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New Zealand South Island 15 Nights Itinerary

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Hi, we are a group of 4 ( 40's, 50's & 70's) planning a self drive holiday to the SI of NZ either April/May 2018 or late Nov2018 depending on the price of flight tickets. At the moment, Nov 18 is the preferred time due to work commitments and we are drafting an itinerary before looking up flights.We like to plan way ahead in order to get cheaper flights & accomodations. We have done a NI self drive years ago and for this time, we are allocating 15 to 16 nights to the SI.
Due to knee problems among 2 of us, for this trip we are interested in a relaxing holiday, scenic drives and short walks. No trekking , long strenuous walk or adrenalin filled activities for us. Please fill free to comment :
Itinerary A

Day 1 ---Arrive Christchurch. Overnight Christchurch (1N)

Day 2 ----Christchurch to Punaikaiki via Arthur Pass. Overnight Punaikaiki (1N)

Day 3&4-----Punaikaiki to Franz Josef (2N). Plan to do self guided walk to Franz Josef & Fox glaciers terminal, Lake Matheson and Glacier Hot pools.

Day 5----Franz Josef to Wanaka (1N) via Haast pass and Mount Aspiring National Park. Will stop at attractions along the way.

Day 6,7,8 ---Wanaka to Queenstown (3N) via Crown Range Road and Cadrona Valley. Day trips & drives to Glenorchy, Arrowtown and wineries at Cromwell from Queenstown

Day 9,10---Queenatown to Te Anau (2N). Daytrip to Milford Sound and doing a sound cruise.Stop at attractions on the way back to Te Anau.

Day 11,12----Te Anau to Dunedin (2N) via Gore, Baclutha. Enroute visit Purakaunui Falls and Nugget Point. Day trip to Otago Peninsular.

Day 13---Dunedin to Mt Cook (1N) via Oamaru, Omarama & Twizel. Enroute stop at Moeraki Boulders.

Day 14 ----Mt Cook to Christchurch . Enroute stop at Lake Tekapo. Night at Christchurch.

Day 15 ---Day trip from Christchurch to either Akoroa or Kaikoura . Which is better ? Please advise. Overnight Christchurch.

Day 16 ---Depart Christchurch.

If we use the itinerary above, we would miss out driving the Lindis Pass which is highly scenic and recommended.
There is a suggestion to tweak the above itinerary to the one below from Day 6 to include Lindis Pass
Itinerary B

Day 1-5 ----As above itinerary A.

Day 6,7 ----Wanaka to Dunedin (2N)

Day 8,9 ---Dunedin to Te Anau (2N). Enroute visit Nuggets Point & Purakaunui Falls.

Day 10,11,12 ---Te Anau to Queenstown (3N)

Day 13 ----Queenstown to Mt Cook (1N) via Lindis pass.

Day 14,15 ---Mt Cook to Christchurch (2N) .Stop at Lake Tekapo.

My questions are :

1. Which itinerary is better in terms of scenery ? Route A or B ? Route A will drive through Crown Range Road from Wanaka to Queenstown but not Lindis Pass. Route B will have Lindis Pass from Queenstown to Mt Cook but not Crown Range Road. Is there an option that I can drive both Crown Range & Lindis Pass ?

2. Is staying 1N at Mt Cook sufficient as we are not able to do long, strenuous walk ?

3. Is it better to do a day trip to Akoroa or Kaikoura from Christchurch ? Which has more to offer ?

4. We are skipping Nelson & Abel Tasman because we might not be able to enjoy the national park due to mobility issue and choosing Dunedin instead. Should we skip Dunedin and make time for the north of Christchurch ?

Please feel free to comment as nothing is booked yet. Thank you.

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