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Itinerary Help Appreciated

Perth, Australia
3 posts
2 reviews
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Itinerary Help Appreciated

Hello there

My husband, daughter (5 years old) and I are coming to New Zealand in about three 3 weeks time and are currently finalising our itinerary, I would really appreciate some advice on whether this sounds ok. (I know this is all a little last minute, but that is due to circumstances, we have been researching the trip on and off for some time, just haven't had the time to finalise things until now)

We are planning on hiring a camper for the North Island, we will then switch to a car and hotels/motels when we get to Christchurch

Arrive Auckland, stay 2 nights

Day 3 - collect camper, drive to Whangarei

Day 4 - drive to Kerikeri

Day 5 - drive just South of Auckland (need to find a suitable campsite)

Day 6 - drive to Waitomo

Day 7 - Glowworm caves and drive to Rotoura

Day 8 - Rotoura

Day 9 - drive to Taupo

Day 10 - drive to Napier

Day 11 - drive to Wellington

Day 12 - ferry to South Island, drive to Kaikoura

Day 13 - drive to Christchurch, drop of camper, pick up car

Day 14 - Christchurch

Day 15 - drive to Lake Tepako

Day 16 - drive to to Queenstown

Day 16 - Queenstown

Day 17 - drive to Te Anau

Day 18 - go to Milford Sound for a cruise, return to Te Anau for the night

Day 19 - drive approx half way to Dunedin

Day 19 - drive rest of way to Dunedin

Day 20 - Dunedin

Day 21 - drive to Timaru

Day 22 - drive to Darfield (or somewhere nearby ready to do Arthurs Pass the next day)

Day 23 - drive Arthurs Pass to Greymouth

Day 24 - drive to Murchison

Day 25 - drive to Nelson

Day 26 - ferry to Wellington

Day 27 - Wellington

Day 28 - Fly out of New Zealand

Any comments or advice would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you

Christchurch, New...
Destination Expert
for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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34,191 posts
340 reviews
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1. Re: Itinerary Help Appreciated

Welcome to the Forum. Most of this sounds pretty well planned. I had assumed you are taking the SSR through the Catlins on days 19/20 - but your numbers are wrong, so perhaps you are going through in 1 day?

On days 21 & 22 why Timaru, Darfield & Greymouth? You could quite easily drive Dunedin to Chch on day 21 (or to a farmstay in mid-Canterbury) & then Chch to Punakaiki on day 22. This would free up an extra day to spend in the Nelson region.

New Zealand
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2,126 posts
101 reviews
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2. Re: Itinerary Help Appreciated

Perhaps consider :

Day 6 - drive to Waitomo Caves then drive 2.5hrs to Rotorua

Day 7 - Rotorua

Day 8 - drive 1hr to Taupo; then drive 2.5hrs to Napier

Day 9 - Napier

Day 10 - drive 4.5hrs to Wellington

Day 11 - Wellington

Remember your campervan will be slower than car; roads are mostly single lane, with hills and trucks! Daylight savings finishes 06 April so days will be shorter so ensure you arrive your destination before dark. In April NZ has Easter break 18-21 April; school holidays start 17 April; Anzac weekend 25-27April.

Dunedin, New Zealand
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677 posts
150 reviews
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3. Re: Itinerary Help Appreciated

I am wondering why you don't turn in the campervan in Wellington and then just pick up a car in Picton. Will it be economical to put the campervan on the ferry, rather than drop off it off in Wellington and then pick up a car in Picton?

Te Anau to Dunedin is about 3.5 hours. Unless you are stopping in the Catlins, as Zhuhai mentions, then you wouldn't need to break up this drive. If you are stopping in the Catlins (by the way, I think a stop in the Catlins is a great idea), stay in Curio Bay to see the Yellow Eyed Penguins come ashore late afternoon as well as the remains of the petrified forest. Possible stops on the way to Dunedin: Nugget Point, Purakaunui Falls, Lost Gypsy Gallery. Cathedral Caves is also great, but can only be visited within two hours of low tide. On the way to Dunedin, at Lake Waihola, turn up Finlayson Road to the coast (prettier than SH1). Continue on this "Southern Scenic Route" to Dunedin.

The weather on the East Coast of the South Island has been incredibly wet and windy. Hope it will improve, but please be prepared for a range of weather, from cold and wet to warmish and sunny.

In Dunedin, Discovery World Tropical Forest at the Otago Museum might be enjoyable, perhaps Cadbury Chocolate Factory tour, Baldwin St. (steepest street), aviary at the Botanical Garden, Taiaeri Gorge Railway.


Perth, Australia
3 posts
2 reviews
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4. Re: Itinerary Help Appreciated

Thank you for all your advice, it's all very useful and much appreciated.

I'm not sure how we missed out the Caitlins, so I have amended the itinerary to include them. Also, thank you for the tips on things to see in the Caitlins and Dunedin.

I've also updated the Itinerary so we go from Dunedin to a farm stay near Canterbury, then we will do Arthurs Pass the following day - we are planning on spending most of the day doing Arthurs pass as we have read there are a number of short walks that can be done along the Pass, that is why we are planning on ending the day in Greymouth.

I've also amended the trip to do Taupo and Napier in one day. We are also thinking about doing the drive to Waitomo and the glowworm tour on the same day.

Finally, to answer your question about the campervan, we are hiring it from Wilderness and I believe you can only pick up or drop off in Auckland or Christchurch, otherwise I think we probably would swap to a car in Wellington.

Thanks again for all your help

Dunedin, New Zealand
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677 posts
150 reviews
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5. Re: Itinerary Help Appreciated

I now understand about the campervan. I was wondering because the rate is higher when crossing on the Interislander from Wellington to Picton if you have a campervan. At least you will have your own accommodation until you hand it in in Christchurch.

There are farmstays in and around Dunedin, too.





Through April 20, there is an exhibition at Dunedin's City Art Gallery (on the Octagon) that can be enjoyed by adults and children alike:


Dunedin's Moana Pool has a great children's pool:


Here's a list of playgrounds in Dunedin:


Note there is one in the lower Botanical Garden. If you'd like to see the aviary in the upper Botanical Garden, it is would probably easier to drive up there. There is a free parking lot not far from the aviary.

Perth, Australia
3 posts
2 reviews
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6. Re: Itinerary Help Appreciated

Thanks for the information on Dunedin, it's all really useful, I think my daughter will love the pool and the parks! I will also take a look at the farm stay options as they sound interesting too.

7. Re: Itinerary Help Appreciated

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