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2 week itinerary, what to do?

Groningen, The...
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2 week itinerary, what to do?

Hi there. I had posted my below question in an existing thread, however was advised to start a thread of my own. Below is my original question about a 2 week itinerary by campervan on the South Island.

We were thinking about spending two weeks on the South Island somewhere in November of 2013. Idealy we would like to visit the Fiordlands, Mount Cook and some of the more northern areas (are there any nice beaches there?). Transportation will probably be by campervan as well. Would this be a doable itinerary in 12-14 days and/or would we be missing out on some unforgetable stuff?

Thanks in advance for your input.

New Zealand
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1. Re: 2 week itinerary, what to do?

two weeks a good amount of time though you will be spending some long days behind the wheel getting from one end of the island to the other.

One possibility;

1 arrive Chch

2 drive Lewis Pass to Motueka or further into Abel Tasman National Park

3 explore newzealand.com/int/…

4 drive to Punakaiki

5 drive to Franz Josef

6 explore glaciers

7 drive Haast Pass to Wanaka

8 drive to Te Anau

9 explore Milford Sound, stay Te Anau

10 drive to Queenstown

11 explore

12 more

13 drive Lindis Pass to Aoraki/Mt Cook http://www.glacierexplorers.com/

14 drive to Chch, fly home

http://www.camping.org.nz/

hope this helps :)

Groningen, The...
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2. Re: 2 week itinerary, what to do?

Thanks so much, most helpful indeed. I have checked the location of all the sight on a map and this covers pretty much the entire Island (except for the SE, which I assume is best to be left out when on a tight schedule.

There's a few more things I would like to know.

- is the entire Island driveableby campervan. There is quite some elevation, are most campervans up to the challenge of climbing these passes?

- what if we would decide to shorten our stay to SI to let's say 10 or 12 days, or we just want to take things a bit more relaxing. Which sights are the absolute musts and which parts could be taken out in your opinion? I'm just making sure to keep all options open here.

Thanks a million!

Christchurch, New...
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3. Re: 2 week itinerary, what to do?

Hundreds of visitors hire campervans every day to do similar routes to what you are planning. Every day scores of trucks & tour buses cross the passes. The roads are good and the elevation not as great as you might think. Modern campervans have plenty of power, however if you see a few cars behind, pull over to the left when it is safe to do so.

Routes are however limited by these passes. With only 10-12 days you will only have time for the southern half or third eg Chch to the glaciers; to Wanaka, Te Anau, Milford Sound, Queenstown, Mt Cook, Lake Tekapo, Chch.

South Island
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4. Re: 2 week itinerary, what to do?

The northern part of the South Island has some great beaches. 2 weeks in NZ is not long but I would suggest 5 days in the Nelson, Able Tasman area, drive down the west coast exploring as you go and then base yourselves in the Queenstown for at least 4 nights. Queenstown is an excellent base to explore Glenorchy, Arrowtown and the fiordland area.

If you need a break from all the driving take the coach to Milford or Doubtful for a day or overnight trip.

There is lots to see in the South Island and if you have only 2 weeks you will miss out on some places but it is well worth the effort and many travelers make a return trip to see more.

Groningen, The...
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5. Re: 2 week itinerary, what to do?

Sounds great, I really cannot wait to get there! Unfortunately our trip isn't due until Nov'13. However thanks a lot already on all your great advices.

If we were to base ourselves in Queenstown for a day or five and cruise around; could we not just a well rent a simple car and stay overnight in motels, B&B's and whatsoever?? Cars are more flexible to drive around ad they would save us precious sightseeing time...

Or would you guys always prefer to do it by campervan just for the sheer joy of the outdoor experience. I have checked the weather in November and it should be great for camping, right?

Groningen, The...
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6. Re: 2 week itinerary, what to do?

Btw, which company would you guys suggest renting your campervan with?

I found http://www.rentacampervan.co.nz/ to be very helpful and transparant in comparing all the different rental companies. Quotes were also not half bad.For about NZD 80 - 100 a day you should get a decent 2-berth campervan including smart pack (zero liability and loads of extra stuff).

New Zealand
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7. Re: 2 week itinerary, what to do?

Queenstown will easily fill 5 days with amazing scenery and activities. however using Queenstown as a base to 'cruise around' ... where are planning to explore? If going too far it can be self-defeating you would actually be better to do a road trip.

Car or campervan? It depends what your plans are and how much travelling you plan to do. I would focus initially on your itineray. Once you have settled on that you can then decide the best way to travel.

8. Re: 2 week itinerary, what to do?

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