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Itinerary for alpine botanist/bot garden staff person?

Davis
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Itinerary for alpine botanist/bot garden staff person?

I will be attending the 5th Global Botanic Garden Congress in Dunedin in October 2013. After the Congress concludes, my husband will join me—we will have 11 days in South Island before we head home.

Dates:

Oct 26, starting from Dunedin -

Nov 5th, departing from Christchurch Airport

Can anyone recommend ideas for an itinerary for first time visitors?

I am trained as an alpine botanist (California - Sierra Nevada flora), and so I have a special affection for all mountain terrains. However, on this first trip, I simply am looking forward to getting to see a bit of New Zealand, and learning more about the natural history. As time/travel permits, I am eager to learn more about the Gondwana flora and the special plants of New Zealand, and I especially love opportunities to see interesting birds, wildlife, etc. However: we also like cafes, restaurants, history tours, museums, towns and cities, too!

We were thinking about renting a camper van, but there is no company that has a camper van available in Dunedin. I really enjoy camping, but we are flexible about that-- I gather that the early spring weather will be unsettled, so perhaps modest, affordable hotels (or Airbnb) will be just fine.

Ideas?

Thanks to all who find time to respond!

Edited: 15 September 2013, 04:49
Ballarat, Australia
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1. Re: Itinerary for alpine botanist/bot garden staff person?

It will be a bit early for alpine flora in the Southern Alps. To see interesting flora that early, your best location is probably Kahurangi National Park, west of Nelson.

You could hire a car from Dunedin, and drive through the Maniototo, Wanaka and up the West Coast to Nelson/Golden Bay, flying back from Nelson at the end of your tour. You would see a great variety of landscapes and ecosystems on that route.

You might be interested in guided options in Kahurangi, eg www.bushandbeyond.co.nz/cobbcomfort.htm

2. Re: Itinerary for alpine botanist/bot garden staff person?

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