We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Any tips for our trip?

London, UK
Level Contributor
13 posts
34 reviews
Save Topic
Any tips for our trip?

An earlier post helped us finalise our early Dec itinerary below. We've now booked hotels etc and have gone for Apex after recommendations for our hire car. However, any top tips/don't miss ideas on half day walks, things to see/do, places to eat/drink, would be welcome.

Day 1: Fly Auckland - QT. Drive QT - Te Anau, Te Anau Overnight.

Day 2: Overnight Cruise, Fiordland Cruises, Doubtful Sound.

Day 3: Drive to QT, Overnight QT.

Day 4: QT Overnight, Dinner and winetasting at Amisfield Winery early evening.

Day 5: Drive QT - Wanaka (stop for breakfast, walk) - Haast (late lunch) - Franz Josef overnight.

Day 6: Helihike Franz Josef Guides AM - Overnight Franz Josef

Day 7: Drive to/Overnight in Arthurs Pass - Lunch in Hokitika - Sidetrip to Hokitika Gorge

Day 8: Afternoon: drive to CC Airport - Flight out to Sydney late pm.

We've been taking drive times from a combination of AA and NZ tourism sites. We're in our 30s and celebrating a delayed honeymoon. Reasonably fit, but not after extreme sports - we'll be steering clear of the bungy!

Western Victoria
Level Contributor
347 posts
61 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Any tips for our trip?

Day 4 Glenorchy (I'm a worn record!!)

Day 6 Short trip to Okarito Lagoon

Day 7, go to Greymouth then loop through Moana/Lake Brunner and join onto the Arthurs Pass road.

London, UK
Level Contributor
13 posts
34 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Any tips for our trip?

Thanks for this - I had Glenorchy and Okarito on our list. I had been thinking about spending our day on day 4 around Glenorchy - and had been l had been looking at the DOC guide to half day walks in the area. Is there anything specific you'd suggest?

On Okarito on day 6 - I was thinking we might want to go up to Lake Matheson after we've done our helihike (fingers crossed for good weather that lets us in the air), with lunch in or around Fox Township. I was trying to work out whether we'd have time to stop at Okarito on the way to Hokitika on day 7 and still enjoy a quick trip to the Hokitika Gorge.

Thanks for the suggestion on Moana/Lake Brunner. I didn't think that there was much to see in/around Greymouth that wouldn't take a good bit of driving. I'll have a Google now.

Wanaka, New Zealand
Level Contributor
3,007 posts
21 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Any tips for our trip?

I think Jeff has made some good suggestions, however, you really don't have time to see those places without sacrificing something else. Okarito is lovely, but unless you have the time to do some sort of trip out on the lagoon, it's really just a drive to look at the lagoon from the wharf. If you have the time to do a kayak trip out on the lagoon, it is amazing.

A short walk to break the drive to Franz is at Ships Cove - just north of Haast. It's a chance to walk on a wild West Coast beach. There are not a lot of food options in Haast - just a cafe I think. It might be an idea to grab some takeaway lunch in Wanaka.

London, UK
Level Contributor
13 posts
34 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Any tips for our trip?

Thanks guys - both really helpful suggestions!

London, UK
Level Contributor
13 posts
34 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Any tips for our trip?

I can't find a Ships Cove north of Haast - is this the same as Ship Creek? Thanks!

Wanaka, New Zealand
Level Contributor
3,007 posts
21 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Any tips for our trip?

Sorry, yes Ships Creek! Hope for some wind to blow the sandflies away. Don't even try an outside picnic lunch if it is not windy and sunny as the sandflies will be vicious. A good spot to stretch your legs on the beach though. A shame you don't have time for the Munros Beach walk a little further on, it's a beautiful bit of forest, and a lovely beach. You could just walk a little way along the track as the forest is lovely.

You could always see how you are going for time if you want to do a detour to Okarito to have a look.

London, UK
Level Contributor
13 posts
34 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Any tips for our trip?

The DOC says the Monro walk is only around 30 mins. We're not hoping to rush the drive - leaving the whole day to get from Wanaka to FJ. If we get up and checked into the hotel in time for a dip in the Glacier Pools before dinner that might be nice! We're hoping to leave QT early and to pick up some bakery breakfast to eat after a walk in/around Wanaka.

On the sandflies - this is something I'm worried about a little - the bugs of the biting/buzzing kind do love me! I've been bitten pretty badly on most continents so I'm assuming NZ will be the same. Does the usual DEET/jungle formula insect repellant put them off, or is anything else a good idea?

Oz
Level Contributor
11,691 posts
51 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Any tips for our trip?

Hi,

One thing I would add to the great advice you already have is to consider Fox Glacier rather than Franz. A quick comparison of the guide's web sites and the DOC walks will allow a valid decision that suits you and your budget, Fox also has Lake Matheson. You also need to be flexible as the weather can prevent anything to do with aircraft in the mountains and often does.

When travelling from Queenstown to Wanaka the Crown Range Road is the more scenic route.

Telly N has politely described the eating options at Haast.

Finally if it is possible to fly into Queenstown and out of Christchurch essentially reversing the order and direction of travel? The drives are more spectacular if you travel in this direction, IMHO Arthurs Pass is much more scenic when travelling East to West and The Crown Range Road is more spectacular when driving South from Wanaka to Queenstown

Cheers,

London, UK
Level Contributor
13 posts
34 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Any tips for our trip?

Thanks for all of this! Unfortunately our flights are fixed. We're coming from the NI and then on to Sydney and these were the best options we could get for connections. Thanks for the advice on the Crown Range Road, particularly! The heads-up on eating in Haast is great - we're on a bit of the budget and I reckon most of our lunches will be brown bag from the nearest market/corner shop - but we will be looking to break up the journey around the town, so the ideas on places to head for are helpful!

Wanaka, New Zealand
Level Contributor
3,007 posts
21 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Any tips for our trip?

Go up to the Hammer & Nail Bakery/Cafe in Wanaka. It's not in the main town centre, but up in a commercial area. They have great food for a takeaway lunch. It''s not hard to find, but hard to give directions. You'll need to look at google maps. For real budget food, you might be better off going to New World supermarket in Wanaka.

If you stay in Fox, you can do the ,lovely glow worm walk on the edge of town. It's a very cheap way to see glow worms. We really enjoyed walking in the bush at night.

Yes, it looks like Monros Beach is quite short. I admit I haven't done it for several years and we probably had toddlers in tow then., so perhaps it just seemed that much longer! It would be a better option than Ship Creek. You get some nice forest and a beach view.

How long do you plan to have in Wanaka? An hour or so?