Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Australia & the Pacific
Reload this Page >

Sydney and S.I. New Zealand – Please Comment on our 2 Week Itinerary!!

Sydney and S.I. New Zealand – Please Comment on our 2 Week Itinerary!!

Old Sep 15th, 2006, 06:39 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 10
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sydney and S.I. New Zealand – Please Comment on our 2 Week Itinerary!!

Hello!! We are heading to Sydney and the South Island of NZ (with our 11 year old in tow) for a 2 week vacation (13 nights) in March!! So excited!! Right now, we’re reserved for 5 nights in Sydney, and the other 8 nights in New Zealand. We want to see as much as possible, especially in NZ (I’m a LOTR fan), but don’t want to be too rushed, especially with our daughter. Although we want to enjoy Sydney, we’d consider one less night if it means seeing more in NZ. Is 5 nights too much in Sydney?

Here’s our itinerary. THANK YOU for your helpful comments!!

Day 1: Arrive Sydney (8am) from LAX – Staying at Four Seasons (5 nights)
Day 2 – 5: Sydney: Sightseeing in and around Sydney, including Blue Mountains [is 5 days too much?? Should we stay 4 days and add 1 day to S.I. itinerary??]
Day 6: Depart Sydney to Christchurch (arrive 1:30pm), afternoon/evening in Christchurch [is this enough time in CHC??]
Day 7: Take TranzAlpine Train through Arthur’s Pass to Greymouth, pick up rental car, drive to/stay in Franz Josef
Day 8: Visit Glaciers, flight over Franz Josef/Fox Glasier, stay another night in Franz Josef
Day 9: Drive south through Haast to Wanaka, stay night in Wanaka [Is this a good place to stay?? Should we drive further south??]
Day 10: Drive to Milford Sound/Fiordland [is this drive from Wanaka too far??] Stay night in Te Anau
Day 11: Doubtful Sound/Fiordland, drive to Queenstown at night
Day 12 – 13: Queenstown – visit area at leisure, relax before return, stay at Millbrook Resort (Arrowtown) [Is Millbrook Resort a good place to stay?? We want a beautiful setting with facilities. They have kitchenettes, pools, good for travel with kids. Other suggestions??].
Day 14: Flight to Auckland, return flight to LAX

THANK YOU in advance for any helpful insights/suggesstions on our itinerary!!
Snowgirl is offline  
Old Sep 15th, 2006, 02:48 PM
  #2  
Jed
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,546
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Ambitious schedule.

Day 10 - The drive from Wanaka to Milford is about 6 hrs, then another 2 hrs back to TA. You may consider skipping Milford as it may drive (!!) your 11 yr old to distraction, especially since it follows the long drive of Day 9.
Jed is offline  
Old Sep 15th, 2006, 03:56 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 24,417
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you want to slow down, you can do either Doubtful Sound OR Milford Sound. The half day in Christchurch is fine, given your schedule. Milbrook is a bit away from anything, it is basically a golf resort. I would think something in Queenstown would be more convenient if you are doing activities. I would recommend the TSS Earnslaw and visit to the sheep farm for your family, which leaves out of Queenstown.
mlgb is offline  
Old Sep 15th, 2006, 10:30 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 11,525
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Pick up a copy of Ian Brodie's The Lord of the Rings Location Guide before you go so you can find the sites; there are a number around Queenstown and Glenorchy.

Honestly, if it were me, I would spend all two weeks in New Zealand, especially if you're a LotR fan, and save Australia for another trip.

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Old Sep 16th, 2006, 10:42 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 4,039
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We enjoyed Wanaka very much--lovely setting with the lake. You must schedule some time (at least 2 hours) there for Puzzle World. There is a great maze, optical illusions, puzzles, etc. Your daughter will absolutely love it and I think you will find it a lot of fun too--I did.
longhorn55 is offline  
Old Sep 16th, 2006, 06:11 PM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 10
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you for the wonderful suggestions and insights!! I think we've decided to add another night (possibly Te Anau) so that we can definitely see both Doubtful and Milford Sounds. I agree, the long distances each day might "drive" our 11 year old crazy!! I also just ordered Ian Brodie's book so we can see where the movie was filmed around Queenstown and Glenorchy and decided to investigate other accomodations in/closer to Queenstown. Is anyone familiar with The Heritage, the Point or Queenstown House? Thanks for those great ideas!

Are there sights in Christchurch we shouldn't miss, since we'll only have, an afternoon/evening there?

Any additional comments on our entire itinerary are greatly appreciated!!
Snowgirl is offline  
Old Sep 17th, 2006, 07:18 AM
  #7  
Jed
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,546
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Regarding The Point, I wtote:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...3&tid=34602230

<Reaching QT at Sunset, we checked into The Point (9.5), where we had reserved a 3 BR, 2 bath apt ($370/night), which was a great rate. It was a 2 floor, 1500 sq. ft. apt, with a remarkable view of the Remarkables. Lovely view, lovely new furniture, balcony, kitchen, fireplace, free laundry. Who could ask for anything more?>
Jed is offline  
Old Sep 17th, 2006, 08:42 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,124
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I tend to agree with ElendiPickle about saving Australia for another trip, or a least shortening your Sydney stay for a day. Trying to drive from Wanaka to Milford and back to Te Anau in one day is really pushing it. However, I would not skip Milford as the drive there from Te Anau is arguably the most scenic in New Zealand. Two, maybe 3 nights in Te Anau would be the way to go if you want to see both Milford and Doubtful Sounds.

The Blue Mts west of Sydney are beautiful, though I prefer to stay well clear of the more touristy spots in and near Katoomba. The views and walks at Govet's Leap are spectacular. The trip out to Jenolan Caves is also well worth it, though it does require more time. The coast immediately south of Sydney is very beautiful as well.
RalphR is offline  
Old Sep 24th, 2006, 06:38 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 243
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I was so surprised to read your proposed itinerary. The beginning sounds like our trip. We leave Oct 23.
Here's our schedule:
Stay Sydney 5 nights--Four Seasons (one day for Blue Mountain tour)
Day 6 fly to Christchurch, drive to Dunedin, stay 2 nights (Elmfield Wildlife tour,)
Day 8-drive to Te Anau-stay overnight- (Radfords Lake View)Glow worm cave tour
Day 9--Drive to Milford--overnight on Real Journeys
Day 10-drive to Queenstown-stay 3 nights Brown hotel
Day 13, drive to Lake Tekapo-overnight Lake Tekapo Grand View
Day 14-drive to Akaroa, stay 2 nights Christchurch Worcester B&B
Depart day 16

Due to time limitations we had to skip the glaciers but otherwise feel this routing covers most of the recommended sights (although I am sure we are just scratching the surface).

RichardJ is offline  
Old Sep 24th, 2006, 07:51 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,247
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It's a pity you have to miss the glaciers - I thought they were without doubt the most spectacular part of NZ.
margo_oz is offline  
Old Sep 25th, 2006, 06:55 AM
  #11  
Jed
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,546
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Driving time from CC to Dunedin is 5 hr. Consider flying, since you are already in the airport, unless you have something to do on the way.
Jed is offline  
Old Sep 25th, 2006, 03:37 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,603
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Snowgirl I am assuming that you are from the USA and I am wondering why you would be thinking of spending too much time seeing Glaciers in NZ when those in the USA are far more grand as are the mountains there. Of course there are differences as with any two countries but to me it sounds a long way to go for little contrast. I think the lakes in NZ are beautiful and around Glenorchy is lovely. The drive from Wanaka to Milford is far too long and it makes for a very long tiring day so try and shorten that route a bit too if possible. The area around where they filmed the LOTR is well worth seeing so you will enjoy your visit I am sure. I would be leaving that extra day in Sydney if only to get over the jetlag and to see something of Australia. I think you must be flying with a OneWorld member according to your flight schedule and that is good too as it is always great to see something a little different if only for a short time.
lizF is offline  
Old Sep 26th, 2006, 06:16 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 22
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi, I'm from Sydney and these are my recommendations on what to see/do..1) Walk from Watsons Bay to South Head and then head back to Watsons Bay pub for fish and chips and a beer, 2) Walk from Rocks to Opera House along the foreshore.. can then go further to Botancial Gardens. 3) Eat, eat, eat (Woollahra, Bondi, Leichhardt, Crown St Surry Hills) 4) Go to Balmoral beach for a stroll and lunch at a cafe 5) Drive to the northern most beach, Palm Beach, and walk up to the lighthouse for views north of Sydney. You'll also see some native birds. 6) If you want to see koalas, go to Taronga Zoo - catch a ferry from Circular Quay in the city. 7) Whatever you do, you have to catch a ferry somewhere 8) Climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge with Bridgeclimb
infoaddict is offline  
Old Sep 26th, 2006, 01:27 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 7
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi,

We recently completed a 10 day Auto trip around both islands and had a WONDERFUL time. Prior we did 20 days in Australia. Check on my Web Site for some additional info http://daveweibel.home.comcast.net
There are a couple of broken links I just discovered but in a day or so, I will have them fixed. 5 days in SYD is good. If you are adventureous, get a 5 day Sydney Pass which is about 25 USD and covers ALL the Busses, Ferries, and Tour busses which are great. If you are going to stay at Franz Joseph, you could drive down to Queenstown and stay there. I am not sure what is Wanaka, but I think Q'town would be a better choice. When in Te Annu, we stayed at the Campbell Motor Lodge and it was very nice and not expensive. Beautiful view of Lake Te Annu!. Do take a bus from Te Annu to Milford... is is a very winding road and you will not see as much if you are driving. Buy a Tour package of the bus plus Milford Sound Boat tour. The day we were there, it rained a lot. Bad news it rained, good news, all the waterfalls and cascades were fast running and beautiful. While in Te Annu, you can take a tour of the Glow Work caves, actually on the evening of the tour to Milford. Long day but worth it.

We were there in July (Winter) but had no problems driving as the passes are quite low in altitude. Roads are ALL 2 lane but in very good condition. Lots of one way bridges but no problems with visibility of oncoming traffic. Driving in NZ is no problem. People are absolutely the BEST!. Enough for now, if you have other questions feel free to ask, will help if I have knowledge, if not will tell you so.

Dave
DaveW123 is offline  
Old Sep 26th, 2006, 01:35 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 7
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Glow Worm Caves.... sorry
DaveW123 is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
hobbes
Australia & the Pacific
7
Nov 30th, 2008 02:16 PM
melb2005guy
Australia & the Pacific
4
Dec 13th, 2005 09:16 PM
maxi
Australia & the Pacific
13
Oct 1st, 2005 03:06 AM
mrschava
Australia & the Pacific
10
Mar 9th, 2005 06:56 PM
Lois
Australia & the Pacific
12
Apr 19th, 2002 04:22 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -