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New Zealnd 17 days--North to Top of the South Itinerary

New Zealnd 17 days--North to Top of the South Itinerary

Old Aug 28th, 2016, 12:18 PM
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I'm sure Diamantina will chime in soon, but as far as your car rental is concerned, an economy car is fine for the drive from Hoki to the glaciers.

The highway is sealed. The roads back to the glaciers are unsealed, but well maintained and driven in small cars all the time. These roads are NOT rental car violations.

As for what to wear - think layers. It's wise to have a waterproof layer in NZ any time of year.

On our dozen trips to the SI (even during winter), we've found that a waterproof layer that fits over a fleece is ideal - you can wear one or both as needed.
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Old Aug 28th, 2016, 12:20 PM
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Forgot about shoes - sturdy shoes with traction are good, particularly if you plan to do any hiking.

We live in our Keens when we travel to NZ.
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Old Aug 28th, 2016, 01:23 PM
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thanks so much , I wanted book the car in advance as bus tickets are really expensive, I am now thinking of going to QT from glaciers and then maybe take the bus or drive to mt cook ? or just do a day trip . Would u say mt cook would be a similar drive using economy car ?(From QT or Glaciers )
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Old Aug 28th, 2016, 01:26 PM
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I did not know about keen shoes , will definitely look it up .
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Old Aug 28th, 2016, 02:52 PM
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Yes, the road to Mt Cook is also sealed and an easy drive.

I wouldn't do it as a day trip though - it's a long way for just a day trip - between the drive there and back, you'll not have much time to do anything at Mount Cook.

Roads in NZ are generally well maintained and sealed. You won't have any issues driving on any main road, barring bad weather and inattention of course.

I can give you lots of pointers on how to violate your rental car contract )), but then I'm a frequent visitor and we intentionally get off the tourist track. It's very unlikely you will.

Keens just happen to be our favorite hiking boots. Unless you're a keen hiker (ha, ha), you'll be fine with basic shoes with a good sturdy sole.
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Old Aug 28th, 2016, 02:53 PM
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Actually we live in our Keens everywhere. That's just how we roll.
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Old Aug 28th, 2016, 04:13 PM
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thank you
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Old Aug 30th, 2016, 02:33 AM
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I think two days for Rotorua will do, so you have enough time for the rest of your trip. It will be enough to give you a taste for the place, and, if you like it, and decide to return to NZ, you can spend more time there on your return.

If you're thinking of going to Waitomo Glow Worm caves, and don't have enough time to do so, you'll have another opportunity to visit glow worm caves in Te Anau. In November, they offer tours night and day. To get to the glow worm caves, you take a short boat trip across Te Anau.
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Old Aug 31st, 2016, 04:05 PM
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good to know , thanks so much!
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Old Oct 21st, 2016, 08:01 PM
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Hi everyone,

I’m back here , with only a few days to go for my trip I still have a few things to decide . I have been busy working and haven’t had the time to finalize a few things, since I have never been to NZ I can’t decide on how many days would be appropriate for Nelson, Punakaiki & Hotkitika. Even though I have booked a rental car I think I will be taking the bus(its coming out to be very expensive with insurance). I will get to Nelson in the after noon – good idea to stay another day?
Nelson to Punakaiki is a long journey , I reach here in the afternoon – do u think half day would suffice here?

And then another day(ish) in Hokitika. Which one of these deserve more time ?
I can take out one day from Wanaka and add it to Punakaiki or Hokitika . Please advise, what do you guys think

Arrive at night sleep
Day 1 AKL
Day 2 AKL
Day 3 Rotoura
Day 4 Rotoura
Day 5 well
Day 6 well-picton-nelson
Day 7 nelson
Day 8 Punakaiki
Day 9 Hokitika
Day 10 franz/fox
Day 11 franz/fox
Day 12 wanaka
Day 13 wanaka/?
Day 14 QT
Day 15 QT/Te Anau
Day 16 QT/Te Anau
Day 17 QT
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Old Oct 22nd, 2016, 03:39 AM
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I would definitely factor in a night in Nelson - we were booked on a ferry that was supposed to leave at lunchtime, giving us ample time to get to Nelson by dinnertime but its departure was delayed by bad weather and we didn't get there until about 8pm. I don't however think that there is any need to stay in Punakaiki & Hotkitika which are only an hour or so's drive apart.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2016, 08:13 AM
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More time in Nelson.

You've not left yourself much time in Wellington either.

No need to stay in both Punakaiki and Hoki as pointed out by annhig.

Either make good overnight stops between Nelson and the glaciers, but which you choose will depend on what you want to do when you get there. Punakaiki is all about the Pancake Rocks and hiking tracks - otherwise is a spot on the road. If you have 2-3 hours of daylight when you arrive you can easily see Pancake Rocks and take the short Truman Track.

Hoki has a bit more to offer for non-hikers, such as jade shops, Kiwi Center, etc.

You need every day in Wanaka that you can get - much more to do and see there than in Punakaiki or Hoki.
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Old Oct 24th, 2016, 12:27 PM
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Thank you both , there are no hostels available in either Punakaiki or hokitika , I've booked grey mouth. Will do Wanaka for 2 days as per your recommendation.
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Old Oct 24th, 2016, 12:56 PM
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What are your dates? There are more places to stay than you might think - I can help you look if you provide the dates.
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Old Oct 24th, 2016, 07:40 PM
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Its just that one night on the 5th nov - Punakaiki preferably .

thanks
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Old Oct 24th, 2016, 08:00 PM
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This place has availability on Nov 5:

http://www.punakaikibeachhostel.co.nz/te-hui-house/
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Old Oct 24th, 2016, 08:05 PM
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These two motels in Punakaiki also have availability on Nov 5:

http://www.aatravel.co.nz/new-zealan...Contained.html
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Old Oct 24th, 2016, 08:06 PM
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Actually only the first of those on the second link has availability - Paparoa Park.
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Old Oct 24th, 2016, 08:08 PM
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This place in Barrytown might be an option too, 16 km from Punakaiki:

http://www.barrytownbackpackers.co.nz/
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Old Oct 24th, 2016, 08:10 PM
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I also found numerous listings on the Air BnB site with availability on Nov 5.
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