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13 Day Self Drive South Island Itinerary

Sydney, Australia
7 posts
1 review
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13 Day Self Drive South Island Itinerary

Hi,

My wife and I are planning our first trip to the south island. We are in our mid forties, fit and don’t mind packing a reasonable amount into our days.(who knows when we will get back)

We have been doing heaps of reading and research but would still appreciate any itinerary/accommodation/activity suggestions tips etc; from those who have done it all before!

We will be flying into Christchurch early March at around 3.30pm. We then have 12 nights to explore before flying out of Christchurch at around 5.00pm

Our list of activities will include some or all of the following (wallet permitting) hiking, kayaking, jet boat, fly fishing, Milford or Doubtful sound cruise (both?), heli /hike and may be a canyon swing or bungee.

So far our itinerary is looking a bit like this………

Christchurch 1 night

Mount Cook 2 nights

Dunedin 2 nights

Te Anau 2 nights

Queenstown 2 nights Wanaka or do it from Queenstown?

Somewhere to take in fox and Franz Josef? 2 nights

Back to Christchruch 5 pm fight. 1 night maybe?

Not sure on the amount of nights at each, should we stay longer or less at some places? I am wondering if 2 nights is enough in Queenstown?

Is going to Dunedin biting off too much?

cheers Russ

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
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28,297 posts
74 reviews
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1. Re: 13 Day Self Drive South Island Itinerary

Dunedin is lovely, but you will have longer in other places if you skip it.

You might wish to reverse your trip as the scenery is best going the other way - see here tripadvisor.com/…55140431

Christchurch, New...
Destination Expert
for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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30,918 posts
307 reviews
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2. Re: 13 Day Self Drive South Island Itinerary

Best to include a night in Wanaka if only to break up the long day from Glaciers to QTN (or VV).

Sydney, Australia
7 posts
1 review
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3. Re: 13 Day Self Drive South Island Itinerary

thanks WLnz, & zhuhai for your prompt reply this gives me more to think about. I am coming up with a couple of alternatives based on your info will post it up for your opinion. The virtual tour continues!

cheer Russ

Sydney, Australia
7 posts
1 review
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4. Re: 13 Day Self Drive South Island Itinerary

Ok I have put together a couple of options which should work going off your recommendations.

Option 1:

1 arrive Christchurch

2 drive to Franz Joseph

3 explore

4 drive to Wanaka

5 drive to Dunedin

6 explore

7 drive to Te Anau

8 explore

9 drive to Queenstown

10 explore

11 drive to Mt Cook

12 drive to Akaroa

13 drive to Christchurch home

Option 2:

1 arrive Christchurch

2 drive to Franz Joseph

3 explore

4 drive to Wanaka

5 explore/alternative

6 drive to Te Anau

7 explore

8 drive to Queenstown

9 explore

10 drive to Mt Cook

11 drive to Akaroa

12 explore/alternative

13 drive to Christchurch home

We are leaning towards option 2 but would like to be flexible. The /alternative days marked can be moved if need. Traveling between 8th and 21st of March we intend to book the glacier tour but then maybe not book to far ahead.

Should this be ok to do at this time of year?

Is there any other places or activities we need to lock in?

Cheers Russ

Edited: 09 January 2014, 23:40
New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
Level Contributor
28,297 posts
74 reviews
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5. Re: 13 Day Self Drive South Island Itinerary

Either is fine. A day to explore Wanaka is always a bonus.

It will take most of the day to drive Franz to Wanaka, with visitors averaging 6 hours for the drive with a couple of brief stops.

6. Re: 13 Day Self Drive South Island Itinerary

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