This is my first topic on Fodors. I have been reading many trip reports on Fodors and they all are great. After reading the trip report, I feel like going on vacation more often now
About my upcoming vacation:
We are traveling to NZ for the first time from EAST coast USA. I (31) will be traveling with my husband (29) and infant (16 months then) from 10 Feb to 28 Feb 2018. Since we are traveling with an infant, we would be limiting our drive to maximum 4hrs a day and we are fine (flexible) if we do not cover all the places which are planning to do. We love scenic places (taking loads of Photographs). We are flying in and out of AKL and have 18 days for our NZ trip.
Below is our tentative itinerary:
Day 1: (Auckland) Flight will land at 6.30 AM. We should be out by 9 AM to our hotel - Hilton (will try booking Super shuttle). Since it will be long and tiresome journey, we are planning to do sky tower, strolling in and around Hilton hotel which is on .
Day 2: (Paihia) Morning ferry to Davenport and back to auckland. Around late noon, take an intercity bus to Bay of islands and explore Paihia town by Foot. We are not planning to drive for first 2/3 days since we are not used to left hand side driving.
Day 3: (Paihia) Hole in a rock Cruise. And evening explore Paihia & Russell. (Would like to know must do/must visit)
Day 4: (Hamilton) Intercity bus to Hamilton from Paihia. (We checked timings – it will take 5/6 hrs in total; so no activities planned)
Day 5: (Hamilton) Hobbiton movie set and Waitomo caves (self-drive)
Day 6 & 7: (Wellington) early morning flight to wellington. Visit Te papa, weta caves museum. If possible, scenic view of mount Victoria, riding cable car. Next day, Kaitoke Regional Park (via Pukerua Bay) and Putangirua pinnacles (since we like visiting LOTR filming locations) Please suggest if there are better things to do)
Day 8 & 9: (Christchurch): early morning flight to CHC. Activities planned:
- Botanical Gardens
- Punting on river Avon
- Antarctic Centre
- Cardboard Cathedral, inner city bus tour to visit museum to look at the rebuild after the Canterbury Earthquakes in 2010-11
Day 10: (Fox Glaciers) Transalpine train to Greymouth. Pick up car rental and drive to Hokitika town for refreshments and visit Hokitika Gorge. Stay near Fox glacier.
Day 11: (Fox Glaciers) Helicopter ride for both Glaciers, (Please advise if we should do helicopter ride one by one or can we take our infant in helicopter ride?) Lake Matheson for the remaining day
Day 12: (Wanaka): Self-drive from Fox glacier to Wanaka and stay one night, we would like to stop frequently for this scenic drive. Haast, river Hawae, Lake Wanaka (and its Tree), puzzling world are few activities planned.
Day 13 (Te Anau): Drive from Wanaka to Glenorchy (read that it is one of the most beautiful drives in SI). And then head to Te Anau.
Day 14 (Te Anau); Milford sound day tour in coach (no self-driving)
Day 15 (Queenstown): Drive to Queenstown. Visit Arrowtown, Gondola rides and may be Dart river jet boat. However, we would like to spend some time sitting (idle) in front of Lake Wakatipu and enjoying the view.
Day 16 & 17 (Mt Cook): Drive to Mt cook via Kawarau Gorge, Lindi Pass. Planning to do full Hooker Valley walk which takes 4 hours return, Glacier Explorer tour and sitting idle near Lake Pukaki for the view. We will try if we can go for Star gazing.
Day 18 (Auckland): Drive from Mt cook to CHC. Stop at Lake Tekapo and will take recommended scenic route # 72 to Christchurch. CHC to AKL late night flight. We will be leaving AKL following day around 10 AM.
Since we are traveling with an infant, we do not want to go Rotorua due to geothermal activities. (Please advise if Rotorua can be done with infant though my husband and I have already seen lava / hot steam vents in Hawaii). We will book our accommodation and activities in another week since we are going around peak time.
We would appreciate your views on this Itinerary - If we are missing something MUST DO or if we are too ambitious with an infant.
Recent ActivityView all Australia & the Pacific activity »
- 1 Kaikoura SH1 update
- 2 Melbourne lodging locations
- 3 Coffee treasure hunt in Sydney and Melbourne
- 4 Sydney High tea
- 5 Sun Sand & Surf. Short & Sweet. Tonga & Fiji
- 6 30 Days Down Under
- 7 Hotel areas in Sydney
- 8 Australia for two weeks.
- 9 Fine-tuning South Island Itinerary for February 2018
- 10 Itinerary decisions
- 11 Driving Valbonne - Annecy in December. Which route / where to stay?
- 12 New Years Eve in Sydney
- 13 Climbing the Sydney Bridge???
- 14 Last-Minute Trip To Australia - Dec 2017
- 15 Help planning my visit to Uluru in late February
- 16 Great Ocean Road - how much time?
- 17 Help planning Blue Mountains trip
- 18 Diamantina - what can you tell me about Castle Hill
- 19 4 days in Sydney: what would you recommend?
- 20 First time visiting Australia
- 21 Help! Samoa or Moorea, Indecisive
- 22 Australia dollar
- 23 Australia - first time
- 24 Sydney airport
- 25 Sydney Airport connecting flights