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Help with 11 day South Island itinerary please

Melbourne
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Help with 11 day South Island itinerary please

Hello - My husband and I are trying to plan an 11 day South Island itinerary - Feb 14 - 24, and we fly back on Feb 25th. Flying in and out of Christchurch. We are renting a campervan with shower/toilet. W

Things we really want to see/do include:

Milton Sound/Fiordlands (is overnight Milton Sound cruise worthwhile?

Glaciers

Husband wants to do jetboat tour

Wanaka?

I will be about 20 weeks pregnant so no hard core adrenelin activities, though we would like to do a little bit of kayaking and some hikes that are not too strenuous.

We know it's not a lot of time, and we don't want to just be one day/night per place necessarily, thus spending most of our time driving. Any suggestions for an itinerary are appreciated so we can maximise our time. We know we'll have to go back to see the things we missed, but we live in Melbourne so that's not too hard.

Thank you!

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
Level Contributor
28,297 posts
81 reviews
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1. Re: Help with 11 day South Island itinerary please

Hi CrazyJ, welcome :)

An overnight on Milford or Doubtful Sound is totally worth it. You'll love it... the trips also include kayaking, often with dolphins :)

Excellent jet boat options in Queenstown.

Wanaka?... yes to Wanaka!!

a possible plan.

1 arrive Chch, explore

2 drive Arthur's Pass to Franz Josef

3 explore

4 drive Haast Pass to Wanaka

5 explore, enjoy excellent hiking

6 drive to Te Anau, do overnight trip on Milford or Doubtful Sound

7 drive to Queenstown

8 explore

9 drive to Aoraki/Mt Cook

10 explore

11 drive to Chch...

hope this helps :)

Melbourne
6 posts
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2. Re: Help with 11 day South Island itinerary please

Thank you WL!!

This is roughly what we had considered.

My husband is wondering if Milton Sound is worth it since it's kind of out of the way. I've always wanted to go... Thoughts?

Also we will be fairly on the go with this itinerary. Wondering if I'll be tired at 20 weeks pregnant!! If you could eliminate any stops to allow more time in fewer locations, what would you take out?

We already know we'll need to come back another time to see what we've missed on this trip.

No longer doing the campervan thing - was a bit too expensive for us to get a nicer one with shower/toilet.

One more thing - a friend at my office suggested a more Northern route: up to Kaikoura,, Picton, over to Franz Josef, Lake Takapo, etc. But I've always head the south is more scenic. What do you think?

Thanks again - really appreciate the help!

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
Level Contributor
28,297 posts
81 reviews
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3. Re: Help with 11 day South Island itinerary please

Milford (please notice the spelling) is fabulous. You won't regret doing the overnight. You also might like to consider an alternative - Doubtful Sound overnight.

A northern or southern route? Kaikoura or Wanaka? My preference would be to do a southern route, however this is your holiday and the itinerary should follow your wishes.

For affordable accommodation you might consider motels, holiday park cabins (most with ensuite bathroom) and moderate B&Bs. This site is great for all types/budgets www.newzealand.com/travel/accommodation

happy planning :)

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
492 posts
29 reviews
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4. Re: Help with 11 day South Island itinerary please

Hi CrazyJ,

Milford Sound is definitely worth it. You'll be blown away by it. We did the Milford Mariner overnight cruise. It was awesome. Kayaking at dusk was heavenly! Also the Milford Road is just beautiful with some great places to stop and look at along the way. The itinerary WL provided is great. That region is the most scenic. Mind you all of NZ is beautiful. We're planning trip No 5!

You can stop at Lake Tekapo on the way back to Christchurch. Also, if the weather is foul, skip Mt Cook as you won't be able to see it anyway. The walks up there are beautiful if the conditions are right. Check the webcam: http://www.alpineguides.co.nz/popup/cam.htm

Have a great trip!

Melbourne
6 posts
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5. Re: Help with 11 day South Island itinerary please

Thanks again everyone!!

We will def do Milford (pregnant brain has already set in - I know it's not Milton!!) Sound. Not sure if it's in the budget to do the overnight cruise but we'll think about it b.c it sounds amazing!!

We are so excited and think this will be a good intro to New Zealand!!

Melbourne
6 posts
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6. Re: Help with 11 day South Island itinerary please

One more quick question - sorry!

We actually arrive in Christchurch around midnight on Feb 13th, so we want to get on the road ASAP to Franz Josef on Feb 14th.

This means we will actually have one more day in the excellent itinerary that WL suggested.

If you could add one more day in any of the locations WL suggested, what would you do?

Thanks!!

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
Level Contributor
28,297 posts
81 reviews
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7. Re: Help with 11 day South Island itinerary please

if you don't do the Milford or Doubtful overnight then your trip could be;

13th arrive Chch

14th drive Arthur's Pass to Franz Josef

15th explore

16th drive Haast Pass to Wanaka

17th explore

18th drive to Te Anau, Glow Worm Caves

19th explore Milford Sound, stay in Te Anau

20th drive to Queenstown

21st explore

22nd drive to Aoraki/Mt Cook

23rd explore

24th drive to Chch, explore

25th fly home

if you stay with the Milford overnight you could spend the extra day in Queenstown or Wanaka :)

Melbourne
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8. Re: Help with 11 day South Island itinerary please

Fantastic WL - I think we'll do that! And we'll report back in once we return to let everyone know how it was.

9. Re: Help with 11 day South Island itinerary please

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