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Which direction to drive from Picton? East or west coast?

Sydney, Australia
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10 posts
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Which direction to drive from Picton? East or west coast?

Hi

My husband and I with our two boys are heading to NZ in January and are starting on the North Island staying with family and friends. We will catch the ferry from Wellington to Picton and are not sure which direction to head from Picton having never been that far north on the South Island before. We have 14 days from arriving in Picton. I am leaning towards travelling down the west coast and back up through the middle as we will fly out of Christchurch. Can anyone please give me some idea where we should head from Picton?

Thank you!

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
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1. Re: Which direction to drive from Picton? East or west coast?

1 arrive Picton, drive to Nelson

2 explore Abel Tasman National Park

3 drive to Punakaiki

4 drive to Franz Josef

5 explore glaciers

6 drive Haast Pass to Wanaka, explore Puzzling World

7 drive to Te Anau, glow worm caves

8 explore Milford Sound, stay Te Anau

9 drive to Queenstown

10 explore

11 more

12 drive Lindis Pass to Aoraki/Mt Cook

13 drive to Chch

14 fly home

hope this helps :)

Sydney, Australia
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10 posts
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2. Re: Which direction to drive from Picton? East or west coast?

Thank you for your prompt and informative reply. Your suggested itinerary is similar to what I have been considering. We are planning on staying a night in Picton to do a boat trip in the Malborough Sounds area. We have done Milford Sound before (although without the kids) so were considering skipping Te Anau and Milford Sound and including Dunedin instead as the boys love nature and wildlife and are also interested in doing the steepest street in the world. So the itinerary I am now considering is along the lines of;

1 arrive Picton, do half day boat tour

2. drive Picton to Nelson

3 explore Abel Tasman National Park

3 drive to Punakaiki

4 drive to Franz Josef

5 explore glaciers

6 drive Haast Pass to Wanaka, explore Puzzling World

7 drive to Queenstown

8 explore

9 explore

10 drive to Dunedin

11 explore

12 return to Christchurch

Is this a realistic itinerary? Also, is the drive from Dunedin to Christchurch ok to do in one day? I don't want to spend forever in the car every day with the boys. I would rather skip a destination and drive a little longer on one day to give them a day without driving the next day. I value anyone's input and look forward to replies.

South Island
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3. Re: Which direction to drive from Picton? East or west coast?

Your itinerary looks good. The drive from Dunedin to Christchurch is ok to do in one day. If the weather is clear and without clouds head inland to Omarama and up the centre of the island after you leave Dunedin. You may have time to drive to Mount Cook, and on a sunny clear day its worth a look. The flights from Tekapo airport are a must do.

Enjoy

4. Re: Which direction to drive from Picton? East or west coast?

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