Australia & the Pacific Forums

Post New Topic

Recent Activity

View all Australia & the Pacific activity »
  1. 1 Let battle commence! [Ashes 2017-18 thread]
  2. 2 Sydney High tea
  3. 3 3 Nights Te Anau in February - Still Pondering Best Use of Time
  4. 4 70-Something Suggestions
  5. 5 Melbourne lodging locations
  6. 6 Last-Minute Trip To Australia - Dec 2017
  7. 7 Trip Report 30 Days Down Under
  8. 8 Kaikoura SH1 update
  9. 9 Coffee treasure hunt in Sydney and Melbourne
  10. 10 Sun Sand & Surf. Short & Sweet. Tonga & Fiji
  11. 11 Hotel areas in Sydney
  12. 12 Australia for two weeks.
  13. 13 Fine-tuning South Island Itinerary for February 2018
  14. 14 Itinerary decisions
  15. 15 Driving Valbonne - Annecy in December. Which route / where to stay?
  16. 16 New Years Eve in Sydney
  17. 17 Climbing the Sydney Bridge???
  18. 18 Help planning my visit to Uluru in late February
  19. 19 Great Ocean Road - how much time?
  20. 20 Help planning Blue Mountains trip
  21. 21 Diamantina - what can you tell me about Castle Hill
  22. 22 4 days in Sydney: what would you recommend?
  23. 23 First time visiting Australia
  24. 24 Help! Samoa or Moorea, Indecisive
  25. 25 Australia dollar
View next 25 » Back to the top

Need Some suggestions on South Island

Jump to last reply

HI, I am bringing my wife and folks to SI from late Nov till early Dec, gonna spend 11 days just in SI. They are aged from 60 to 70, not very fit hence i am keeping walks to under 90min. I have come up with a simple itinerary with the motorhome, as my folks will be there for their first time and i just wanna get most things covered. Feel free to suggest and disagree, i will take consider all. Here goes:

Day 1: Arrive Christchurch (noon), straight to Lake Tekapo for the night.
Day 2: Mt Cook, Cromwell for the night
Day 3: Te Anau for the night (no idea what to do along this drive. Seems to be early fro fruit PYO)
Day 4: Milford Sound, Te Anau
Day 5: Queenstown
Day 6: Queenstown
Day 7: Queenstown or Wanaka (depending if weather is kind for us to do the Hot air balloon in Queenstown)
Day 8: Fox Glacier (there seems to be slightly more attraction at Fox over Franz Josef)
Day 9: Hokitika or Greymouth (Just want to break the drive from the Glaciers to Chirstchurch)
Day 10: Arthur's Pass, Christchurch
Day 11: Home sweet Home

We are not so much into shopping, hence not spending much time in Chirstshurch.

  • Report Abuse

    Where are you arriving from? If you've just stepped off a long international overnight flight, getting into a rental car and driving in an unfamiliar country is not a good idea. Are you adept at driving on the left?

    I always suggest at least two nights at the glaciers, as it takes a full day to get there, which leaves very little time to explore the area if you're just going to get into a car the next day to drive on.

    Do be aware that mileage charts don't take into consideration all the stops you'll want to make en route for photos, short walks, etc. The drive from QT/Wanaka to the glaciers is a full day affair.

    Because you plan to stay in Fox, you can also stop in Franz on your way to Hoki, and perhaps walk to the terminal face of Franz if you're so inclined. I'm not sure I agree with there being more attractions at Fox than at Franz though...Fox is a smaller village, with fewer accommodation and food options. Lake Matheson is there, yes, which you can walk around the morning you depart from Fox.

    Otherwise, there's actually more at Franz, but I guess it depends on what you want to do - in Franz you have the hot pools, the wildlife center and a variety of walks, as well as easy access to Okarito Lagoon.

    Logistically, it makes sense to stay overnight in Fox, as you reach it before Franz, but I think you're really limiting yourself by only staying one night in the area.

    If it were me, I'd forge on to Arthur's Pass instead of spending a night in Hoki - it's a 3:20 drive to Arthur's Pass vs a two hour drive to Hoki...unless of course you have a specific reason for staying in Hoki - this will give you an extra night to use elsewhere, and I'd suggest you use it at the glaciers or Wanaka.

    Having said that, accommodation in Arthur's Pass is limited
    (although you say you'll have a camper van, so perhaps a moot point) and the main attraction there is hiking and scenery, although there's a very nice visitors center there and it's a good place to see NZ's alpine parrot, the kea.

    This is a driving itinerary - you'll be spending an awful lot of time in the car/camper van - I personally find one night stays exhausting and I suspect your parents will too - in my many trips to the SI, I've found that even two night stays feel rushed - but at least a two night stay gives you a full day to explore the area you've come so far to see.

    Instead of trying to make the usual quasi loop, have you considered making a one way trip (either taking the West Coast route or the inland route) and then flying back to Christchurch from Queenstown? This will make for a much more leisurely trip and give you the opportunity to fully appreciate your short time in this wonderful country.

2 Replies |Back to top

Sign in to comment.

Advertisement