This January my boyfriend and I will be renting a car in Christchurch to do a self-tour of NZ's South Island. We will be there for 14 days but really only have 12 traveling days as our flight lands in Chch late and leaves Chch early. We are 26 and love high adventure activities (i.e. we have already experimented with skydiving and canyoning) - we are open to any suggestions on lodging and sporting/nature activities.
We are looking for recommendations/opinions on our preliminary itinerary below. Specifically we want to know:
- Are we seeing/visiting the best locations? Can we fit Abel Tasman in?
- Are drive times okay (approximately 3-4hours per day)?
- Are we spending two nights where we should be?
- Do the driving routes make sense? Are they the best and most scenic ones? Are there better routes to travel?
-Can anyone recommend a reliable, but cheap rental car company? Right now we're looking at Economy Car Rentals.
-Recommendations on Hotels/lodging in the locations we mention we are staying would be great. We are NOT looking to spend a lot of money in lodging. We'd rather spend the money in activities.
1 arrive Chch
2 pick up car and drive Arthurs Pass to Punakaiki or Hokitika
3 drive Haast Pass to Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers. Explore. Drive back and stay in Punakaiki or Hokitika
Activity: Glacier walk?
4 drive to Wanaka, stay and explore
- How long is this drive? does it make sense to stay two nights here?
6 drive to Queenstown, stay
8 drive to Te Anua, stay and explore
Night activity: glow worm caves evening tour at 7pm?
9 drive to Milford Sound early in the morning.
Activity: Morning Kayaking trip and then evening cruise?
– should we stay in Milford Sound over night so we can do one activity per day? or is one complete day enough and we should return to Te Anaua to sleep?
If two days:
• Day 1: Drive from Te Anua to Milford, do one activity, sleep in Milford?
• Day 2: Do early morning activity (kayak or cruise) and drive out that afternoon.
10 kayaking, stay in milford or Te Anua?
11 drive Lindis Pass to Aoraki/Mt Cook. Stay at Tekapo
12 explore (Mt Cook), Mirror Lake, etc.
What is good to see/do here? Any recommendations?
13 drive Tekapo to CHC - return car.
14 fly out