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New Zealand itinerary

Old Dec 12th, 2009, 11:31 AM
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New Zealand itinerary

My wife and I are planning to go to New Zealand in March for about 3 weeks. Our main interests are scenery and day hikes (rather than things like kayaking, bungee jumping, shopping).

Our current thoughts:

Days 1-3: fly into Nelson, drive to Abel Tasman, hikes

Days 4-6: drive to Franz Glacier and see the glaciers

Days 7-9: drive to Wanaka

Days 10-13: drive to Te Anau, see Milford Sound, etc.

Days: 14-17: fly to Auckland, explore one or two areas on North Island

Day 18: fly out

Would you make any changes? I realize some days we'd have a lot of driving.

Any suggestions for places to stay, hikes to take, tour operators (especially for glaciers and Milford) would be great!

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Old Dec 12th, 2009, 03:08 PM
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As a very basic intinerary it looks okay, might consider not spending that whole time in Wanaka.
Check the many trip reports for details. The recent one by indiancouple was very good.
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Old Dec 12th, 2009, 06:43 PM
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Looks good to me. The only thing I'd change would be the Auckland bit, I'd spend more time on the SI and just fly to Auckland for departure.

I assume you're flying from Queenstown to Auckland (via Christchurch?) because your international flight departs from there?
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Old Dec 13th, 2009, 02:59 PM
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The Wanaka area seems to have some very nice scenery and hikes.

Plan is to fly from Queenstown non-stop to Auckland, then drive around the North Island for a few days, then international flight departs from AKL.

We particularly wanted to see Tongariro.

What would you do instead?
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Old Dec 13th, 2009, 03:27 PM
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There are some fantastic hikes near Wanaka, particularly in the West Matukituki Valley.

I didn't realize you wanted to see Tongariro, I thought you were spending that time in/around the Big Smoke. Keep in mind that it's about a 4.5 hour drive to Tongariro.
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Old Dec 13th, 2009, 04:42 PM
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North Island plan is to land at AKL at noon, drive to Rotorua, spend the night, see Rotorua, drive to Tongiriro, stay at the Adventure Lodge & Motel (2 day package recommended on Tripadvisor), possibly Coromandeo the next day, then fly out the following afternoon.

By the way, current accommodation plans:
South Island
Abel Tasman - Ocean View Chalets
Glacier - Alpine Glacier Motel
Wanaka - Mountain Range Boutique Lodge
Te Anau - Campbell's

North Island
Rotorua - open
Tongariro - as above
final night - open
fly out early afternoon next day

Any comments on any of these? Any suggestions for the last day?

Any other suggestions for hikes or other activities?
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Old Dec 13th, 2009, 04:50 PM
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By the way, we'd also like to see some gardens, perhaps the Hamilton Gardens.
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Old Dec 13th, 2009, 06:34 PM
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Hiking suggestions:

The Rob Roy Valley/Glacier walk (from Wanaka)

The Diamond Lake/Rocky Hill Summit Circuit (from Wanaka)- excellent views of Lake Wanaka from up there

My favorite section of the Abel Tasman track is Totaranui towards Whariwharangi Hut - most trampers don't make it this far, as many people stop at Totaranui. You can access Totaranui by boat from the Marahau side, or by car from the Takaka side of Abel Tasman. If you have time, you might want to drive from Marahau over Takaka Hill and check out Takaka, Collingwood and the Golden Bay area. You'd need a full day though. There are several nice hikes through here, but some are a bit hard to get to.

The section of the Abel Tasman track from Torrent Bay to Tonga Bay is a good choice too.

The walk to Key Summit via the Routeburn Track (from Te Anau)

Lake Matheson (from Fox Glacier) and the Fox Glacier view hike are good ones.

Have fun!
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