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What do you think -- NZ South Island proposed itinerary

What do you think -- NZ South Island proposed itinerary

Old Nov 11th, 2004, 01:09 AM
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What do you think -- NZ South Island proposed itinerary

My husband and I are headed to the South Island for 11 days. We're about 30, enjoy the nature (me) and reasonably degree of "physical" activities (me). Would love to see LOTR sites by ourselves if not too out of the way. Would also hope to see some history and city life (him), possibly in Christchurch? Would appreciate your comments on our itinerary, esp those little questions (Q):

Day 1 DUNEDIN
Arrive at CHC and then Dunedin @ 5pm
Stay @ Mandeno / Abbey Lodge / Southern Cross ???

Day 2 DUNEDIN
Lunch
Larnach Castle
Afternoon: Albatross colony
Sunset tour of Penguin Place

Day 3 DUNEDIN -> TE ANAU
Drive to Te Anau
(Q) Enough time for 5pm glowworm cruise? Need to wake up early next morning for Doubtful Sound trip...
Stay @ Te Anau Hotel & Villas
(Q) What other choices???

Day 4 DOUBTFUL
(Q) Drive to Te Anau or take their coach?
Doubtful Sound cruise

Day 5 MILFORD ROAD & -> QUEENSTOWN
Early drive to Milford, with stops, and back - no cruise.
(Q) does that make sense? Is 3 hours enough?
After lunch, drive to Queenstown
Gondola & Luge
(Q) enough time for that?
Stay @ Heritage

Day 6 QUEENSTOWN
Dart River Safari until 12:15pm
(Q) Drive around Glenorchy?? LOTR sites?

Day 7 QUEENSTOWN -> FOX GLACIER
Scenic drive thru Wanaka, Haast to Fox Glacier.
(Q) How early should we start to allow reasonable stops along the way?
(Q) Which town to stop for lunch?
Stay @ Te Weheka / Westhaven ???

Day 8 FOX GLACIER
Fox Glacier Heli-hike
(Q) What to do for the rest of the day?

Day 9 GLACIER -> GREYMOUTH -> CHRISTCHURCH
Drive to Greymouth, drop off car TranzAlpine to Christchurch
Stay @ Crowne Plaza / George

Day 10 CHRISTCHURCH
City sightseeing, punting

Day 11 CHRISTCHURCH
(Q) Morning: ???
PM: Willowbank Wildlife reserve

Day 12
Early flight home


Thanks!
Kat


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Old Nov 11th, 2004, 07:15 AM
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I don't think it makes a lot of sense to drive to Milford and then drive back again. It is a lovely drive, but with nothing at the end of it I really can't see the point. Spend the time instead on having a ride on the Kingston Flyer on your way to Queenstown.

Glenorchy is the area where much of the Lord of the Rings was filmed, and it is truly brilliant scenery and when we were last there we were lucky that the weather stayed fine for us. With my wife driving, we tried to reach Paradise, but aborted on an unsealed road about a kilometre short of the pearly gates. Check out the local Pub for lunch.

For Queenstown to Fox you need to leave about nine. There is nothing particularly appealing along the way, for lunch; a good day to take a picnic lunch with you.
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Old Nov 11th, 2004, 08:37 AM
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One of the most beautiful and photographed places in NZ is at the end of the road in Milford Sound - the spectacular view of the sound and Mitre Peak - hardly "nothing at all at the end of it". There are also various stopping places with short walks along the way, e.g., the Mirror lakes and the Chasm. The "official" drive time to Te Anau to Milford is 2 h 20 min. So allowing for sightseeing, I'd allow a good 6-7 hrs for the trip, not inluding the 2.5-3 hr drive back to Queenstown.
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Old Nov 11th, 2004, 09:53 AM
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Jed
 
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katkat -

I have not been to NZ, but have done some research for our upcoming trip.

For Day 4 - did you mean drive to Manapouri?

I assume you will stay in TA again on day 4. My info http://www.newzealandvacations.co.nz/maps-sichart.asp says that the drive from TA to Milford is 2hr 20 min. Did you estimate 3hr RT? Also, the drive is supposed to be picturesque and curvy. We won't be doing it, but if we were, I would consider taking the bus or private driver (even better) and relaxing and enjoying the scenery.

From Milford to TA is 5 hr drive. I doubt you will have much time to do anything.

For day 8, consider driving to or Hokitika orGreymouth and staying near there so you can see the pancake rocks in the AM, then catch the Tranzalpine, which leaves at 1:45PM.
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Old Nov 11th, 2004, 12:35 PM
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Hi Kat,

Get yourself a copy of Ian Brodie's The Lord of the Rings Location Guidebook. You'll be near several sites in Queenstown and Glenorchy, and (I think, without getting my copy off the shelf) there are some near Te Anau as well. Brodie gives clear directions, complete with GPS coordinates. And since you'll be in Wanaka, you could visit the NZ Fighter Pilots' Museum, which, if I remember correctly, Brodie runs.

Lee Ann
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Old Nov 12th, 2004, 08:08 AM
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Day 2
Add 1 hr Monarch Cruise
Day 3
Stay at the best farmstay in New Zealand-John and Florence Pine's " Crown Lea Farmstay" 20 min from Manapouri, 30 min from Te Anau, see at www.fiordland.org, phone 64-3-249-8598. [email protected]. B & D to die for, great rooms, great dinner conversation.Farm tour included.
Day 4
Doubtful Sound Cruises start in Manipouri.
Day 5
Heritage is a good choice.
Day 6
Dart River Safari is great. Nothing in Glenorchi.Go to Deer Park in QT for LOTR sites. Great views also.
Day 10
Take the walking tour starting in Cathedral Square.


1. In CC stay in the central city near the cathedral. We stayed at the Heritage on Cathedral Square. There is a terrific walking tour, $10NZ, which starts on the square. Forget the Gondola. A terrific dinner at Pedros.
2.A helicopter landing on the glacier at Franz or Fox may be better if you want a mild activity. The one pub in town has good food.
3. Deer Park in QT for terrific views. Jetboat in Glenorchy. Great dinner at Solera Vino. Good dinner at Boardwalk.
4.We did Doubtful and Milford and stayed at the best farmstay in New Zealand-John and Florence Pine's " Crown Lea Farmstay" 20 min from Manapouri, 30 min from Te Anau, see at www.fiordland.org, phone 64-3-249-8598. [email protected]. B & D to die for, great rooms, great dinner conversation.
5.Dunedin is worth 2 nights. Stay on the Peninsula and take in the activities there. If you splurge on staying at the castle, great views, DO NOT eat there. We had our best NZ dinner at Cow Called Berta.
6. Rotorua. Great lamb dinner at Poppy's Villa. Hangi at Tamaki Moari Village was fun, Waiotapu for geothermals, got rained out of Mount Tarawera and settled for Bath House Museum. Liked Waitomo glow worm caves.
7. You might find senior hotel rates on the internet, esp Heritage hotels to be cheaper than wotif for CHC,AUK, and QTN.
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