Itinerary Adive for New Zealand Trip

Feb 3rd, 2006, 10:51 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 10
Itinerary Adive for New Zealand Trip


My boyfriend and I are going to be in New Zealand from Sunday (6:05am Auckland), Feb. 19 until Monday (7:40pm Auckland), March 6. We will be in NZ for approximately 16 days and 15 nights. Part of the time, we will be visiting a cousin in Auckland, BUT we plan on visiting the South Island. We have not finalized any plans besides our plane tickets. I would like your input on my proposed itinerary when we are not with my cousin.

Sunday, Feb. 19:
Arrive Auckland 6:05am
Fly to Wellington around 8am ~ Is 8 am cutting it too close to our arrival time in Auckland?
Rent a car and drive to Martinborough and relax

Monday, Feb. 20:
Explore the vineyards in Martinborough

Tuesday, Feb. 21:
Drive back to Wellington
Explore Wellington
Rent rental car
Catch a late afternoon ferry to Picton
Rent car and drive to Blenhiem

Wednesday, Feb. 22:
Explore vineyards and wineries in Blenhiem

Thursday, Feb. 23:
Drive to Picton
Explore Marlborough Sound via sailing/water taxi/hiking???
Drive to a town close to Abel Tasman Park

Friday, Feb. 24:
Sea kayak around Abel Tasman Park
Drive to Westport or near the Pancake Rocks to stay the night

Saturday, Feb. 25:
Drive to see Pancake Rocks
Drive to Greymouth to go black water rafting in the afternoon
Drive to Franz Josef Glacier or a town north of it

Sunday, Feb. 26:
Heli-hike on Franz Josef Glacier
Drive to Queenstown

Monday, Feb. 27:
Day trip to Milford Sound ~ either (1) fly-cruise-bus or (2) fly-cruise-fly
Stay in Queenstown

Tuesday, Feb. 28:
Hot Air Balloon in the morning
Rent rental car
Fly to Auckland on a later afternoon flight

Regarding the itinerary above:
1) Does the itinerary seem reasonable? I realize that on some days we will be driving over 5 hours like from the glacier to Queenstown.
2) Can anyone suggest things we should do instead of some of the things listed above?
3) How can we modify this itinerary to make this portion of the trip better?
Please share your wealth of knowledge and experience. I would appreciate the advice greatly.

Our itinerary for the North Island from Wednesday, March 1 to Tuesday, March 6 has not been determined because my cousin is doing that planning. However, I want to make sure we get to explore the Bay of Islandís region in addition to Auckland. Has anyone been to White Island? My boyfriend is interested in going there. Is zorbing a worthwhile activity? Since it was invented in NZ, we are thinking of doing it.

Hope to hear from you guys soon!

GTAnnaM is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2006, 11:14 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
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Hi Anna, I have only been to part of the South Island and will only comment on that portion of your itinerary. I think that you will be way too rushed on Feb 25-28. Feb 25 is fine, but you will likely not want to drive all the way to Queenstown after the heli-hike. I know we were pretty worn out and were glad we had that night in Franz Josef. Could you add one more night there?
Tim_and_Liz is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2006, 11:35 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,546
If you are using the same airline into AKL, then to WLG, you should make sure with them. I think it will be just fine.

If you are you planning to use one car co. from WGL through the SI, there may be deals from one co. You leave the first car in WGL, and pick up the second after you cross with the ferry.

If you plan to do the heli-hike (?half or whole day), you should stay in that spot the night before. I agree that Feb 26 looks very busy. Try to do the bus at least one way from QT to Milford for the scenery.
Jed is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2006, 11:37 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,793
The more I think about it, maybe your best option is to fly from Auckland to Nelson on the 19th and go to the wineries in the northern part and the central Otago part of the South Island instead of those on the North Island. It would be a shame to be so rushed on the West Coast, the Queenstown area and the Fiordland area of the South Island-- there is so much to do and see!
Tim_and_Liz is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2006, 11:55 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 10
I am so excited to receive such quick feedback.

Yes, I thought that the days would be too packed.

Which vineyard area is better to visit, Martinborough or the ones near Blenhiem? I think we should stick to one or the other to give us another day of traveling on the west coast.

Or we could skip Marlborough Sound. Is it worth exploring?

Or we could add another day to the south island, and we can limit the north island stay to the evening of March 1 to the evening of March 6. What do you guys think?
GTAnnaM is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2006, 01:21 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
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I haven't been to either of the wine regions you mention, nor Marlborough Sound...
But I think you need a minimum of 2 nights in Franz Josef and a minimum of 3 in Queenstown if you plan to do the Milford Sound trip.
It's so difficult to make these decisions, isn't it?
Tim_and_Liz is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2006, 02:03 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 10
Yes, it is very hard to decide. We are definitely we thinking our plan. I really appreciate everyone's input.

Oh, I saw that you are interested in stopping in Iceland on a trip. Did you already go to Europe? I went to Iceland in Sept. 2005.

GTAnnaM is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2006, 05:01 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,493
Dear Anna
If u have not been to NZ before, u r missing some of the main attractions.
North Island: at least the Hydro-thermal sites around Rotorua...

Feb 19: sight-seeing Wellington & late afternoon ferry to Picton (sleep Nelson)
20th: full day Abel-Tasman - kayak, water taxi, hike ...
21st: winelands sleep Kaikoura !
22nd: Whale watch/swim with Dolphins continue to CHC
23rd: CHC to Greymouth (possible with Tranzalpine) do Punakaiki & around
24th: drive to Glacier - afternoon (heli)hike or early morning next day.
if u stay at Fox G. i strongly recommend early morning at Lake Mathiesson (the famous post card of reflections) eat early breakfast at the cafe near the lake.

Now we have a "spare" day - to either
CHC or QT but if u can extend 1 more day more we can have more options
aby is offline  
Feb 4th, 2006, 07:07 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,546
Well, aby, u r missing Anna's intentions.

She is not saying that she will not go to Rotorua, but that the time on NI will be determined in part by her cousin.
Jed is offline  
Feb 4th, 2006, 04:01 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 24
I agree with Tim and Liz who advise flying to Nelson instead of Wellington.
Nelson is wine country and will be more convenient to where you want to go.
You're covering a lot of ground while planning a lot of activities.
In_From_The_Cold is offline  
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