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15 Day South Island Itinerary Feedback

Sydney, Australia
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15 Day South Island Itinerary Feedback

Hi All,

We are a young married couple flying out to explore NZ next week for 15 days, and I am just seeking some final remarks about our itinerary, and also advice on what not to miss at each location. We are not experienced hikers or adventurers, but are active and wanting to see as much as we can. Note: The activities and sights are our options- we don't plan to do them all!

** Also Note: We have 1 night free/flexible for extra stays at any of the above places or in between.

Day 1: Arrive Christchurch (around 3pm)

Day 2: Christchurch to Kaikoura

-Encounters with whales and dolphins along Kaikoura coastline

-Ohau Stream Seal Pups Walk (Free)

-Kaikoura Peninsula Walk (Free)

Day 3: Kaikoura to Nelson

-Vineyards of Marlborough

-Wharariki Beach Walk inc. Seal Pups and Swimming (Free)

-Abel Tasman Coast Track Walk & Swimming (Free) or hire bikes?

-Kayak Abel Tasman Park (from $80pp)

Day 4: Nelson to Greymouth (although we've had people suggest it isn't worth staying overnight in Greymouth)

-Blowholes at Punakaiki & Pancake Rocks (free)

-Devils Punchbowl Falls (1hr drive)

Day 5: Greymouth to Fox Glacier

Day 6: Spend at Glacier Region

-Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers

-Lake Matheson

Day 7: Fox Glacier to Queenstown

Day 8: At Queenstown

-Queenstown Gardens and lakeside track

-Queenstown Skyline Gondola & Luge

-KJet ($119 1 hr)

-Skipper Jet ($129 3 hr)

-Huge array of other activities

Day 9: Queenstown to Te Anau

-Glow-worms of Te Anau

Day 10: Milford Sound day trip from Te Anau

-The drive is rated as one of the world’s best

-Cruising past Mitre Peak to the Open Sea

-Kayak Tour

Day 11: Te Anau to Dunedin

-Scottish Heritage of Dunedin

-Otago Peninsula with rich marine life and Larnach castle

-Tunnel Beach Track (free)

Day 12: Dunedin to Oamaru

Day 13: Oamaru to Christchurch for flight home (around 3pm).

Thanks, any suggestions would be much appreciated!

Auckland Central...
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1. Re: 15 Day South Island Itinerary Feedback

Fair bit of travelling is the only thing I'd say..... Approx 2,500 kilometres. Or about 35 hours driving. This excludes any side trips you may want to do - but could easily add another 12-15 hours drive time onto the trip - put it this way, a working week driving around the South Island?

I think you need to drop something, whether it be Nelson and surrounds, or Dunedin/Oamaru.

You will want to spend at least a full day in Queenstown, and at least an afternoon/evening in Wanaka.

Christchurch, New...
Destination Expert
for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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2. Re: 15 Day South Island Itinerary Feedback

I also feel you have underestimated driving times. EG :

3. Kaikoura to Nelson - but you actually want to go to ATNP - this is a total of 4:30hr just driving, without counting the winery visits in Blenheim. You will be pushed for time to do a half day walk or kayak & then you plan to turn round & drive back to Nelson.

4. Punakaiki is a better place to stay than Greymouth. This would allow time to visit the Tauranga Bay seal colony at Cape Foulwind, out from Westport. The Devils Punchbowl is at Arthurs Pass so a fairly major detour.

I note that you do have 3 two-night stays which is good - just be prepared for long days & the need to priotitise your stops & activities.

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3. Re: 15 Day South Island Itinerary Feedback

The extra day you have should be spent at Nelson or spend both those days closer to ATNP, such as Kaiteriteri or Marahau. That way, you'll have time to actually do the activities there. ATNP is about an hour away from Nelson.

4. Re: 15 Day South Island Itinerary Feedback

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