We're planning a trip to Queenstown, Te Anau and Invercargill this summer. The last time we drove around was more than 10yrs ago so there're some things I'm not sure of and hope you can help.
Christchurch to Queenstown
2 main route plans. Either through Benmore power station (My kid wants to see the dam) or lake Tekapo. I've been through both places a few times but haven't been to lake Tekapo during summer. Are the lupins still flowering now? Tough choice b'cos I think it'll be quite tiring to detour to otematata from omarama.
If I were to go pass Benmore, do I take highway 1, 82 then join to 83 or should I just do 1 then 83?
If I were to go pass lake Tekapo, is it worth it to do a detour along highway 77 and 72 then go through Geraldine or should I just go straight to Geraldine through 1?
We won't be doing any walks on the way to Queenstown, just some reststops (either Fairlie or Timaru dep on route we take) and stopping by at 45degree parallel sign at Cromwell. We'll probably leave the house around 8:30am and we don't mind arriving queenstown around 5-6pm.
Te Anau to Milford
I'm thinking realistically, there's no way I can catch 9am cruise if we drive up from Te Anau in the morning. The last time we were there one July, we decided to just sleep in and enjoy Te Anau and skip Milford. But this time round, with a kid, I shouldn't set bad examples .
How do you find the afternoon cruises? I read that mid-day ones are usually packed with tour groups and I'm trying to avoid it. Will 11am cruise be packed with tour groups?
Are the temperatures quite cold at Milford and doubtful sounds in summer? Can I get away with a fleece jacket and a sweater?
Te Anau to Invercargill
We'll be driving along the southern scenic route. I've never driven that route before so keeping my fingers cross.
I was thinking of making day trips to Slope point and drive around Catlin area. Is it doable? I think it's too late for me to try and get accomodation at Catlin area.
Also, are there any places that might still sell oysters this time of the yr?
Invercargill to Christchurch
I was thinking of just driving straight w/o overnight stop.
We drove Te Anau-Dunedin-christchurch in a day before. That trip we wanted to stay overnight at Dunedin but changed our minds when we got there. We were 10yrs younger then and it was in July so weather was nice and cool.
Lately, the heat's been really killing and I'm not sure how the weather will be like. Would you able to suggest any place that I might stay overnight at late notice if we find it too tiring along the way?
Thanks and have a great week ahead