We are planning a 2- week vacation to NZ in February or March (would one month be better than the other?) next year. Leaving Denver on a Saturday and leaving NZ to return in Denver on Saturday two weeks later. My husband and I are reasonably fit, in our early 60's, and the focus of our trip will be to enjoy NZ and its people and spend 5 or 6 separate days doing easy to moderate (5 to 8 miles) day hikes with sightseeing in between those hikes. We would not be doing other activities, such as kayaking, etc. We would rent a car for most or all of the trip, unless public transport made more sense for part of the trip. Budget to moderately priced B&B's would probably give us the best chance to meet local folks, but smaller or medium size hotels would be fine as well.
We would love to have your suggestions for an itinerary given the above. Given this much time, would we be better off sampling both islands or just sticking to the south island? Thank you so much for your help! This is a great forum, and perhaps one day we'll be able to help others looking for travel advice!