NZ south island intenary feedback

Mar 4th, 2010, 03:39 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 2
NZ south island intenary feedback

We are headed to the South Island in a few weeks.

After spending time in the Qtown, Milford Sound, Arrowtown, Wanaka area we have a flight booked to Christchurch.

Is it worth canceling the flight and driving from Qtown to Christchurch and doin the drive? We have limited time and don't want to spend everyday on the road.

Any thoughts on the west cost of the south island?

dp1718 is offline  
Mar 4th, 2010, 04:03 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,116
Key to answering your question well is knowing more precisely how much time you have. The drive to Queenstown from Christchurch is a good one - Lakes Pukaki and Tekapo and the side trip to Mt Cook are wonderful. The west coast is also well worth seeing.

We were in NZ for 7 nights a few years ago. We landed in Christchurch, drove to Milford and back with 1 night in Twizel (near Mt Cook), 3 nights in Te Anau (closer to Milford), 1 night in Qtown and 2 nights at either end in ChCh. We didnt have time for the West Coast, unfortunately, though I had been there on an earlier trip.

I'd say a minimum of 10 days/9 nights would be required for all the places you mention, including West Coast, landing in Christchurch.
RalphR is offline  
Mar 4th, 2010, 02:40 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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If you can spare the time, I think it's very much worth the drive, although I prefer the drive along the west coast to the inland route. On our last trip to the SI we drove from Arrowtown to Christchurch in one very full day, making stops/detours at Omarama (clay cliffs) and Mt Cook. Our route was Arrowtown-Omarama-Mt Cook- Lake Tekapo-Fairlie-Geraldine-Christchurch. It took us nine hours.

The drive along the west coast takes longer and should be split up with at least one night along the way. More to see too IMO.
Melnq8 is offline  
Mar 4th, 2010, 06:20 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2010
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We have the following planned:

4 nights Qtown (day trips planned to Arrowtown and surrounding areas)
1 night Te Anau
1 night Milford Sound

From there we have 6 days to get from Milford Sound to Christchurch. Think this is enough with out be too rushed?

Any suggestions on places to stop along with west coast?

dp1718 is offline  
Mar 4th, 2010, 08:56 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Sure you can do a lot in six days.

Maybe something like Milford to Wanaka (564 km), Wanaka to Franz Josef glacier (287 km), Franz Josef to Punakaiki via Greymouth (221 km) and then back to Greymouth and over Arthur's Pass to Christchurch (395 km).
Melnq8 is offline  
Mar 5th, 2010, 08:49 AM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 199
Six days should be a good amount of time, and the itinerary the above poster suggests would be well worth it. We made that drive (in reverse) a few months ago and loved it! Info and pics in our NZ post at
katrinab is offline  
Mar 5th, 2010, 08:59 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
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I think it is worthwhile canceling the flight and driving, either side of the Southern Alps (Mt. Cook or West Coast) is scenic. I would overnight either way. Six days is more than enough to see the west coast. Mel's routing is fine.
mlgb is offline  

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