South Island New Zealand 28 days in a motor home

Sep 27th, 2015, 07:49 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 2
South Island New Zealand 28 days in a motor home

We hve hired a motor home for 28 days in Jan/Feb 2016 and would like any advice on routes around the island taking in as many of the sights as possible. Are there any suggested places to visit or trips that we might otherwise miss. Also any fabulous campsites would be most welcome

Thanks in advance for any suggestions
Jean_and_sam is offline  
Sep 27th, 2015, 10:03 PM
Join Date: May 2015
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Hi, what city you start from and what date will you be here? All of New Zealand goes on their summer holiday for the first 2 weeks of January so it will be busy.
Good to see you have plenty of time for the trip. What are your travel interests?
tasmangirl is offline  
Sep 28th, 2015, 12:16 AM
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Hi. Thanks for your reply. We pick up motorhome 29th Jan and return it 26 Feb both at Christchurch.

We like walking, and scenery and were thinking of a boat trip (or 2) but wasn't sure whether Milford or Doubtful sound is the better of the 2. We are not up for bungee jumping or anything like that. But would like to do some soaking in hot pools and the like.

We are finishing our NZ trip with 4 weeks touring North Island. We have been to North Island before but lots we haven’t seen.
Jean_and_sam is offline  
Sep 28th, 2015, 06:40 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,647
Lucky you, eight full weeks! I'm so jealous!

In addition to many shorter trips, I've been fortunate enough to have two month long visits to the SI.

We've never done the camper van thing, but I thought my two month long reports might give you a few ideas:

This is the more recent of the two and was unusual in that it was two trips in one with a bit of overlapping, so the routing may not be what you're after:

This one was ages ago:

We've done both Milford (many times) and Doubtful. As far as I'm concerned, the road into Milford is the highlight of the Milford trip. I was disappointed in Doubtful as the weather was so bad, but the weather can be plenty bad in Milford as well. I can't honestly say if one sound is better than the other, but the trips to get to each are entirely different. Toss a coin or decide when you get there based on weather.
Melnq8 is offline  
Sep 28th, 2015, 01:14 PM
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 631
You are seeing NZ as it should be seen - enjoying the time rather than a mad rush to see all the sights.
A CHCH to CHCH anticlockwise loop would work for you. I would divide the time into 4 blocks of roughly about a week each and see what sights you can do comfortably.
Nelson-Punakaiki- West Coast glaciers
Wanaka - Queenstown -Milford or Doubtful Sound
Queenstown - Aoraki/Mt Cook and return to CHCH.
Hanmer has great hot pools. Abel Tasman National Park is very beautiful so have a look at activities there. Kaiteriteri Beach is one of my favourites in all of New Zealand so you might like to stop there.
I have left out Dunedin (been there once and not that exciting IMO).
There's a national public holiday Monday Feb 8 2016 (Waitangi weekend)so book any accommodation and activities in advance.
tasmangirl is offline  
Sep 29th, 2015, 11:15 PM
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 3
Assuming you're leaving from Chch, I'd go something like

Chch -> Kaikoura -> Blenheim/Piction/Marlborough Sounds -> Nelson area -> down the West Coast -> Franz Josef -> Qtown/Wanaka -> Dunedin -> back up through the middle of the South Island, via Tekapo, Mt Cook etc.

Some places worth checking out that you won't find in most travel guides:

Wharariki Beach, right at the top of the South Island north of Nelson

Gillespies Beach - near Franz Josef, there's a 12km gravel road that ends up a free camping spot right next to a rugged rocky beach, great spot

I'm from Chch and I've tripped around NZ in a motorhome twice, you can check out my site at for more info on off-the-beaten-track stuff
nztravelsecrets is offline  
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