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14 day South Island itinerary - include Dunedin?

Brisbane, Australia
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14 day South Island itinerary - include Dunedin?

Hi, just looking for anyone willing to provide some feedback on the below itinerary for a trip in and out of Christchurch in February (6th-20th) where we will be travelling (by rental car) with an 8 month old.

The topics I'm wondering about are:

1. Whether or not to include Dunedin - mostly interested in wildlife (seals/sea lions/penguins and scenery/stop here and on the way here (and perhaps the Cadbury factory), so I guess I'm wondering if it is worth the "detour" in our itinerary or can I get much of this further up the east coast and it could be worth spending the time elsewhere?

2. Any comments on whether to do it clockwise or anti-clockwise, considerations being: dates of travel, difference in scenery aspect, flexibility in keeping Dunedin optional towards end of trip instead of start.

Planned overnight stays are:

Christchurch - (flight arrives 3pm..understand it is Waitangi day and won't do much on this afternoon)

Mount Cook

Dunedin

Dunedin

Te Anau (idea for one night here is possibly glow worm caves the afternoon of arriving, with Milford tour the next morning, driving through to QT/Wanaka that afternoon/evening)

Queenstown or Wanaka

Queenstown or Wanaka

Queenstown or Wanaka

Queenstown or Wanaka

Fox or Franz Josef

Fox or Franz Josef

Christchurch

Christchurch

Christchurch (flight departs around 3pm the following day)

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
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28,297 posts
74 reviews
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1. Re: 14 day South Island itinerary - include Dunedin?

the more scenic route

1 arrive Chch

2 drive to Franz

3 explore

4 drive to Wanaka

5 explore

6 drive to Dunedin

7 explore

8 drive to Te Anau

9 explore Milford, stay te Anau

10 drive to Queenstown

11 explore

12 drive to Aoraki/Mt Cook

13 drive to Chch

14 explore

15 fly out

Brisbane, Australia
4 posts
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2. Re: 14 day South Island itinerary - include Dunedin?

Thank you WanakaLakes for your advice and the speedy reply! I hadn't thought of doing it that way and so I'll definitely consider it now, especially if it has a couple more scenic drives.

One question if you don't mind - do you think with that time in Chch at the end that we could fit in trips to both Hanmer Springs and Akaroa? Presumably Akaroa on the day from Mount cook and then Hanmer Springs the next day.

Our main interest with Akaroa would be to see or swim with the Hectors dolphins...so I'm now wondering if there are any other opportunities on this itinerary to see dolphins instead?

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
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74 reviews
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3. Re: 14 day South Island itinerary - include Dunedin?

That would work

13 drive to Akaroa

14 drive to Hanmer Springs

15 drive to Chch, fly out

You might see dolphins and penguins at Milford. Sometimes Orcas too, but that is rare.

Christchurch, New...
Destination Expert
for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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4. Re: 14 day South Island itinerary - include Dunedin?

What would you do with the baby while you swim with the dolphins?

I feel that you need to spend the morning of the 13th at Mt Cook once you have gone all that way.

I suggest you only have time for either Akaroa OR Hanmer Springs, unless the weather is bad in Mt Cook.

Brisbane, Australia
4 posts
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5. Re: 14 day South Island itinerary - include Dunedin?

She is quite a strong swimmer for her age :) No, I'm thinking only one of us would get to do the swim...either that or it's just a viewing trip.

Thanks again for the suggestions!

Brisbane, Australia
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6. Re: 14 day South Island itinerary - include Dunedin?

Hi again - I am liking the look of this itinerary and will most likely go with these routes now...........I am just wondering if there was any particular reason to do it in this direction, or would the experience be much the same (assuming it fit with our activities/times) if it went:

Christchurch-Mt Cook-Queenstown-Te Anau-Dunedin-Wanaka-Franz Josef-Christchurch

If not then we might just decide based on accommodation availability or flexibility with destinations/dates.

Thank you

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
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28,297 posts
74 reviews
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7. Re: 14 day South Island itinerary - include Dunedin?

arthur's pass most scenic heading west

haast pass more scenic south

lindis pass most scenic north

8. Re: 14 day South Island itinerary - include Dunedin?

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