My wife and I will be visiting South Island from the US for 8 days in Feb. Having relied on TA locals for itinerary advice in the past, I know the most common mistake everyone makes no matter the destination is to try to cover too much ground. Our initial plan was to fly into either ZQN or CHC cover the entire island either in a loop flying out of our original entry point or departing from the other (i.e., ZQN->CHC or CHC->ZQN), but now I'm not sure if we'd be better off limiting our itinerary.
My question -- For 8 days does it make more sense to focus on ZQN / southern half rather than trying to cover the entire island? If it helps, we'll be renting a car and our biggest interests for this trip are hiking, scenery, and wildlife.
Thanks in advance for the input!