Itinerary Help - 10 days

Old Jun 23rd, 2008, 11:21 PM
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Itinerary Help - 10 days

We have 12 days in New Zealand, and are struggling trying to come up with the best itinerary. Particularly, am unsure if we should try to do a little of north island and south island, or just focus on south island. We are planning on spending the last several days in Queenstown and do sidetrips from there

Dec 22: arrive late at night to Wellington from Sydney
Dec 23: Wellington
Dec 24: ??
Dec 25: ??
Dec 26: ??
Dec 27: ??
Dec 28: Kaikoura (Hapuku Lodge)
Dec 29: Christchurch (The George)
Dec 30: arrive queenstown (Stay at Azur)
Dec 31: Day trip Milford Sound (fly in) Stay at Azur, queenstown
Jan 1: Queenstown (Azur)
Jan 2: depart Queenstown at noon for Sydney

Any help would be most appreciated!
jonniew is offline  
Old Jun 24th, 2008, 01:59 AM
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what are you doing at those places you hav decided on and what are your interests?
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Old Jun 24th, 2008, 03:58 AM
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jonniew -

You only have 10 full days to work with as you’re arriving late, and leaving by noon, which pretty much cancels out your departure day. Therefore, I’d suggest you stick to one island.

A few questions leap out at me –

How are you getting to Kaikoura? Where are you arriving in Kaikoura from (do you know)?

Are you driving or flying from Christchurch to Queenstown? It’s a full day’s drive with stops, and there are plenty of reasons to stop.

The only side trip I see from Queenstown is Milford, which will take the better part of the day, even if you’re flying. You can easily get to Arrowtown and Glenorchy as side trips from Queenstown, but they’re in opposite directions, so you’ll need to plan a bit.

What is it you’re most interested in?

If you can provide a few more details, we can be of more help.
Melnq8 is offline  
Old Jun 24th, 2008, 07:22 AM
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thanks for your replies. sounds like it may make the most sense to stick to the south island.

We are mainly interested in taking day hikes, wine tasting, relaxing at a beach, and, in general, taking in the beautiful scenery that New Zealand has to offer.

to save time, we were thinking of flying between major destinations (e.g. Wellington to Nelson/Picton; Christchurch to queenstown)

The only thing that is really locked in stone is our stay at Azur in Queenstown. All the other days are flexible, so any thoughts on potential itineraries?

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Old Jun 24th, 2008, 07:37 AM
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If no one gets seasick, you might look into taking the ferry/train combo to Kaikoura and after your visit, you can take a van shuttle or train to Christchurch. The ferry gives you a nice cruise of the Marlborough sounds as it arrives in Picton.

It makes more sense to move Christchurch up in the itinerary, pick up the car from there, and then drive between Christchurch and Queenstown, selecting either the west coast (visit Arthur's Pass and the Glaciers) or east of the Southern Alps (the route via Methven, Geraldine, Tekapo, Mt. Cook). You can add Arrowtown to the east loop or do it as a side trip.

Both of these legs are well documented on fodors and on the NZ tourism website. Don't stress too much, it's all beautiful!


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Old Jun 24th, 2008, 08:07 AM
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If you enjoy hiking and want to experience the scenery of NZ, then I can highly recommend the Kaikoura Coast Track. This is a 3-day/2 night hike over private land so they limit the number of hikers to 10 people per day. When we hiked it a number of years ago, there were 2 families of 4 and we generally only saw each other at the end of the day. So we had all of that glorious NZ scenery--highlands, farms and beaches--to ourselves. You are housed in private cottages on the grounds of the farmers/ranchers and can arrange to have your meals with them. So you've got a bed, hot shower, and hot meal awaiting you each day. Your bags are transported each day, so all you have to take is a day pack. I would rate the hiking as easy to moderate and our children, aged 10 and 13 at the time, were able to hike it.
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Old Jun 24th, 2008, 05:45 PM
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How about something like this:

Day 1- Arrive Christchurch, overnight CHC

Day 2 - Explore Christchurch and environs, overnight CHC

Day 3 - Drive from CHC to Franz Josef or Fox Glaciers via Arthurs Pass (or take the Tranz Alpine train to Greymouth and pick up rental car there), ovenright Franz or Fox

Day 4 - Explore glaciers (lots of walks, helihikes, glacier climbs, etc) overnight Franz or Fox

Day 5 - Drive from Franz/Fox to Wanaka, overnight in Wanaka

Day 6 - Drive from Wanaka to Te Anau
(LOADS of walks in this area, 2 hour drive to Milford Sound from here) overnight Te Anau

Day 7 - Explore Milford Sound, walks, etc - overnight Te Anau

Day 8 - Drive to Queenstown (two hours from Te Anau) Explore QT

Day 9 - Queenstown (wineries, loads of walks, Arrowtown, Glenorchy - overnight QT

Day 10 - Queenstown area

Day 11 - Depart QT for CHC & onward flight

That's two nights CHC, two nights West Coast (glaciers), one night Wanaka, two nights Te Anau and three nights QT. An unrushed pace with only one 1 night stay.

You could always add another night to Wanaka - loads of fabulous walks and scenery within an hour or so of Wanaka.

I can provide a lot of info on day walks once you decide on an itinerary.

Melnq8 is offline  
Old Jun 25th, 2008, 10:26 PM
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thanks for everybody's reply

i've rethought the itinerary and here's the latest

Dec 22: Sydney to Wellington (BOLTON HOTEL)
Dec 23: Wellington (BOLTON HOTEL)
Dec 24: Wellington to Christchurch (the george)
Dec 25: Christchurch to Fox via Arthur's pass or train (Westhaven Motel)
Dec 26: Fox (Westhaven)
Dec 27: Fox to Wanaka (RIVER RUN)
Dec 28: Wanaka to Te Anau (FIORDLAND LODGE)
Dec 30: Te Anau to Queenstown (AZUR)
Dec 31: Queenstown (AZUR)
Jan 1: Queenstown (AZUR)
Jan 2: Queenstown to Sydney via Wellington

Will this itinerary give us a good mix of scenery, hiking, adventure, and wineries?
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Old Jun 25th, 2008, 11:12 PM
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Yes, that itinerary will give you a good taste of what NZ has to offer.

How are you getting from Wellie to CHC?

Just a few comments -

You've not left any time to see CHC, (which might be your intention)

I'd suggest verifying that the activities you hope to see/do over the Christmas holidays are operating (like the Tranzalpine on Christmas Day).
Melnq8 is offline  
Old Jun 26th, 2008, 12:07 AM
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thanks -
we'll take a flight from wellington to christchurch. will plan to get in in the morning so we'll have most of the day there.

would you recommend the tranzalpine or driving over arthurs pass?
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Old Jun 26th, 2008, 04:45 AM
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We took the Tranzalpine on our first visit to the SI - enjoyed it, but we've also enjoyed the numerous trips we've made via car over Arthur's Pass.

Depends really - if you want a car in CHC, you might as well drive yourself, rather than return the car, and pick up another in Greymouth.

If you're not planning to rent a car in CHC, the train is certainly a good option.

I prefer the flexibility of having a car so we can stop when the spirit moves us, but you can't go wrong either way.

It's all good...
Melnq8 is offline  
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