Opinions before I book this trip, please!!!!

Oct 12th, 2005, 09:33 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 337
Opinions before I book this trip, please!!!!

OK, so here's what I'm about to book...please let me know if you see any major flaws or rookie mistakes
Day 1- arrive AKL 11:45am, sightsee and overnight in AKL
Day 2- early drive AKL to Rotorua(3-1/2 hrs), zorbing, thermal reserves, overnight in Rotorua
Day 3- fly Rotorua-Dunedin with a 2-1/2 hr layover in CHC (hit the Antarctic Museum for an hour) arrive Dunedin 2:25pm, stroll thru Octagon area, drive out to Otago Penisula, possible Penguin Place before sunset, overnight either Dunedin or on the Peninsula
Day 4-possible sunrise penguin walk with Nature Guides til 8:30am (one or the other penguin experience), maybe see Tunnel Beach on our way out, then all day drive along South Scenic Coast, seeing Catlins (Nugget Pt, Cathedral Caves-if low tide),arrive Te Anau late (We know to expect at least 8 hour drive or more)...overnight in Te Anau
Day 5- Milford drive/short walks along the way/afternoon day cruise, overnight in Te Anau
Day 6- 12:30pm departure for overnight cruise Doubtful Sound
Day 7- return from cruise around noon, drive to Queenstown(3hrs), evening gondola ride, overnight in QT
Day 8- day of adventure in QT, bungy, jetboat, overnight in QT
Day 9- early departure from QT for leisurely all day drive to Franz or Fox glacier(6hrs), with stop in Arrowtown and any other spectacular scenery along the way, if time allows walk around Lake Matheson before sunset, Glowworm dell (thanks katkat for that idea!)overnight at either Fox or FJ

I've really only done intensive research up to this point...the rest is just a very rough draft...

Day 10- 1/2 day hike on glacier(9am-2pm), drive to Punakaiki (3hrs), overnight somewhere between Punakaiki and Arthur's Pass
Day 11- drive Arthur's Pass to CHC, arrive CHC late afternoon, sightsee CHC, overnight CHC
Day 12- fly CHC-Nelson (arrive Nelson 9:30am)

this is the part that's really up in the air:

10am-ish drive Nelson to Abel Tasman (1hr), water taxi, then walk for a few hours, then water taxi back, overnight somewhere near here
Day 13- drive to Picton area (2-3hrs) sightsee Marlborough Sounds and overnight near here
Day 14- get back to Nelson for afternoon flight to AKL, depart AKL 8:30pm for US


Well, this is the plan I'd like to go with...how does it sound???
Anyone, anyone
Thanks ,
luv2globetrot is offline  
Oct 13th, 2005, 11:13 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 17,569
I think you're going to feel rushed. I'd rather see you spread the extra days around a bit, especially an extra day around Dunedin & the Catlins (which also has some great coastal scenery). You could add a day trip up to Kaikoura/winetasting at the end.
mlgb is offline  
Oct 14th, 2005, 07:34 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 152
Hi Lisa, we have been to most of the destinations on your itinerary. We did it in 2 different trips. We spent 10 days on the South Island and did the overnight Doubtful Sound trip which was fantastic. Then we went back and spent another week on the North Island the next year. Looking back we would have spent 2 weeks on the South Island and 10 days on the North Island.

Driving is easy, but with a tight itinerary you don't have much time to stop between cities.

If you go to www.purenz.com they have some recommeded itnieraries and drive times. We found the drive times to be very accurate.

I went zorbing last year, it was well worth it!

While in Queenstown ask for directions to the Bunker, a quaint restaraunt that is our favorite anywhere on the globe


Steve and Andrea
stevew is offline  
Oct 20th, 2005, 02:31 AM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 44
Forget about sightseeing on day one . You will be too exhausted unles you are up the front of the plane. Have at least two days in Aucklannd to get over jet lag. Great dining, beautiful harbour and stay in a b&b in the trendy area of Ponsonby which is full of galleries and restaurants. In fact don't have any one night stays , all you will experience is what you see out the car window.
Stevan is offline  
Oct 20th, 2005, 05:03 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,077
Hi - yes, like stevew, I've visited nearly all of the destinations on your itinerary - but over 3 separate visits.

Research is good; research is fun - but I cannot imagine a journey like the one you outline. How do you go about it? Set some gadget go ring at an appointed time? hey? 1500hrs - we must go to xxxx?

Is that the way it works? You think you can zorb and "see" the "thermal reserves" in an afternoon? What do you mean by "see". Maybe you can "do" Wai-o-Tapu in 30 mins (+ the time it takes to get there) but one of the great pleasures of the area is to visit Waimangu - and that's half a day at least to wander at leisure.

Do you always plan a holiday down to the last hour?

Look - this post might seem negative - but, really, do youself a favour, and go armed with all the wonderful knowledge you have accumulated, but with a less fixed idea of what you will actually DO!!

With very best wishes for your trip.
fuzzylogic is offline  
Oct 26th, 2005, 02:18 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 469
It may be too late to chime in, but here goes. I have been to every place on your itinerary except Dunedin. I read other postings of yours and can say that hubby and I are similar in age, from the US and also prefer a mix of wildlife and adventure as you 2 do. With that, I would suggest to 2 first timers with 13 days the following:

Day 1- fly to CCH
Day 2- explore the area
Day 3- drive to Nelson (inland route, explore the city
Day 4- explore Abel Tasman; kayak & hiking
Day 5- drive south along the west coast. Spend night in Franz Josef area.
Day 6- helicopter or hike up to glacier. Spend night in FJ or start drive towards Queenstown
Day 7- Arrive Queenstown, explore
Day 8-9 More Queenstown and surrounding area
Day 10- Milford day trip. Explore the road into Milford. Spend night in Te Anau or Manipouri.
Day 11- Overnight on Doubtful Sound
Day 12- Back to Queenstown, if time allows drive to Mt. Cook for day trip (long)
Day 13- Fly Queenstown to AKL

I would pass on the NI in favor of SI. Also Te Anau & Rotorua are not much in my opinion. Since you luv2globetrot there is no doubt that you will return to NZ at least one more time. Most all of us who love 2 globetrot have that in common, you'll simply never see anything quite like it until you go back.

Most important, give yourself time to take unscheduled side trips, in NZ you never know where they may be. There are signs everywhere for some off road stop or scenic wonder that make you so glad you actually have the time to take it all in. There are more than 30 mapped roadside attractions between Te Anau and Milford alone. Enjoy your trip, I'm envious of anyone who has NZ in their near future!
Parrothead is offline  
Oct 27th, 2005, 04:52 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 337
We have amended our trip as follows:

Day 1- arrive AKL and spend the night
Day 2- fly to Dunedin
Day 3- night in Dunedin, Otago Peninsula
Day 4- drive to Te Anau via the coastal road (we'll get going very early and arrive late in the evening)
Day 5- drive the Milford Road and take a Milford Sound cruise, night in Te Anau
Day 6- noon:board the overnight cruise on Doubtful Sound
Day 7- afternoon drove to Queenstown and spend the night there
Day 8- day and night in QT (jet boat, bungy jump)
Day 9- spend the day driving to Fox Glacier, spend the night there
Day 10- Fox Glacier 1/2 day hike, afternoon drive to Punakakiki, and spend the night in Greymouth
Day 11- early morning drive Arthur's Pass to CHC, afternoon and night in CHC
Day 12- spend the day in (or around) CHC and at 6:30pm take a flight from CHC to NSN (this saves us about an 8 hour drive), spend the night in Nelson
Day 13- day trip to Abel Tasman, night in Nelson
Day 14- late afternoon flight Nelson to AKL for our flight home

So, I know it's cramming alot in but we've done trips like this before, where we just go-go-go...but I figure if we're travelling to the other side of the planet we better see as much as possible
So, thanks to all who've lent their advice.
I can't even count how many hours I've spent sifting thru these forums...what a tremendous help you all are!!!
Good travels!!

luv2globetrot is offline  
Nov 13th, 2005, 09:40 AM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 24
Lisa: As an American wine-food-travel writer who's been to NZ twice (2003 & 2005), I enjoyed reading through all of your posts--and the responses to them--re your upcoming trip. It's one of my favorite destinations, worldwide, and if you let NZ and its people just wash over you, you'll have the time of your life. I think your "final" itinerary is a little more useful--more streamlined, if you will--than some of the earlier versions. You're covering alot of ground for the amount of time you have, to be sure, but only YOU know your limitations...so it's best not to take the suggestions of others TOO seriously. If you like, I can email you an article I've just finished on the North Island--from a primarily food-wine-lodging perspective...you may find some of the suggestions on lodging, dining and activities useful. Just email me at [email protected] and I'll send it along. Safe travels to you both!...John
palomino is offline  
Nov 13th, 2005, 11:22 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 337
Thanks John,
Sadly, we won't be seeing much of the north island...I guess that'll have to be for another trip
And yes, is will be alot packed in, but as you said, "only YOU know your limitations" and that is definitely our "style" when we travel...go,go,go...I LOVE IT!!! I always need a vacation from my vacations
luv2globetrot is offline  

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