Rank the following South Island Destinations

Old Mar 6th, 2008, 08:51 PM
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owl
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Rank the following South Island Destinations

Here we go! Let's rank the following AREAS for beauty/interest:

Blenheim
Christchurch
Queenstown
Mt. Cook
Wanaka
Westport
Greymouth
Haast
Dunedin
Franz Josef
Fjordland/Te Anau
Picton
Nelson
Invercargill
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Old Mar 7th, 2008, 06:37 AM
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A lot depends on you and what YOU like. We are a middle-aged couple who did some hiking and no high adrenaline stuff. Here's our ranking:

Fiordland/Te Anau
Queenstown
Nelson
Wanaka
Mt. Cook
Franz Josef
Westport
Christchurch
Greymouth
Haast
Blenheim

We didn't go to Dunedin, Picton or Invercargill

Good luck with the planning!
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Old Mar 7th, 2008, 02:11 PM
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Fiordland
Mt.Cook
Queenstown/Wanaka (they're practicaly next door)
Abel Tasman (reachable out of Nelson)
Franz Josef
Dunedin
Christchurch

Haast is on the way to Fiordland and usually has awful weather
Blenheim isn't scenic but has winetasting, which you can do near Queenstown
Invercargill is just on the way to other places but has a good museum and isn't a tourist town
Picton is just a ferry station
Westport and Greymouth are on the way to the glaciers

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Old Mar 7th, 2008, 02:51 PM
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Have you actually stayed in Picton. I don't believe it is just ferry station at all.

The scenery is gorgeous, stay for a few days in Waikawa Bay, fish off the wharf, wind down and relax, take a cruise around the Marlborough Sounds, go for a ride on the mail boat, it is fascinating as it delivers mail and groceries to the people who live in the different bays around the Sounds. Go for a drive through the Grove Track, stop and some of the bays and enjoy the peace and quiet and take in the views.

I have wondeful memories of holidays spent in this area, true if you are just going to rush in and rush out again you will not get a true picture of the town.
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Old Mar 7th, 2008, 03:34 PM
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Yes, I have stayed in Picton. In fact I've taken 6 trips to NZ and probably spent an accumulated time of 4-5 months traveling North to South. Picton isn't really at the top of the list for extended stays. The ferry from Wellington to Picton was a nice enough sample of the Marlborough Sounds for me. The scenery is so much like the Bay area around Marin County. If chosing between Picton and Nelson, I found Nelson much more interesting as an overnight stop, and hiking Abel Tasman with golden beaches and turquoise bays.
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Old Mar 7th, 2008, 03:48 PM
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Actually I agree that the scenery is similar to the Bay area. On our one and only trip to the US in April 2007 we spent 4 days in SF and was amazed how much it looked like parts of New Zealand. I thought it was a much larger version of Oriental Bay in Wellington.

I think if you wanted to relax and chill out then Picton would be a great place to go. Cruising around the bays in the Marlborough Sounds is not quite the same as the ferry trip in my opinion.

I live in Nelson and love this area also.
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Old Mar 7th, 2008, 09:51 PM
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Fjordland
Queenstown
Franz Josef
Arthur's Pass/Wilderness Lodge
Lake Moeraki/Wilderness Lodge
Christchurch
Dunedin
Mt. Cook
Haast
Greymouth

DID NOT VISIT:
Blenheim
Wanaka
Westport
Picton
Nelson
Invercargill
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Old Mar 7th, 2008, 10:35 PM
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owl - I think the main objective to any touring trip, is to "see something different each day", well thats our motto. All the places you listed are worth a visit, however, I like to see stunning countryside, not just a city, so I have left out Queenstown & Christchurch, and Blenheim, as Christchurch is a city (nice, but still a city)
I would recommend the followingbr /> As soon as you arrive in Christchurch, drive your rental car north along the Kaikoura coastline, staying 1 night at Picton. Then in the morning do the Marlborough Sound cruise, if time does not permit, then definitely drive the Queen Charlottle drive via Havelock, across to Nelson. From here you can drive north west to Katerteri (Nelsonian will tell me if I spelt that correctly), then go out on walk/cruise at the Abel Tasman National Park. Don't forget to visit the fruit orchards & wineries just out of Nelson.
Queenstown is worth a drive through, a bit touristy, with heaps of hotels/motels, etc, but it does have a nice lake, and the Remarkables do stand out. I prefer Lake Wanaka, but more so Lake Hawea (but then I fish, and I like natural beauty)
A quick drive up to Mt.Cook village & Hermitage Hotel is well worth (not a long drive off the main highway)
I was never fussed on westport or Greymouth (generally heaps of rainfall on the western side). Haast Pass is worth driving to or through, some say Arthurs Pass is better. At least try to drive one of the passes (I think there are 4 passes)
Dunedin is a city with some attractions, personally, I probably wouldn't return there.
Franz Josef is worth 1 night stop, depending on what you intend to do there, eg. tramping, helicopter rides, or even flying over Mt.Tasman or Cook.
Milford Sound & Te Anau are a "must see" on my list, we thoroughly enjoyed Milford. Te Anau is not a bad town, after 2 nights, your ready to move on to somewhere different.
Unless you want to visit Stewart Island, I'm not sure why you would want to visit Invercargill, unless its the oysters from Bluff Point.
If you intend to visit the catlins forest parks, you drive from Te Anau through Gore, and upon reaching the east coast, drive south to Nuggent Point (lighthouse & sea birds), and even further south to some of the attractions of the Catlins, then retrace your steps back north to the highway.
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Old Mar 8th, 2008, 02:54 AM
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You've missed out Kaikoura, Tekapo, Oban, and lots of small places.

What is the point of the question?
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Old Mar 8th, 2008, 05:11 AM
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Why?
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Old Mar 8th, 2008, 11:32 AM
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1) Dunedin tops my list but that's because we attended the mid-winter Ball at Larnach Castle in June. Just thinking about the experience leaves me breathless... Plus the albatross; yellow-eyed penguin; Scottish flavor (more Scot than Scotland ?); college town...

2) Fjordland/Te Anau -- we prefer Doubtful Sound tour over Milford...

3)Queenstown...adventure

4)Christchurch...interesting / relaxing

5) Everything else has different things but if I were to pick A PLACE to go again it would be the top 4... all the others are add-ons...

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Old Mar 8th, 2008, 11:09 PM
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Owl - don't forget that traversing the roads between your final choice of destinations, is JUST AS IMPORTANT, as the intended locations. There is so much to see enroute. On our last trip we covered a fair bit of the south island, but we intend to go back next year to visit a few places we missed out on. On our last trip the places we enjoyed enroute were:- Lindis Pass, Lewis Pass, Tussock grass plains, watching river surfing at the Gorge, picnic lunch at the southern end of Queenstown's lake, dining on salmon from a farm near Twizel, Queen Charlotte Drive, Abel Tasman National Park & swimming there, also watching a seal trying to catch a meal, enjoying a pint of Macs Black dark ale in the Hotel at Picton overlooking the harbourfront, and chatting to an english lass working there who married a kiwi from Picton, Dining on green lipped mussels at the Mussell Pot Inn in Havelock, and washing them down with a NZ Sauvignon Blanch.
Incidentally, you can purchase NZ wines cheaper at the Supermarkets, than you can at the wineries, try New World Supermarkets or PaknSav supermarkets.
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Old Mar 9th, 2008, 02:35 PM
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The point of the question is it is fun to answer and will be helpful to the OP in planning their trip. here is my order:

Queenstown
Fjordland/Te Anau
Franz Josef
Christchurch
Wanaka
Mt. Cook

Westport
Blenheim
Dunedin

Picton
Nelson

Haast
Greymouth
Invercargill

I am a NZder and that is my order. I have never been to Haast or Invercargill and I am happy for it to stay that way. People seem to run down Queenstown a bit on this board but I thought it was fabulous. It seems to me that most places that are considered touristy are actually worth visiting - that's how they became popular in the first place!!
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Old Mar 9th, 2008, 03:06 PM
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Poor Invercargill. Never any respect. I actually do love the town but I might be the only tourist who does.

Intact Edwardian architecture and great antiquing, plus the outlet for Knight of NZ.

Some of my favorite cafes, and a good place to sample whitebait and paua fritters.

Oreti Sands links golf

Southland museum with Henry

Some of the friendliest (nosiest?) people in NZ

A real town, not a tourist destination

Deep South ice cream

The home of Burt Munro!


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Old Mar 10th, 2008, 03:45 AM
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mlgb - agree. Preferred Invercargill to Queenstown. Had the best Indian meal there I had had for ages. And there's Stewart Island too.

But why am I broadcasting that?

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Old Mar 10th, 2008, 04:46 PM
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Currently checking in from Invercargill. Afterall, where IS that Indian restaurant?
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Old Mar 10th, 2008, 07:24 PM
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If afterall doesn't respond, I suggest either Zookeepers's (more casual and downtown) or Jagz (in the Gladstone nbhood). Neither one is Indian, recommend the crumbed blue cod at Zookeepers.
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Old Mar 10th, 2008, 10:37 PM
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Yes, blue nose cod is my favourite NZ restaurant fish.
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