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Seeking opinions on South Island itineraries - 15-25 June!

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Seeking opinions on South Island itineraries - 15-25 June!

Hi all,

I’m heading to New Zealand (South Island) next week and am seeking your knowledgeable advice on my two itineraries. I know it seems like I am unorganised, but it is a long story (due to a relationship ending, I was going to cancel my trip; however, I’ve decided to go at it alone, and go on the holiday anyway!).

The only booked parts of the trip I have so far are my flights and some accommodation in Queenstown.

I arrive in Christchurch at 10:20 am on Tuesday 15th.

I have already booked accommodation (St Moritz) in Queenstown from 22 – 26 June.

In Queenstown I want to do a Milford Sound tour and a jet boat trip.

I depart Queenstown for home on the 26th.

I’ve drafted up two different itineraries, and am hoping I can get some helpful tips on either, before I book the rest of my accommodation and tours. As I’m travelling on my own, I don’t want to hire a car and would prefer to rely on busses and tours to get around, even though it means lugging my suitcase around.

My first plan was to:

Arrive in Christchurch on the 15th and stay there until the 20th, doing day trips to other places.

On the 20th I would go on the Christchurch to Wanaka (via Mt Cook) one day tour offered through Viator.

I’d then stay 2 nights in Wanaka before catching the bus on the 22nd to Queenstown to check in to my pre-booked accommodation.


Is this too long in Christchurch?

And what must do day trips are there from ChCh? I was planning on doing the whole day Transalpine trip, but haven’t decided on any others.

My second plan involved a bit more travelling:

Arrive in Christchurch on the 15th and stay until the 18th.

On the morning of the 18th I’d catch the Transalpine to Greymouth (Arriving at 12.15 I think). I’d then catch a bus transfer to Franz Joseph (this leaves Greymouth at 1.45pm).

I’d stay in Franz Joseph for 3 nights (so I have 2 whole days there). I want to do the whole day glacier tour, or one of the heli/glacier tours.

On the 21st I’d catch a bus from Franz Joseph to Wanaka (departs FJ at 8am, arrives Wanaka at 2:30pm).

I’d then stay the night in Wanaka.

On the 22nd I’d catch a bus from Wanaka (departs at 2.35pm) to Queenstown, then check in to my pre booked accommodation.


Is it feasible to catch the Transalpine to Greymouth and then the bus to Franz Joseph in the same day? There is a little over an hour in between the two, however, I haven’t looked at how close they are to each other.

Does anyone have an opinion on whether I would be best moving around less and doing more day trips?

Thanks in advance for your help! I’ve travelled quite a bit, but never solo, and have never had to plan and book it all myself, so any opinions (good or bad) would be appreciated!

Akaroa Dolphins
Boat Tours, Eco Tours, Sightseeing Tours, Nature & Wildlife Tours, Dolphin & Whale Watching
Hop n Grape Tours
Wine Tours & Tastings , Sightseeing Tours, Private Tours, Beer Tastings & Tours
Bubbly Grape Wine Tours
Private Tours, Sightseeing Tours, Wine Tours & Tastings
Milford Sound BBQ Bus
Bus Tours, Boat Tours, Sightseeing Tours, Day Trips
South Island
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1. Re: Seeking opinions on South Island itineraries - 15-25 June!

Don't worry about traveling solo its the best way to go and you find the South Island a safe and easy place to travel about in. In Christchurch I would do one of the day trips to Akaroa but i would only spend two nights in Christchurch. Your second plan looks the best but, I would only spend two nights in Franz as this will create an extra night in Wanaka or Queenstown.

If the weather does not allow you to do heli/glacial tour in Franz ask your coach driver to give you all the available flight options when you arrive in Milford Sound.

The Helicopter tours from Milford Sound also land on the glaciers and in my opinion these flights are more exciting than the heli flights out of Fox or Franz.

Edited: 09 June 2010, 23:21
Sandy, Utah
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2. Re: Seeking opinions on South Island itineraries - 15-25 June!

I agree...only two days in Christchurch is plenty. I actually only spent one day in FG and while I didn't do a full glacier hike I did see it and hike to it. Probably cool to do one full day hike though. But find a way to stay a couple of days in Wanaka - there are incredible hikes and views there and in Queenstown. Go to the "doc of new zealand" website for hiking info.

Christchurch, New...
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for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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3. Re: Seeking opinions on South Island itineraries - 15-25 June!

Plan B sounds good to me. The bus to FJ will depart from the train station in Greymouth -they are planned to connect as this is a common travel route.

You probably don't need to pre-book much at this time of year so I'd play it by the weather. If it is good, do the heli-hike or whatever & if bad you have the choice of waiting for improvement or moving on to Wanaka.

4. Re: Seeking opinions on South Island itineraries - 15-25 June!

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