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Kindly advise on 24 days travel plan

Singapore, Singapore
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19 posts
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Kindly advise on 24 days travel plan

Hi, we are a family of 5 (couple plus 3 girls 16, 14 &11) planning to travel to NZ from 29 Nov - 23 Dec. After deducting the flight time, we have 24 days to cover both the north and south island. This is our first visit we and would really appreciate feedback on whether the following itinerary is feasible. We only have 1 driver amongst us:

Day 1 Depart from S'pore

Day 2 Arrival Christchurch

Day 3 Christchurch – Akoroa (1hr 22 m) – Lake Tepako (4hr 23m)

Day 4 Lake Tepako - Aoraki / Mt Cook (1hr 29 m)

Day 5 Mount Cook

Day 6 Mount Cook – Queenstown (3 hr 48m)

Day 7 Queenstown

Day 8 Queenstown

Day 9 Queenstown - Te Anau (2 hr 32 m)

Day 10 Te Anau - Milford Sound (1 hr 41 m)

Day 11 Te Anau - Dunedin (4 hr 19 m)

Day 12 Dunedin

Day 13 Dunedin - Wanaka (4 hr 2 m)

Day 14 Wanaka

Day 15 Wanaka – Franz Joseph (4 hr 8 m)

Day 16 Franz – Punakaiki (3 hr 14m)

Day 17 Punakaiki – Nelson (3hr 59m)

Day 18 Nelson – Picton (1 hr 53 m) – Wellington (Sailing time 3 h 20m)

Day 19 Wellington

Day 20 Wellington – Napier (4 hr 35 m)

Day 21 Napier – Taupo (2 hr and 3 m) – Rotorua (1hr 5 m)

Day 22 Rotorua

Day 23 Rotorua – Coramandel (3 hr n 23 m)

Day 24 Coramandel – Auckland (2h and 27 m)

Day 25 Auckland

Day 26 Fly back to S'pore

We are deliberating whether we should make our way from Te Anau – Dunedin or to give Dunedin a miss and use the time to visit Abel Tasman National Park instead.

Should we book all the accommodation, ferry ticket and tickets to some of the attractions in advance (cos it seems cheaper)? Would Top Ten Holiday Park be the most economical place for a family of 5 to stay? There are so much to see and yet so little time. Thank so much.

Wanaka, New Zealand
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1. Re: Kindly advise on 24 days travel plan

To the most part it seems good - rushed, but doable.

Just a few thoughts.

Firstly, I think day 3 is too busy. I would skip out Akaroa to make it more manageable.

Day 10 is a return journey, so more like 4 hours driving. You will want to make plenty of stops to enjoy the many walks enroute, plus you'll presumably do a cruise at Milford, so allow all day for this wonderful excursion.

Allow longer for the drive on Day 10. There are so many lovely short bush walks to stop at on the way. Also, if it's fine and calm when you reach Fox Glacier you might want to do the Lake Matheson walk which is stunning (albeit better in the early morning or late evening).

I would skip out Dunedin. I love the city, but I think you would benefit from freeing up a few days to slow down the second half of your trip. Perhaps tack on a day to the Coromandel or Napier, or even an extra day at Franz so you have a better chance of striking some fine weather while you're there.

Top 10 parks are great. However, do do some research as you may find a motel that is even cheaper. I would book some places in advance - it gives you time to research and find accommodation that is both cheap and has good reviews. Also, schools begin their end of year holidays from mid December and places like Rotorua and The Coromandel will begin to get quite busy.

Other than that - happy travels!

Edited: 29 September 2012, 17:40
Singapore, Singapore
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2. Re: Kindly advise on 24 days travel plan

Thanks so much OskarNZ for responding. We will take your suggestion to skip Dunedin and use the 2 days to explore Franz and Coromandel / Napier instead. Hmm, the question now is which is better Coromandel or Napier?

Still debating whether to let go Akoroa as it seems too charming a place to let go. Noted your suggestion for day 10. Willl now start working on my accommodation. Thanks once again.

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
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3. Re: Kindly advise on 24 days travel plan

You have planned well :)

so just a few changes (and note that some of your drive times are a bit off, most drives will take a bit longer than anticipated);

2 arrive Christchurch

3 drive to Tekapo (skip Akaroa)

4 drive to Aoraki/Mt Cook

5 explore

6 drive to Queenstown

7/8 explore

9 drive 2 hours to Te Anau, glow worm caves? Ata Whenua?

10 explore Milford (allow 4.5 hours drive time return)

11 drive 3 hours to Wanaka via Crown Range

12 explore

13 drive 5 - 6 hours to Franz if stopping for any of the short walks

14 drive to Punakaiki

15 drive to Nelson

16/17 explore Abel Tasman National Park

18 drive 2 hours to Picton, ferry to Wellington....

hope this helps, happy travels :)

australia
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for New South Wales, Noosa
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4. Re: Kindly advise on 24 days travel plan

, re dropping Akoroa, why not drive/sleep there on day of arrival.

And take a brief look(s) at Chch before going to, and travelling back out of Akoroa.

You really wouldn't have time to much there next day. But departing Akoroa early morning would still leave time for most of morning in Chch

Edited: 29 September 2012, 23:51
Singapore, Singapore
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5. Re: Kindly advise on 24 days travel plan

Thanks so much WanakaLakes for your kind response. Haha, since you and OskarNZ both suggested omitting Akaroa, we will give in a miss. Will try to fit in glow worm caves and Ata Whenua. Read about the scenic route to Milford hence will give ourself time to explore the place on way back. Appreciate your tips abt driving to Wanaka via Crown Range.

Haha, now we will have to decide whether to use the 2 days on Abel Tasman National Park or divide them on Franz\Napier\Coromandel suggested by OskarNZ. There is just so much to see !!! Your tips certainly help in our planning. Thanks!

Singapore, Singapore
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6. Re: Kindly advise on 24 days travel plan

Thanks dev1236 for responding. This is a very tempting idea that didn't cross my mind earlier. But having thought about it, I think it may be too tiring to drive to Akoroa after a 12 hours flight. We will just stay the night in CC. Appreciate your kind suggestion.

New Zealand
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for South Island
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7. Re: Kindly advise on 24 days travel plan

Dev, driving the steep road to Akaroa after a long flight from Singapore with lost sleep is not the best idea. We work long and hard on this forum to try to get visitors to NOT jump behind the wheel of a car on arrival.

This month there have been two horrific fatal accidents involving tourists - driving fatigued is not a pretty outcome.

Dunedin, New Zealand
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8. Re: Kindly advise on 24 days travel plan

Akaroa is a wonderful 'strolling' town. Not a heck of a lot to see, but it has it's own unique village feel to it.

As a 'end of the road' destination, It is a bit of a distance to travel but the last part of the journey is quite scenic, as you descend down the remnant volcanic slopes around the harbour.

As Dev suggests, depending on your arrival time into Christchurch, it is a nice place to relax overnight and breath the air. If you rush through, you might wonder why you bothered to go there. Whereas an evening stroll along the waterfront and through the village would be delightful.

On the 29th Nov, the port will be between cruise ships so it should be peaceful. The Pacific Dawn arrives the next day on Friday 30th, which might make for some interesting photo ops. There is a well managed Top10 campgrounds in the hills above Akaroa.

http://www.akaroa-holidaypark.co.nz/Akaroa+accommodation/Camping+sites.html

It depends on your arrival time. If late afternoon, probably wouldn't advise including Akaroa. If earlier, it would make a nice place to recover the long air journey before setting off on your adventure next day.

Dunedin, New Zealand
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9. Re: Kindly advise on 24 days travel plan

"This month there have been two horrific fatal accidents involving tourists - driving fatigued is not a pretty outcome."

Respectfully, without intending to diminish the importance of the message. In fairness though, those tourist fatalities were not directly fatigued related.

The Waitomo Caves couple tragically killed, had been in country several days and had overnighted at a nearby motel before setting off again. Police reports indicated that they failed to give way at a the T intersection when turning onto the main road.

The remainder of the 17 people who died on our roads in September were locals.

Edited: 30 September 2012, 00:41
New Zealand
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for South Island
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10. Re: Kindly advise on 24 days travel plan

Scientists who study jet lag will tell you it takes one day of recovery for every time zone crossed http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jet_lag

So those visiting from the UK should expect to be affected for 12 days. Personally I find jet lag isn't anywhere that bad, but I know others who are somewhat gaga for the next two weeks.

And inattention can be caused by tiredness - even if you have just had a full night's sleep.

Edited: 30 September 2012, 00:55