Melinq help please!! Catlins on a first trip to NZ?

Old Mar 22nd, 2009, 06:30 PM
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This is my current plan

Day 1 Drive from QT to Owaka via Kingston, Winton and Invercargill, ON Owaka
Day 2 ON Owaka
Day 3 ON Owaka
Day 4 Leave Owaka and drive to Tekapo via Balclutha, Alexandra, Cromwell and Omarama

Day 1-3 as above
Day 4 Leave Owaka, drive to Dunedin, evening wildlife tour, ON Dunedin
Day 5 Drive to Tekapo via Oamaru (stop off at Tunnel beach), Omarama, to reach Tekapo.

I think the route from Owaka to Tekapo is more scenic and will only spend a night in Dunedin if you think Otego Peninsula and the guided wildlife tour are must see attractions. I'll only be able to stay 2 nights instead of 3 nights in Tekapo in exchange.

theway02 is offline  
Old Mar 22nd, 2009, 08:44 PM
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I've never taken the guided wildlife tour in Dunedin, so I'm not going to be able to help you with this one. Assuming we're talking about the Elm Wildlife tour, it certainly comes highly recommended by other Fodorites, but I have no first hand experience to share.

Because you're already so close to Dunedin, my feeling is that you might as well go for it, as the tour could very well be the highlight of your trip.

Dunedin is a pretty city, and it will give you yet another prespective of NZ if you can fit in even a short stop there.

If you do decide to visit Dunedin, be sure to make a quick stop at the Moeraki Boulders on your way towards Oamaru. They're nothing to get excited about, but certainly worth the few minutes that it takes to see them.

You might also want to call in at the Oamaru cheese factory. I've heard a lot about it, but still haven't managed to visit their shop.

And keep your eyes peeled for those shoe fences.
Melnq8 is offline  
Old Mar 23rd, 2009, 11:58 AM
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We went to see the albatross colony from Dunedin. It was very interesting, and Dunedin is a neat city.
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Old Mar 25th, 2009, 08:30 PM
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On my first trip to the South Island I was fortunate to have spent time in the Caitlins. I found it was absolutely one of the most beautiful spots during my trip and I traveled for several months extensively through both the North and South Islands. The Nuggets and the Nugget Point Lighthouse was great, also saw some of the yellow-eyed penguins coming back to their nests for the evening. If you like the rugged coastal experience, I think it's a really worthwhile destination.

I also spent some time in Makarora and stayed at the Wilderness Resort. Makarora really is a blip on the map and there's not much to the town itself - but it's a great spot to stay overnight if you want to take some good day hikes or hop on a helicopter for an aerial view of the mountains. I was lucky enough to be in Makarora overnight and the sky was very clear so looking at the zillions of stars was incredible...saw 7 shooting stars within a 15 minute time frame. If you stay at the Wilderness Resort, be sure you pack a headlamp or flashlight/torch if you plan on walking down to the pub or restaurant...even with all the stars, if you don't have a full moon it is extremely dark on the grounds.
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Old Mar 25th, 2009, 09:41 PM
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Ceidleh -

Appreciate the comments on Makarora.
Melnq8 is offline  
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