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14-16 nights North and South Island in August

East Lansing...
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14-16 nights North and South Island in August

Hi all,

Ok so I have posted a couple itineraries on here and finally think that I may have the one! I took everyone's suggestions into account so here is what I came up with. A little background again: My sister (25) and I (22) will be visiting NZ this coming August. We haven't booked any flights or anything yet. We are from Michigan, USA so we are used to our winters. Snow doesn't bother us. That being said, we want to keep this as safe as possible, obviously, so if there are any routes that are not feasible to drive in August please let me know. Anyways, my tentative itinerary is as follows.

Day 1: Fly into Auckland

Day 2: Explore Auckland, visit with family

Day 3: Drive to Rotorua and see the Waitomo Caves along the way

Day 4: Hobbiton Tour/Explore Rotorua

Day 5: Early flight to Christchurch, explore Chch

Day 6: Day trip to Akaroa, explore Chch

Day 7: Tranzalpine train to Greymouth, explore Greymouth (maybe drive to Punakaiki)

Day 8: Leave for Wanaka, arrive late

Day 9: Explore Wanaka, leave for Queenstown

Day 10: Explore Queenstown

Day 11: Day trip to Milford Sound (cruise)

Day 12: Leave fore Mt. Cook, explore Mt. Cook

Day 13: Explore Mt. Cook

Day 14: Leave for Christchurch

Day 15: Fly home

I have the ability to add one maybe two extra nights. Is there anywhere in particular where I am not leaving enough time? Are these driving days too aggressive? I really tried to make it so we stayed 2 nights in each town, minus Greymouth and Wanaka. Should I add an extra night in those? Or in between Greymouth and Wanaka? I know that is quite the distance. I am skipping the glaciers because I have already hiked glaciers in Alaska and don't think we have time to do it here. Also, I left out Te Anau because we will just be doing the day cruise from Queenstown. No point in driving down there.

Anyways, your suggestions are always a huge help!


Rarotonga, Cook...
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for Rarotonga, Waiheke Island, Southern Cook Islands, Auckland
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1. Re: 14-16 nights North and South Island in August

Your North Island itinerary looks great. Enjoy the sights and visiting your family in the north.

New Zealand
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for South Island
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2. Re: 14-16 nights North and South Island in August

Greymouth to Wanaka - or Punakaiki to Wanaka - is too far for one day - visitors average 6 hours to drive Franz Josef to Wanaka in ideal conditions. it can take far longer in August with possible ice/snow conditions. And while you are used to such conditions, we don't have the easy cruising freeways and interstates you are used to. You will find driving here tiring.

my suggestion;

7 TranzAlpine to Greymouth, drive to Punakaiki or Hokitika

8 drive to Franz Josef or Fox

9 drive to Wanaka

10 explore

11 drive to Queenstown

12 explore

13 day trip to Milford Sound

14 drive to Aoraki/Mt Cook

15 explore

16 drive to Chch

happy travels :)

Christchurch, New...
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for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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3. Re: 14-16 nights North and South Island in August

You also need to consider the cost of 3 separate car rentals if you plan to drive to Akaroa & take the train to Greymouth. It might work out more sensible to take the train on day 6 and use the rental car to go to Akaroa on day 16.

New Zealand
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4. Re: 14-16 nights North and South Island in August

South Island itinerary may need a slight adjustment, Queenstown to Milford Sound is a very big drive. I would suggest stay at Te Anau the night, drive into Milford Sound (allow 2 hours, one of the best drives in NZ IMO) do a boat trip, then back to Te Anau for the night. Also i would try fit in The Catlins area for the Nugget Point lighthouse, dolphins,seals and yellow eyed penguins

Have fun!

East Lansing...
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15 posts
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5. Re: 14-16 nights North and South Island in August

Thank you so much for the great suggestions!

I will definitely tweek my itinerary and then I think I will finally have what I am looking for! Thanks again!

6. Re: 14-16 nights North and South Island in August

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