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Sth Island - are we too ambitious?

Brisbane, Australia
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17 posts
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Sth Island - are we too ambitious?


Can anyone let me know if we are being too ambitious for our weeks holiday to the South Island. I’m not 100% sure of driving times but assuming the roads aren’t all freeways there is some substantial driving here?

Day 1 – Arrive 1am, o/n near Christchurch airport. Pick up hire car and drive to Franz Josef late afternoon. O/n Franz Josef

Day 2 – Drive to Queenstown. 2 nights here

Day 3 – Shotover Jet, Skyline gondola, etc

Day 4 – Drive to Milford Sound – stay Te Anau o/n

Day 5 – Drive to Dunedin, Penguins, o/n

Day 6 – Drive to Mt Cook/Aoraki

Day 7 – Drive back to Christchurch, o/n, tram

Day 8 – Christchurch city, Antarctic Centre and to airport 5pm

Any input appreciated…

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1. Re: Sth Island - are we too ambitious?

Christchurch to Franz Josef would be a BIG drive.Maybe you could look at driving from C-church down the East Coast and in to Mt Cook from Timaru area.You could drive through from there to Queenstown and Milford.Then if you went back to Q-town and over to Wanaka you could drive through the Haast Pass and up the West Coast to Franz ,back via Arthur's Pass to Christchurch.It would still be a lot of driving!You could always take a trip via tour bus in from Q-town to Milford if you wanted a day off driving.

Brisbane, Australia
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2. Re: Sth Island - are we too ambitious?

Thanks for your suggestions. I basically looked up a well known tour company's tour of the south island and was trying to do something similar. Obviously a lot easier though on a bus when you don't have to drive!

How far would the drive from CHC to Franz Josef be? A full day? There is nothing in my travel guide on that distance, only kms' which isn't always helpful when the roads aren't highways.

Queenstown, New...
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3. Re: Sth Island - are we too ambitious?

A friend of ours that lives in Fox says the trip to CH CH is 5 hours for her.

So I would say 6 hours would be what more like the time you would need to see the scenery.

Can I suggest that you leave driving to Te Anau out you would save yourself 1/2 a days driving. You can fly over the alps to milford sound. And then the following day - days you can take in the open spaces of the Manioto plains driving down to Dunedin.

If you are going to Dunedin , can I suggest you have two nights there. There is a big to see there. The drive from Qtown to Dunedin is 3.5 - 4 hours.

Christchurch, New...
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for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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4. Re: Sth Island - are we too ambitious?

Suggest you look at one of the many time & distance calculators - I use aamaps as it is NZ based. NONE of these roads are motorways; most are 2 lanes only and there are plenty of ONE WAY bridges. Add to this the fact that you are on holiday - and it is all very scenic, you shouldn't count on averaging much over 70-75 kph over a day. These are all doable - but back to back become very tiring. You might find doing the trip in reverse easier - just that the road to Aoraki/Mt cook is easier driving and you could always stop at Tekapo if you got tired.

5. Re: Sth Island - are we too ambitious?

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