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Help with itinerary for 2 weeks Honeymoon in South Island

New Delhi, India
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Help with itinerary for 2 weeks Honeymoon in South Island

Hi everyone!

The two of us will be travelling to South Island for our Honeymoon around 23rd of November. This will be for 14 days. I am planning to rent a car for the entire duration. Here is an itinerary that I came up with (after modifying the itinerary given by my Travel Agent). Please let me have your suggestions on it and help me with some questions that I have.

Day 1 Fly in to Christchurch (flight reaches at night, after about 24 hours of departing)

Day 2 Christchurch to Kaikoura in the evening.

Day 3 Kaikoura - Whale watching cruise, proceed to Nelson.

Day 4 Nelson - Visit Abel Tasman National Park

Day 5 Nelson to Punkaiki

Day 6 Punkaiki to Franz Josef

Day 7 Franz Josef

Day 8 Wanaka

Day 9 Mt. Cook

Day 10 Mt. Cook to Twizel to Oamaru to Dunedin

Day 11 Dunedin to Te Anau - Glowworm caves in the evening

Day 12 Te Anau to Milford Sound (cruise) to Te Anau

Day 13 Queenstown

Day 14 Fly back from Queenstown

Now, here are the list of questions I have regarding the above:

1. Is it doable? Any day which seem too long?

2. Should I cancel out Kaikoura & Nelson and take the Tranz Alpine train to Greymouth instead? Is the whale watching really a good experience? How is the Abel Tasman park?

3. Are there any places that I missed that we should visit?

4. Any changes you suggest?

We both enjoy scenic beauty very much, and love driving. Also, I won't like to rush any day too much. If I cut out Kaikoura and Nelson, then I will make the rest of the journey a little more relaxed.

I am still doing my homework about what to be doing at all these places, but I am sure I would love driving through the country!

Thanks for reading!

London, United...
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1. Re: Help with itinerary for 2 weeks Honeymoon in South Island

We loved both the whale watching and the AT park. I wouldn't want to drive from Christchurch to Kaikoura straight from a 24 hour flight, I would wait until the next day at least .

If your only reason for visiting Nelson is the AT park, then why not stay closer to the park? There are a few small seaside towns on the coast road.

California
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2. Re: Help with itinerary for 2 weeks Honeymoon in South Island

For a more relaxed pace, and one that gives you Kaikoura and Abel Tasman --- I'd skip Dunedin and Mount Cook. As you have it now, you drive the better part of the day to get to Dunedin, then leave for another long day of driving the next day. If you forfeit Mt. Cook/Dunedin, you now have a few days to play with. You could spend a day in Golden Bay, or Marlborough Sounds, or add another to Queenstown and/or Wanaka.

Are your flights booked? If you hate to give up Dunedin and Mount Cook, then give up the top of the SI and do something of a figure "8" - beginning and ending in Christchurch.

CCh > Punakaiki > FJG > Wanaka > Dunedin > Te Anau > Queenstown > Mount Cook > CCh

Edited: 30 June 2013, 23:08
New Zealand
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for South Island
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3. Re: Help with itinerary for 2 weeks Honeymoon in South Island

Welcome to the forum and congratulations on your honeymoon :)

Your itinerary is the usual supplied by a travel agent - include as many locations as will fit on the page while allowing no time to actually explore once there. Dunedin is a shining example of this.

You will be tired on arrival and sleeping all day to drive in the evening will do nothing except exacerbate your jet leg.

My suggestion;

1 arrive Chch

2 fly to Queenstown

3 explore

4 drive to Te Anau

5 explore Milford, stay te Anau

6 drive to Wanaka - Time Life top ten romantic destination in the world

7 drive Haast Pass to Franz Josef

8 explore glaciers

9 drive to Punakaiki

10 drive to Motueka

11 explore Abel Tasman National Park

12 drive to Kaikoura

13 drive to Chch

14 fly out

hope this helps :)

Christchurch, New...
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for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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4. Re: Help with itinerary for 2 weeks Honeymoon in South Island

I do agree with the others that you have very little time to sightsee and Dunedin is the worst example. I don't like any itinerary that has you driving in the evening as NZ highways are not lit and why miss the scenery?

I would keep the first 8 days of your agent's itinerary, but add a full day in Chch as Day 2 and a morning drive to Kaikoura as day 3.

Thus day 9 becomes FJG to Wanaka (2 N)

10. Wanaka

11. Wanaka toTe Anau (2N)

12. Milford Sound

13. Te Anau to QTN

14. fly out.

New Delhi, India
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5. Re: Help with itinerary for 2 weeks Honeymoon in South Island

Thank you everybody! It's so great to get help quickly!

Please help me out with something. Does it make sense to skip the north leg of the trip (Nelson & Kaikoura), in favour of the Tranz Alpine train from Christchurch to Greymouth? A friend who went there earlier said that the train was a stunning experience.

Also, I am yet to book my flights.

Edited: 01 July 2013, 03:09
New Delhi, India
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14 posts
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6. Re: Help with itinerary for 2 weeks Honeymoon in South Island

Thank you everybody! It's so great to get help quickly!

Please help me out with something. Does it make sense to skip the north leg of the trip (Nelson & Kaikoura), in favour of the Tranz Alpine train from Christchurch to Greymouth? A friend who went there earlier said that the train was a stunning experience.

Also, I am yet to book my flights.

Edited: 01 July 2013, 03:09
New Delhi, India
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7. Re: Help with itinerary for 2 weeks Honeymoon in South Island

I have modified the itinerary a lot. Let me know how this sounds:

Day 1 Fly into Christchurch at around 8 pm.

Day 2 Christchurch

Day 3 Christchurch to Mt. Cook (en-rote stop at Lake Tekapo)

Day 4 Mt. Cook to Oamaru (en-rote stop at Twizel. Lunch at Poppies in Twizel.)

Day 5 Oamaru o Dunedin

Day 6 Dunedin to Te Anau (Glowworm caves in the evening)

Day 7 Te Anau to Milford Sound to Te Anau

Day 8 Te Anau to Queenstown

Day 9 Queenstown

Day 10 Queentown to Wanaka

Day 11 Wanaka to Franz Josef

Day 12 Franz Josef

Day 13 Franz Josef to Grymouth Station. Take Tranz Alpine Scenic Train to Christchurch

Day 14 Depart from Christchurch.

How does this sound? I think this one is much more relaxed and manageable, or is it?

Are there any too-much-driving days in the above?

Should I keep 2 days in Wanaka or 2 days in Franz Josef (Day 11)?

8. Re: Help with itinerary for 2 weeks Honeymoon in South Island

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