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Sth Island itinerary help

Adelaide, Australia
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58 posts
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Sth Island itinerary help

We are having trouble working out our itinerary (especially since we booked last minute and haven't had much time to research!) Here is a very rough plan:

1 - fly into Christchurch at midnight and stay the night in a hotel (already booked)

2- pick up hire car and head over to the West Coast - Paparoa National Park (via Arthurs Pass?) drive down the coast (via Hokitika) and arrive at glaciers. Spend 2 nights at glaciers (is this realistic or is there somewhere worth spending a night at before we arrive at the glaciers?)

3 - explore glaciers - Is Fox or Franz Josef better? We wouldn't be able to afford tours of both so need to make a choice on which one to do

4 - drive from glaciers to Wanaka.

5 - explore Wanaka. Drive to queenstown -- is there much to see/do in Wanaka or should we skip spending the night there and just stop there for a look on our way to Queenstown?

6 - milford sound from Queenstown? (kayak day trip perhaps?) - Is it worth doing Doubtful Sound as well as Milford? Since it will be winter, where do we stay the night if doing Milford Sound?

7 -Te Anau - should we spend a night here?

8 - Back to Queenstown.

9 - Queenstown - Skiing & other activities

10 - Queenstown - skiing

11 - Queenstown - skiing

12 - fly out of Queenstown in the afternoon

Any tips would be greatly appreciated and please let us know if we are missing anything important! A little extra info about us - we like outdoor activities like hiking, kayaking, ATV tours etc and my partner wants to do some of the more extreme activities like bungy jumping - so we need to factor in some time for these along the way

Wanaka, New Zealand
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1. Re: Sth Island itinerary help

Wanaka is definitely worth a half day - at least. It is much more laid back than Queenstown. There is Puzzling World & the Maze to see, as well as a lovely lake front, and some nice walks.

Two nights at the glaciers is also realistic. There is lots to do in the area - beyond the glaciers.

Christchurch, New...
Destination Expert
for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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2. Re: Sth Island itinerary help

Driivng from Chch to Punakaiki to Glaciers in one day in winter is really not sensible esp witout much sleep. This is over 6:30 hours just driving, without including the time it takes to organise the rental car, stop for lunch, photo stop at Arthurs Pass, do the Pancake Rocks walks etc. Better to stay the night at Punakaiki & relax a bit!!

Also it is not recommended to drive into Milford Sound in winter - better to take a tour & let professional drivers do the hard work.

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3. Re: Sth Island itinerary help

Your days around the Milford Sound are a bit muddied. If you are traveling in winter, it is best for you to do a round trip coach tour from Te Anau or Queenstown. I'd recommend staying 2 nights Te Anau and doing the coach tour from there. If you want to kayak Milford, that may complicate things as I believe the kayak trips head out early morning and you may have to drive yourself and stay at Milford Lodge. There's not much to do at Milford on land as it's only above-mentioned lodge, and the boat dock. There's also the possibility of kayaking Doubtful Sound, and that may work out better for you. But then you'll miss Milford Road, and that's many people's highlight of their trip.

There's no reason to stop overnight in Queenstown between Wanaka and Te Anau. Save all your nights in Queenstown for the end of your trip, saves packing and unpacking.

New Zealand
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for South Island
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4. Re: Sth Island itinerary help

To summarise all the good help offered above;

1 arrive Chch

2 drive Arthur's Pass to Punakaiki

3 drive to Franz or Fox

4 explore glaciers

5 drive Haast Pass to Wanaka - wonderful wee gem :)

6 drive to Te Anau - glow worm caves? Ata Whenua?

7 bus to Miflord,crusie, bus back to Te Anau

8 drive to Queenstown...

Franz does a heli-hike only

Fox you can do a guided glacier hike without needing a helicopter to access the ice so the cost is far less

Happy travels :)

5. Re: Sth Island itinerary help

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