Help with New Zealand Itinerary

Jul 23rd, 2017, 11:53 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 16
Help with New Zealand Itinerary

Hi All,

My husband and I will be traveling to New Zealand in November 2017 for 14 days. We are in our late 30's/early 40's and will be traveling alone. We are looking to hit all of the major stops listed below. Here is our tentative itinerary. We plan to rent a car on the north island and a camper van on the south island. We would like to know if this is a realistic itinerary, especially considering driving times. Kindly advise regarding any changes or suggestions! Thank you!!

11/16 Arrive Auckland in early morning, spend day in Auckland
11/17 Drive to Raglan for surfing
11/18 Waitamo caves, drive to Matamata
11/19 See Hobbiton, then drive back to Auckland. Fly to Christchurch that evening
11/20 Drive from Christchurch to Muller Hut Route, stop at Tekapo
11/21 Overnight hike to Mueller hut
11/22 Hike down from Mueller hut early (after sunrise), drive to Franz Josef glacier
11/23 Glacier hike
11/24 Drive to Te Anu, stay the night
11/25 Milford sound
11/26 Drive to Queenstown
11/27 Queenstown
11/28 Queenstown
11/29 Fly from Queenstown to Auckland, then home
abwils is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2017, 02:23 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 34
Hi! My husband and I (same age as you) went to NZ in May and absolutely loved it. We spent the entire time on the South Island. We were also there for 14 days. While I can't speak to the North Island at all, I would take one day out from Queenstown and break up your drive from Franz Josef to Te Anau by stopping in Wanaka for a night. It is a lovely town and a good stopping point. Then you can really experience the drive from FJG to Wanaka, you won't want to rush it because it is magnificent. Don't miss Lake Matheson!
We saw Arrowton on the way from Wanaka to Te Anau, and Glenorchy from Queenstown as a day trip, if those are your reasons for staying longer in Queenstown.
I am a little sad you will not see Aoraki/Mt. Cook National Park, that was one of my favorite areas.
Also, in Christchurch, the Botanic Gardens are well worth the time, absolutely beautiful. I know you have limited time in Chch though.
Don't underestimate the drive times, use the NZ Automobile Association site/app for directions. The driving was the hardest part of our trip for me. (We are from the USA, so getting used to driving on the left, the windy roads next to a cliff, ahhh, but worth it!)
Just my two cents!

Enjoy!
lilyclaire is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2017, 03:04 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 227
>>>I am a little sad you will not see Aoraki/Mt. Cook National Park, that was one of my favorite areas.<<<

That is where Mueller Hut is, so they will definitely see Aoraki/Mt Cook NP!

Your plans for 11/22 are not feasible. Nor is the plan to drive from Franz Josef to Te Anau on the 24th. Plug in the drive times on Googlemaps, add at least an hour because G-maps greatly underestimates drive times on Haast Pass. Add another 2 hours for the several short waterfall walks and the walk to Blue Pools. You simply don't have the time.

Instead of Franz Josef, I recommend you stay 2 nights in Wanaka. Enjoy the hikes in the area - Rob Roy Valley Glacier hike is fantastic! Otherwise, you will have 2 grueling days in the car.
deSchenke is offline  
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