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Old Dec 12th, 2006, 04:45 PM
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Question to Melnq8

I have 1 day in Christchurch which I could use for a Lake Tekapo and Mt. Coook tour with Leisure Tours. Which is preferrable?
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Old Dec 12th, 2006, 06:54 PM
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Just to clarify, I only have 1 day. So it's either Christchurch or Tekapo and Mt. Cook tour.
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Old Dec 14th, 2006, 03:19 PM
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Sorry for the delay, just returned from a short trip to Singapore.

It takes over four hours to reach Mt Cook from CH - you'll reach Lake Tekapo in about three hours. If you're going round trip, this makes for a very LONG day trapped on a bus.

Personally, I wouldn't do either as a day trip from CH, just way too much drive time.

Suggest you consider spending your day in and around CH instead. You might look into a visit to Banks Peninsula (Akaroa) which is only a 90 minute drive from CH. At least that way, you'd be able to spend the day in the area, rather than just getting on and off a bus. Lots to fill a day in Akaora - a winery, dolphin/penguin viewing from a catamaran, nice spots for lunch and the Potahu Marine Reserve and some very nice views.

Another possibility is Kaikoura, also approximately 90 minutes from CH. Kaikoura is popular with tourists for it's whale watching trips.
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Old Dec 14th, 2006, 10:21 PM
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Thank you very much for your response.

I could fly back to CH and be back there by 6 pm. I guess I have 3 options:1- above trip with a flight back to CH, 2- full day in CH, 3- full day at Akaroa, 4- half day CH and half day Akaroa. Keep in mind it's going to be July, so days'll be short.

What's your advice on the matter?
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Old Dec 15th, 2006, 12:42 AM
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I'm confused - where would you fly back to CH from?
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Old Dec 15th, 2006, 03:51 AM
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I did some research and I think I found the tour you're referring to - pick up in CH, coach to Mt Cook via Lake Tekapo, lunch at the Hermitage in Mt Cook, scenic flight and optional return flight to CH - 12.5 hours. Is this the one?

Assuming it is, my advice is that if the weather is cooperative and the price of the tour isn't an issue, go for it. It's no doubt a spectacular trip, with the scenic alpine flight over the National Park, the glacier landing by ski plane, etc.

I'm jealous! If you do decide to take the trip, please post your impressions upon your return.
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Old Dec 15th, 2006, 09:12 AM
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So you would not mind skipping CH for this trip?

I could do a flight over Mt. Cook later in the trip from Queenstown, but I would not have time to actually drive there and I would not get to see Canterbury scenery and Lake Tekapo.
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Old Dec 15th, 2006, 04:13 PM
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No, I wouldn't mind skipping CH, but YOU might. It's really a personal decision.

I have nothing against CH, it's a nice little city. I just prefer mountains and wide open spaces over cities of any kind - but that's just me.

With only one day, you're incredibly limited, so you might as well make the most of it and get the most bang for your buck, so to speak.

It sounds like the tour you're considering offers an opportunity to see a lot of spectacular NZ scenery by land and by air in a relatively short time. It will no doubt be a memorable day and possibly the highlight of your trip.

I've not taken any bus tours in NZ. I prefer to travel independently. I've also not taken any scenic flights in NZ - except for a helihike to Fox Glacier and yes, it was the highlight of that particular trip.

Let's put it this way - if it were me, and I had only one day in CH, a large budget, and I'd never seen Lake Tekapo or Mt Cook, I'd give it a go and take a pass on spending the day in CH, Kaikoura or Akaroa.

No matter what you decide, NZ is a wonderful place and you're sure to have a good time.
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Old Dec 17th, 2006, 10:10 AM
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Thanx a lot for your advice. I already booked the tour we discussed.

We are goind to have 2 free days in Queenstown after doing day trip to Milford sound and Dart River Safari. Any other activities you'd reccomend?
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Old Dec 17th, 2006, 02:11 PM
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There's plenty in and around QT to keep you busy. Suggest you drive to to the Kawarau Suspension Bridge (23 km from QT on Highway 6) to watch the crazy people hurl themselves over the side or perhaps to partcipate yourself (BUNGY!).

The Skyline Gondola is another possibility - nice views over QT, a luge, restaurant and coffee shop.

If you're looking for adventure, there's always the Shotover jet, white water rafting, paragliding, parachuting, mountain biking and canyoning. They don't call QT the adventure capitol of NZ for nothing!

If you're looking for something more sedate, there's the TSS Ernslaw lake cruise, two casinos, many wineries around QT and lots of cafes, pubs and restaurants. You might want to take a drive to Arrowtown and spend a few hours checking out this restored gold mining town.

If you're up for some walking, suggest you head to Glenorchy and walk a portion of the Routeburn or Rees-Dart Tracks. It's also possible to walk around a portion of Lake Wakatipu in QT.
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Old Dec 19th, 2006, 07:15 AM
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Is Routeburn track open in July?
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Old Dec 19th, 2006, 02:35 PM
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Many tracks remain open year round unless forced to close due to snow. Bridges are often removed for the winter, but some huts remain open. The Routeburn can be hazardous in bad weather, so it's best to check with the DOC before setting out.

I'm not suggesting you take the entire 3-4 day walk, but perhaps walk a portion and then turn back. This will give you a taste of the track and makes for a good outing on a nice day.

We've walked many of NZ's Great Walks a small portion at a time during the off season. Weather providing, it's a good way to experience some exceptional tracks. The Milford Track and the Routeturn must be booked during the main season, but not during the off season.
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Old Dec 19th, 2006, 04:23 PM
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http://www.doc.govt.nz/templates/tra....aspx?id=36713
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