Hi All, I'm at the beginning stages of planning a South Island New Zealand & Australia trip.
Our main priority is visiting the South Island of New Zealand. We are planning on at least two weeks there, possibly three. We would like to spend at least one week exploring the east coast of Australia (Sydney, Great Barrier Reef, Hamilton Island, Cairns, possibly Ayers rock if we can swing it). We're still in the planning stages but for New Zealand we are planning on hiking the Milford Track, Milford Sound, Te Anau- Glow Worm Caves, Queenstown and Franz Josef / Fox Glaciers. We're into adventure and would like to do some kayaking in scenic waters, a jet boat trip or white water rafting and sky diving. We also enjoy bike riding (not mountain biking), would love to enjoy a slow day of beautiful landscapes and wine tasting. If we could catch a rugby game that would be awesome (not sure when it is rugby season). We love photography and are looking forward to seeing the beautiful and dramatic scenery.
My boyfriend and I will be traveling together and we are 25 & 27 years old from upstate New York. We are athletic and in shape. We have a fairly large budget and are looking to truly experience New Zealand on this trip as it will likely be our only visit. We will be renting a car but we are open to traveling by train for a scenic trip or for means of transportation. We will prefer staying in hotels with a private room/bathroom.
I would like to know anyones thoughts on how to set up our itinerary. Should we plan on flying directly to Christchurch / Queenstown to start our NZ adventure right away? Will the weather be a big factor as it will be fall? Also, should we even plan traveling to the northern half of the south island or should we focus mainly on the southern end and save ourselves the travel? Should we plan on two weeks or three in New Zealand? It is our priority with Australia being a convenient (& awesome place to be able to visit on the way through).
Our initial thoughts are to continue our travels directly to New Zealand and begin our trip. Spend at least two weeks and book our flight back to Australia during our travels incase we need to use the additional third week. We will need to get back to Australia to have at least a week to travel there.
Any thoughts on these very early plans? I would appreciate anyones input! Thank you ahead of time.