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advice on self drive from south to north island...

Newcastle, Australia
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advice on self drive from south to north island...


We are travelling to NZ with a 1 and 11 year old. Need some advice on our travel plan. Not sure if I am planning too much or how long I should stay in each area or which places to skip. Any suggestions... my plan so far 21 days both islands jan/December 2014/15 . I have booked a campervan.


Mt Cook/lake Tepako

Queenstown- all adventure stuff for 11 yr old

Te Anu / Milford Sound (boat Cruise)

Franz Joseph

Nelson/Abel tasman area

Picton- Wellington

Lake Taupo

Waitomo Caves(glow worms)

Rotorua(smelly stuff)


Bay of Islands(water activities)


Any advice would be greatful

Cheers Kate

Christchurch, New...
Destination Expert
for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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1. Re: advice on self drive from south to north island...

Welcome to TA. I think you will find you don't have enough time for all the places on your list. You are forgetting about the long driving days in between each place. A good idea is to use the AA calculator at www.maps.co.nz/#directions to calculate driving time (and add 20% for the slower campervan +an hour for lunch etc) and you may find you need to stay 2 nights in one place every so often to be able to fit in the sightseeing (eg TeAnau, Queenstown, Franz Josef, Rotorua etc) & to stop the kids from mutiny.

Rarotonga, Cook...
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for Rarotonga, Waiheke Island, Southern Cook Islands, Auckland Central
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2. Re: advice on self drive from south to north island...

Hi Kate,

One option is to continue driving from Nelson back to Christchurch, to drop your rental car. Fly to Auckland and arrange another rental for the short loop tour of Hobbiton - Rotorua (2N) followed by Waitomo Caves back to Auckland. Or fly Christchurch to Rotorua - but this air-route will be more expensive.

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
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28,430 posts
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3. Re: advice on self drive from south to north island...

1 arrive Chch

2 drive to Aoraki/Mt Cook via Tekapo

3 explore - the 11 y/o will love the cruise amongst the icebergs

4 drive to Queenstown

5 explore

6 drive to Te Anau

7 explore Milford, stay Te Anau

8 drive to Wanaka

9 drive to Franz

10 explore

11 drive to Punakaiki

12 drive to Abel Tasman

13 explore, hike/kayak

14 drive to Picton, ferry to Wellington....

4. Re: advice on self drive from south to north island...

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