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New Zealand tenative 18 day itinerary

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My husband and I, in our mid-50s, are leaving for our 18 day New Zealand trip in a few days. We only have a few hotel reservations at the beginning and end of our stay (plus a ferry reservation for Cook's Straight) because we are renting a campervan for 15 of those days. We are spending 6 nights on the North Island and 11 nights on the South Island. It is more rushed than we would like but we are going to make the most of it. We fly into Auckland and fly out of Christchurch.

The big decision is whether to go on the west or east side of the South Island. I'm leaning towards one side and my husband is leaning towards the other. There is some overlap in the itineraries. If anyone would care to chime in, here are the possible itineraries. We'd love to hear your feedback:

South Island Western version:
Night 1. Spend night somewhere near Nelson
2. Spend night in Hokitika
3. Fox Glacier
4 - 5. Queenstown
6. Te Anau
7 - 8. Wanaka
9. Oamaru
10 - 11. Christchurch

South Island Eastern version:
Nights 1 - 2. Kaikoura
3. Oamaru
4 - 5. Queenstown
6. Te Anau
7 - 8. Wanaka
9. Lake Tekapo
10 - 11. Christchurch

(I know the drive on the between Kaikoura and Oamaru on the Eastern version is a long one: 5.5 hours driving). We, of course, have plans for the days at each destination, and for in between most destinations. I've been studying the trip reports from indiancouple and An Autumn Month in NZ. I'm hoping to write a trip report and will try to keep good notes to share about our trip.

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