New Zealand -help with itinerary

Old Nov 30th, 2014, 05:25 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 6
New Zealand -help with itinerary

Hi, I am travelling with my partner from Boston to Sydney for wedding on Feb 7th. We would love to visit NZ and are thinking if traveling there on Feb 9th. We have approx 17 days. We would like to see the following places and are willing to use internal flights to cut back on driving time. Planning it seems a little overwhelming, we welcome any suggestions:
Queenstown
Te Anau as base for Milford sound
Able Tasman track -walking
Nelson and Bleineim- maybe see some wineries
boat on Marlborough sounds
Rotorua - Tongarira crossing
Lake Taupo
Coromandel
Maybe Bay of Plenty or Hawkes Bay or go up to northlands (love the beach)

Is this doable? Thank you in advance for your help, Pauline
paulinegray is offline  
Old Nov 30th, 2014, 07:31 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,958
Your wish list is kind of all over the place. NZ drive distances are more substantial than you might think, so you'll definitely need to fly between some locations and still trim your list quite a bit. Problem is, not all the places on your list have airports, and most of those that do are small and have limited flights.

I've just booked a three week trip to both islands for February (two months out is very last minute for me) and it was a struggle to find available accommodation in every area I looked (granted, I know what I want and I can be a bit fussy).

Another issue I see with your wish list is that you've included the top of the SI and the south of the SI, which is difficult to accomplish under the best of circumstances.

Have you booked your international flights from Australia to SYD yet? You can reach Christchurch in about three hours from Sydney, so that's probably a good place to start, but then you'd probably want to fly to Queenstown or fly up to Nelson. Getting from QT to Nelson or Nelson to QT is going to be a challenge and will most likely involve a stopover in Christchurch.

I suggest you start by looking at flights to see what's doable and then go from there.
Melnq8 is offline  
Old Dec 2nd, 2014, 09:38 AM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 6
Thank you for taking the time to post, I appreciate your advice,I will look into this. This is last minute for us, wondering if maybe it is not really feasible.
paulinegray is offline  
Old Dec 2nd, 2014, 02:53 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,958
Pauline -

I certainly don't mean to discourage you, I just want to emphasize the need to narrow your options and get busy with those bookings.

It sounds like a great opportunity to see at least a part of NZ, and I think it's quite feasible...just not everything on your list.

Do you have a full 17 days on the ground? If so, you can certainly see a good bit of one island in that time, and I'd suggest the south. Or perhaps dedicate 10-14 days to the south making a driving circuit, then spending the balance at one location on the north.

Perhaps fly to Christchurch from Sydney, rent a car, head up north, work your way down the west coast, end in Queenstown, then fly from there to somewhere on the North Island or vice versa. Or concentrate on one end of the South Island, spending more time in a given area, then use the remaining time at a location or two on the NI.

I'm happy to help you work out a SI driving itinerary once you decide how many days you want to spend there. I'm not as well-versed with the NI, but many posters here on Fodor's are.
Melnq8 is offline  
Old Dec 2nd, 2014, 04:07 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 53,254
Hi pauline,

we had 17 nights spread between the north and south islands, and ended up spending just 4 on NI because there was so much we wanted to see in the south. therefore we ended up doing a lot of driving on the NI which was very tiring; we would probably have been better off jettisoning the north completely and concentrating on the south.

if you are determined to do both, i think you need at least 7 days to get comfortably from Auckland to Wellington, [or vice versa] possibly more if you want to include the northlands; for beaches the Coromandel is lovely and we wished we'd had longer there. however, if you do that, you will have to cut down on what you do on the SI - we ended up altering our itinerary en route and cancelling our stay in Te Anau because it would involve too much driving -we should have listened to Mel!

in 10 days you could do a loop from C/Church across to the glaciers and north round Abel Tasman and Nelson getting the boat from Picton to Wellington, or you could go south from C/C to Te anau, then go to Wanaka, and end up in QT and fly to the NI [Rotorua]. but I can't see how you can do both!
annhig is offline  
Old Dec 2nd, 2014, 04:13 PM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 6
Thank you so much. We were hoping to arrive on 9th and depart on 26th. Can I run this possible itinerary by you:

What if we were to fly from Sydney to Queenstown and spend about 5days in general area(rent a car), then fly to Nelson/AbelTasman area for 4-5days (rent a car), then fly to Taupo or perhaps Napier (rent a car) spend one day in Napier and/or two days near Tongariro for a few hikes, then drive to Rotorua for ? 2days and then drive to Coromandel area before departing from Auckland? Does this sound crazy?
paulinegray is offline  
Old Dec 2nd, 2014, 04:31 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,958
Pauline -

The SI portion sounds doable, but you'll need to check flights - I suspect that flights from QT to Nelson go through Christchurch and the flight from Christchurch to Nelson is on a turbo prop - this may not be an issue for you, but it is for me, which is why I never fly into/out of Nelson

Flights from Nelson to Napier/Taupo probably go through Auckland or perhaps Wellington, not sure.

Keep in mind that Nelson is about an hour's drive from Abel Tasman, so you might want to stay closer to the park, such as in Motueka, Kaiteriteri, Little Kaiteriteri, Marahau or Upper Moutere.

I'd suggest perhaps flying to Nelson, driving to Abel Tasman, spending a few nights there and then returning to Nelson for a couple of days before you fly out.

This wouldn't include Marlborough Sounds though.

First thing to do is check those flights, see what's available and what your options are.
Melnq8 is offline  
Old Dec 2nd, 2014, 04:48 PM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 6
Thank you Mel and Ann for your help, it is much appreciated. We are looking at maps and trying to figure this out.... I will probably have more questions .
paulinegray is offline  
Old Dec 2nd, 2014, 04:50 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,958
I found a once daily flight from Sydney to Queenstown, NZ 7936 operated by Virgin Australia (Dec 9, $496, much cheaper on the day before and the day after).

There are four options on Air NZ to get from QT to Nelson - two flights stop over in CHC, one stops in Wellington, and one stops in both CHC and Wellington. All connections to Nelson are on link services with Air Nelson, one flight from QT is a combination of Air Nelson and Mt Cook Airlines (all turbo props, $221 per person and up).

Looks like six options to get from Nelson to Napier/Hastings on or around Feb 19 - all operated by Air Nelson, all stop in Wellington - starting at $230.

Three options to get from Nelson to Taupo on/around Feb 19 - all link services on Air Nelson or Eagle Airways, all stop in Auckland - starting at $255.

So, yes, it's possible! Be sure to check luggage allowances are link services involve small planes.
Melnq8 is offline  
Old Dec 2nd, 2014, 05:29 PM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 6
If we were to spend a total of 10 days on SI (and then fly north) with rental car what route would you recommend? Tx again for all the advice.
paulinegray is offline  
Old Dec 2nd, 2014, 06:03 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,958
If it were me and I were visiting in February (oh, that's right, I am!), I'd head south.

Perhaps something like this (depending on flight arrival time of course):

Arrive Christchurch - pick-up rental car and drive south to Tekapo/Mount Cook (spend a night or two in Mount Cook if you can find accommodation, otherwise perhaps a night in Twizel) OR if arriving late in the day, drive as far as Geraldine for an overnight, then continue on the next day

Drive from Geraldine or Mount Cook to Wanaka for a couple of nights

Drive from Wanaka to Te Anau, use this as your base for Milford Sound, so at least two nights here, which will give you one full day to explore Milford Sound and Milford Road

Drive from Te Anau to Queenstown - use this as a base for several days to explore the area - QT, Arrowtown, Glenorchy - plenty of wineries around QT, lots to see and do

Fly from QT to the NI

Or if you'd prefer the West Coast route...

Arrive Christchurch - pick up rental car, head across Arthur's Pass - possible overnight locations include Arthur's Pass, Greymouth, Punakaiki or Hokitika, depending on what time you arrive into CHC and how far you want to drive the first day, etc.

Drive from wherever you end up to the glaciers - spend at least two nights here

Drive from the glaciers to Wanaka and continue as outlined above

These routes include some of the 'highlights' of NZ, which are on the must see lists of most first time visitors to NZ.

OR

If you'd prefer to go north:

Drive from CHC to Hanmer Springs or Kaikoura (if arriving late into CHC you'd do better to spend your first night around Amberley or Hanmer Springs)

Drive from wherever to Picton (Marlborough Sounds for at least two nights, more is better)

Drive from Picton to Abel Tasman area - at least three nights here

Drive from Abel Tasman to Nelson, stay a night or two if you have any time left

Fly Nelson to the NI

As you're coming from Sydney, you should be rested and not need to spend your first night in Christchurch, whereas I'd suggest exactly this for people getting off an overnight flight.
Melnq8 is offline  
Old Dec 2nd, 2014, 06:05 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,958
Or take the ferry from Picton to Wellington and start your NI tour there (more flight options from Wellington than Nelson, but the ferry takes three hours)
Melnq8 is offline  
Old Dec 2nd, 2014, 07:57 PM
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 6
Thank you for all the help. I am taking your advice and trying to nail down flights ASAP. We are looking at a flight from Bos to Syd via SF for wedding, then a flight to QT on 9th and dept from Auk 27th, we will have to work out the rest over the next few days. P
paulinegray is offline  
Old Dec 2nd, 2014, 11:20 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,958
No worries Pauline, good luck with your planning.
Melnq8 is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
dec528
Australia & the Pacific
14
Oct 23rd, 2017 08:05 AM
Brenda_md
Australia & the Pacific
5
Jun 16th, 2017 09:22 AM
webrahul
Australia & the Pacific
41
Oct 24th, 2016 09:52 PM
srand
Australia & the Pacific
5
Sep 30th, 2004 08:38 AM
Vicky
Australia & the Pacific
4
Aug 28th, 2002 02:27 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

FODOR'S VIDEO