I am heading down to NZ for 14 days in the middle of October through the end of October.
I have several questions:
How is the weather? Should I expect some fresh snow in the SI?
How are the roads? Has most of the snow and ice melted/cleared? Or will that be something I will have to factor in?
Is the train a nice way to get between points? As in, will it allow for some nice views and a relaxing ride?
Right now I am thinking of spending 10 days in the SI and 4 in the NI.
In the SI we would like to see Christchurch, Queenstown, Mt. Cook, Milford Sound, Te Anua, Franz Josef or Fox (which is better?), Lake Wanaka, Lake Tekapo, Lake Pukaki (ideally all 3, but if time means we only get to see one, which one is best?) and Marlborough to visit some vineyards. Some background, we are willing to take some hikes, but do not want to spend day after day of hiking if that helps in terms of how much time we have to see each place.
As far as laying out the trip, which route would be best that would allow us to see all, or most of the above places? We'll be flying into Auckland from Los Angeles and starting things off in the NI before we fly down to the SI. Given my wishes above, which would be better to fly into? Christchurch, or Queenstown?
Also, we are willing to take an additional flight in the SI to cut down on driving and time since we want to check out Marlborough and Nelson/Blenheim)