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South Island - 10 days

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South Island - 10 days


I am taking a small 10 day tour of the south island this week. I had originally booked the hop on hop off Magic bus tour, staying in Christchurch, Greymouth, Franz Josef, Wanaka, Queenstown & Lake Tekapo. However unfortunately Kiwi Experience have recently bought over Magicbus, meaning that we now have to go with Kiwi Experience and our itinerary is going to have to change a bit to suit their timetable. We now have to spend 1 day in Queenstown, cut out the night at Lake Tekapo (although we stop here for lunch between Queenstown and Christchurch) and spend 1 more day in Christchurch at the start of the trip. I have a few questions:

- We now have 3 nights in Christchurch, which is more than we wanted given our tight time frame. This is 1.5 days at start of trip (arrive 2pm from Melbourne on first day) and half a day at end of trip (fly out at 4). Would you recommend doing a day trip from Christchurch on our full day, or is there enough to keep us occupied in the city.

- We now only have 3 nights and 2.5 days in Queenstown (arrive 2pm) the first day. Originally when we had 4 nights there we had intended to do a day trip to Milford Sound. Would you recommend still doing this or just keeping our time for Queenstown.

- On the last day we have a stop off for lunch at Lake Tekapo. Would you recommend staying in this region for the night and exploring this and/or the Mount Cook area (our flight is 4pm the next day from Christchurch). If so, we would have to make our own way to Christchurch (we would be happy to do this if it is worth it). Would this even be possible? Would we be able to get a public bus or hire a car in Lake Tekapo region to go back to Christchurch?

Thanks for any help and sorry for all the questions!

Milford Sound BBQ Bus
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Jucy Cruise Milford Sound
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Milford Sound Select
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1. Re: South Island - 10 days

*Sorry I meant to say 1 day less in Queenstown in the first paragraph (3 days instead of 4). I am interested in nice scenery and doing some adventure activities if that effects any of your recommendations!


Wanaka, New Zealand
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2. Re: South Island - 10 days

It sounds like a rental car would give you a lot more flexibility to see what you want to see, and for how long. It seems like too long in Christchurch when there are more scenic places to spend time. You will need to rent a car in either QT or Christchurch. There are no car rental agencies located around Lake Tekapo.

Christchurch, New...
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for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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3. Re: South Island - 10 days

I'm pretty sure the only bus from Mt Cook to Chch leaves around lunchtime and doesn't get back to Chch until later than 6 pm. I suggest you take a day tour to Akaroa on your first full day. You can swim with dolphins or just take a cruise, or just wander around the time. if the weather is no good, stay in Chch and go to the Museum and Antarctic Centre.

Then stick with the half day in Chch - ride the Gondola or do the Antarctic Centre if you didn't on day 2.

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4. Re: South Island - 10 days

Is it possible to get a refund on your bus tickets and rent a car for the entire trip instead? It really is the easiest way to see the country.

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5. Re: South Island - 10 days

Thanks for the help. We were not able to get a refund on our bus tickets. Bus trip was great though. We done a day trip to Hanmer Springs on our spare day in Christchurch and loved it there. Will have to come back to New Zealand for longer the next time!

6. Re: South Island - 10 days

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