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8 days -- focus or sprint?

Dallas, Texas
4 posts
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8 days -- focus or sprint?

Hi all,

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!

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11,891 posts
51 reviews
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1. Re: 8 days -- focus or sprint?


With such a short amount of time and sharing similar interests this it what we would do:.

Day 1. Fly to and Chill in Queenstown.

Day 2. Queentown to Aoraki/Mt Cook

Day 3. Aoraki/Mt Cook

Day 4. Aoraki/Mt Cook to Wanaka

Day 5. Wanaka

Day 6. Wanak to Queenstown

Day 7. Fly/Cruise/Heli/Fly tour of Fiordland

Day 8 Depart Queenstown

Also not sure if you have eight days or only six if you lose a day on arrival and departure?


Edited: 01 January 2014, 23:46
San Diego...
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2. Re: 8 days -- focus or sprint?

We are visiting NZ in March. This is what I plan to do. Feedbacks are appreciated;

Day 1: Arrive in Christchurch, stay in Christchurch

Day 2: Drive to Mt. Cook, stay in Mt Cook.

Day 3: Explore Mt. Cook. Stay in Mt. Cook.

Day 4: Drive (early morning) to Wanaka, stay in Wanaka.

Day 5: Drive (early morning) to Fox Glacier, stay in Fox Glacier

Day 6: Drive to Wanaka, stay in Wanaka,

Day 7: Drive to Queenstown, Stay in Queenstown,

Day 8: Visit Milford Sound, stay in Queenstown.

Day 9: Explore Queenstown for half day and catch flight in the afternoon.

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
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28,297 posts
81 reviews
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3. Re: 8 days -- focus or sprint?

TC - I think Oz has offered a great looking itinerary which takes in some stunning scenery.

the only change I suggest - bus to Milford - I think the Milford Road the highlight of Fiordland. The ultimate trip from Queenstown - bus there, cruise, fly back by helicopter.

HMC - welcome to the forum :)

Posting your itinerary in another members thread tends to cause massive confusion. it is far more simple, and far more polite, to create your own thread to discuss your travel plans - and yes, your plans do need help.

So click on ask a question to begin your own thread and you will be helped :)

Dallas, Texas
4 posts
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4. Re: 8 days -- focus or sprint?

Thanks for the input, Oz and WLnz. The number of options are overwhelming. It's hard to narrow it down to a manageable amount. Your proposed itineraries are a big help. Thanks!

5. Re: 8 days -- focus or sprint?

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