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14 Day Itinerary

Reno, Nevada
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14 Day Itinerary

We have reviewed many posts and itineraries on TA and have come up with the following for our November/December trip. We will be spending flying in and out of Aukland and spending 14 days. We are travelling with our 10 year old son and almost 8 year old daughter. We are a very active and outdoorsy family, so please give us your thoughts on the following trip. We will be renting a car, so we are completely flexible on our travel.

Day 1 Fly Aukland to Nelson

Night 1 Havelock

Day 2 Pelorus River Raft tour

Night 2 Nelson

Day 3 Abel Tasman hike

Night 3 Nelson

Day 4 Travel to Franz Joseph (big day of driving, but wanted to get south)

Night 4 Franz Joseph

Day 5 Hike around Franz Joseph, travel to Wanaka

Night 5 Wanaka

Day 6 Puzzletown, explore Wanaka, travel to Queenstown

Night 7/8 QT

Day 7/8 QT activities, jet boat ride, bungy jump, luge, possible Glenorchy trip to horseback ride.

Day 9/10 Travel to Te Anau, explore and hike fjordland and Millford sound area.

Night 9/10 Te Anau

Day 11/12 Travel to Dunedin, Penguin viewing, horseback riding on beach, exploring

Night 11/12 Dunedin

Day 13 Fly Dunedin to Aukland

Night 13 Aukland

Day 14 Day tour to Hobbiton

Night 14 Flight leaves Aukland at midnight.

There are a few things on this that are must do's for us, but for the most part our trip is flexible. Please give us your thoughts on the amount of driving per day and any recommendations on activities in each location.



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1. Re: 14 Day Itinerary

I would fly into Blenheim instead of Nelson, if the intent is to overnight at Havelock (starting point for barrel tour). There are nonstop flights from Auckland. The road between Havelock and Nelson is heavily trafficked by logging trucks. It's a 2-lane, winding road. Those trucks come at you from the opposing direction and take all of their lane and some of yours! It's a road to drive once, not twice.

I think you should drop Dunedin. Day 4 is a crazy long day of driving, and the drive on Day 5 is going to take 3/4s of the day! So two long days on the road and very little time to explore the glaciers - probably only time to do the loop of Lake Matheson and maybe a quick walk up to the terminal face of Fox and rush off. I'd break up Day 4's driving at Punakaiki, Westport, or Hokitika. You could spend the extra day available (by dropping Dunedin) with either a 2nd night at glaciers, a 3rd night at Wanaka, or a 3rd night at Queenstown.

Also, if you drop Dunedin, then route yourself directly from Wanaka to Te Anau, and save all the days at Queenstown for last.

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2. Re: 14 Day Itinerary

One more thought..... if wanting to hike Abel Tasman, there are better places to base yourself than Nelson, which is an hour away from the NP. You are better off at Kaiteriteri, Marahau, or Motueka.

Reno, Nevada
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3. Re: 14 Day Itinerary

Thanks for the input, we will definitely consider your recommendations. One of our must do's though, was view the penguins in the Dunedin area, unless there is another place that can be done. Lake Matheson is a definite hike we want to do, but to be honest exploring the glaciers themselves really isn't on our list, my wife and I have been to Alaska and have mountaineered extensively, so glaciers are something we've already experienced on several occasions.

Flying into Blenheim does sound like a better option, so we will definitely change that part.

We didn't realize Day 5 would be such a long day of driving though. Looking at mileage charts is one thing, but not knowing the roads themselves and how long each leg should take is another. Thanks for pointing out the time that drive will take.

Christchurch, New...
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for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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4. Re: 14 Day Itinerary

Both days 4 & 5 are unreasonably long. You might cope but they will be unpleasant for the girls.

If you don't want to see the glaciers, why not take the inland route via Mt Cook instead?

1. Fly to Nelson; stay Kaiteriteri 2N

2. Explore ATNP

3. Drive to Havelock - Raft trip

4. Drive to Chch (2N)

OPTION 1. Via Dunedin

6. Drive to Dunedin 2N

7. Explore Otago Peninsula

8. Drive to Te Anau 2N

9. Milford Sound

10. Drive to QTN 3N

11/12 explore

13. Fly to Hamilton or Rotorua - if you dropped the 2nd night in Chch you could stay 2 N in Rotorua.

14. Explore Hobbiton; drive to Auckland

OPTION 2. Via Mt Cook

Day 5. Day trip to Akaroa to see penguins & dolphins

6. Drive to Lake Tekapo or Mt Cook

7. Hiking in Aoraki/Mt Cook NP; stay Mt Cook

8. Drive to QTN 2-3 N

10 or 11 drive to Te Anau 2N

12 or 13. Drive to QTN; Fly to Rotorua....

New Zealand
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for South Island
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5. Re: 14 Day Itinerary

And here's a woolly wee hybrid just to confuse you more :)

1 arrive Auckland, fly to Dunedin

2 explore

3 drive to Queenstown

4 explore

5 bus to Milford Sound, cruise, scenic flight to Q'town - ultimate trip!

6 drive to Wanaka, Puzzling World

7 drive Haast Pass to Fox - allow all day for drive with stops for waterfalls, short walks

8 walk Lake Matheson, drive to Punakaiki

9 drive to Havelock, raft trip

10 drive to Kaiteriteri

11 hike/kayak Abel Tasman

12 fly Nelson to Rotorua

13 explore

14 explore Hobbiton, drive to Auckland

Happy travels :)

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6. Re: 14 Day Itinerary

I bow to the locals for coming up with plausible itinerary options!

My only concern with WL's itinerary is on Day 9 - It's a 5 hour drive to Havelock and the tour begins at 1pm. There would be no room for dawdling! I raised boys and they slept - they slept in and they slept well when they were that age!

7. Re: 14 Day Itinerary

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