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Need help with itinerary, Auckland to Christchurch and fly out of Auckland.

Need help with itinerary, Auckland to Christchurch and fly out of Auckland.

Feb 7th, 2004, 07:48 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 129
Need help with itinerary, Auckland to Christchurch and fly out of Auckland.

This is a great message board! Four senior citizens now booked on Qantas from LA to Auckland on April 19, returning May 11. We are planning to fly from Auckland to Christchurch on the day we arrive (at 5:10 am!) and will rent a car in Christchurch. Looking for the best route on South Island and great places to stay! Prefer to keep price under $100 US and like farmstays, lodges and B&B's. Any recommendations are appreciated. Then we will fly back to Auckland from Christchurch and rent a car there. Will have about 9 days on each island. Trying to read lots of books and search the web, but am confused as to what not to miss, etc. Sorry this is so long.... Sasi
sasi is offline  
Feb 8th, 2004, 06:50 AM
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Out of curiosity - If you are renting a car in Christchurch and plan to go around the S Island for 9 days, why don't you drive from CC to Auckland, and see things along the way, instead of doubling back to CC and flying? (Which, by the way, is what we 4 seniors hope to do next year.)

For good driving itineraries, see <http://www.purenz.com/>
Jed is offline  
Feb 8th, 2004, 08:10 AM
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If I understand Jed correctly, he's suggesting you drive your car across Cook Strait! In which case, he and his party of seniors will have quite the adventure next year.

Seriously though, you might consider driving from CH to Queentown or Dunedin, and flying to Auckland from here to avoid doubling back to CH and saving some time.

Melnq8 is offline  
Feb 8th, 2004, 08:47 AM
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Depending on what you'd like to do and see, you might consider the following:

Arrive CH - drive to Hanmer Springs (90 minutes from CH - good place to relax for a day or two after your long flight) - great thermal pools.

Drive from Hamner Springs to Motueka via Lewis Pass (four hour drive give or take). Stay here or continue on to Takaka, Marahau or Kaiteriteri, gateway to Abel Tasman.

OR drive from Hanmer Springs to Kaikoura - whale watching.

Drive from Motueka (long drive!) or Kaikoura to Greymouth and the West Coast. Spend some time in either Franz Josef or Fox Glacier.

Drive from the West Coast to Wanaka and/or Queenstown. Stay here for a few days.

Drive from Queenstown to Te Anau (assuming you want to visit Milford Sound and/or Doubtful Sound). Either spend a night or two in Te Anau, or make a day trip from Queenstown to the Sounds (long day). Drive Queenstown to Glenorchy - perhaps take a tour on the Dart River.

Depending on time and your interests, you might want to then drive to Dunedin for a few days.

Fly from Queenstown or Dunedin to Auckland.

The best route for you will depend on your particular interests (wineries, walks, adventure activities, cities, etc) and how much time you want to spend at each location. It's difficult to narrow down all the wonderful things to see in NZ.

Can't help with the North Island. Went there once and haven't been back.

Hope this helps somewhat.
Melnq8 is offline  
Feb 8th, 2004, 03:36 PM
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Posts: 129
Thanks for the responses! We just made reservations to fly from Auckland to Christchurch and have decided to drive south and then back to Picton/Nelson and take the ferry across to Wellington. Then we will drive north and sightsee on our way to Auckland. Thinking about spending 2 nights Christchurch area, then to Wanaka, then to Te Anau, then to Queenstown, to Franz Joseph, to Greymouth, across Arthur's Pass, on to Nelson! Is this doable??? Looking for farmstays and B&B's, any recommendations? Thanks again for all the help. Sasi
sasi is offline  
Feb 8th, 2004, 05:12 PM
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sasi - sorry, can't help with accommodation issues. However I agree with your decision to take the ferry. We found it convenient and relaxing. Suggest you take the time to stroll around Wellington's city centre, including the National Museum; visit Napier and see its Art Deco buildings, spend some time in Rotorua. Auckland has become a cosmopolitan city with good eats.

Before our last trip to NZ we'd visited only the South Island and while the North Island is not so scenically spectacular it's still very beautiful and there's more opportunity to learn about Maori culture.

As an aside, the introduced Australian marsupial possum has become a major environmental pest (sorry about that, Kiwis), but NZ has found an innovative way of putting the beast to use via an excellent wool+possum fur fabric. Do your bit for the NZ environment and buy a sweater. OK, they're expensive, but nice.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Feb 8th, 2004, 06:27 PM
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Sasi -

Yes, your itinerary is doable and taking the ferry is a good idea. I recommend Waiho Stables Country Stay in Franz Josef, although it's quite a bit higher than your budget of US $100 per night. I also recommend The Explorer Lodge in Te Anau (well within your budget).

For more B&B ideas, you might want to take a look at www.bnb.co.nz.

Incidentally, I bought a possum fur hat in NZ and I just love it!
Melnq8 is offline  
Feb 9th, 2004, 07:16 AM
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Well, Melnq8, you have indeed have misunderstood me, and your snide remark was not appreciated.

I assumed that it would be obvious to any knowlegeable person that driving from CC to Auckland would include the ferry, and either taking the car on the ferry or changing it before and after the ferry.

From what I understand from sasi's posts, my suggestion was considered, and that is exactly what sasi now intends to do.

sais - Is that what happened? Did you change your itinerary between your first and last posts?
Jed is offline  
Feb 9th, 2004, 07:46 AM
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No offense Jed, I certainly didn't mean to be snide.
Melnq8 is offline  
Feb 9th, 2004, 08:59 AM
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We stayed at The Grange House in CHC. A B&B close to the CBD. The trolley stops in front of it. The proprietor, Marie Simpson and son Paul, gave us free passes for it. Also, she let us use her auto to go to church on Sunday. Lovely people. We stayed there 8 days. They have a website by the same name.
We enjoyed Oxford on Avon and Chancery on Lane restaurants. Both within walking distance of the CBD.
While in Wellington be sure to visit Courtnay Place. A row of ethnic restaurants and shops. We arrived in CHC after dark and the CBD was closed. We flagged a taxi and he took us there.
John71cove is offline  
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