This is our first NZ trip. Any thoughts on the proposed itinerary would be greatly appreciated.
We fly into Auck 5/25 and fly out 5/14. We ended up with a last-minute plan and already made ticketing and car rental errors that cannot be undone (like flying in and out of Auckland!). We plan to mix accommodations: hotels, B&Bs and tent camping. We are in our late 40's, reasonable shape, interested in hiking and photography. We need about 3 more months to scratch the surface of what we want to do!
2/25 Arrive Auck 5:30, pick up car, sleep in airport hotel, try to recover from jet lag.
12/26 supplement camping gear, see Auckland
12/27-12/29: Head to Taupo/Turangi/ Rotura. Should we base ourselves in Taupo? Tongariro Crossing is priority on 12/28 with 12/29 as back up date. Not sure where to stay yet – maybe tent camping. No caves planned but will see the other sites.
If we do crossing on 12/28, 12/29 we will drive to Napier, O/N there and then get to Wellington on 12/30. If we end up 12/29 with crossing, we will drive to Wellington in one day on 12/30. O/N Wellington
12/31 – 9am Ferry to Picton [car ferry ticket sold out] Pick up new car in Picton, short hike on Charlotte Queen Track, stay at Okiwa Bay Lodge in Anakiwa on NYE.
1/1-1/3 We are deciding between extra day hikes on CQT and 2 days 1 night in tent in AT or 3 day AT hike, 2 night tent camp. Any thoughts on that plan and where we should base ourselves? Also, are there transport services to take our gear and drop it at the camps in between hikes that do not cost hundreds of dollars? The guided trips seem great but extremely expensive..
1/3 O/N Nelson after AT hike?
1/4- Drive to Punakaki ,Greymouth, etc. O/N in Punakaki
1/5 If Haas pass is ok by January, head down the west coast to Wanaka/QT. If Haas pass is not ok, we will skip Fox and instead drive Arthur's Pass. If the latter where should we stip between Nelson and Wanaka
1/6 -1/8 Should we base at Wanaka, Queenstown or Arrowhead?
1/9 -1/11 O/N at Te Anau - do Milford Day Hike, Routeborn Day Hike, Doubtful Sound Cruise or Milford sound cruise or 2 day Routeburn in tent if weather permits, skip Milford Sound. Is it worth it to do both sounds or try to do Milford Day Hikes?
1/11 Maybe fit in morning hike and drive to Mt Cook O/N
1/12 - Mueller Ridge Day Hike O/N Mt Cook
1/13 Drive to CC, 5:30 Flight cc to auk, stay at airport hotel, home 9am 1/14. Fly home