New Zealand in March

Oct 16th, 2019, 04:24 PM
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New Zealand in March

We're going to NZ in March for about 29 days starting in Queenstown and ending in Auckland. We have the Milford Track reserved for four nights in the first week (after three days in Queenstown or environs). Any help with suggested itinerary would be wonderful. We are not renting a van, just a car and enjoy all sorts of exploring--both in cities and country. Not huge on museums or extreme sports but everything in between is great from wine-tasting to kayaking (and obviously hiking) and botanic gardens, wildlife and restaurants. We've never been and this will probably be our only visit (age 60). Thank you so much. This forum looks amazing.
We begin our trip with two days in Sydney to help get over our jetlag.
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Oct 16th, 2019, 10:05 PM
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After 3 days in Queenstown, 4 days on the Milford Track and leaving a couple of days for Auckland, you'd have about 20 days to get from Te Anau or Queenstown to Auckland. These 20 days will also include travel times, such as long drives and a ferry crossing--if you decide to drive the entire way. Though you needn't: if you feel you're running out of time, you can take a domestic flight from the south to the north island, such as from Nelson to Wellington. I'm assuming you'll want to spend at least one full day in Wellington. But it'd be best not to assume--do you have an idea of other places you'd like to visit besides Queenstown, the Milford Track and Auckland?

Regarding the South Island, I'm guessing you'll want to spend 2 to 3 nights in Wanaka (nice walks); drive along the West Coast of the South Island (glaciers, rainforests), spending 2 to 3 nights here; spend 2 to 3 nights in Nelson-Tasman (Abel Tasman NP, Nelson region wineries), spend a couple of nights in Aoraki Mt. Cook. I think you'd also enjoy Dunedin and the Otago Peninsula (wildlife, heritage buildings, Botanic Garden, cafes and restaurants, great beaches), but this and Aoraki Mt. Cook could be out of your way, given the time you don't have. Do you know where you'd like to go on the North Island? Napier? Taupo? Rotorua? Coromandel? Bay of Islands is pretty, but I doubt you'd have time to see it. Would you consider spending most of your time on the South Island?

What other walks did you want to do? I'm guessing you'll want to walk or kayak in Abel Tasman National Park. How about Queen Charlotte Track (near Picton), which is also next to the wineries of Marllborough)? Will you want to do the North Island's Tongariro Crossing?

Suggesting an itinerary will be easier after knowing more about your "must-sees".

During your three days in Queenstown, you can walk around their Botanic Garden, ride the Gondola (the Ben Lomond Track starts from near the top), drive to Glenorchy, visit historic Arrowtown, visit the wonderful wineries of nearby Gibbston Valley, take a tour to Skipper's Canyon, or enjoy some fine dining. I highly suggest you make dinner reservations at Amisfield Bistro (part of Amisfield Winery).

Will you be starting out for the Milford Track from Te Anau or Queenstown? In other words, will you have a car parked at Te Anau while you're on the track or will you return to Queenstown to rent a car? At approximately what time do you think you'll be returning to Te Anau or Queenstown? My guess is you might want to just relax after walking the track and will probably want to spend another night in Queenstown (if that's where you'll be returning to) or in Te Anau.

Last edited by Diamantina; Oct 16th, 2019 at 10:13 PM.
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