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NZ in 22 Nights ??

London, United...
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NZ in 22 Nights ??

Hi Folks,

We (my wife & myself) are looking to visit NZ in Dec/Jan and have come up with the following itinerary for a fly drive

24-Dec Saturday Leave Heathrow

25-Dec Sunday On Plane

26-Dec Monday Arrive in Christchurch

27-Dec Tuesday Christchurch

28-Dec Wednesday Christchurch

(tranz alpine train return to arthurs pass)

29-Dec Thursday Dunedin

30-Dec Friday Dunedin

(otago peninsula)

31-Dec Saturday Te Aneu

01-Jan Sunday Te Aneu

(Trioo to Milford Sound)

02-Jan Monday Queenstown

03-Jan Tuesday Queenstown

04-Jan Wednesday Franz Joseph

05-Jan Thursday Franz Joseph

06-Jan Friday Nelson

07-Jan Saturday Nelson

(Wale Watching)

08-Jan Sunday Nelson

09-Jan Monday Boat to Wellington

10-Jan Tuesday Wellington

11-Jan Wednesday Train to Hamilton, Drive to Roturura

12-Jan Thursday Rotorura

13-Jan Friday Rotorura

14-Jan Saturday Rotorura

15-Jan Sunday To Auckland via Waitomo

16-Jan Monday Depart Auckland in Evening

17-Jan Tuesday Arrive Home

Budget is pretty good - I'll just spend the next 10 years paying of the credit card! We really want to see the beauty of the land and experience as much of the sights as possible.

So what rookie mistakes have we made? If we had another 2 days where should we use them? Anywhere we are staying too long that we could use somewhere else?

All help gratefully appreciated.



New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
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28,297 posts
81 reviews
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1. Re: NZ in 22 Nights ??

Hello Chris, welcome to the forum :)

3 nights Chch and 4 nights Rotorua seem excessive. I would suggest 1 night Chch (it's still affected by the earthquake) and 2 nights Rotorua.

Also you have some long drive planned in the South Island and the route Chch to Dunedin is the least scenic in the country. The TranzAlpine in Dec isn't overly scenic as the snow will have thawed. The road is the far more scenic option.

one possibility;

26 arrive Christchurch

27 drive Arthur's Pass to Punakaiki

28 drive to Franz Josef

29 explore

30 drive Haast Pass to Wanaka

31 drive to Te Anau

1 explore Milford, stay Te Anau

2 drive to Dunedin

3 explore

4 drive to Queenstown

5 explore

6 drive Lindis Pass to Aoraki/Mt Cook - fantastic drive

7 explore http://www.glacierexplorers.com/

8 drive to Chch or Hanmer Springs

9 drive Lewis Pass to Nelson

10 explore

11 drive to Picton, ferry to Wellington

12 drive to Taupo

13 drive to Rotorua

14 explore

15 drive to Auckland

16 fly home

hope this helps :)

London, United...
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2. Re: NZ in 22 Nights ??

Ohh yeah - that helps a lot.

Thanks very much.

With the earthquake - is Christchurch best avoided?

(I figured it would be good to stay there as they probebly needed the tourist dollars after the earthquake)

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421 posts
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3. Re: NZ in 22 Nights ??

I'm no expert, but not sure if there is whale-watching in Nelson? Usually people travel to Kaikoura (north of Christchurch) for this.

Brighton, United...
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624 posts
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4. Re: NZ in 22 Nights ??

I would avoid Franz Josef and stay at Fox which is the town before and a lot nicer. Franz Josef when I last went in 2010 was horrible. So we drove on to Fox which was quieter and we had a lovely meal on Lake Matheson and view of Mt Cook. There is no whale watchng in Nelson you have to go to Kaikoura for that option. You do not need four days at Rotorua, two is plenty and perhaps drive back to Auckland via Waitomo caves for an overnight. You are also there in the high season so make sure you book accommodation ahead of time. Punakiki is brilliant we stayed at a motel near the Punakiki rocks and had a great pub meal just down the road.

London, United...
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5. Re: NZ in 22 Nights ??

Ohh thanks folks - just checked that again and the Whale watching I was looking at was Nelson Bay..Australia! Doh!

Thanks for the heads up about Franz Josef too!

Christchurch, New...
Destination Expert
for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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32,102 posts
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6. Re: NZ in 22 Nights ??

One tip is that you need to calculate travel time using a site like www.aamaps.co.NZ.eg 6th FJG to Nelson is a very long day. 9th, "morning boat to WLG" - you need to factor in the drive from Nelson to Picton + check-in time for the ferry.

7. Re: NZ in 22 Nights ??

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