First trip trip to New Zealand South Island

Old Nov 2nd, 2016, 09:57 PM
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First trip trip to New Zealand South Island

Hi, my wife don't take many breaks, but we're going to NZ in March 2017. Basically it's just sightseeing, lots of walking, some scenic driving.
The rough idea at this stage is to fly into Queenstown on March 3rd, (from Brisbane), leisurely make our way to Fox Glacier for a helicopter flight, drive through Marlborough to Picton and walk some of Queen Charlotte Track before leaving from Wellington on March 13th.
Initially Milford Sound was on the list but, unfortunately, by the time you count out arrival and departure day and 2 days of driving, something has to give.
The Queen Charlotte Track hike is really appealing and I'd like some advice please on which parts we should do if we only have 2 or 3 days, how to handle boat transport to and from etc. We're both fit and relatively fast walkers, (I'm mid 60's and my wife is early 50's), but we're not going there to race, we want to take the time to enjoy the area, it sounds wonderful.
I haven't looked into accommodation or anything yet. Initially we were considering camper van but I think we'll hire a car and try to find interesting accommodation.
Just thought I'd throw the idea out in the early stages to see if anyone with experience has any helpful advice.
Thank you.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2016, 07:44 AM
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>

You have several choices when it comes to the Queen Charlotte Track.

You can either walk the entire track, beginning on either end - Ship Cove or Anakiwa - the entire track takes 3-5 days (71 km). You can arrange for water taxis to drop off your gear at the boat docks near your overnight stops - or you can carry everything yourself. You can camp, or you can stay in accommodation along the track.

Do be aware that not all accommodation you may find in your research is right on the track - some of it requires rather steep climbing to access.

Or you can do what we've done on many visits - walk sections of the track as day walks using water taxi services.

My favorite section is from Ship Cove to Furneaux - I've walked this section several times - it's about about 14 km.

In each case, we booked a water taxi in Picton the night before, turned up at the dock the day of, and were dropped off at Ship Cove, then freedom walked to Furneaux.

The last time I did this, we had time for a drink and a poke around Furneaux before our water taxi picked us up and returned us to Picton - on the return we were on the mail boat - so it took about 1:45 to get back to Picton, but it was glorious day and a beautiful bonus ride through the sounds.

We've also walked other sections of the track as day walks, but a couple of them were challenging to organize - we once started from Bay of Many Coves Resort - we arranged a taxi pickup from there, then were dropped at Punga Cove Resort, where we then walked up to the track and back towards Bay of Many Coves, but because Bay of Many Coves isn't on the track, we had to detour down through private land (we obtained permission) to the water, where an employee from the resort collected us in a dinghy. It was and adventure, but led to a knee injury.

The NZ Dept of Conservation website contains all the information you need -

http://www.doc.govt.nz/

Water taxi services can be found here - we prefer the Cougar Line:

http://www.cougarline.co.nz/http://

www.arrowwatertaxis.co.nz/

http://www.pictonwatertaxis.co.nz/

Whatever you choose, do allow yourself plenty of time as there are many side tracks off the Queen Charlotte that you might also want to explore.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2016, 09:29 PM
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Wow, that's extremely useful information for me, thank you. I'll take the time to follow up your suggestions, maybe over the weekend.
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Old Nov 4th, 2016, 06:37 AM
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Happy to help Alleyoop.
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Old Nov 7th, 2016, 04:12 AM
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We sat and talked over the weekend about our trip and decided to do the QST another time rather than try and traverse the South Island in such a short time. We're going to base ourselves around Queenstown, go no further north than Fox Glacier and see Milford Sound.
Thank you for your help.
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Old Nov 7th, 2016, 05:13 AM
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Good idea. Have a great trip.
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