We are a couple planning a 5 week road trip from late January to early March next year starting in Auckland and finishing in Christchurch. I have drafted an itinerary and would be grateful for advice as to whether we have allowed too much or not enough time at any particular location, or if we have missed out anything vital. We are 60-ish, fit and active, love walking and kayaking, photography and nature, but not into sunbathing or extreme activities like bungee jumping! We'd also like an idea of the temperatures at that time, anything we need to book well in advance, and the prevalence of sandflies and whether there is anything you can do to protect yourself. Itinerary follows:
Day 1 Arrive Auckland 0730hrs, Day 2 in Auckland
Day 3 Pick up campervan and drive to Whangerei – see Parihaka Reserve and Waterfall
Day 4 Drive to Kerikeri – Bay of Islands, Russell?
Day 5/6 to Ahipara/Cape Reinga – Sand Safari Tour
Day 7 to Baylys Beach visiting Waipoua Forest Park on the way
Day 8 back to Auckland for overnight stay
Day 9 to Hahei, Coromandel Peninsula and Hot Water Beach
Day 10/11 to Rotorua
Day 12 to Waitomo Caves
Day 13/14 to Tongarino NP
Day 15 to Lake Taupo
Day 16 to Napier, Wine Tour?
Day 17 to Wellington
Day 18 Cross to Picton and drive to Motueka
Day 19 Abel Tasman National Park – day spent walking/kayaking?
Day 20 to Punikaiki – see blowholes, Pancake Rocks
Day 21 to Franz Josef glacier
Day 22 walk on Franz Josef glacier
Day 23 to Fox Glacier – walk on glacier - is it worth doing both glaciers or is it a case of more of the same?
Day 24 to Queenstown
Day 25 to Te Anau
Day 26 Overnight cruise on Milford Sound
Day 27 Return to Te Anau
Day 28 to Wanaka
Day 29 to Mount Cook (Glentanner Park)
Day 30 day at Mount Cook – walks?
Day 31 to Akaroa
Day 32 to Kaikoura – see the seals, waterfall and walk
Day 33 to Christchurch
Day 34 Return camper van
Day 35 Tranzalpine Express to Greymouth and return to Christchurch
Day 36 Fly to Adelaide 1530hrs