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Plz review itinerary: 15 Nights North+South NZ w/ 2.5yr kid

New Delhi, India
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Plz review itinerary: 15 Nights North+South NZ w/ 2.5yr kid

Hi, we are a couple in our 30s and planning on the following NZ itinerary with our 2.5 yr old daughter, early March 2013.

Would really appreciate any feedback/ comments/ suggestions:

Day 1: Arrive in Auckland after a rather long cross-continent flight; relax and stay overnight

Day 2: Drive to Coromandel Island (Hot water beach, Cathedral cove, etc.)

Day 3: Coromandel island

Day 4: Drive to Rotorua (Maori village trip, Polynesian Spa, Waimangu volcanic valley, etc.)

Day 5: Rotorua (Waitomo Caves?)

Day 6: Drive back to Auckland (Sky Tower, City tour, etc.)

Day 7: Auckland to Queenstown by flight

Day 8: Queenstown (need to figure out places to go/things to do, etc.)

Day 9: Queenstown (need to figure out places to go/things to do, etc.)

Day 10: Drive to Te Anau/ Milford Sound (Stay at MilfordSoundLodge.

Day 11: Te Anau/ Milford Sound (what else can we do at Te Anau?)

Day 12: Drive to Wanaka (need to figure out places to go/things to do, etc.)

Day 13: Wanaka (need to figure out places to go/things to do, etc.)

Day 14: Drive to Lake Tekapo (Mt. Cook)

Day 15: Drive to Christchurch (stay overnight)

Day 16: Catch the flight back home!

Q: Any feedback on the itinerary per se?

Q: Any recommendations on where we could take our daughter in the above cities/places and be sure she will enjoy?

Q: Is it possible to do Queenstown – Milford Sound by road? I would like to stay at one of the cottages at MilfordSoundLodge. They seem to be giving a decent deal, with a complimentary walk. The driving time is about 3 hours 30 mins, but from what I have heard, the route is so scenic, it has to take much longer!

Q: If I I come back to Te Anau and not stay overnight at MilfordSound lodge, what else can we do there?

Thanks a ton, in advance!

MJ

California
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1. Re: Plz review itinerary: 15 Nights North+South NZ w/ 2.5yr kid

Te Anau - Glowworm cave tour, short walk from Rainbow reach to swing bridge (Kepler track), Wildlife Center.

Wanaka - PuzzleWorld! A couple of cool museums - Transport and Toy Museum might interest the little one. Otherwise Warbirds and Wheels.

Milford Sound is not much more than a road end at a wharf and lodge. Any website worth it's broadband will tell you that it's notorious for sandflies. That's not a problem once you're on a boat or in motion (walking). But don't expect to lounge on a deck to enjoy the scenery.

New Zealand
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for South Island
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2. Re: Plz review itinerary: 15 Nights North+South NZ w/ 2.5yr kid

My suggestion;

1 arrive Auckland

2 explore

3 drive to Coromandel

4 explore

5 drive to Rotorua

6 explore

7 fly Rotorua to Queenstown

8 gondola, luge

9 TSS Earnslaw and farm tour

10 drive to Milford - allow 4 hours if non-stop driving

11 cruise, drive to Te Anau

12 drive to Wanaka, dinosaur playground, lovely walks at lake edge, feed ducks

13 Puzzling World

14 drive to Aoraki/Mt Cook, stay at Aoraki or Tekapo

15 drive to Chch

16 fly home

what else to do in Te Anau - watch short film on Fiordland - Ata Whenua

Hope this helps :)

Christchurch, New...
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for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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3. Re: Plz review itinerary: 15 Nights North+South NZ w/ 2.5yr kid

You'll have no problem figuring out what to do at QTN once you get there. There are information centres galore. My recommendation for a child would be the 4 hour cruise on the TSS Earnslaw with the farm tour at Walter Peak as recommended by WL.

At Aoraki/Mt Cook there are gentle walks that a 2 y-o could do, or slightly longer walks that you could do if you have a backpack for her.

If you like salmon do stop at one of the salmon farms (even if you don't eat salmon, feeding the fish is fun!!).

New Delhi, India
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4. Re: Plz review itinerary: 15 Nights North+South NZ w/ 2.5yr kid

Thank you friends, for your suggestions and feedback!

dec2259 - I was planning to do the glow-worm cave tour in Waitomo. Are both comparable, if you know? As for the Milford Sound Lodge, wow.. is that all to it? I thought it was a nice little place to stay/hang around. I'll give it a second thought now. Thanks for the alert!

WanakaLakes - I like your suggestion about doing Day2 in Auckland and taking the flight out from Rotorua instead to Queenstown. The challenge now is that this route flights are more expensive than the Auckland-QT sector, and there seems to be no direct flight. But I'll check one more time just in case..

zhuhai2007 - Thanks for all your suggestions! Salmon farms might be interesting, even though I'm a vegetarian ;-)

One quick question - does anyone have experience with "Ace Rentals"? I'm checking with both Apex (seems to be the most popular one here on the forums!) and Ace..

Thanks again!

MJ

New Zealand
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5. Re: Plz review itinerary: 15 Nights North+South NZ w/ 2.5yr kid

Once the sun goes down the sandflies vanish - but they can be a bother during the day at Milford. And yes, Milford is basically a wharf at the end of the road. If wanting restaurants and activities then te Anau is the place to be.

I like the te Anau glow worm caves, the trip across the lake is lovely and the waterfall inside the cave great.

Ace has a good reputation - I haven't used them so can't make a personal recommendation.

For reduced airfares check www.grabaseat.co.nz - the sooner you book, the greater the savings.

New Delhi, India
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6. Re: Plz review itinerary: 15 Nights North+South NZ w/ 2.5yr kid

Thanks again, WanakaLakes. I'll check about the Te Anau glow worm caves to find out more.

BTW, I decided to go ahead with my original plan of Auckland-Queenstown as that seemed to have worked out better in the overall scheme of things (flights, acco, etc.)

New Zealand
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7. Re: Plz review itinerary: 15 Nights North+South NZ w/ 2.5yr kid

That's cool, safe travels :)

8. Re: Plz review itinerary: 15 Nights North+South NZ w/ 2.5yr kid

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