SI Itinerary Help!

Old Sep 15th, 2011, 06:42 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 18
SI Itinerary Help!

My husband and I are traveling to NZ for our 10 year anniversary in December. We have been scouring this site and others and think we have a pretty good layout. As much as we'd love to go to Kaikoura, I don't see it fitting into our plans. We didn't want to spend a lot of time driving around, although it seems inevitable at times. I really appreciate any input.

Dec 30 12:20AM - fly into CHC Stay night in CHC
Dec 31 - fly down to QT and pick up rental car
Jan 1 - QT
Jan 2 - QT- check out and drive to Te Anau
Jan 3 - Te Anau
Jan 4 - day trip to Milford Sound (still staying in Te Anau)
Jan 5 - check out drive to Franz Josef
Jan 6 - glaciers
Jan 7 - check out drive back to CHC via Arthur's Pass
Jan 8 - CHC activities (maybe squeeze Kaikoura in here?)
Jan 9 - 630AM - fly out

Also, with our flight getting in at 12:20AM the morning of the 30th - is transportation available at the airport to take us to our hotel?

And one last thing! we have a 12 hour layover in Sydney - recommendations? We'll be coming from LAX so we'll be ready to stretch our legs, however we will be jet lagged.

Again...Thanks!
hartman32 is offline  
Old Sep 15th, 2011, 05:38 PM
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Hi hartman32 -

I assume you're not connecting with a QT flight when you arrive in Christchurch because there isn't one that late? If there is one, it would make more sense to go directly to QT and avoid the airport shuffle the next day (although getting on another plane is going to be a daunting prospect at this point!). I would guess that taxis meet all incoming flights, but you might check with the airport to be sure. Perhaps select a hotel with an airport shuttle instead???

To cut down on that eight hour drive from Te Anau to Franz Josef, I suggest something like this instead:

Night in Christchurch (if unavoidable)

Fly CHC to QT, collect rental car and drive to Te Anau (two hours) - spend 2-3 nights - includes day trip to Milford

Drive from Te Anau to QT (two hours) - spend 2-3 nights

Drive from QT to glaciers (six hours) - spend 2 nights

Drive from glaciers to Christchurch (5:45) for final night

If you only want two nights in either QT or Te Anau, you've got a couple extra nights to work with.
Melnq8 is online now  
Old Sep 15th, 2011, 07:01 PM
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Also, with a 12 hour layover in Sydney, you've got plenty of time to go into the city and see and do things.
You could do all numbers of things: walk around Circular Quay and the Rocks area, take a tour of the Opera House, walk through the Botanical Gardens, take the ferry to Taronga Park zoo and see the animals, take the ferry to Manly, visit the Queen Victoria Building (fabulous architecture and some decent shops), tour a museum or two around Darling Harbour, etc.
Choose a few things that interest you and just get back to the airport in plenty of time to check in for your international flight.
longhorn55 is offline  
Old Sep 16th, 2011, 11:56 AM
  #4  
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We have changed the itinerary to do Te Anau, QT, glaciers. Our CHC to QT flight is being booked separately. It's at 830Am. Do you think we should try to just make that flight 8 hours after we get to CHC? We were thinking rest for a full day before traveling again, but are open to anything.

Do you think we can squeeze Kaikoura in in one day, making it a day trip from CHC?

Thank you for all your help!
hartman32 is offline  
Old Sep 16th, 2011, 01:18 PM
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Several years ago, we spent 3 days hiking along the Kaikoura coast followed by a day in Kaikoura to swim with the dolphins. We enjoyed our time there, but I don't think that I would go there just for a day trip (5+ hours just of travel time). Rather, I would schedule that time into the rest of the trip or use that time for Christchurch or nearby.
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Old Sep 16th, 2011, 04:02 PM
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I agree with longhorn55. In all my trips to NZ, I've never spent more than a few hours in Kaikoura, although I would like to return to hike. Otherwise, I just don't see what the fuss is about and it's just so darn touristy. I realize the whale tour is the major draw, but otherwise...

Akarora makes a great day trip from Christchurch. You can take trips out to see the dolphins (and swim with them) visit take a penguin tour, etc. And it's only 90 minutes from Christchurch.

The drive to/from is also gorgeous, especially on the back roads and through Lyttleton, although I don't know what the situation in Lyttleton is post quake.
Melnq8 is online now  
Old Sep 19th, 2011, 09:49 AM
  #7  
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We've decided to "push through" when we get in country by taking the flight down to QT the morning of the 30th and get down to Te Anau. This will free up an extra day/night, although it will probably just be us crashing once we finally make it to Te Anau.

Akarora sounds great. I will look into that more as an alternative.

Thanks!
hartman32 is offline  
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