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SI Itinerary

UK
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SI Itinerary

Hello - Myself and hubby (both late 30s) are visiting the South Island at the start of November and would very much appreciate any comments or suggestions on our itinerary or if anything is missing from this that we just HAVE to see. We like scenery and are happy that this will involve a bit of driving in places:

Day 1 - arrive Queenstown, collect car and explore

Day 2 - more exploring and possible activities - jet boat or paragliding possibly

Day 3 - drive to Te Anau, visit glow worm caves

Day 4 - drive to Milford Sound and back to Te Anau

Day 5 - drive to Wanaka

Day 6 - drive to Franz Joseph or Fox - not really concerned with a tour here. Stood on a glacier before, it was cold(!)

Day 7 - Drive to Hokitika

Day 8 - Cross Arthurs Pass to Christchurch

Day 9 - explore Christchurch

Day 10 - depart :-(

I'm a bit concerned about driving the Milford road and Arthurs Pass as I've read so many conflicting reports - Will Arthurs Pass be OK at this time of year (mid November) - we will have a normal car and are both confident drivers and I assume both roads are fully sealed (unlike our excursion in the North Island a few years back, where we inadvertently took an unsealed road that was hair-raising!)

Thanks

California
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1. Re: SI Itinerary

I don't think you'll have any problems with road conditions that time of year.

However, I would take the day from Christchurch at the end and add it to Wanaka. Otherwise, I think you have a well-planned, well-paced, trip.

Christchurch, New...
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2. Re: SI Itinerary

I have to disagree and say that a day in Chch is going to add contrast to the mountains & lakes. You could go swimming with dolphins (or just watch them from a boat) at Akaroa or simply enjoy Punting in the Park & a stroll around the Botanic Gardens. November is a great month for gardens in Chch.

New Zealand
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3. Re: SI Itinerary

You will be left wishing you had longer in Wanaka :)

Where will you be the 24 hours before landing in Queenstown?

if anywhere other than in NZ best not plan to spend the first day in NZ driving around. Jet legged drivers are killer drivers. Most activities will collect from a central location or from your accommodation so no need to drive.

Are you set on driving up the West Coast? I think the splendid scenery of Lindis Pass and Aoraki/Mt Cook trumps the WC. And while you may have stood on a glacoer before, I bet you haven't cruised amongst icebergs on a terminal lake.

You could;

3 drive to Te Anau

4 explore Milford

5 drive to Wanaka

6 explore Mt Aspiring National park

7 drive Lindis Pass to Aoraki/Mt Cook - gorgeous drive

8 drive to Christchurch

9 explore

10 fly out

http://www.glacierexplorers.com/

UK
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4. Re: SI Itinerary

Thanks for the comments everyone.

We will have already spent a while in the North Island when we fly into Queenstown so won't be driving anywhere whilst badly jet lagged.

My main reason for choosing the west coast route was to drive across Arthurs Pass but I guess we could do that as a day trip from Christchurch on the last day. Would it take all day to drive from Christchurch to the village, have an amble around and then get back?

Christchurch, New...
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5. Re: SI Itinerary

If you don't mind driving quite long distances each day (3-5 hr) and having mostly 1 N stays, I think your itinerary is fine as it is, with the suggestion that you do local activities in QTN on the first day to save on rental car costs & parking. Driving via the West Coast is longer as you have to cross TWO alpine passes, but the scenery is spectacular.

WLnz's itinerary is more relaxing & has the additional 2 N stay in Wanaka.

There is no wrong answer - you'll have to come back for more next year!

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6. Re: SI Itinerary

Having done a lot more googleing and checking, I'm thinking that WLnz's idea is a good one - Wanaka looks lovely and it would be a shame to just spend a single night there and the route up to Mount Cook looks just like I'm expecting the scenery to be.

In order to make our itinerary as flexible as possible, I'd like to not book overnight accommodation in advance but just turn up and find somewhere to stay (B&B or Motel) - would this be a good idea in November - I'm hoping as it is outside main holiday season, we will be able to find overnight stays easily. Has anyone got any thoughts on this approach? Or any suggestions on locations that I SHOULD book in advance?

Thanks again all.

California
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7. Re: SI Itinerary

You know you are going to need the last night in Christchurch, so I would book that at least a couple of days or more ahead of time. Things have eased up some, but because of all the construction work, rooms are at a premium.

If there is a price range you want to adhere to, I'd prebook Mount Cook as well. It's a tiny village and has limited accommodation options. We very much liked the Aoraki Court Motel.

New Zealand
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8. Re: SI Itinerary

As mentioned, book Chch and Aoraki/Mt Cook well in advance.

If wanting motels you will be fine turning up in Queenstown, Te Anau, Wanaka with no booking. You will need to work a bit harder if wanting B&B's - if there are no bookings for the day the owners might be off somewhere.

I see no advantage in not booking ahead.

http://www.newzealand.com/int/accommodation/

http://www.wotif.co.nz

It's a good looking trip enjoy :)

9. Re: SI Itinerary

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