Queenstown-Milford-Greymouth

Jan 24th, 2006, 07:16 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jul 2004
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Queenstown-Milford-Greymouth

Please comment on whether this itinerary sounds reasonable:
1. Fly into Queenstown, stay 2 or 3 nights. Rent a car.
2. Drive to Te Anau in afternoon
3. Drive early to Milford Sound for 1/2 day cruise and return to Te Anau for the night (We don't think we want to spend the money for overnight cruise - expensive and we get sea sick "on a swing."
4. Drive to Wanaka for 3 nights with a day trip to Mt Cook or stay 2 nights in Wanaka and 1 night at Mt Cook - Hermitage hotel?
5. Drive to Franz Josef (quick look at glacier) and continue on to Greymouth.
6 Spend evening at Greymouth and then take Tranzalpine to Christchurch the next day.
Try to see as many LOTR locations as possible! Comments? Suggestions? How about mid-range priced hotels in the various locations? We will be in NZ from Nov 19-Dec 6, 2006. Thanks for all suggestions.
susanwr is offline  
Jan 24th, 2006, 11:53 PM
  #2  
 
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I can't help with your itinerary, but do get a copy of Ian Brodie's book The Lord of the Rings Location Guide before you go. We found it very helpful on the North Island.

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Jan 25th, 2006, 07:16 AM
  #3  
Jed
 
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What are your plans for TA? Do you really want to stay there 2 nights? If it is only to go on the cruise, you could do this in 1 or 2 days.

It is long drive from Wanaka to Greymouth. Consider splitting it up. I'm not sure you can take a 'quick look' at the glaciers. And walking on the glaciers was one of the highlights of our trip.

I think many people would suggest staying around Punakaiki (30 min north of Greymouth) if you are going to stay in the area.

How much is 'mid-priced'? How many people? Do you want hotels? How about B&Bs,, motels?
Jed is offline  
Jan 25th, 2006, 11:15 AM
  #4  
 
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I second LeeAnn's suggestion about Brodie's book. To see LOTR sites, you should drive or take a tour out to Glenorchy while in Queenstown. (Ee did the Dart River Safari.)
I think your itinerary parts 1-3 are right on. We did the same exact thing with Te Anau and were very happy we did. Te Anau is a nice town. Check out the glow worm caves--we were surprised how cool that was.
I would stay overnight in FJ instead of Greymouth. If I recall, the train doesn't leave for Christchurch until the afternoon. You could easily drive from FJ to Greymouth in the morning to catch the train back. There isn't much in Greymouth and I wouldn't spend a night there.
We stayed at Browns Boutique Hotel in Queenstown, Campbell Autolodge in Te Anau, and Punga Grove Motel in Franz Josef. I highly recommend all three!
You will have an amazing time!
Liz
Tim_and_Liz is offline  
Jan 25th, 2006, 02:52 PM
  #5  
 
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If you need to spend a night around Greymouth, consider The Formerly Blackball Hilton in Blackball....a small community 15 miles out of Greymouth. Quaint and fun....they have a web page....Not expensive and the food served is good...
MJTOO is offline  
Jan 25th, 2006, 03:55 PM
  #6  
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Thanks all. Good idea to stay in Franz Joseph and catch the train the next afternoon. The reason to stay in Te Anau for 2 nights was solely because I didn't think we could drive all the way to Wanaka in daylight after finishing the Milford Sound cruise. Is there any place to stay in between? Now I'm wondering if instead of driving to FJ and Greymouth to take the Tranzapline to Christchurch, that perhaps I should go to Dunedin and then driveup the coast to Christchurch?? (I don't think my husband would be willing to go out onto the glacier.) However, we do want to go to Wanaka - we have friends there - so the logistics are confusing me. As far as hotels/B&B, etc, we are a (youngish) retired couple who want "comfortable" but not "expensive". Also, do any of you recommend the Tranzcoastal, Tranzalpine and Overlander trains? I was thinking of doing all 3 routes on a 7 day pass?
susanwr is offline  
Jan 25th, 2006, 04:53 PM
  #7  
 
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I would stick with FJ over Dunedin. We loved Dunedin, but logistics wise, it makes much more sense to drive up the West Coast from Wanaka. The drive up the West Coast highway is gorgeous. Would your husband consider a heli-hike on the glacier? If not, take a scenic flight over the glacier. We were lucky to have PERFECT weather in Franz Josef and our heli-hike was incredible.
Liz
Tim_and_Liz is offline  
Jan 25th, 2006, 05:45 PM
  #8  
 
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I agree, do not miss the beautiful scenery up the west coast. I would do that rather than driving from Dunedin to Christchurch.
kodi is offline  
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