In 6 days I am flying to New Zealand for a 20 day/19 night vacation. I fly into Nelson and out of Queenstown. The one thing that makes planning an itinerary difficult is I am traveling with someone in the middle of their 40 day trip to New Zealand and they're not going to want to see stuff twice, so I'm only going to visit the South Island and even then just part.
Our plan is to mainly do hiking/outdoor activities (no surprise there). We will be doing a couple multi-day (3-4) treks (tents, not huts) plus day hikes. We're starting out with the Abel Tasman for nights 2-4 (already booked) before possibly getting a rental car in Nelson (discovered bus transport is too infrequent, and we don't want to have to wait for bus rides - unless someone has a good alternative).
From there our plan is to head south and see the Fox or Franz Josef Glacier before heading to Wanaka - realizing that is quite a drive so we'll take a couple days. Any suggested side trips as we make our way down the west coast, or would it best to just make our way south?
If it's worth the time, we were thinking about making a side trip to Mt Cook and surrounding areas. Is it worth the time to head up there?
From Mt Cook or Wanaka we'll go to Queenstown and explore the area and then depending on whether we do the Routeburn or Kepler Tracks will determine the logistics of the way we get around. Any suggestions? After that region, I will then fly out.
We are very flexible on our timeline and would possibly be interested in a multi-day trek in the middle of the trip - somewhere in the Wanaka/Mt Cook timeframe
2-4: Abel Tasman
5-6: Glaciers and travel south
9-10: Mt Cook
14-16: Kepler or Routeburn
17-18: Around Te Anau
19: Queenstown before departure
As for the rental car, my impression is that while there are buses connecting the towns it's like a once a day thing. We will probably return the car in Queenstown when we first arrive since it seems bus transport is easier around those parts. Any tips on public transportation in case we don't get the rental car?
I've traveled internationally a number of times, but this is the first time where I'm doing primarily outdoor activities. Given the length of time, diversity in weather I have to be prepared for, and the extra stuff for camping is making packing a little more difficult.
What I have found online is for either backpacking 3-4 nights (on its own) or general travel for a few weeks, but not a combination of both. Do you have any tips on things to bring or any packing lists you think are appropriate for this sort of trip?
We plan to rent a tent. But would it be worth carrying a stove or renting one of them as well? Any general tips on renting gear?