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SI West Coast Itinerary Check

London, United...
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15 posts
77 reviews
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SI West Coast Itinerary Check

Hi, after staying a few nights in Queenstown / Milford Sounds we pick up a camper van on December 22nd and then need to be in Picton for a ferry we have booked on December 31st. Preference is up the west coast so appreciate we may miss Lake Tekapo / Mount Cook.

We are thinking we will allow some time in Abel Tasman to relax and break from driving (I am the only driver). As it's Xmas we are mindful of things being busy / closed. We have a self contained camper so can look at parking in DOC sites etc. if that helps. We'll need somewhere with decent wifi on Dec 25th to Skype home! We are flexible and open to suggestion but current thinking is as follows:

22nd - collect van QTN and drive to Wanaka

23rd - Wanaka to Fox / FJ glacier

24th - Stay at Glacier for tour (or move on and don't stay here so long?)

25th - Drive up west coast and stay on coast (Greymouth? Further up?)

26th - Drive on to Abel Tasman (possibly too far in one day in we want time to take in the sights)

27th - Stay ATP

28th - Stay ATP

29th - Blenheim

30th - Blenheim / Kaikoura (depends if highway 1 re-opens and / or if too far)

I would appreciate any thoughts on the above people have especially the drive past the glaciers up to ATP and the best way to break this up

Thanks!

3 replies to this topic
Christchurch, New...
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for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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1. Re: SI West Coast Itinerary Check

Looks good. Given that you have allowed 2 N for FJG I'd aim for Punakaiki on the 25th rather than Greymouth.

On the 24th you might like to stay at Otto-MacDonalds camp site on Lake Mapourika, 10Km north of the village.

On the 29th/30th I would switch Kaikoura & Blenheim so you end up closer to Picton -

29. Nelson to Kaikoura

30. Kaikoura to Bleheim or Picton

31. Ferry

London, United...
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15 posts
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2. Re: SI West Coast Itinerary Check

Thanks that's very helpful of you to reply with those comments. One thing I was worried about is driving boxing day morning up into Abel Tasman as I know a lot of people are likely to be getting out of cities for vacations after XMAS... will this road be potentially very busy? It's a very long drive and I didn't want to risk getting tangled up with bad traffic jams at the same time!

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Fiji
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5,648 posts
282 reviews
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3. Re: SI West Coast Itinerary Check

If you stay at Punakaiki on the 25th then you will be driving up the West Coast for a good part so will not be as busy leaving major towns. It will get busy from Murchison onwards though.

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