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Do you have any comments on this four-week itinerary?

B B
Banff, Canada
11 posts
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Do you have any comments on this four-week itinerary?

Hello all,

Any comments on the below itinerary, beginning in ZQN and ending in AKL, would be much appreciated. What would you do differently if it was you?

Days 1-3: Queenstown

Days 4-7: Te Anau/Fiordland

Day 8: Invercargill/Catlins

Day 9: Dunedin/Otago Peninsula

Day 10: Wanaka

Day 11: Fox/Franz Josef Glaciers

Day 12: Hokitika

Day 13: Westport/Karamea

Days 14-15: Motueka/Abel Tasman

Day 16: Nelson

Day 17: Picton/Queen Charlotte Track

Days 18-19: Wellington

Day 20: Kapiti Coast etc. en route to Waitomo

Day 21: Waitomo Caves

Days 22-25: Tauranga

Days 26-28: Auckland

Wellington, NZ
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1. Re: Do you have any comments on this four-week itinerary?

The Kapiti Coast is only 45 minutes/1 hour north of Wellington. If you wanted to press on, Ohakune would be a good place to stop - about a 4 hour drive from Wellington.

Missing Rotorua is a major omission. Stay there instead of Tauranga. There are loads of things to do in Rotorua and the surrounding area.

New Zealand
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for South Island
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2. Re: Do you have any comments on this four-week itinerary?

It is a bit odd - you spend 4 days in Te Anau (why?) then race through the next few locations at breakneck speed.

which month are you planning to travel?

B B
Banff, Canada
11 posts
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3. Re: Do you have any comments on this four-week itinerary?

Thanks - I suppose the geography of Fiordland is very appealing to me and is quite unique relative to what you might see elsewhere around the world. But I'm not opposed to reducing it by a day or two and spending that elsewhere.

The drive from Dunedin-Motueka is broken up into 4 days, spending each night in a different place to minimize any excessively long drives but I'm not opposed to spending more time in fewer places.

How would you adjust it? We'll be headed there in December.

Edited: 17 November 2013, 05:58
Christchurch, New...
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for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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4. Re: Do you have any comments on this four-week itinerary?

Like WLnz, I cannot believe that you plan to drive from Dunedin to Motueka in 4 days - you will see nothing but the road in front of you. I always recommend at least 1 two-night stop every 2-3 days, and here both Dunedin & Franz Josef Glacier warrant a 2 night stay, otherwise you will have very little time to actually drive up to see the glaciers.

What do you actually plan to do with your 4 days in Te Anau? We normally recommend 2 nights, with a day trip to either Milford Sound or Doubtful Sound in between.

Day 20 also - Wellington to Waitomo is a very long drive.

New Zealand
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5. Re: Do you have any comments on this four-week itinerary?

another option ...

1 arrive Queenstown

2/3 explore

4 drive to Te Anau

5 explore

6 drive Catlins to Dunedin

7 explore

8 drive to Wanaka

9 explore Mt Aspiring National Park

10 drive to Fox or Franz - allow 6 hours for drive

11 explore glaciers

12 drive to Karamea - 5 hour drive

14 drive to Motueka

15 explore Abel Tasman

16 drive to Nelson

17 drive to Picton

18 ferry to Wellington

if this was my trip I would drop Karamea and allow another day in the Catlins or Abel Tasman.

Best arrange your accommodation and ferry crossong asap.

Safe travels :)

Auckland Central...
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6. Re: Do you have any comments on this four-week itinerary?

I would skip Invercargill and Dunedin. I'd also spend time in Rotorua area. Hokitika doesn't really merit an overnight stop. Stop for a look around by all means, but keep going and perhaps stay the night at Punakaiki. Two days in Wellington seems too much. Yes, it's a nice city...but it's just a city. Similarly with Auckland. There's too much of your itinerary spent here.

Jervis Bay...
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7. Re: Do you have any comments on this four-week itinerary?

If it were me, of the areas you have chosen, I would concentrate my time when on the north island in Tongariro and Taupo. Waitomo Caves were worth a visit. But I don't like big cities so you have to decide for yourself. Auckland Art Gallery is worth visiting (and is FREE!).

In the South lsland you can do a bus day trip or an overnight cruise/bus to Milford Sound or Doubtful Sound.

Edited: 17 November 2013, 08:55
B B
Banff, Canada
11 posts
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8. Re: Do you have any comments on this four-week itinerary?

Thanks everyone - and @WLnz, I appreciate your suggestions. How does the revised itinerary below look?

I've added two days on the West Coast (in Wanaka and Fox/FJ) and taken one day away from Te Anau and added it to the Catlins. I've got my ferry, car, the first 6 nights hotels and post-Xmas hotels booked - working towards booking more.

Also:

- When you say allow 6h from Wanaka to Fox Glacier, is that simply travel time or is that allowing for time to stop and have a look around? AA says 3h20 but it's useful to know if that road is especially treacherous or if that's extra time for sightseeing.

- If I've spent 3 days in Queenstown would I be better to spend your #9 "explore" day somewhere more different from QT than Wanaka or is the region worth exploring regardless, or suitably different from QT?

- Do you have an opinion on where to stay in the Catlins between Invercargill and Dunedin? The guidebook offers several places but is short on context and the merits of each relative to the others.

- On Day 14 below, if you were to skip Karamea as you suggest, would you drive from Fox Glacier to Westport, stay the night and continue to Motueka the next day or structure it differently?

Thanks again!

# Revised #

Days 1-3: Queenstown

Days 4-6: Te Anau/Fiordland

Days 7-8: Invercargill/Catlins

Day 9: Dunedin/Otago Peninsula

Day 10: Drive to Wanaka

Day 11: Explore Wanaka/Mt Aspiring

Day 12: Drive to Fox/Franz Josef Glaciers

Day 13: Explore Glaciers

Days 14: Drive to Westport/Karamea

Day 15: Explore Westport/Karamea (drive to Motueka?)

Days 16-18: Abel Tasman NP

Day 19: Picton + Ferry

Day 20: Wellington

Day 21: Driving towards Waitomo Caves

Day 22: Waitomo Caves

Days 23-24: Tauranga

Days 25-26: Coromandel

Days 27-28: Auckland

Wellington, NZ
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9. Re: Do you have any comments on this four-week itinerary?

Am I flogging a dead horse by mentioning Rotorua again?

California
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10. Re: Do you have any comments on this four-week itinerary?

Not sure if you are looking for one night or two night stay at Catlins. But here's a fun map of where the attractions are:

www.catlinsnz.com/images/catlins_map.pdf (allow a bit of time for pdf to load)

Your main areas for accommodation will be Waikawa/Curio Bay, Papatowai, Owaka/Pounawea, and Kaka Point. Lots of folks like to stay around Curio Bay because it's an area where penguins are known to return to land at dusk. But as you can see from the map, most of the attractions are to the east of there. Most of the places, i.e. waterfalls - walks - beaches, are off the main road and it takes time to get to them.