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South Island Itinerary

Ahmedabad, India
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18 posts
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South Island Itinerary

We are 3 families - 6 adults + 4 children (all 8+ years). planning to visit SI in April - May 2014. Reaching Dunedin, will self drive through out and return from Christchurch with 15-16 days to spare in SI. We intend to do skydiving, jet safari, and bungee. Pl. give your suggestions -

1) Probable itinerary

2) We have heard about the scenic beauty of Otago Peninsula. How much time will it take from Dunedin ? Can we cover Dunedin wildlife safari and Otago in 1.5 days ?

3) What about going to Milford Sound and skipping Doubtful Sound ?

4) We intend to take a helicopter ride but dont intend to go for hiking. In that case, what is the opinion on skipping Franz Josef and just going to Mt. Cook ?

5) Ideally how many days should we spend in Queenstown ?

6) Which is a better place to go for whale watching ? and Dolphin watching ?


New Zealand
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66 posts
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1. Re: South Island Itinerary

Dunedin - do the Taiere Gorge Rail trip and/or cruise out to the albatross colony on the peninsula

The Catlins - blow hole, yellow eyed penguins, dolphins, seals and lighthouse

Invercargill - pyramid museum, queens park, tuatara, worlds fastest indian beach (oreti beach, drive on)

Bluff - the famous signpopst and views of stewart Island from Bluff hill.

Te Anau then Homer Tunnel then through to Milford Sound

Queenstown - shotover jetboat, bungy jump, paraglide, parasail

Wanaka then the glaciers then Hokitika - glow worms- Greymouth - shantytown

Arthurs Pass through to CHCH,

Day trip north to Kaikoura for whale watching

Dunedin to central otago, is less than 2 hours (depending on where u go)

Wildlife is best seen in the Catlins (1.5 hours drive south of dunedin)(dolphins, seals, penguins, all for free)

Both Milford Sound and Doubtful Sounds are good, but best bet is to do Milford Sound, has more variety of boat trips and shops where as Doubtful Sound has no shops. The drive in to Milford Sound via the Homer Tunnel is amazing, however it is the only way in and only way out. (u can't drive into Doubtful Sound, you will have to do a tour

Helicopter the glaciers and drive into Mt Cook for views, (depending on weather)

Queenstown spend 3 nights, even do a half day trip up to Glenorchy (top of the lake) more peaceful and also visit Lake Moke

Kaikoura for whale watching and The Catlins for dolphins (curio bay)

Have fun!

Christchurch, New...
Destination Expert
for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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32,089 posts
330 reviews
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2. Re: South Island Itinerary

Just a tip since you have 15-16 days - it is much cheaper to return a rental car to the place you picked it up plus there are more 2nd tier companies in Chch so I recommend you consider a circular itinerary from Chch south via FJG to Wanaka- Te Anau/Milford Sound- Dunedin- Queenstown- Mt Cook- Chch - 2 N in each place.

The Otago Peninsula is a very short distance from Dunedin eg under 30 min to Portobello, but since a lot of the wildlife sites are on private land, I recommend taking a tour eg Elm Wildlife. They leave in the mid afternoon & get back after dark.

3. Re: South Island Itinerary

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