thank you all for the helpfull advice and information you have posted. I have been reading a lot over the last weeks, and have made some bookings already for our upcoming(first time) South island trip. I will be travelling with my husband(German) and stepchildren(12 & 18) by rental car.
We get the ferry 730am wellington/ picton dec 28th after a week in the north island at my parents(Hokianga) and christmas with family in Tauranga.
We want to see mountains, lakes, glaciers, nature...
Stay 28th Marlborogh, explore. 29/30 Kaikoura, whale watch, explore.31 explore, stay in Aruthers pass(we are not concerned with any big party for new year!) 1st--glacier.. nothing booked(yikes I know its a public holiday... anything operating?. also want ideas for 2/3 Jan? Mt cook? wanaka? despite looking at maps not sure how to do this bit, and get to Te anau . 4th we need to be in Te Anau in late morning, we are off for overnight doubtfull sound cruise. 5th Te Anau, glowworms. 6th stay in Queenstown, 7th morning fly back to Akl. see friends, relax, little shopping, before flying back to work in middle east on 9th.
I know we are missing a lot of west coast/ christchurch/ nelson/south of south, however I had to choose to focus as to not skimp to much on time, or end up rushing/ driving every day
thanks so much for any ideas or advice you can give.