a base and then travel from there trying to avoid changing accommodation What should we not miss
Nov 5 Whitianga Admiralty Lodge Motel $255.
Nov 6 - 7 Auckland
Nov 8 - The Long Flight home Via LA and Dallas thankful my husband agreed to Business class

Any thoughts, should I consider changing anything, any special things we should do, restaurants, etc.
It is so hard planning being fully aware that I'm not able to do as before. Any help that prepares us for what is ahead gives us a heads up and makes it easier on me and mine.
Thanks all

Calex is offline  
Old May 1st, 2008, 05:40 PM
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Hi Calex -

Highly recommend you pick up your gorceries before heading to the Catlins, as there's little there in the way of services (a tiny grocery store in Owaka). Assuming you're driving SH8 from Twizel down to the Catlins, your best bet for the largest grocery store/most choice will be in Cromwell. There's a large New World grocery store and the nearby Freeway Orchard, which offers a huge selection of fruits and veg. Don't forget to try their fruit ice cream while you're there.

Milton and Balcutha will probably also have grocery stores, but I suspect they'll be much smaller and have less to offer than Cromwell.

I have a recent trip report posted here (which I suspect you've read as you're staying at some of the same places I've mentioned in my past reports). There are many details in there about what to see and do in the Catlins and it includes a link to a Catlins website with loads of info.

While in Manapouri, I strongly recommend you drive to Te Anau and continue driving to Milford Sound. Even if you're not interested in the Milford Cruise, the drive to Milford is gorgeous, with many stops along the way to soak up the scenery. There are some short walks too, if you're interested in those.

Regarding your stay in Arrowtown - it's about a 25 minute drive to QT and there's so much to see and do in the area that you'll have a hard time choosing. I suggest you spent at least part of a day in Arrowtown because you'll be so close (about 5 minutes from Orchard Cottage - tell Olga and Lyman that the American couple from Indonesia said hello) - there are some shops, restaurants and a few nice spots along the river to have a picnic. There's also a shortish walk or two, the Chinese settlement, etc. I think you'll find that two nights isn't near enough.

Suggest you pop into the I-site in Arrowtown upon arrival and pick up some info on the area.

Lake Moeraki Lodge - what to expect? Wonderful things! The drive from Haast (near the lodge) to Arthur's Pass is approximately 5.5 hours.

I assume you're driving from Arthu'rs Pass to Hanmer Springs via Christcgurch?

Just a note about Hanmer Springs - I've been there many times, as it makes a good overnight on our day of arrival, BUT it's not a spot most visitors would go out of their way to see.

Punakaiki is a lovely place, but services are very limited. Suggest you pick up your groceries as you pass through Christchurch. Flax Haven sits on a gorgeous spot overlooking the water - you will not be disappointed.

Must see's in Motueka - well, the town itself isn't that interesting, but it's surrounded by wineries, orchards, etc. Abel Tasman is the main draw.

I assume you know you'll need to take a water taxi to Craglee Lodge -the Marlborough Sounds are beautiful.

Melnq8 is offline  
Old May 1st, 2008, 07:43 PM
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Melnq8, your many trips to New Zealand have been read and then reread. I am so glad that you have a love of New Zealand and the need to share that love.
I have found the planning of this trip difficult to say the least I am hoping that we will manage to experience all that is good in the 3 regions we will visit.
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Old May 1st, 2008, 10:23 PM
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Calex -

NZ itineraries can certainly be challenging - just too much to see and do and longer distances than one might expect.

I hope you have a wonderful visit and come back report on it so the rest of us can enjoy your adventures.
Melnq8 is offline  
Old May 2nd, 2008, 02:09 PM
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My thoughts -

Are the $ US or NZ?

Why are you going to Twizel? And then to Catlins? That's a lot of driving. Would you consider flying to Dunedin as soon as you get to CHC? And picking up your car in DUD, then to Catlins?

Manapouri Beechwood Lodge seems beautiful, but do you really want to stay there instead of Te Anau, which would be cheaper, and more central?

I assume you will be at Lake Moereki Wilderness Lodge for 2 nts. Is $1964 correct? You can see my report on LMWL at

I don't understand the itinerary - LMWL to Arthur's Pass to Hamner Springs then doubling back to Punakaiki, which is near Greymouth.
What draws you to HS?

Why are you planning to go back (?drive, fly) to CHC on Nov.1 for one night? And from there to AKL (?fly) for one night? Then to Rotorua (?drive)? How about flying from Picton area to Rotorua, and leaving out a lot of extra miles and unpacking?

Have you drawn your itinerary on a map of NZ? If you leave out some of the one-nighters, you will have more time in other places, such as Queenstown, CHC, AKL, and the North Island.

Please take my comments in a constructive manner.
Jed is offline  
Old May 2nd, 2008, 06:18 PM
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Jed, thanks for your input. I don't believe that I'd had the good luck of reading your trip report.

The dollar amounts are all in NZ dollar. I'm very thankful that the Canadian dollar has taken a hugh leap.

We will not be returning to NZ, this is it. So in the route planning I was trying to see as much of the country as I could. Over both passes (accommodation is and issue on both passes, and we had to keep moving) in 2 days and then skirting up and down the coast line. I'm hoping the beauty will more than make up for the time on the road. We really don't like cities (unless they offer something we haven't experienced before) and the route takes us too places that aren't really the norm.
With the wait times in the airports sometimes you can be well on your way before you even board. We have a world pass and I'm afraid that all those little flights are all extras.
I am going to go back over your report and highlight all the great information in it. Thanks
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