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Trip to Nz in June - dates finalized

Old Jan 18th, 2020, 12:44 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Aug 2015
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Trip to Nz in June - dates finalized

Hi All

Couple aged 40 with a girl child 13 years, are planning our first trip to the beautiful Nz. We will be arriving from Gold Coast, Australia in the afternoon of May 31, 2020 to Auckland. Will be staying for 4 nights in Auckland, as i have 2-3 meetings and we would mainly like to see the main city and offcourse the Lord of the Rings filming location(Hobbiton), other attraction and then fly to Christchurch.

We will have 13 nights in SI and would like to cover the main areas between Christchurch to Queenstown and maybe complete a loop. Not sure, whether to return to Melbourne via Queenstown or Christchurch

From CHC we would want to visit the Arthur pass, Lake Tekapo(not sure, if its worth), Punakaiki, Fox Glacier, Franz Josef, Wanaka, Queenstown, Milford Sound, Mt Cook, Dunedin(only if its on the way) and back to CHC

In the SI portion, we would definitely be renting a car, as we would like to do things at our own pace and enjoy the serene beauty of the South Island of New Zealand.

We are well aware that it would be winters and short days, therefore we would not like to rush things and go at a pace where we enjoy the most and also try to explore most of SI part of Nz.

We are not big hikers and 2--4 hours medium hike is maximum for us, but we don't mind exploring scenic points via car.

As we understand that SI is more beautiful compared to north side and the sole purpose of the SI driving trip is the explore to scenic beauty of Nz

We did a similar road trip in California (LA to SF) and enjoyed it a lot.

We would need all necessary suggestions on route to follow, places to visit, no of nights at locations, weather conditions to expect, any other tips etc

Thanks a lot
asimm is offline  
Old Jan 19th, 2020, 11:46 PM
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Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 7,915
The problem with New Zealand is that there are just so many stunning places you could visit that you really need to be very selective. we have done three long trips to the country, always in winter/spring. We have always gone the route of hiring a camper-van rather than renting a car and staying in B&Bs, mainly because of the additional flexibility it affords. an anathema to some, I know, but it works for us. We enjoy the freedom of being able to cook for ourselves, stop where we want and change plans at the drop of a hat all without needing to pack, unpack and check in and out of accommodation every day. The time saved is considerable. In June the days will be short so you need to maximise the use of your time.

A link to our blog which covers a few of the places we have visited over the years @ https://accidentalnomads.com/category/new-zealand/. I hope to add more in the coming months. Milford Sound, spectacular though it is, takes quite some time and Dunedin I would probably skip. Mt Cook is a must and a trip up the west coast to see the glaciers has some wonderful walks. to the north of Christchurch, Abel Tasman and Marborough Sound are worth considering if doing a "figure of eight” . Personally, I prefer places like Glenorchy and Kinloch to Queenstown but many love it.

In terms of where to visit in the 13 days you have, there are a number of pre planned driving routes which you could consider linking together. See https://www.newzealand.com/uk/ for details. Scroll down to the contact section at the bottom and you can request a free map which we have always found really useful. The map covers some of those driving routes which can also be found here https://www.newzealand.com/uk/trips-.../south-island/

All of those places you list are wonderful and many would be possible in the time you have. I do like Lake Tekapo and we always stop a night there en route to Aoraki. the walk to Mt John has some spectacular views.
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