This will be our 3rd trip to New Zealand as my husband and I absolutely love it! I have done some considerable planning for this trip this time as while the past two trips were wonderful, I've realised we missed so many things! A possible reason for this is that we tried to cover too much distance and therefore missed many of the sights.
So our trip this time is for the South Island only, we are coming in mid-August and this time will have 2 young children with us. We will be travelling in a motorhome as we did the previous two trips (both early September). Some of the attractions we have seen twice before but really want our children to see this time. Although there is a lot this time that we have never seen/been to before.
After all this planning I am concerned that we will be trying to cover too much distance - exactly what I wanted to avoid! Also am I trying to fit too much in?
So here is what I have got:
Day 1: Arrive Christchurch & stay the night at hotel
Day 2: Pick up motorhome & drive to Kaikoura
Day 3: Kaikoura to Nelson (via Queen Charlotte Drive) I've calculated that this is the longest travel day in the trip - is the QCD worth it and safe to drive in a motorhome?
Day 4: Nelson to Lake Rotoiti (Happy Valley Adventures in the morning)
Day 5: Lake Rotoiti to Greymouth (Stopping at Buller Gorge; hopefully visiting Punakaiki at high tide)
Day 6: Greymouth to Franz Josef (Walk to Glacier)
Day 7: Franz Josef to Lake Paringa (30 min Heli ride; Walk to Glacier; stopping at Lake Matheson)
Day 8: Lake Paringa to Wanaka
Day 9: Wanaka to Queenstown (Shotover Jet)
Day 10: Queenstown (Gondola; sightseeing)
Day 11: Queenstown to Te Anau (7pm Glow worm tour)
Day 12: Te Anau - Milford Sound Day trip - Te Anau
Day 13: Te Anau to Orepuki
Day 14: Orepuki to Catlins
Day 15: Catlins to Moeraki
Day 16: Moeraki to Aoraki/Mt Cook
Day 17: Aoraki/Mt Cook to Lake Tekapo
Day 18: Lake Tekapo to Christchurch
Day 19: Depart Christchurch