second trip to South Island; need advice

Old Sep 18th, 2012, 06:51 AM
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second trip to South Island; need advice

Last years trip covered Fiordland, West Coast, Nelson;
We have 15 days and want to revisit Nelson and Te Anau; considering Dunedin area and wondering best route from Nelson area;; we will begin the trip in Nelson and depart for US from either Dunedin or Queenstown
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Old Sep 18th, 2012, 04:21 PM
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How about something like this for a driving route:

Nelson-Picton-Blenheim-Kaiakoura-Waipara (if you like wine)-Akaroa-then 73/77/72 to Geraldine (much more scenic than the east coast between Christchurch and Dunedin)-Lake Tekapo-Mt Cook-Wanaka-Te Anau-Dunedin (or QT).

Just an FYI that trying to fit the far north (Nelson) and the far south (Dunedin) into two weeks could be a challenge.

If you haven't yet seen Golden Bay/Collingwood (north of Nelson) you might consider that too, but it'll eat into your time.
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Old Sep 18th, 2012, 11:24 PM
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If you enjoy driving doing the far north and far south in a couple of weeks is a breeze.

What are your main interests?

I personally find Akaroa and Waipara rather boring. Personally I would try and drive from Kaikoura to Tekapo in a day, unless you want to see Christchurch.

If you want to skip Marlborough and head straight for Canterbury and Central Otago then the Lewis pass is a nice enough drive. Could spend the night at Hamner springs, the hot pools were nice 10 years ago, unless you are into the outdoors these not much to do there.
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Old Sep 19th, 2012, 12:04 AM
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Kaikoura to Tekapo is a 400 km drive...and that's taking the short route, which is also the most unscenic on the entire SI in my opinion. The drive along the east coast from Kaikoura to Christchurch is fine, but after that it gets pretty darn dull.
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Old Sep 27th, 2012, 10:57 AM
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thanks both for your input; MelnQ8, the option of taking the route through Geraldine to Mt Cook and ending up in Dunedin sounds interesting. Will be back for more advice once we have firmed up the itinerary
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Old Sep 28th, 2012, 01:51 PM
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here is a revised itinerary for 15 nights, incorporating some of your suggestions.
3 nights Nelson; Abel Tasman kayaking, which we did last year
2 nights Marlborough sound; walking and kayaking
1 night between Picton and Mt Cook
2 nights Mt Cook
1 night Queenstown
3 nights TE anu ( possibly overnight boat trip Milford sound ;did Doubtful sound last year)
3 mights Dunedin environs
I realize 3-4 days of 4-5 hours of driving; other alternative to head directly to Dunedin via the scenic inland detour suggested by Mel
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