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Advice for best route round South Island

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Advice for best route round South Island


We have booked our flights to New Zealand for next March 14 and would be grateful for advice on the best/most practical/shortest driving times between the places we would like to stay.

We will be arriving by ferry in Picton to collect the hire car after a few days in Wellington and the places we're thinking about staying are: Mt Cook, Dunedin area, Te Anau, Arrowtown, Wanaka, Franz Josef before heading to Christchurch for flight home.

Would a journey down the West coast and back up the East coast be best?

Any advice or helpful pointers is appreciated as we wish to maximise our visit as much as possible

Christchurch, New...
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for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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1. Re: Advice for best route round South Island

Welcome to the NZ Forum, Andy. It would ehlp if we knew how many days you have in the SI altogether! For an itinerary like you have outlined you'd need a minimum of two weeks, and yes heading from Picton to Nelson; down the West Coast and back up the middle, via Mt Cook is the most effecient way to link your wish list. With less than 14 days, you would need to either start on the East Coast ( missing Nelson) - Picton to Kaikoura to Chch and then circle the southern half or cut out Dunedin.

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2. Re: Advice for best route round South Island

We will be spending a total of 18 days travelling around the South Island and it allows us to spend several days at the locations that we've picked out with 4 days planned for Te Anau so we can see Doubtful and Milford Sounds.

Wanaka, New Zealand
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3. Re: Advice for best route round South Island

You can definitely do the circuit described above. Search on here for existing 14+ day itineraries, tweak to suit yourself, then post for adjustments and advice. Enjoy your planning - it's part of the fun of traveling for me :)

New Zealand
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for South Island
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4. Re: Advice for best route round South Island

Hello Andy :)

March is a lovely time to explore.

One possibility:

1 ferry to Picton, drive to Kaiteriteri

2 explore Abel Tasman National Park

3 drive to Punakaiki

4 drive to Franz Josef

5 explore

6 drive Haast Pass to Wanaka

7 explore

8 drive to Dunedin

9 explore

10 drive to Te Anau

11 explore

12 more

13 drive to Queenstown

14 explore

15 more

16 drive to Aoraki/Mt Cook

17 drive to Chch

18 fly out

or you could;

1 ferry to Picton, drive to Kaikoura

2 drive to Arthur's Pass

3 drive to Punakaiki...

hope this helps :)

5. Re: Advice for best route round South Island

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