Proposed Itinerary - NZ South Island April 2006

Jan 26th, 2006, 05:15 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 76
Proposed Itinerary - NZ South Island April 2006

1 Queenstown
2 Routeburn Track (guided, incl transfers to/from QT)
2 Queenstown (Chilling out after walk, Dart River, LOTR tour)
1Overnight on Milford Sound (guided, incl transfers to/from QT)
1 Queenstown
2 Wanaka (bus from QT)
2 Fox or Franz Joseph? (bus from Wanaka. Heli-hike)
3 Christchurch (train from Greymouth. Only 2 full days in CC as arrive late on first day & leave early last day)
1 Picton or Blenheim? (train from CC)
1 Nelson (bus from Picton/Blenheim)
2 Abel Tasman trek/kayak (guided, incl transfers to/from Nelson)
2 Nelson (winery trip)

Hi all,

This is a really long post but Iíd really appreciate any tips/suggestions for my solo 3 week trip on NZís South Island in April above.

I donít drive so renting a car is not an option so Iíll be looking as catching Newmanís/Intercity buses & using the rail to & from Christchurch.

I know it looks like Iím going to & from QT a fair bit but both the Routeburn Track & overnight on Milford are escorted out of QT so it wonít be as much moving about as it looks given Iíll be able to store the bulk of my luggage at wherever I stay before & after those trips in QT. Similarly with my stay in Nelson before & after the Abel Tasman guided trip of 3 days/2 nights.

I still canít decide whether I should do Fox or Franz Joseph Ė Iím interested in doing a heli-hike which seems to be more expensive in FJ for some reasonÖbut FJ town seems to have a wider range of eating & accommodation options (I want to average roughly $NZ100-120 a night for accommodation through trip. Am happy to stay at motels that are central or in double rooms at nicer hostels or even B&Bís).

Also I will be taking trans coastal train from Christchurch to either Picton or Blenheim Ė which would be your pick for one night? OR should I get bus straight away to Nelson for extra night?

Accommodation Iím considering so far (any feedback appreciated!):

Discovery Lodge ( )
OR Four Season Motel ( )
The DL has what seems to be cheap double ensuite rooms with good facilities for $90 but Iím concerned it will be really noisy given its a hostel with bar (Iím 30 if its relevant & donít mind a bit of noise but after doing Routeburne Iíll want a good nights sleep!) At the FS Motel Iíd be interested in a studio room for $145Ötheir rooms have double glazing Ė Iíve heard noise can be an issue for a lot of hotel rooms in QT!

Purple Cow Hostel -
A Double room with ensuite & lake views seems ideal for $68. Anyone ever stayed there?

Fox or Franz Joseph: No idea! Any suggestions?

Christchurch Stonehurst ( )
Iíd be interested in either one of their studio motel units at $115 or maybe even upgrade to one bedroom suite for $145

Picton OR Blenheim: no idea! Any suggestions?

Grove Villa B&B ( )
Seems nice & central for its $75 to $100 rooms incl breakfast. Anyone stayed here?

Thanks for any help!!!
Lucy_of_Oz is offline  
Jan 27th, 2006, 07:49 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,493
hi Lucy
@ i think u should consider Kaikoura on the way from CHC to Blenheim.
Kaikoura is amazing: Whales, Dusky Dolphins (so Aerobatic !!!) AlbatrossES (few species)
This april on many days they watched 1000 even 2000 Duskies!
Check on this site
@@ why 2 nights at Wanaka ??
u can go from QT to FJ even same day ...
aby is offline  
Jan 28th, 2006, 12:32 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,758
Lucy -

I can recommend Lake Matheson Motel in Fox Glacier, Bella Vista & Punga Grove Motels in Franz Josef. All nice and reasonably priced.

We stayed at the Chateau Marlborough in Blenheim twice, but it's been a few years and I can't remember what we paid.
Melnq8 is offline  
Jan 28th, 2006, 06:54 AM
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Posts: 76
Hi Melnq,
I was actually considering the Lake Matheson Motel in Fox so I appreciate the positive feedback - thanks! It says its only around 400 metres from the town - does that sound right because I want somewhere thats walking distance since I won't have a car?
Hi Aby, thanks for your feedback too! To be honest I wasn't really sure what I'd do at Wanaka as yet but I had just read & heard a few times that it was a great/beautiful place to spend a few days. As for Kaikoura I was actually considering whether to spend some time there but I'm just am not sure whether or not a whale or dolphin trip is something I'm keen enough to do to make a stop there worthwhile...I was pretty sure that April would be to cool for me personally, coming from Sydney, to actually swim with the dolphins but I'm really not sure??
Thanks - any more feedback would be really appreciated!
Lucy_of_Oz is offline  
Jan 28th, 2006, 08:28 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,546
We stayed at the Lake Matheson Motel in Fox for one night. It was a......motel, with a motel room. Although we drove into town, it appeared walkable. I'm not sure, but there seemed to be nicer places to stay for more than one night.
Jed is offline  
Jan 28th, 2006, 05:24 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,758
Lucy - We liked our motel room at Lake Matheson Motel - clean, comfortable, quiet, spacious, nicely equipped with microwave, fridge, etc AND great hosts. We spent three nights there, and I would not hesitate to stay again.

Yes, it's walking distance to town - we walked just about everywhere - we had a car, but Fox just isn't all that big.

Have a great trip!
Melnq8 is offline  
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