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South Island Itineary --does this work?

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South Island Itineary --does this work?

I have had a lot of suggestions regarding my route.. and have modified it several times.. this is my latest and wonder if it is realistic..we really want to hit these sights so hopefully it works

so here is how it stands now .

1.Fly into Christ Church (late afternoon explore)

2 Day 2 in Christ Church -day trip to Banks Penns. and explore

3 Tranzalpine train to Greymouth then drive to Franz J.

4. Franz and Fox

5. Franz and Fox (helihike)

6. Drive in AM to Wanaka

7. Wanka-- hikes in Mt Aspiring

8. Drive in AM Wanka to Mt Cook

9. Mt Cook

10. Drive AM to Te Anau (4hrs?)

11. Te Anau-- Milford Sound

12. Drive in AM to Queenstown

13. Queenstown

14. Queenstown

15. Flight to Sydney

We figure if the weather is bad when in te Anau and we are unable to do Milford the days we are there that we can always do it from QUeenstown although farther.. this is one tour we will be doing instead of driving.

I have not planned out all the suggested side trips just yet but just the basics.. my H reallly does not want to be driving long distances every day so this breaks it up so there are at least two days in each place?

Any thoughts welcome thanks

Harrow, United...
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21. Re: South Island Itineary --does this work?

Teddie - the train from Arthur's Pass to Christchurch is still a stunning scenic experience in Summer. We actually did it the other way round (ie Cch to A's P) in January just past, and enjoyed it immensely. I have never driven the route, nor done it by train in Winter so can't compare, but it's pretty **** good in Summer! D

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22. Re: South Island Itineary --does this work?

If you're there for hiking then you should probably change your Queenstown days to Glenorchy or Wanaka. Glenorchy you can do the Routeburn Track from Routeburn Shelter to Harris Saddle and back as a long but not too bad full day hike; not too bad since the altitudes are very low relative to what they would be in the US for that kind of alpine scenery. Here's a video from Air New Zealand that gives an idea on that section of the Routeburn (though Bear Grylls is of course doing lots of off-trail scrambling):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJheoLUtX_Q

I have lots of photos from that part of Routeburn in the 8 pages of this album if you're interested; photobucket mixed their order up though, so they're intermixed all over that album.

…photobucket.com/user/…

Other options from Glenorchy include the Rees Valley and the Dart River, though I don't know what would be reasonable dayhike options there. In Wanaka you have Cascade Saddle, Rob Roy Glacier, and lots of other places.

Edited: 29 March 2013, 17:41
San Antonio, Texas
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23. Re: South Island Itineary --does this work?

Or extra days in Te Anau would be another option, for hiking some of the Kepler Track or the Key Summit end of Routeburn, or possibly part of the Milford Track.

Edited: 29 March 2013, 17:52
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24. Re: South Island Itineary --does this work?

So we made the decision to Queenstown to CC and not a loop. Partly due to airline ticket availabilty which is quickly disappearing!

So as is stands this is the plan--We have not really planned out all of what we are doing yet so would love some suggestions.for our undecided days--perhaps some of the hikes suggested.its tight but allows us to hit all the main sights in a short period of time -we are early birds so will get up early to drive to the next place allowing us about 2 full days in each unless there are some amazing not to be missed spots along some of the routes.. in that case let us know--We really want to do the train trip and that is why the route is as it is and I really could not figure out a better way to do it.. other than going back down to Wanaka to get to FJ so it seemed best to keep heading to CC.. either way we wind up with the same amount of time in most places just less driving for my H this way

Day 1 Fly into Queenstown (gondola ride explore the city) only have late afternoon

Day 2 Queenstown (Visit Glenorchy)

Day 3 Queenstown (undecided day)

Day 4 Te Anau -early drive to Te Anau-(undecided day)

Day 5 Te Anau- Milford sound full day tour

Day 6 Wanaka- early drive to Wanaka (undecided day)

Day 7 Wanaka Hike in Mt Aspiring

Day 8 Drive to Mt Cook- (undecided day)

Day 9 Mt Cook -Glacier Explorer Tour -not sure what else yet

Day 10 Early or late Drive to Christchurch depending on where we want to spend this day (unplanned thus far) DROP OFF CAR

Day 11 Early Tranzalpine train to Greymouth --pu car and head to Franz Josef explore late afternoon

Day 12 Day Hike Fox Glacier

Day 13 Mid day train back to CC

Day 14 Christchurch Full day trip to Banks and Akaroa

Day 15 Flight does not leave till 5PM so we have some time in town before we head to Sydney

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25. Re: South Island Itineary --does this work?

It is a bit unorthodox but covers the main spots :)

I do urge you to drive Arthur's Pass one way and train the other - the road really is quite a lot different than the train and imo, far more scenic. I'll be interested in hearing your thoughts on the two crossings!

Te Anau - glow worm caves; short film Ata Whenua

Milford - if the weather is good I would skip the tour and drive there/back - unless your driver wants a break?

Wanaka - lake trip to Mou Waho Island, wine tour, rent bikes and follow the lake/river trails

happy travels :)

26. Re: South Island Itineary --does this work?

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27. Re: South Island Itineary --does this work?

Great thanks for the tips will check them all out.. I hear you about unorthadox but cannot see any other way to do the train and all else :( Trying to be reasonable and please my H as well who really does not want to spend each day driving for hours so I did my best to break it up so we have at least two days in each place so there is a break and he still gets to do the train. I think we would have to eliminate mt Cook in order to be less unorthadox:) because then we would just head north up the west coast to Greymouth and then train it to CC and that would be it but I think we might regret not seeing Mt Cook so that is my compromise to do the trip as planned.

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28. Re: South Island Itineary --does this work?

The "orthodox " route is a full loop, which has the advantages of never driving the same road twice, except for Te Anau to Milford Sound, and you don't miss any major highlights. With 10-15 days you have time for the full loop! Your route now misses the very scenic Haast Pass highway.

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29. Re: South Island Itineary --does this work?

zhuhai hi and thanks for replying.. perhaps you did not see my earlier post that said I could not do the loop because when I went to purchase my tickets, round trip from CC was sold out on both jet star or virgin australia except for the most expensive flights or red eye.. neither were options we wanted to consider.. so tickets are bought and I have to work with what I have..

For the final time we have modified the trip last night to goQueenstown 3 nights two days...to te anau 2 days to wanaka for one night then up to mt cook then back to wanaka for another night or two .. then on to Franz for 2 nights then do the train to CC where we will then stay.. the only thing we miss on this route is the trip from Mt Cook to CC but it keeps each day of driving to about 2.5 hrs and one day 3.5 hrs so my H is fine with that .. we are early birds and will get an early start each day so driving will be done when hopefully traffic is less and will get us to each place with a full day to explore so I don't feel we will be missing time.. backtracking to Wanaka is the compromise we are making.. but of all the different variations of the route we have done I think this is the best for us under the constraints that we have.

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30. Re: South Island Itineary --does this work?

Teddie, your latest plan is good and makes best use of your time.

Have a wonderful visit and hope you return after the trip to let us know your highlights :)