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Where to stop between Mt. Cook/Te Anau and Wanaka/Fox


Jan 27th, 2014, 12:54 PM
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Where to stop between Mt. Cook/Te Anau and Wanaka/Fox

With lots of help from this board, especially Mel, we've planned our trip to the SI for 15 days in mid-February. As we leave in a few weeks, I am starting to think about where to stop during our long drive days. I'd especially love any thoughts on good, short hikes or beautiful sights we can stop at between Mt. Cook and Te Anau and Wanaka and Fox Glacier. Many thanks!
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Jan 27th, 2014, 04:05 PM
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Between Mt Cook and Te Anau:

Omarama Clay Cliffs - http://www.discoveromarama.co.nz/sam...cliffs-paritea - last I heard you had to check in at the visitors center in town first - you might want to check before you drive out there

Tarras - good place for a break/coffee stop

Cromwell - Mt Difficulty in Bannockburn makes a great lunch stop - best to book. There's a short walk nearby through the Sluicings - interesting walk on a cool day, terrain is exposed, not a good option on a hot day - http://www.centralotagonz.com/bannockburn-sluicings

Some pretty walks around Arrowtown too:

Garston - nice little honey shop with locally produced honeys

Kingston - This is where Lake Wakitipu begins and home to the Kingston Flyer if you're into trains

Five Rivers at the turn off to Te Anau - good place for a coffee break

The Kepler Track - 12 kilometers south of Te Anau - the walk from from Rainbow Reach to Moturau Hut and return is a gently winding track that leads through beech forest and alongside the Waiau River. - a personal favorite - 7.75 mile return, but you an walk just a portion if you're looking for something shorter

Between Wanaka and Fox:

Fabulous views from Lake Hawea Overlook

Blue Pools - 30 minute return forest walk

The 96 meter high Thunder Creek Falls

Fish & chips in Haast, Lookout Track at Haast Pass (I've not yet personally explored this one yet)

Knights Point Lookout

Lake Moeraki - Fiordland Crested Penguins are sometimes seen on Monro Beach between July and October, 90 minute return walk - please respect the penguins, give them plenty of space and don't block their way to the sea

Lake Paringa & Paringa Salmon Farm (if open)

Ship Creek - a couple of nice short walks here, expect sandflies
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Jan 27th, 2014, 04:06 PM
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Penguins won't be out at Monro Beach, but it's a nice walk regardless.
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Jan 28th, 2014, 03:44 AM
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nz2014 - we enjoyed the drive from Fox to Wanaka very much and there are several places to stop either for the view or for short walks.

We liked Arrowtown a lot and spent a couple of hours there, exploring the chinese Settlement and having lunch. There are a lot of shops to look at too if you like that sort of thing.
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Jan 28th, 2014, 01:54 PM
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Thanks! This all sounds great. We have 3 nights in Te Anau so I'm definitely hoping to do part of the Kepler track then.
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Jun 6th, 2015, 03:17 PM
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Thanks so much for all the intel! It has been incredibly useful. We have now switched our plans to early March.

We did a two week self drive trip to New Zealand almost 15 years ago and started in Aukland, ended in Christchurch and spent most of our time on the South Island. I am really excited to return.

So far we are planning for 3 nights at Abel Tasman for some hiking, 2 nights at Kaikoura for whale-watching and pelagic bird excursion. We didn't spend any time in these locations the last time we were there. We are also planning to do an overnight cruise on Milford Sound. Last time we did a cruise on Doubtful Sound as a stand-in for Milford due to time considerations.

We really liked Christchurch but I have heard that it is very sad now due to the earthquake damage. I am not sure whether to skip it or not. Any thoughts on Christchurch?

Another place we didn't get to last time was Mt Cook Village. I think that we would really enjoy it, probably doing the boat trip on the Tasman Glacier lake and hiking the Hooker Valley track. Any thoughts, comments on Mt Cook?
Any suggestions as to best (most scenic) routes in and out of Mt Cook Village.

We will probably be going to Dunedin since we are accidental birders and DH really likes penguins

Also we will be staying at least one night in Te Anau prior to (and maybe after) the Milford Sound overnight. I need to start counting up nights and then play an interesting game of connect the dots.

Other areas under consideration are:

Franz Josef - to heli-hike or not to heli-hike - that is the discussion. Last time DH did the all day glacier hike (no heli involved) and loved it, but that is no longer an option. I did the scenic heli-hike because I was having trouble walking and knew I couldn't do a full day trip. Fortunately my mobility problems are behind me for now, so this trip we are more focused on hiking, which really wasn't an option on the first trip.

Stewart Island - not really sure what to expect and whether the time investment is worth it.

Queenstown - but we really aren't extreme sports enthusiasts, so I am not sure what we would do there.

Arrowtown - would like to stop in on our way to somewhere.

Wanaka - We didn't spend any real time there the last time but I remember that the drive through that area was gorgeous.

Any thoughts, comments and suggestions you might have would most gratefully be accepted.

Thanks again for all your input so far!
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Jun 6th, 2015, 03:20 PM
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Sorry, accidentally composed and posted the above on the wrong thread - have reposted on the right thread. I can't believe I did this!
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