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Christchurch and beyond....

Belfast, United...
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8 posts
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Christchurch and beyond....

Hi all

Was hoping to pick up some hints and tips from people in he know prior to our trip to New Zealand ...we arrive in Christchurch in mid January and it my intention to travel around the South Island finishing up around 200kms north of Christchurch to attend a wedding ( the purpose which started this whole trip!) and back to Christchurch to catch a flight back to London in just over 2 weeks.... Perhaps I'm being to ambitious ?

I've been told of must sees such as Queenstown but also told to just pass through and stay outside it.? If anyone had any tips they would be much appreciated ! I've looked at car hire through apex rental which seems reasonable enough.... Our flight is direct from London to Sydney with Quantas with only a refuel stop in Dubai which I'm dreading but with only a short time while we are there We thought better to get there ASAP !

All replies will be greatly appreciated

Thanks

Oz
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1. Re: Christchurch and beyond....

Hi,

What are your interests? What's on your bucket list?

Stay in Queenstown. Ifd you pick your accommodation well you can walk everywhere you need to in the CBD (shops, restaurants, bars, activity pick up etc) and around the lake shore.

The bad news is that you are visiting in the peak of the peak times so you need to decide and book asap as many places will already be booked out.

Cheers,

Belfast, United...
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2. Re: Christchurch and beyond....

Thanks for your reply.

None of us are by any means adrenaline junkies so that sort of thing is out - I suppose taking in the scenery and perhaps the main tourist things....I know I'm not giving you much to work on here !

We don't mind driving and covering some ground but I suppose you can't spend the whole time in a car ..... We had planned to sort of have a guide as to where we need to be and just find a motel to stay as we followed a route.... And if we liked a place we could stay an extra day.....will accommodation be a real issue ?

Oz
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12,504 posts
51 reviews
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3. Re: Christchurch and beyond....

Hi,

Yes accommodation is going to be problematic in all the popular areas as will seats on tours and to activities. Don’t forget after a long haul flight you will need a minimum of one night in Christchurch to recover before driving.

I would suggest an anti-clockwise route from Christchurch with stops and length thereof determined by accommodation. Book now including the rental car! Check out the things to do tab for each location.

Christchurch to Fox or Franz Joseph glaciers via Arthurs Pass (two nights at the glaciers). Walk to the terminal face of Fox and around Lake Matheson. You need a guide to go on the ice at Fox and a Heli at FJ.

Glaciers to Wanaka (two to three nights).

Wanaka to Queenstown (five to six nights in Queenstown) Fiordland, Shotover Jet, Wine and cheese tour and Skippers Canyon are must dos IMHO.

Queenstown to Mt Cook (two to three nights).

Mt Cook to Christchurch and the wedding venue.

Good Luck with the bookings,

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
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4. Re: Christchurch and beyond....

Oz has given some great tips - but if wanting to include Milford Sound then best to add Te Anau.

so you would go

1 Arrive Chch

2 drive Arthur's Pass to Hokitika or Punakaiki

3 drive to Franz Josef

4 explore glaciers

5 drive Haast Pass to Wanaka

6 explore

7 drive to Te Anau

8 explore Milford Sound, stay te Anau

9 drive to Queenstown

10 explore

11 drive to Aoraki/Mt Cook

12 drive to Akaroa

13 drive to wedding...

Belfast, United...
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5. Re: Christchurch and beyond....

Thank you both very much for your replies - its great to have a somekind of route planned.

Do you think im trying to to ambitious - going to far in to little time ?

With regards to the accomodation in each place - we have done a road trip across america and also in South Africa and we ahere able stop and find a place as we went - maybe not always the frst choice but never panicked about geting something - so im guessing thats a no no in New Zealand ?

Christchurch, New...
Destination Expert
for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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6. Re: Christchurch and beyond....

As has been pointed out - this is peak tourist/summer holiday season and some of the popular tourist sites are very small towns. If you are not fussy and have a flexible budget, you might find a place or you might have to drive another 2 hr to the next town (I'm thinking west coast/glacier region esp here). Christchurch is slowly getting better as new hotels or rebuilds come back on line, but the cheaper accommodation always goes first and to my knowledge none of the city centre backpackers are back in business.

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
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7. Re: Christchurch and beyond....

Punakaiki is a tiny settlement with a handful of buildings. Franz has a poulation of a few hundred people... so I best book asap.

Take a look at www.wotif.com for availablity.

Greymouth, New...
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for South Island
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8. Re: Christchurch and beyond....

One observation is that you will be really fatigued on arrival. that is a lot of flying and your body clock will take some time to adjust. Please make sure that on day one when you arrive which should be around 3 pm NZ time, stay the night in Christchurch. when driving the next day, also be aware of fatigue, so stop off along the way to Queenstown. enjoy your visit and I hope you leave with fond momories

9. Re: Christchurch and beyond....

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