From Nelson NZ down the West or East Coast?

Nov 14th, 2005, 08:13 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2005
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From Nelson NZ down the West or East Coast?

On our previous trip in May of 1999 we visited Christchurch, Milford Sound, Te Anau, Queenstown, Arrowtown, Wanaka, Invercargill, one of the glaciers, Wesport, did the mountain crossing back towards Christchurch and ended at Kaikoura. We flew in/out of Christchurch.

This trip, we are seeing what we missed before and returning to a few familiar places. One of our (many) MUST SEES again is Kaikoura. Our trip ends at Queenstown, with a flight back to Auckland.

So after a week on the N Island, we are going to arrive in Picton and explore the northern tip of the S Island.

THE QUESTION: After that, we are trying to decide on whether to go down the WEST COAST or to go down the EAST COAST? We have seen the West Coast as far up as Westport. We have see the East Coast as far up as Kaikoura.

So suggestions on this part of the itinerary would be appreciated. We will probably allot 2 or 3 nights for the Nelson & Abel Tasman. It 'seems' there isn't much of the West Coast left to see (north of Westport). Is this correct? If that is the case, when we would want to route down the East Coast and go to Kaikoura (I suppose).

Thanks for any tips
HorizonBound is offline  
Nov 14th, 2005, 11:45 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
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You could do Arthur's Pass then north on the west coast to the southern end of the Heaphy track, day hike to Scott's Beach, Oparara Arch is the other sight.

But it probably makes better sense to go inland from Christchurch via Methven/Mt Cook/Tekapo Twizel. Then you have choice of routes to Dunedin, a few nights in Dunedin then the Catlins Coast, ending in Invercargill.

Or if you have to fly out of Christchurch the coastal route from Dunedin back up to Christchurch is about 4-5 hours.
mlgb is offline  
Nov 14th, 2005, 11:46 AM
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oops sorry, reread you second paragraph. Invercargill to Queenstown for the last bit!
mlgb is offline  
Nov 14th, 2005, 04:56 PM
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 236
Thanks Yes -- purchased the OW ticket from Queenstown already, so that is set.
ALadyNCal is offline  
Nov 15th, 2005, 05:04 PM
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I would head down the East Coast of New Zealand and visit some of the wineries around Blenhiem in the Marlborough area on you way to Kaikoura. There is only the Pancake rocks at Punakiki to see at the top of the West Coast. It is a popular spot but you may have seen these.

Here is a list of popular West Coast activities you can check off.

Rafting on the Buller River
Walking the Oparara limestone arches and Honeycomb caves at Karamea
Visit Shantytown
Picnic or fish at Lake Brunner
Visit Blackball where The New Zealand Labour Party was born
Visit Ross and see the one of the deepest mining operations in the Southern Hemisphere
Visit the Seal colony at Cape Foulwind
Visit the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and blowholes
Visit the Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers

Some popular Marlborough activities
Take a wine trail
Visit the country museums
Visit Picton
Visit Edwin Fox a floating museum in Picton
Take a hike through the Queen Charlotte Track (3-4 days)

Popular Canterbury activities:
Whale watching in Kaikoura
White water rafting on the Rangitata River or Jet boating the Waimakariri River
Visit Hanmer Springs for mountain biking walking in the forest and soaking in the hot pools
Travel around the Wineries of the Waipara Valley
Ski Mt Hutt.
Visit Geraldine’s car museum
Take a trip to Timaru


GBZ is offline  
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