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Drive in North island or South island

Pune, India
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2 posts
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Drive in North island or South island

Hi,

I read a lot of forums but couldnt find an answer to what I was looking for. Maybe this post would help.

Me and my husband are travelling to New zealand for 16 days in February of 2014 and here is our itinerary -

Day 1 Start from Auckalnd -- to Waitomo and then head to Rotorua (Stay here)

Day 2 Geothermal park and then if time permits - bungee and then to Taupo (Stay here)

Day 3 Tongariro crossing and back to Taupo (Stay here)

Day 4 Taupo to Napier (stay here)

Day 5 napier to wellington (stay)

Day 6 Wellington to christchurch - flight (stay)

Day 7 Christchurch to Greymouth via Tranzalpine and Punaikiki (Stay in Greymouth)

Day 8 Greymouth to Franz Joseph (Stay)

Day 9 Franz joseph glaciar tour (Stay)

Day 10 Franz joseph to queenstown (stay)

Day 11 Skydiving in Wanaka and stay in Queenstown

Day 12 Milford SOund (stay in queenstown)

Day 13 Wellington to Auckland by flight

The first 2 days are going to be spent with friends in Northland doing Bay of islands

Now the question is we want to do some self driving and do some bus travel. Which is the best island for self drive? Also looking for how difficult the roads are to drive on, can we stop anywhere on the way (on the side of the road obviously) when we see a beautiful spot? Would there be snow on any part of our ride?

From what we read, we were thinking of taking the bus in the northland and self drive in the South island from Greymouth to Queenstown.

Please help us decide if this is a good plan.

Thanks!!!!

15th -- Chrishchurch - - greymouth - stay 241

16th greymouth - stay

17 - grreymouth - frannz joseph - stay 173

18 - frannz joseph - queenstown 352

19 - activity

20 milford sound - te ano - stay

21 ten ano - queenstown + activity

22 leave queenstown

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
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28,392 posts
85 reviews
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1. Re: Drive in North island or South island

Hello and welcome to the forum :)

You will need to check bus schedules to see if your wish list for the North Island can be covered.

for the South Island you have some long drives which aren't necessary.

- why not stay Punakaiki?

- why not stay Wanaka rather than drive through it day 10 then turning round and returning day 11?

- I suggest you take a day from the North Island so you have time to explore Queenstown.

my suggestion;

5 fly to Christchurch

6 Tranzalpine, drive to Punakaiki

7 drive to Franz

8 explore

9 drive to Wanaka - allow 6 hours for drive with stops

10 skydive, drive to Queenstown

11 explore

12 bus/cruise/bus Milford Sound - 13 hour bus tour

13 fly to Auckland

Christchurch, New...
Destination Expert
for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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34,191 posts
340 reviews
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2. Re: Drive in North island or South island

I assume day 13 is a typo and you are actually flying Queenstown (ZQN) to AKL?

Pune, India
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2 posts
5 reviews
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3. Re: Drive in North island or South island

Yes, makes sense. Thanks!!

Yes, it was a typo :)

So, you think its a good idea to do a self drive in south as opposed to north if the bus schedules cover the north island well? Or should it be the other way round?

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
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28,392 posts
85 reviews
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4. Re: Drive in North island or South island

Take a look at both north and south bus routes and see what works best for you.

Intercity will get you most places you wish to go :)

5. Re: Drive in North island or South island

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