nz si almost complete trip plan

Old Jun 12th, 2006, 07:34 PM
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nz si almost complete trip plan

family of 4 travelling Nov/ Dec. Please advise on alternatives or suggestions to our plan.
Day 1 -Fly to CC from Sydney arrive midnight.
Day2 car hire - day trip to hamner springs
Day3 train from CC to Greymouth.Pick up car - Pancake rocks ?? are they a worthwhile detour as we are staying at Fox Glacier tonight.
Day 4 - Helihike fox glacier am drive to Wanaka pm
Day 5 - drive to Te anau
Day6 - day trip milford sound- small walks glow worm caves
Day 7- drive to Manapouri. Overnight on doubtful sound boat trip
Day 8 drive to Queenstown pm luge/ gondola ride
Day9 -shotover boat drive via route 85 to oamaru for 9pm penguin tour
Day 10 drive to Akaroa dolphin swim ??
Day 11 return to CC spend remainder of day in city / antarctic experience ??
Day 12 fly to oz
Kids age 10 and 13. Too much to do ? eliminate some activiities ??
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Old Jun 12th, 2006, 08:13 PM
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A couple things....
We did not enjoy the pools at Hamner Springs. We loved our motel (Settlers Inn) and the restaurant (an Asian restaurant I can't remember the name right now) but the pools were a huge disappointment. I would suggest Kaikoura or Akora instead. JMHO.

Yes, the Pancake Rocks are worth it! If you do go to Hamner Springs, I would suggest staying the night and then driving Lewis Pass to the West Coast, down to the Pancake Rocks. That is what we did.
We do not regret missing the train ride across Arthurs Pass.

The helihike is awesome! I hope that you have good weather!

You may want to hit the glowworm caves the night of Day 5 as Day 6 will be a long day.

Overall your itinerary seems a bit rushed. I would cut out Oamaru. Drive the central route back to CHC instead?

You can do the dolphin swim on Day 2 instead if you decide to skip Hamner Springs.

I would cut out Day 2 and add a night to Fox Glacier. I would also cut out Oamaru and spend the additional night in Queenstown instead.

I hope that helps! Again, just my opinion... Liz


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Old Jun 12th, 2006, 09:09 PM
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I agree to miss out on Oamaru. It gives you that extra day.
Pancake rocks are a bit of a trip from Fox. I would just go to Wanaka after your Helihike.
www.newzealandatoz.com
Enjoy
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Old Jun 12th, 2006, 10:28 PM
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I personally like Hanmer Springs, but I wouldn't make a special drive from CH just to spend a day there. Instead, I'd head to Banks Peninsula, which is the same distance from CH, but offers much more to do. Once in Akaroa, you can easily take a harbor cruise AND visit the Pohatu Marine Reserve where you can see little blue penguins and white flippered penguins in their natural habitat.

Thus, you can cut Omarau from your trip, without missing out on the penguins and leave a day open for something else.

You might consider flying from QT back to CH to meet your international flight, thus saving the drive back to CH and freeing up a few more days. Not sure if this is cost effective with four people, but it's worth a look.

Yes, Pancake Rocks is worth the detour if you've got the time.

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Old Jun 12th, 2006, 10:50 PM
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Wallos -

From what I can tell, the train from CH gets into Greymouth at 12:45 pm. It takes about 35-40 minutes to drive from Greymouth to Pancake Rocks, then you'll have to backtrack to Greymouth to continue on to Fox (2:15 from Greymouth to Franz, then another 35-45 minutes to Fox). So, you're looking at about 3:45 in drive time, which shouldn't be a problem during the NZ summer when the sun sets around 8:30- 9:00 pm.
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Old Jun 13th, 2006, 03:22 AM
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Thanks heaps. We have done thermal springs in Katherine and Kakadu so I was unsure whether to make the special trip to Hamner Springs. Flights back to Christchurch may be the way to go - any suggestions on cheap internal carrier ?
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Old Jun 13th, 2006, 05:18 AM
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Air NZ has flights from QT to CH for around NZ$108 per person. I checked Virgin Blue too, but doesn't look like they fly to QT. Here's a site that list some low cost carriers in the area, but not sure which cities they service.

http://www.attitudetravel.com/newzea...owcostairlines
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Old Jun 13th, 2006, 08:04 AM
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Melnq - Did you find NZ108 by ANZ, or Qantas Red e-deal?
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Old Jun 13th, 2006, 03:13 PM
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I have revised plan as follows - what do you think ?
Day trip to Akaroa on Day 1, 2 nights at Fox Glacier, Glow worm caves afternoon we arrive in Te Anau and extra night in Queenstown flying back to Christchurch night before we fly to Oz. Thanks for your suggestions.
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Old Jun 13th, 2006, 05:22 PM
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Jed - I found the flight on Air NZ's site by putting in some arbitrary dates for November.

Wallos -

Looks good to me - I think you'll be happier not having to rush from place to place. NZ is just too beautiful to rush through.

PS - You might need to book some activities in advance so you don't miss out - the Pohatu Marine Reserve tour for instance is limited to a very small number of people.

Have a great trip!
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Old Jun 13th, 2006, 05:29 PM
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thanks so much. I am much more relaxed thinking we have 2 days in a few places as I don't want the kids to " burn out" and not enjoy the wonderful things NZ has to offer. Here's hoping for some good weather !!
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Old Jun 13th, 2006, 05:39 PM
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Jed inspired me to look up fares on Qantas and sure enough, they have flights from QT to CH beginning at NZ $108 too (using arbitrary dates for Dec).

www.qantas.co.nz/
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Old Jun 13th, 2006, 06:53 PM
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I think you will enjoy your latest itinerary. Please post a trip report upon your return!
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Old Jun 13th, 2006, 11:45 PM
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managed to book the qantas flights you mentioned as we are frequent flyers. will post trip report when we return......now all we have to do is wait and research some good eating places !!!!!!!! thanks guys
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Old Jun 19th, 2006, 04:54 AM
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Hi Wallos - when you are at Queenstown, and go up on the gondola, there is a luge which is great fun, and a 20 minute movie called 'Kiwi Magic' which is awesome - you can buy the video/dvd after you've seen it, but you lose a lot of the effect compared to the theatre with it's special screen/sounds effects etc.
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