We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Can An Expert Review Itinerary?

Indianapolis...
4 posts
1 review
Save Topic
Can An Expert Review Itinerary?

Hello everyone, we are going on our honeymoon. Will land in Auckland early AM February 25th and fly out late evening from Queenstown on March 8th, which gives us 12 days on land. I know we are doing a lot, but we are both young, adventuresome and do not think we will be able to come back anytime soon. We just did 2 weeks in Alaska in a car driving a lot so we are used to that. Also being in Alaska we saw a lot of mountains and glaciers which as you will see is why we are not spending a lot of time in some places. We would much rather see sites than see the cities so we do not plan to stay in the big cities much.

Day 1: Get rental car, explore Auckland, catch up on sleep.

Day 2: Drive to Waitomo do Blackwater Caving, drive to Tongariro to sleep.

Day 3: Hike Tongariro pass and stay again in Tongariro.

Day 4: Drive to Rotorua, see lakes, go zorbing, stay in Rotorua.

Day 5: Fly to Christchurch early AM, get rental car, explore Christchurch, drive to Lyttleton, Akaroa, Methren to sight see.

Day 6: Drive the Tranzalpine path to Greymouth, up to Punakaiki, make way to Franz Joseph to sleep.

Day 7: Spend the day driving from Franz Joseph to Wanaka taking in the sights on the road and hiking wherever. Sleep in Wanaka.

Day 8: Canyoning in Wanaka, sightseeing around Wakana, stay in Wanaka.

Day 9: Drive from Wanaka to Queenstown, sight see, go Sledging, stay in Queenstown.

Day 10: Drive to Te Aneu and sight see, stay in Te Aneu.

Day 11: Drive to Mildford Sound and take a short cruise, drive back to Queenstown and stay in Queenstown (one late party night?).

Day 12: Sight see in Queenstown, Bungee Jump, flight leaves at 7p.

I know this is a lot but we would like to see as much as possible. I'm not quite sure how I should do days 10 and 11 if anyone has any suggestions.

Thanks for all the help. Getting so excited.

Auckland, New...
Level Contributor
3 posts
75 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Can An Expert Review Itinerary?

Congratulations on getting married!! NZ is the best place for a honeymoon

Are you flying from Rotorua to ChCh? Day 5 seems really packed. You will see it all but have very little time in each place.

Last time we went to Milford Sound from QT we flew and it was amazing. you get to see so much more of the countryside and really appreciate the views. It's not super cheap, but it's not too expensive either and certainly something special to do on honeymoon. You would also then get more time in QT and surrounding area which is just amazing.

Otherwise it all looks fantastic!

Indianapolis...
4 posts
1 review
Save Reply
2. Re: Can An Expert Review Itinerary?

Thanks for the response. Yes Day 5 our flight from Rotorua to Christchurch gets in at like 9a. We figured to get a car around mid day and see what we can do. I heard the Lytttleton/Akoroa drive on the coast is beautiful, could certainly just do that and then take in the city in the evening.

Hadn''t even thought about that flight, will certainly have to look into that. Thanks!

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
Level Contributor
28,534 posts
85 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Can An Expert Review Itinerary?

Hi BBC, congratulations on your honeymoon :)

Your trip looks good - and yes, do drive to Milford, the road is amazing. Flying is best for those with limited time. Spend two nights in te Anau - the Milford Road has a high number of tourist accidents, best to not add to the stats by attempting to drive a marathon.

I would tweak just a little to reduce swapping accommodation quite so much. Plus Chch to punakaiki to Franz is 7.5 hours of non-stop driving - which could take twice that with stops for food, fuel, rest sightseeing, loo etc.

5 fly to Chch

6 drive 5 hours Arthur's Pass to Franz Josef

7 drive about 6 hours (with quick stops) to Wanaka - named top ten romantic destination in the world by Time Life

8 explore

9 drive to Te Anau

10 explore Milford, stay Te Anau

11 drive to Queenstown

12 explore, fly out

since you were recetly in Alasaka, you might find Franz and Fox a bit underwhelming. Have you considered skipping the West Coast? you could;

5 fly to Chch

6 drive 4 hours to Aoraki/Mt Cook - http://www.glacierexplorers.com/

7 drive 3 hours Lindis Pass to Wanaka - named top ten romantic destination in the world by Time Life

8 explore

9 drive to Te Anau

10 explore Milford, stay Te Anau

11 drive to Queenstown

12 explore, fly out

hope this helps :)

4. Re: Can An Expert Review Itinerary?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This post was determined to be inappropriate by the TripAdvisor community and has been removed.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

Our staff may also remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason. Thanks for being a part of the TripAdvisor travel community!

Removed on: 11 June 2015, 18:36
Indianapolis...
4 posts
1 review
Save Reply
5. Re: Can An Expert Review Itinerary?

Thanks for the suggestions. I had thought about going the East Coast route instead, but it kind of sounds like you need to get all the way down to Otago to really make it worthwhile and that seems a bit to far to go.

I really wanted to do the Tranzalpine train since I hear that is an amazing view which is why I thought about just driving that instead. I suppose I certainly don't have to go up to Punakaiki if you think that is adding too much driving time in. Could just do the Tranzalpine and then head south to Franz Joseph.

Going right to Mt. Cook is another option since it seems to be a spectacular visit from what I have seen, but then I would miss the drive to Greymouth.

Decisions decisions.

Either way, I like your idea about doing Milford that way. I was not quite sure how to make that work. Thank you

Canandaigua
Level Contributor
727 posts
163 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Can An Expert Review Itinerary?

We took Wanaka's advice and skipped Franz Joseph, as we have spent lots of time in Switzerland. that gave us more time for Queenstown, which is loaded with awesome activities, Te Anau, which has awesome hikes, and Mount Cook, which has awesome views, awesome hikes, and awesome activities. We also flew from Christchurch to Queenstown to save a day of driving, as there were no extra fees to drop cars in different locations if you rent thru Apex, and on Grab a Seat you can get some really cheap flights.

Less driving more activities!

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
Level Contributor
28,534 posts
85 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Can An Expert Review Itinerary?

Aoraki/Mt Cook is in the middle of the island and from Aoraki through Lindis Pass to Wanaka, the drive is stunning.

The drive down the east coast is genrally considered the least scenic road in the South Island.

The TranzAlpine is a train which goes across (and through) Arthur's Pass. The road over Arthur's Pass is indeed special and far better in the summer months than the train.

As advised, we don't have the multi-lane easy-cruising freeways you will be used to. Our roads are often narrow, steep and twisty with over 20 one lane bridges just in the section between Franz and Wanaka.

And yes, best to collect your rental day 2. On day one spend the day exploring by foot and public transport/taxi. Have an early night and early night. If you nap during the day it will exacerbate any jet lag.

Christchurch, New...
Destination Expert
for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
Level Contributor
35,856 posts
362 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Can An Expert Review Itinerary?

I would also suggest that you skip the West Coast since you have been to Alaska recently. Wanaka Lakes' suggestion for the inland route via Mt Cook is my choice too. In 12 days you can't do everything and in this case Arthurs Pass might be the one to go.

9. Re: Can An Expert Review Itinerary?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 11 January 2014, 06:16