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Punakaiki and Akaroa

Singapore, Singapore
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159 posts
219 reviews
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Punakaiki and Akaroa

Hi all

To visit these two towns, I will need to detour quite a lot from the usual anti-clockwise route.

I understand that there is the pancake rocks in Punakaiki and the beautiful French town in Akaroa.

However, it it worthwhile to detour to go to these 2 places, in view of the limited travel duration?

TIA.

Cardiff
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135 posts
73 reviews
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1. Re: Punakaiki and Akaroa

I visited very recently.

I didn't visit Punakaiki but I did visit Akaroa and decided to stay an extra night.

There is a terrific scenic drive from the centre of Akaroa which will let you see the harbour and town from a lovely panoramic view up on high from one side to the other.

You can either use it as a circular drive back to base or use it to drive from Akaroa to eventually return to Christchurch.

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
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2. Re: Punakaiki and Akaroa

Your earlier itineraries included Punakaiki.

What do you now intend? - if you post your itinerary/dates etc, we can possibly suggest a way to include one or both.

Christchurch, New...
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for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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3. Re: Punakaiki and Akaroa

Punakaiki can be quite easily fitted into an itinerary that includes the glaciers and/or Nelson without backtracking.

Akaroa does require backtracking as there is only one road in, but it can be done as an easy half/full day trip from Chch and you can do a dolphin cruise there if you are not going to Kaikoura.

Singapore, Singapore
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159 posts
219 reviews
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4. Re: Punakaiki and Akaroa

Hi all

My itinerary as follows:

D1

Arrive Christchurch 10am

Drive to Punakaiki, stopping by Castle Hill, Arthur’s pass.

I know this is a long drive after an overnight flight, that’s why I put up this post.

D2

Drive to Franz Josef, stopping by Hokitika town, Hokitika gorge.

D3

Franz Josef

D4

Drive to Wanaka, stopping by Fox, Lake Matheson.

D5

Skiing at Cardrona.

Stay at Wanaka.

D6

Visit Puzzling World in the morning.

Drive to Te Anau

D7

Coach tour to Milford Sound.

Stay at Te Anau

D8

Drive to Queenstown

D9

Quenstown

D10

Drive to Mt Cook

D11

Drive to Lake Tekapo

D12

Drive to Akaroa

D13

Drive to ChristChurch

Appreciate your inputs.

TIA.

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
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28,297 posts
81 reviews
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5. Re: Punakaiki and Akaroa

1 arrive Christchurch - please do NOT drive after a sleepless night

2 drive to Punakaiki

3 drive to Franz Josef

4 explore

5 drive to Wanaka

6 ski

7 drive to te Anau

8 bus tour Milford Sound, stay Te Anau

9 drive to Queenstown

10 explore

11 drive to Aoraki/Mt Cook

12 lunch in Tekapo, drive to Akaroa

13 drive to Christchurch

Hope this helps :)

Singapore, Singapore
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159 posts
219 reviews
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6. Re: Punakaiki and Akaroa

Hi WL

Thanks for the suggestion.

I will like to stay a night in Lake Takapo. Is it worth it to take away Punakaiki or Akaroa for it?

I don't intend to stay the first night in Christchurch but will like to cut down the driving time.

What will be a good place to stay for the night enroute from Christchurch to Punakaiki?

I had considered Wilderness Lodge (Arthur's Pass) and Pete's Farmstay (Rangiora) for my first night.

However, when I saw Wilderness's rates, I struck it off.

For Pete's, it is out of the way i.e. not enroute and I am not sure if it is a good idea to stay in a farm during winter (as the activities/experiences may be minimal). Moreover, I intend to go for the TSS Earnshaw which comes with a farm experience.

Appreciate your inputs.

TIA.

New Zealand
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for South Island
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7. Re: Punakaiki and Akaroa

So in the 24 hours before arriving in Chch at 10am, how much sleep will you have had?

Singapore, Singapore
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159 posts
219 reviews
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8. Re: Punakaiki and Akaroa

Minimally 5hrs of sleep.

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
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28,297 posts
81 reviews
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9. Re: Punakaiki and Akaroa

as I said earlier - spend the first day and night in Chch - jet lagged drivers have accidents, some fatal.

Christchurch
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10. Re: Punakaiki and Akaroa

Yes, please do stay in Christchurch for your first night. Then drive to Punakaiki via Arthur's Pass and take the road around Lake Brunner, past Moana to Punakaiki. That way you will not be "back tracking" on too much of the same road. It is a gorgeous ride that way too. You might like to stop at the Castle Rock formations after Porter's Pass as well. They are well worth a look. And if you stop for a walk or two at Arthur's Pass and then a quick look at Moana then the trip from Christchurch to Punakaiki could easily take you the entire day.