two week trip

Aug 20th, 2006, 11:42 AM
  #1  
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Posts: 34
two week trip

This is a wonderful site and I want to say thanks in advance.

My wife and I are planning on spending 2 weeks including air time on our 30th Anniversary trip from Los Angeles to NZ. We are willing to spend for value. We had planned on early January but we think we want to change to late November to avoid the crowds. Could get an extra couple days in late November.

Personal info: mid 50ís, healthy, jog 2.5 Ė 3 mi. 5 times a week, can handle 4 Ė 6 hour hike if not too strenuous Ė shorter if strenuous, like outdoors but donít rough it anymore.

NZ interests: (we know that not all are possible in 2 weeks), B&Bís and nice hotels, glow worms, glaciers, volcanoes, geological sites, jetboats, kayaking but are novices, easy/moderate river rafting, dolphin swim, watch(!) bungee jumpers, wineries, wildlife, local flavor over touristy. We will need advice on clothes.

Specific stops: TranzAlpine train, ELM Wildlife tour in Dunedin, Doubtful Sound trip, FJ glacier


Draft Itinerary: would like feedback on length of time, places to eat/sleep and sites to see. This could also be reversed.


DAY 1 Arrive in Auckland then immediately on to Christchurch.
DAY 2 Daytrip to Kaikoura back to CCH.
DAY 3 Tranzalpine to Greymouth and pick up a car. Need place to stay. Visit pancake rocks then on to FJ
DAY 4 Sightsee and take short hike to/on glacier. Can day 3 and 4 be combined?
DAY 5 Drive through Haast and Wanaka to Queenstown. (helicopter ride?)
DAY 6 Queenstown, any suggestions?
DAY 7 Queenstown
DAY 8 Drive to Manapouri, glowworms, Doubtful Sounds
DAY 9 Manapouri late drive to Dunedin
DAY 10 ELM tour, nice dinner
Canít decide on rest of trip. Could return to Auckland and take trips to Bay of Islands and/or Taupo. Or go to Picton and Abel Tasman, ferry to Wellington then Auck. Or?


fgesicki is offline  
Aug 20th, 2006, 12:11 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 87
We are in the planning stages of our trip to New Zealand and according to the maps/brochures/tours I have been researching, it looks like Day 8 might be a bit crowded. My maps indicate that it takes about 2 hours to drive from Queenstown to Manapouri and at least one of the nicer cruises on Doutful Sound takes about 8 hours. The Glowworm caves tour at Te Anu says it takes about 2 and a half hours.
IdahoTraveler is offline  
Aug 20th, 2006, 02:36 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
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Clothing - bring layers. You probably won't need anything too dressy.

I can't help you with the South Island, but you can see how we spent 10 days on the North Island in April 2004 at http://community.webshots.com/user/ElendilPickle

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Aug 20th, 2006, 06:56 PM
  #4  
 
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Congratulations on 30 years!

Regarding days 3 & 4 - can't combine all this into one day. Tranzalpine takes half a day, drive to Pancake Rocks from Greymouth takes about 45 minutes each way plus time to explore the area (it's in the opposite direction of FJ), then drive to FJ takes about 2:15 from Greymouth. Difficult to fit a glacier hike into an already very busy day.

Suggest two nights in FJ if possible as weather is often poor and this will give you some flexibiity. Also, would not suggest doing a glacier hike (*unless very short) AND driving to Queenstown in the same day as the drive from FJ to Queenstown takes at least 5 hours with no stops. This is not a drive you want to take without making stops! It's gorgeous and offers many walks, side trips, photo ops, etc.

*Guided glacier hikes take at least half a day

Where will you spend the night of Day 8? Overnight cruise?

Would not suggest trying to squeeze the North Island into a two week trip. Suggest you look into the Abel Tasman/Nelson/Motueka area. Lots to do up that way and many, many wineries to visit.
Melnq8 is online now  
Aug 20th, 2006, 08:42 PM
  #5  
 
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I would just settle for the south island in two weeks. I think Nelson, Picton and the Abel Tasman should not be missed. Best weather and scenery in my opinion.
hobobeen is offline  
Aug 20th, 2006, 09:15 PM
  #6  
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Dear Idaho traveler, thank you for the information. We planned on 2 nites 8 and 9 in Manapouri leaving the afternoon of the third day. I hope to get there early enough to do the caves and then the next day do the Sound and then the third would be half sight seeing and then traveling. Does that sound doable?
fgesicki is offline  
Aug 20th, 2006, 09:23 PM
  #7  
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Dear Melnq8
Thank you for the input. I think 2 nights in FJ will be the best bet and then an easy day drive.
fgesicki is offline  
Aug 20th, 2006, 09:31 PM
  #8  
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I read a suggestion for stayin at the
Whiteshadows B&B in Queenstown on another thread. Are ther any others with knowledge of this establishment. i am going to their site now.
Thanks
fgesicki is offline  
Aug 21st, 2006, 08:34 AM
  #9  
 
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Sounds doable to me!
IdahoTraveler is offline  
Aug 21st, 2006, 12:14 PM
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hi fgesicki,

you will have a great time!
I would stay in the SI the entire time (as we recently did for 12 nights)

Consider the route we took:
Drive from Kaikoura to Hanmer Springs night 2. Drive from Hanmer Springs to the Pancake Rocks, through Greymouth to FJ on day 3. This way you won't have to deal with renting a car, returning it, taking the train, renting the car again, etc. We do not regret skipping Arthurs Pass on the train as the scenery is so gorgeous everywhere. If you are really wanting a train trip, consider the one outside of Dunedin. (The name escapes me at the moment.)

You may enjoy my trip report-- it has lots of ideas for the Queenstown area.
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...3&tid=34745614

As you modify your itinerary, it would be helpful if you post the revised version so that we are all on the same page when we're helping you out.


I am slightly jealous!
Tim_and_Liz is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2006, 07:04 PM
  #11  
 
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Just a bit of information for you regarding day 10. You'll have to forget the nice dinner! I had not realized, and you may not either, but the Elm Wildlife tour does not start til late afternoon and doesn't end til very late. The reaons being, the penguins don't come ashore til supper time.
I was picked up about 3:30 ot 4 pm and did not get home til almost midnight.
It was well worth it. The tour was fabulous. SO have a hearty lunch and maybe take snacks with you on the tour.

I am slightly jealous too !!!!
kodi is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2006, 09:24 PM
  #12  
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Taking advise to modify as I get suggestions. N = night stay


DAY 1 Arrive in Auckland then immediately on to Christchurch. N1
DAY 2 Daytrip to Kaikoura back to CCH. N2
DAY 3 Tranzalpine to Greymouth and pick up a car. Visit pancake rocks then on to FJ, N3 in FJ
DAY 4 Sightsee and take short hike to/on glacier. N4 in FJ
DAY 5 Drive through Haast and Wanaka to Queenstown. (helicopter ride?)N5,6 & 7 in Queenstown
DAY 6 Queenstown, 2 full days here any suggestions?
DAY 7 Queenstown
DAY 8 Drive to Manapouri, glowworms, Doubtful Sounds, N8 in Manapouri
DAY 9 Manapouri late drive to Dunedin, N9 in Dunedin
DAY 10 ELM tour, N10 in Dunedin

Canít decide on rest of trip. Could return to Auckland and take trips to Bay of Islands and/or Taupo. Or go to Picton and Abel Tasman, ferry to Wellington then Auck. Or?
fgesicki is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2006, 09:28 PM
  #13  
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I have talked to a Kiwi specialist about possibly making all the arrangements.I have also read that making accommodations as we go allows more flexibility. Comments?
fgesicki is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2006, 09:30 PM
  #14  
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I forgot to thank Tim and Liz for their trip report which I have used extensively along with their additional assistance. THANK YOU
fgesicki is offline  
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