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Road trip Itinerary Check for Upper South Island Please

Townsville...
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Road trip Itinerary Check for Upper South Island Please

Hey guys this a what I am thinking for 10 days on the South Island in April. What do you think?

Day 1

Hanmer Springs

Christchurch-Hanmer, 1hr 55min, 134km

Bungy and hot springs. Any good camp sites near by hot springs ?

Day 2

Kaikoura

Hanmer-Kaikoura, 2hrs, 130km

. Do some of the big walk. Camp ground where we can wake up looking at the beach?

Day 3

Kaikoura

Swim with dolphins

Day 4

Blenheim

Kaikoura-Blenheim, 1hr 45min, 129km

Day 5

Blenheim

Do a bike wine tour

Day 6

Nelson

Blenheim-Nelson, 1hr 40min, 114km

Visit breweries

Day 7

Punakaiki

Nelson-Punakaiki, 3hr 45min, 265km

Look and explore pancake rocks . Good camp site views of the beach ?

Day 8

Hokitika

Punakaiki-Hokitika, 1hr 10min, 83km

Day 9

Christchurch

Hokitika-Christchurch, 3hr 50min, 253km

Day 10

Depart New Zealand

Do you think I’m trying to do too much? I don’t want to be rushed. If so what would you take out?

Most important is the bungy, swim with dolphins, bike wine tour

Is there any caves you can go into where you don’t need a guide?

With a wetsuit would it be worth snorkeling at Kaikoura Peninsula Walkway at Point keen Carpark? What is there to see?

I want to find a good value self contained camper, Ive seen them for $1700 and for $2700, why is there such a difference?

Any really good breweries that we should not miss?

Blenheim, New...
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1. Re: Road trip Itinerary Check for Upper South Island Please

You going at a good time of year to do the winery bike tour, I feel sorry for anyone who does it during the summer.

These several Camp grounds in Kaikoura which are next to the sea.

What is the big walk at Kaikoura? The most impressive walk I done in the area is up Mount Patutu, the views are quite outstanding. Its quite a big day with over 1000m of elevation gained and these a few tricky bits in the track.

Caves: These a few short caves at Rarangi near Blenheim, they only go a couple of hundred meters underground. These also caves at Punakaiki.... The free caves at Karamea are quite decent but a long way out of the way.... These also longer caves at many locations but their accesses are really only known among cavers.

I do a lot of snorkelling around the Kaikoura Peninsula, the biggest problem is that the visibility is often poor, on the few days when the visibility is good its quite magical with quite a few cold water fish species, plus the seals are show offs under water.

Townsville...
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2. Re: Road trip Itinerary Check for Upper South Island Please

Thanks for your reply. The walk by Nz walking trail standards is not big at all, I should have explained better. I mean the kaikoura peninsula walkway.

I hope I get lucky with visibility, sounds amazing.

I will defiantly check out those caves as well, thanks for that. Do you know what websites I would be able to get tidal information ?

I'm super excited about the bike wine tour. Do you have a preference for tour operator or just hire your own bike ?

Nelson-Tasman...
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3. Re: Road trip Itinerary Check for Upper South Island Please

The top 10 campground is great in Kaikoura and the mountain view holiday park in Hanmer springs is another in a great location near the springs.

The trouble snorkelling off the kaikoura peninsula is to be aware of seals and the kelp, also there is a swell and large rocks. It would be quite dangerous if you werent experienced.

the big walk you refer to could be mt Fyfe. Quite popular.

Townsville...
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4. Re: Road trip Itinerary Check for Upper South Island Please

I will have a look at the campgrounds, thanks. Where is a bit more easy going for snorkelling? I have swam with seals in Australia and they don't touch you , are they dangerous here ?

Blenheim, New...
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5. Re: Road trip Itinerary Check for Upper South Island Please

Many useful tide websites

One option would be www.marineweather.co.nz

Seals are not really a problem in the water, I never had one show any sign of aggression towards me. Sea Lions on the other hand can be grumpy but they do not really occur around Kaikoura.

The kelp can be smothering, a few people have drowned while trapped in kelp but I suspect there would have been extenuating circumstances. I have pushed my way through heaps of the stuff before, its thick but certainly manageable.

If the swell is up, and crashing in then the visibility would be rubbish. The swell direction also plays a roll with one side of the peninsula often calm while the other side is quite rough. Maybe try snorkelling from Limestone Bay (South side of Peninsula), unless the weather is from the south its normally calm in there. Stay out of the boating channel.

I do not really cycle, nor have any experience with the operators... I do feel bad when I drive pass a pasty tourist blistering with sunburn as they battle their way into a gale force head wind on a 30 degree day, but that mostly happens in the Summer months... Gale force winds are rare in April and the plains are mostly flat so make for easy cycling.

With regards to the caves in Rarangi, once inside turn off any lights and you would see a few glow worms. Also shine the light around the walls near the entrance and you should see Cave Wetas and Spiders (That applies to most NZ caves). Also have to be prepared to crawl / push along on your stomach to reach the deeper areas. Probably wise to keep a eye out for broken glass, although they been tidy the last few times I been in them. One of the caves is a sea cave and only accessible at low tide... Its normally has a lot of rotten seaweed in it.

I also forgot to mention these Cave Stream, halfway between Hokitika and Christchurch... A river flows through it and takes a wet hour to navigate it. The last few meters is a bit tricky.

castlehill.net.nz/castlehill/…cavestream.php

Blenheim, New...
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6. Re: Road trip Itinerary Check for Upper South Island Please

You could snorkel in the Marlboorugh Sounds, but these not a lot of Marine life in close, alternatively try Cable Bay near Nelson, head west and you can enter a marine reserve .

California
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7. Re: Road trip Itinerary Check for Upper South Island Please

Your trip sounds very similar to one we did in December of 2012. Our trip report is here:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g255104-i125-k5964…

and photos here:

http://www.fmsphotos.com/Travel/2012NZ/

I like this tide forecaster:

niwa.co.nz/services/…tide-forecaster

We stayed at Alpine Pacific Holiday Park in Kaikoura. The facilities block was exceptional, but no beach view. I've read good things about Kaikoura Peketa Beach Holiday Park, it's right on the beach.

Not a cave, but a great adventure between Kaikoura and Blenheim is Sawcut Gorge. When we walked it, the stream was only ankle deep. Check with DOC for conditions as you don't want to do this after a heavy rain: outdoorexplor.com/new-zealand/…sawcut-gorge

Blenheim, New...
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8. Re: Road trip Itinerary Check for Upper South Island Please

I think the only Kaikoura Campground which would have a sea view would be Boat Harbour, Omihi and Paia Point. All of which are located on the coast about 15 minute south of Kaikoura town. All three of the above campgrounds are nearby and extensions of sorts of Goose Bay Campground.

Peketa Beach Campground is right on the beach, but from memory these trees, dunes which block the view to the water.

The Meatworks Beachfront is a freedom camping area right on the beach. Never stay there myself but the toilet is rather primitive from what I understand... Quite a few Surfies also sleep in their cars down there. Train is quite loud.

Few photos

campermate.co.nz/freedom-camping-meatworks-k…

Edited: 14 August 2014, 04:55
9. Re: Road trip Itinerary Check for Upper South Island Please

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