Help with my South Island itinerary

Old Jan 28th, 2005, 08:40 AM
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Help with my South Island itinerary

My parents and I are planning on being on the South Island for 6.5 days in April and we are flying out of Christchurch. I need some advice and guidance on how to maximize our time.
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Old Jan 29th, 2005, 11:59 AM
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My husband and I spent 16 days on the South Island in October. If I had to pick two places to go (to fit into 6 days) I would pick either Queenstown or Kaikoura.

You could drive north from Christchurch to Kaikoura (spectacular mountains that meet the sea, seal colonies, whale watching, etc) and then further north to Blenheim or even further to Nelson and Abel Tasman National Park. Sunniest and warmest area on the S. Island. We hiked and kayaked, but seemed like there was a lots of culture/entertainment in the cities.

Or drive southwest to Queenstown which is a hip adventure town (nearby Arrowtown is quiet and historic.) Nestled in the Southern Alps, it a spectacular area. Many activities to choose from. You could easily spend 5 days in that area. Also, Milford Sound is worth a detour. Use Te Anau as your base as you have to drive two hours to Milford Sound and then back after the boat tour. (There are no accomodations there). I think Te Anau is a 2-3 hour drive from Queenstown.

This may be a lot for 6 days, so try not to bite off more than you can chew. My husband and I had planned to spend a few days on the North Island during the trip, but realized once we got there that it was unrealistic. So we left the N. Island for next time and really enjoyed our time on the South.

Hope this helps!

Marnie
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Old Jan 29th, 2005, 01:29 PM
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I think the suggestions in the last post are good so I will just provide some alternatives to those, but you cannot go wrong with Kaikoura and Queenstown.

From Christchurch there are some good day trips or "one night away" trips.

Hanmer Springs (about 100kms north west) is well worth a visit.

Spending a couple of days in Christchurch is easy no matter what your preferances are.

The Banks Peninsula out to Akaroa provides very nice scenary and the town itself is lovely with a French influence.

For a 6 day trip I would go west over Arthurs pass, down the West Coast to the Glaciers (Fox and Franz Josef inland to Wanaka then onto Arrowtown and Queenstown. You can do trips to Milford Sound from Queenstaown if you are up for a loooong day. Otherwise, as the previous poster suggested base yourself at Te Anau for that. The only problem is that you will chew through two nights there, rather than one long day from Queenstown. It really depends on whether you want a round trip which entails a fair bit of driving or you would prefer to base in Christchurch and do some one or two day trips.

Enjoy it

Ned
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Old Jan 30th, 2005, 02:50 PM
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What kinds of activities do you enjoy?

Lee Ann
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Old Jan 30th, 2005, 08:56 PM
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You could cover a bit if you are prepared to fly a little. True Nelson - Abel Tasman region is pretty fantastic. However in your case i would not recommend going up there. Stick to around CHCH perhaps do the Transalpine to Greymouth, go up to Kaikoura see the whales and the dophins. Interested in Hot Air Ballooning over Canterbury? Visit a Vineyard or two?

Cheers
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