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NZ forum HELP- North and South Island itinerary review

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Oct 23rd, 2016, 11:45 AM
  #1
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NZ forum HELP- North and South Island itinerary review

We will be in NZ for a month --this is our itinerary --I would appreciate any suggestions and help!
Nov.9th - Arrive in Auckland, rent a car and stay in Devonport

Nov 10th -Whangarei falls booked in Russel for 2 nights
Ideas: ( and I know we cannot do all of them)
sightseeing trip "best of the Bay" ( Fullers?)
Bike Okiato to Wakakawa
Abbey Caves to see the glow worms? or Waitoma?
Whangaruru North Head
Waipoua State Forest
Cruise to Hole in the Rock or Speed boat to tip of cape Brett
Whangunaui Rive trip?
Tutukaka Coast and Mangonui
Keri keri

Nov 15th fly to QT and stay in Arrowtown for 3 nights
Glenorchy and hike at Shot Over River
bike the charlotte Track

Nov 18 and 19th - TeAnu
Milford Sound; what is best portion of Routeburn Wak? Mirror Lake?

Nov 20th to Dec. 5th
Wanaka
Fox Glacier or Greymouth ( and is this worth it since we are from the (icy) midwest?)
Glacier Lakes
Hokitika gorge
Panakaiki Rocks
Karamea (worth the drive?)
Abel Tasman and Nelson
-Wainui Falls Track
-Tahunanui Beach
-Water Taxi
-The Grove at Takaka
Hamner Springs via hwy 72
Christs Church
bike tour?

Whew ---thanks for any input --I feel some of this needs to be put aside for a different visit! This is a beautiful, wild and unique country - we thought a month was a TON of time
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Oct 23rd, 2016, 01:14 PM
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Well, for what it's worth, we spent a month in NZ once and only visited the SI and still wanted more time. We've been to the SI about a dozen times and are planning a return for next year.

As far as your SI plans -

< Glenorchy and hike at Shot Over River
bike the charlotte Track>>

The only 'Charlotte Track' I'm aware of is the Queen Charlotte Track, and it's nowhere near Queenstown.

I'm also not aware of any specific hikes at Shotover, but there are many tracks in Arrowtown, QT and Glenorchy (including some along the Dart River), so plenty to choose from.

>Nov 18 and 19th - TeAnu
Milford Sound; what is best portion of Routeburn Wak? Mirror Lake?<

Mirror Lake isn't on the Routeburn, it's a stop alongside Milford Road. The hike to Key Summit is a great hike and combines well with the trip to Milford for a cruise. Plan to leave Te Anau early and spend the entire day along the Milford Road, hiking to Key Summit and exploring the sound.

Wanaka>

I'd spend at least three nights in Wanaka, particularly if you like to hike - make sure to explore the tracks in Mt Aspiring from here.

>Fox Glacier or Greymouth ( and is this worth it since we are from the (icy) midwest?)
Glacier Lakes>

Does the Midwest have rainforest that meets the sea? Trust me, they're nothing like the Midwest, assuming you mean Midwest USA.

< Hokitika gorge
Panakaiki Rocks>

Yes to both. Both can been seen on the way to other places though, no need to overnight unless you want to.



Only if you're interested in limestone caves and hiking tracks. The Heaphy Track ends here, sandfly hell. Otherwise a very small village with not much on offer for tourists.

We once spent three nights in Karamea, but our main focus was walking tracks - we've not been back.



Absolutely - allow at least three nights to see the area, more of course is better. Lots to see and do.



I really like Takaka - access to the beach, plus lots of hiking tracks, plus close to Collingwood, for tours of Farewell Spit. We've stayed in Takaka many times, but The Grove doesn't ring a bell.



Thermal pools, small mountain village. One night is probably sufficient.

bike tour?>

Oddly enough, I like Christchurch since the earthquakes more than before them - watching the transformation as the city recovers is worth a visit along. A Segway tour is a good way to see the city with limited time. Lots to see and do here as well, just depends on what your interests are.

No Mt Cook?
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Oct 23rd, 2016, 04:48 PM
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This reply is quite helpful. Questions:

-While on the NI, we are not going to the Coromandel. Is there anywhere else where we can dig into the sand and it fills with hot water?

-How far (long) is the drive from TeAnu to Milford Road/Sound?/

-How is the boat trip to Lake McIvor?

-Which glacier should we focus on to meet the rain forest FG or Greymouth (and NO - none of our Midwestern ice results in anything other than ICE). Is it worth signing up for a tour?

-Do you have any lodging suggestions for Takaka?

-Do you know of "Glacier Exploreres" @ Tasman?

Finally - I would love to hear of some of your favorite spots or hikes or activities.

THANK YOU so much for your input!
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Oct 23rd, 2016, 05:00 PM
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The drive from Te Anau to Milford takes just under two hours - there's only one way to get there - in and out via Milford Road.

There is no glacier in Greymouth - there's only Fox and Franz - they're about 45 minutes driving distance apart.

The village of Franz has more accommodation and restaurants than Fox. Both Franz and Fox have rainforests. The helihikes are worthwhile, but expensive and only worthwhile on a very clear day IMO.

I can't speak to other 'tours' as we just walk to the terminal face of the glaciers on our own. No need for a tour to do that.

Never heard of Lake McIvor.

We stay on a dairy farm in Takaka - I will try to find the details and post again later.

I have many very detailed trip reports posted here from our various trips to NZ and they contain a lot of specific hiking information. Just click on my screen name, scroll down to my trip reports, look for NZ and read away.

Can't help with your other questions.
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Oct 24th, 2016, 09:39 AM
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thanks --I look forward to reading the trip reports.
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Oct 25th, 2016, 06:13 AM
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Melnq8- Your trip report was great reading and I have altered my itinerary to include some of your favorite "tramps". We are 65 years old and will be doing moderate hiking - not climbing Mt Cook. Do we need hiking boots? I absolutely was planning on bringing them until I read what a nightmare it could be to have them inspected at customs.
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Oct 25th, 2016, 08:21 AM
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Don't let agricultural inspection deter you from bringing your boots - it's not a nightmare at all - they're just very thorough and very friendly!

We often wear ours on the plane and just lift up our feet to show the inspectors - they're looking for mud, rocks and twigs embedded in the tread. If they're packed, you might just keep them toward the top of your suitcase. Any either case, just make sure they're clean before you leave home. It's really no drama.

I never travel without hiking boots - I live in mine. I can't imagine going to NZ without them. I'm a moderate hiker too.

If you plan to do much hiking, which it sounds as if you do, at the very least you will want comfortable shoes with a sturdy sole.

Tracks in NZ are categorized by difficulty - they're well signed so you have an idea of what you're in for before you begin.

Here are the categories:

http://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-rec...ck-categories/

You might find the DOC site invaluable, I sure do.
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