Hi fellow travelers and destination experts,
I'm arriving in Christchurch the last week of January and staying on the island for 4 weeks. I've read many posts on this forum, read some guidebooks and reviewed the info on NewZealand.com. I'm a reasonably fit 60 year old and travel extensively. I will be renting a car.
I have noted from others' itineraries that there is often only one or two nights at a destination and considerable driving each day. My preference when traveling is to try to settle into a location for a week or so and then move on to another place for a week or so, etc. I like getting to know an area and I don't like packing and unpacking every day. Essentially, I like to find great spots and chill out. This can include day trips for sightseeing, hiking, excursions etc. I don't feel the need to cover the whole island on this trip.
So, with this in mind, can you suggest 3-4 locations where this would best work for me on the South Island. My short list is (not necessarily in this order):
Abel Tasman area (which town for home base?)
Milford Sound (which town for home base?)
Caitlins (which town for home base?)
I'm wary of Queenstown because I get the sense that the feel might be very touristic.
I really appreciate your input on this.