I've posted before and received excellent advice, but we are running out of time and are having a few issues piecing together our itinerary. We got a good deal on a rental car, so we're driving from Auckland to Queenstown, dropping off the car in Queenstown, and then flying back to Auckland for our return. Here's what I have, any help would be greatly appreciated. I'll be more than happy to write a report after our trip to help others out!
Please note: I really wanted to do the Routeburn Track and booked the only dates available at the time.
Nov 30: Auckland Airport (booked)
Dec 1: Get rental car early and drive to Rotorau (booked)
Dec 2: See more Rotorau Sites and drive to Taupo (booked)
Dec 3: Get up early and head to Tongariro for Alpine Crossing. Take shuttle from car park, walk back to car, stay in National Park. (booked)
Dec 4: Drive Wellington (booked)
Dec 5: Late Afternoon Ferry to Picton. Stay Picton. (booked)
Dec 6: Drive to Nelson via Queen Charlotte Drive
OR.... Queen Charlotte Track water taxi + day hike QCT to lodging for one night. It's quite a bit of money to just do one day on the QCT. Is it worth it? Should we do more? Or focus on Abel Tasman.
Dec 7: (assuming Nelson on Dec. 6) Abel Tasman
Dec 8: Abel Tasman
Dec 9: Punakaiki
Dec 10: Glaciers
Dec 11: Glaciers
(this is where it gets tricky because I want to visit mount cook to hike, but we're going to have to back track in order to do so).
Dec 12: Wanaka
Dec 13: Mt Cook
Dec 14: Mt Cook
Dec 15: Queenstown
Dec 16: Te Anau (Booked)
Dec 17: Routeburn (Booked)
Dec 18: Routeburn (Booked)
Dec 19: Te Anau (long bus ride but we had to hike this direction---booked).
Dec 20: Milford overnight cruise (booked)
Dec 21: ?
Dec 22: ?
Dec 23: ?
Dec 24: fly back to Auckland morning. Depart Auckland late night.
Would it be best to spend the last three days in Queenstown, or take a drive over to Dunedin?