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15 night itinerary for South Island visit

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15 night itinerary for South Island visit

Hi, we are visiting the South Island for the first time. Woohoo! We are a family with 2 grown children son 19 and daughter 16 years old. We like scenery but not hikes, exciting activities and good food. Can you offer some advice on our itinerary? Thanks for your thoughts.

Arrive Christchurch, stay 1 night,

1 night in either Lake Tekapo or Twizel? Which is recommended?

3 nights Queenstown

1 night Te Anau with a visit to Milford Sound

2 nights at Wanaka

2 nights Franz Josef to visit both glaciers

1 night Greymouth or Punakaiki. Which is recommended?

TransAlpine train to Christchurch

1 night Christchurch

We have 4 more nights to spend at any of the above or other destinations. Any advice as to where to spend these? Also would like to be in Queenstown for new years eve which would mean an extra night spent either there or somewhere before there. Thanks so much.

New Zealand
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11. Re: 15 night itinerary for South Island visit

The walk is just 10 minutes to the view point at Franz, and similar to Fox. I believe the previous post is referring to hiking onto the glaciers, which can only be done with a guide.

I haven't hiked on the ice but believe it can be enjoyed by all those with moderate fitness. Generally the heli-hiking is less strenuous as the helicopter does most of the initial climbing.

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12. Re: 15 night itinerary for South Island visit

Hi FussyFlossy

Franz and Fox both have really easy access paths that take you to remarkable viewpoints. As stated they are both about a 10 minute walk.

While in Fox, Lake Matheson is very local. Again its not really a hike, it's a beautiful reflective lake giving great images of the Southern Alps.. Again, it can take 10 minutes to get to this scenic iconic spot.

I would pick Punakaiki over Gremouth every time !


Brisbane, Australia
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13. Re: 15 night itinerary for South Island visit


Being an Aussie you will just love NZ South Island as the countryside is amazingly beautiful as are the mountains.

I wasn't impressed with Twizel or Lake Tekapo when it came to accommodation although the lake is beautiful. Try Mt Cook although it is a drive in and out as is Milford Road out to the sound, but well worth the drive for the scenery.

We( two women) drove all around the island and we did the same itiniery almost. We actually did not stop anywhere after Fox Glacier and drove all the way into Christchurch. We arrived at the Glacier in the afternoon but it was raining, and so we set out to see it the following morning. We walked in right up to the glacier. Didn't see Franz Josef though.

Do drive through Arthur's Pass as it is sooo... scenic.

I will add another place I really loved. It is Akaroa which is about an hour's drive from Christchurch and out on Bank's peninsular.

Look up this town on the net. It is so quaint, scenic and there is also another drive back into Christchurch along the Port Hills Road ( high and winding)coming back into town via the beachside suburb.

See my review of Akaroa. I went back the next time and booked a batch ( holiday cottage) for three nights.

So if you still have the extra night you could perhaps do this first full day or second last day from Christchurch, if it suits your itiniery.

Also if you are interested in old homes with history, in Christchurch is Riccarton House which is just out of town. Interesting tour about a pioneer family of the area.

Oh, also if you are self catering, just on the road along the bottom of Lake Pukaki which is around where you turn off to Mt Cook, there is a salmon farm.

We bought a side fillet of salmon there and believe me it was the best I have ever tasted and no wonder have a look at the water it grew in!

See my reviews of Queenstown,Te Anau, Milford Sound also.

You'll fall in love with this island


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14. Re: 15 night itinerary for South Island visit

I would take the longer way back and visit Hanmer and have a relaxing couple of hours in the hot pools and just looking around the village. It is then only hour and half from Christchurch. If you still have your car in Christchurch and have half a day go for a drive through Lyttelton and either on the Diamond Harbour Ferry or drive around the Peninsula to Diamond Harbour - about 40 minutes drive.

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15. Re: 15 night itinerary for South Island visit

Thanks for your replies. My trip is certainly being fine tuned thanks to all your local knowledge and willingness to share your thoughts. I really appreciate it.

Christchurch, New...
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16. Re: 15 night itinerary for South Island visit

You have made the correct choice for Arthurs Pass. It is a great train ride, but an even better drive. The drive is quite a lot quicker than the train journey. Use some of that time to walk to the rock formations at Cave rock station (10~15 minutes each way), and to do one of the walks at Arthurs Pass. It takes about 1/2 hour each way to go to the Punch Bowl falls. It is mostly board walk and a wooden staircase at the end.

17. Re: 15 night itinerary for South Island visit

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