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Ideas for three partly unplanned days... south island/lakes?

Dhahran
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11 posts
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Ideas for three partly unplanned days... south island/lakes?

Dear Experts,

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.

Regards,

Rose

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
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1. Re: Ideas for three partly unplanned days... south island/lakes?

Hello Rose, you have planned well :)

Though if me, I would choose two nights Arthur's Pass and one night Kaikoura. Best to book AP asap as it is tiny with limited accommodation. And if wanting to hike on the ice then two nights Franz or Fox might be best to ensure you strike fine weather. Guides are operating on the 1st - best book asap as trips are almost booked out already. If you book for the 1st then you have a back up day of the 2nd if the weather is dismal. If not glacier hiking then one night is fine at the glaciers and spend two nights Wanaka.

Wanaka is ideal for you. Stunning wee place with lots to offer the entire family and it is an easy 3 hour drive to Te Aanu via the Crown Range, NZ's highest public road.

(byw, Aoraki/Mt Cook is accessed from the other side of the Southern Alps, a two day drive from Fox or Franz)

Enjoy :)

Auckland Region...
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2. Re: Ideas for three partly unplanned days... south island/lakes?

Did you consider Lake Tekapu? Its amazing and you see lots of beautiful scenes on your way down there. :)

Dhahran
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3. Re: Ideas for three partly unplanned days... south island/lakes?

Thanks for the advice.

Kaikoura and aruthers pass is already booked so we will stick with that and take your a dive for glaciers and Wanaka. Will look into lake Tekapo.

Regards,

Rose

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
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4. Re: Ideas for three partly unplanned days... south island/lakes?

Tekapo is next to Aoraki/Mt Cook on the opposide side of the Southern Alps from Franz - you can't pass through the mountains so either head down the West Coast from Chch or go down the centre of the island.

Canandaigua
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5. Re: Ideas for three partly unplanned days... south island/lakes?

Tekapo has a really nice outdoor hot water pool complex...Our family really enjoyed that.

Greymouth, New...
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6. Re: Ideas for three partly unplanned days... south island/lakes?

Newly opened will be the tree top walk just south of Hokitika. I have not yet been down to experience it, but by all accounts is really amazing. it will make a nice break on your drive from arthur's Pass to franz joseph

7. Re: Ideas for three partly unplanned days... south island/lakes?

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