New Zealand- itenary- totally confused

Old Aug 18th, 2010, 05:22 AM
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New Zealand- itenary- totally confused

Hi,

I am planning a trip to NZ from 5th sept to 18th sept with my husband. We will be flying in and out of Auckland.We will be hiring a car.

Here's what I have thought of:

5th - land at auckland and fly down to nelson. Night @ Nelson
6th- look ard nelson, muchison, buller gorge, punakaiki rocks. Night @ Punakaiki
7th- Porarari river track, Hotika & Fox Glacier village. Night @ fox glacier
8th- helihike to fofox glacier top, lake matheson.Night @ fox glacier
9th- Travel to Queenstown via Haast & Lake Wanaka. Night @ QT
10th- adventure sports (planning to do sky diving & arrowtown. Night @ QT
11th- Glenorchy, Gondola ride. Night @ QT
12th-drive to milford sound. Night @ Te anua.
13th- drive to mt cook. Glacier explorer tour. Night @ Mt cook.
14th- drive to kaikoura. Night @ kaikoura
15th- whale watching @ kaikoura. drive to chrsitchurch. Night @ Christchurch.
16th- fly to rotoura. Polynesian spa. Night @ rotoura.
17th- rotoura- waitomo caves- auckland. night @ auckland
18th- half day in auckland. fly out @ 11 pm

Request you to critique the above. is it too much of driving? Can we skip something or are we missing on a "must visit". I wanted to include a beach but am not able to somehow.

Thanks
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Old Aug 18th, 2010, 05:37 AM
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Bhavana, since your itinerary is primarily South Island based, have you considered the option of flying in and out of NZ from Christchurch?

Punakaiki does not deserve a night stay considering you have so little time.

You might also consider giving the North Island a miss and allocate the time to South Island.

A good thumbrule is to stay at least 2 nights in most places to absorb the best possible experience of the place, as you will hear from the seasoned travelers on this forum.

Use http://www.wises.co.nz for planning your drive times.
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Old Aug 18th, 2010, 05:39 AM
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A good 'beach' idea would be Abel Tasman in the northern part of the south island (an hour from Nelson), but it does merit a couple of nights on its own, IMO.
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Old Aug 18th, 2010, 08:46 AM
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I think you are underestimating the time it will take to drive between places AND sight-see. It is not fast going, mostly two lane roads where you can't always pass slower vehicles. So allow maybe 60 kilometers per hour.
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Old Aug 18th, 2010, 06:15 PM
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I would also recommend skipping the North Island. When we did the South Island the majority of our time was spent driving from place to place- which got really old.

I would also recommend staying in Kaikoura instead of Christchurch for the whale watching. It is a couple hours drive if I remember and kaikoura is an interesting place (saw my first penguin there!)
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Old Aug 18th, 2010, 08:27 PM
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Too much driving? YES.

The drive from Te Anau to Mt Cook takes over six hours. You'll not have time to do a Glacier Explorer Tour.

The drive from Mt Cook to Kaikoura takes close to 7.5 hours.

You have six one night stays...that's a lot of unpacking and packing, changing of hotels, etc, which will eat into your limited time.

I suggest you skip the NI, and cut back on the SI, giving a hard think about what exactly it is you want to see and do.
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Old Aug 18th, 2010, 10:37 PM
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Hi,

Thanks for the prompt responses. I have relooked again at the itenary for the 100th time

5-Sep-10 We will be landing in auckland at 11 am. so will drive down to Bay of island

6-Sep-10 will take evening flight from keri keri to Nelson which will rch by 9 pm

7-Sep-10 Punakaki. Was considering a halt here as I figurerd drive from nelson to fox glacier will be too much for one day. Let me know if I shld stay at punakaki or drive straight to Fox Glacier or some other place to halt


8-Sep-10 Fox glacier
9-Sep-10 Fox glacier

10-Sep-10 Queenstown (will rch by evening)
11-Sep-10 Queenstown (ard QT)
12-Sep-10 Queenstown (milford sound return- drive)
13-Sep-10 Queenstown (ard QT)

14-Sep-10 Mt Cook (will rch by 2)
15-Sep-10 Mt Cook

16-Sep-10 Christchurch (will have to stay here as have to take a flight to rotura from here)

17-Sep-10 Rotura (take a morning flight to rotura from christchurch...rching by 11)

18-Sep-10 Flight back to India from Auckalnd

Niteshchandra: we have already booked flights from Mum to Auckland (they was a huge price gap between mum auck as compared to any other city in NZ)

How does this sound??

Thanks
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Old Aug 19th, 2010, 12:00 AM
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Nelson to Fox takes about 7 hours, Nelson to Punakaiki takes about 3.5. Where you choose to stop really depends on how far you want to drive in a day, but if you drive all the way to Fox, you'll have no time to spend in Nelson other than to sleep the night you arrive.

The Pororari River Track is easy, and very scenic, we walked it in under two hours.
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Old Aug 19th, 2010, 12:12 AM
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Hmm..is it worth spending time in Nelson??...also I have read that the west coast drive can be pretty tedious? what would you recommend?

Also, is driving to milford and back from QT in a day possible? How safe is the drive...

Would you suggest any other changes?

How is the akaroa near christcurch?

Thanks
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Old Aug 19th, 2010, 01:10 AM
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<Hmm..is it worth spending time in Nelson??...>

Absolutely. Loads to see and do in the region. Ever hear of Abel Tasman?

http://www.nelsonnz.com/

West Coast drive tedious? Please tell me you're joking.

http://www.westcoastnz.com/

The drive from QT to Milford and back takes all day, plus some. It's four hours each way, plus the time you spend while there. Allow about 12 hours.

Akarora is lovely. But then again, most of NZ is.

http://www.akaroa.com/fpnew/fastpage...templateid/204
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Old Aug 19th, 2010, 01:11 AM
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Bhavana, will save you a lot of time & money - consider flying Auckland to Queenstown.. sacrifice Bay of Islands, choose these:

1. To Mount Cook & back
2. QT, Milford, Te Anau, QT
3. The glaciers
4. Abel Tasman

Fly Nelson (closer to Abel Tasman) to Rotorua if you absolutely must do Rotorua.

Just curious, how much did a Mumbai-Auckland return cost you in INR? (Kolkata-Christchurch-Mumbai cost me INR 57500 per person.)
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Old Aug 19th, 2010, 02:15 AM
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we were also planning to fly directly to QT but the internal flight timings dint help. we r landing at ard 11 am and the latest flight i could figure out at a decent cost was at 2...didnot want to risk missing the flight.

so to utilise day 1 we thght of going to Bay of Island...

when we booked the ticks...we got Mum- auck for 40k on singapore airline..

yep rotoura is something i really want to visit..

@ melnq8: I have heard of abel tasman park ofcourse...however, will require a full day there...so was considering to skip it

is there any place I have missed out which is absolutely a must visit??
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Old Aug 19th, 2010, 04:21 PM
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40k return flight to NZ from India is a steal!! Good on you...

5th- Landing at around 11. 'Doing' Bay of Islands for such a short duration and that too just after a strenuous flight does not make much sense, and might leave you very tired for your entire trip.

I see a decently priced Jetstar flight from AKL to CHC at 4:40 PM to reach CHC at 6:05 PM. You may consider staying the night at CHC and getting rid of the jet lag.

6th- The Tranz Alpine train to Greymouth (catch it at 8:15 am), very scenic. Reach Greymouth at 12:30, take a rented car and drive off to the glaciers (or you may do a detour to Punakaiki and then drive off to the glaciers).

7th/8th- The Glaciers

9th- A very, very scenic leisurely drive to Wanaka. Stay the night at Wanaka.

10th/11th- Mount Cook

12th/13th/14th- Queenstown

15th- Drive down to Te Anau early evening. Stay the night.

16th- Early morning cruise at Milford. Drive at a leisurely pace back to Te Anau and experience the best scenery and numerous detours. Stay the night at Te Anau.

17th - A very early morning drive to CHC to catch the 9:50 a.m. flight to reach Auckland at 11:35 am. Drive on to Waitamo Caves (if you really want to), or drive straight to Rotorua. Enjoy the 6:30 PM Maori show.

18th - 1/2 day Rotorua attractions visit. Drive back to Auckland to have ample time to catch your 11 PM flight.

The last part of Rotorua makes it a bit hectic towards the end, but considering your goals, I think this should be a good itinerary.

Melnq/mlgb.. your thoughts please!!
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Old Aug 19th, 2010, 04:23 PM
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17th- I mean the early morning drive to QT not CHC!!
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Old Aug 19th, 2010, 05:54 PM
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Usually I would suggest going Wanaka=Queenstown=Fiordland=Queenstown-Mt. Cook=Christchurch.

But the pacing overall looks very good.
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Old Aug 19th, 2010, 10:50 PM
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Thanks everyone...will comeback again with a new itenary

Just one more clarification: should i book the rental car via internet right from now or should do it at the airport?

Was considering booking Apex...which is avg cost of roughly 60 NZD.
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Old Aug 20th, 2010, 02:41 AM
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Bhavana, there is a beautiful beach about five minutes from Nelson airport, at Tahunanui. It is a very popular spot during the summer, and a great place to stroll along the beach and admire the scenery. There is another one about 15- 20 minutes away at Rabbit Island, If you have some time in Nelson also go visit some wineries, or the glass blowing at Hoglund's.
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Old Aug 20th, 2010, 04:44 AM
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Apex seems to be a good choice (as endorsed by melnq!).. The vehicles we looked at had the rate of NZD 50 inclusive of GPS.. I would book in advance, as it saves precious vacation time (again extrapolating one of melnq's wonderful advices!!).
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Old Aug 20th, 2010, 07:54 AM
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which site did u check and which type of car?

I had read on a site that the drive to milford is not very safe..with high rate of accidents...is it true?
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Old Aug 20th, 2010, 08:16 AM
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http://www.apexrentals.co.nz/, Nissan WingRoad.

yes I have heard the same, but am sure it's much safer than any highway in India..
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