One Week on South Island

Old Feb 3rd, 2003, 12:16 PM
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One Week on South Island

I am planning a one week trip to the South Island in Sept/October. I do not want to spend all my time driving, and I hope that the weather won't be too cold with snow on the roads.

I am considering staying up in the north part of the island, visiting Abel Tasman, Marlborough Sounds, wine country, etc., as I have heard the weather is usually best on that part of the island. (Staying probably in Nelson or somewhere central to those areas).

Does this seem like a reasonable trip or will I disappointed? I am hoping to get a "flavor" of NZ without having to drive too much.

If the north part of the island isn't all that interesting, please recommend other areas I could use as a base camp and do day trips from. I would really like to stay only in one place for the week, if possible.

Thanks in advance for your recommendations and suggestions!

Joni
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Old Feb 3rd, 2003, 03:56 PM
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I do not think you can really work out of one place and do the Souh Island justice.Could I suggest 3 days based in Nelson and 3 days based in Queenstown?
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Old Feb 4th, 2003, 01:58 PM
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Thanks for the info, Graeme. Maybe I do need to make it into 2 areas. Will the Queenstown area be too cold this time of year, though? I assume this would still be too far to go to Milford Sound? Would it be better to stay in Te Anau?

For the North end do you recommend Nelson or is there a better town to stay in? I prefer quiet, pretty areas as opposed to the hustle and bustle of a city.

Thanks for your help!
Joni
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Old Feb 4th, 2003, 03:04 PM
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Don't base your decision on where to go solely on expected weather. We hit pouring rain in Rotoroa, Coromandel and Blenheim [where the weather is supposed to be best] and heard everywhere that it hadn't rained in weeks previous to our arrival. Then, on the south island, we had beautiful weather for the week we were on the west coast, and that is not typical. I don't regret seeing Rotoroa even though our visit was during two days of pouring rain. I'd strongly recommend trying to see more of the south island. If you're concerned about weather and road conditions, then consider doing part on a tour, where you don't have to drive. I will never forget our experience at Milford Sound. If you get to Queenstown, I believe you can arrange for a day tour from there. Queenstown is worth visiting too. The glacial lake is spectacular and the view from the top of the gondola there is something I'll never forget. Our pictures of it look unbelievable, and as impressive as they are, they don't do it justice. Isn't late Sept. and Oct. spring? That can mean flooding, but look into it further before you eliminate those areas. They are among my favorite memories of the country.
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Old Feb 10th, 2003, 01:57 AM
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The weather should be great in sept/oct, and obviously cooler in Queenstown as it's above sea level and a ski resort as well as all year resort. The Nelson/Marlborough area needs more than three days so you are pushing it with wanting to be both ends of the island. If you do I would suggest flying Nelson to Queenstown to save time, it's a big distance to do in one day, even by coach.
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