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Queenstown to Milford Sound & Franz Josef

Surat, India
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Queenstown to Milford Sound & Franz Josef

Hi guys

Seeking advice for a friend

Intent to self drive everywhere

They are a couple on honeymoon reaching ZQN on 15 dec'17 (10am) and returning on 21 morning/afternoon.

They have 6 complete days in hand and wish to do :

1. Skydiving

2. Nevis Swing

3. Milford Sound ( Including Day cruise)

4. Franz Josef

Doubts on:

1. Staying overnight in Te Anau ?

2. Stops on the drive to milford sound?

3. Staying overnight in Wanaka for Franz Josef?

4. Stops on Franz Josef drive

In short what will be the perfect itinerary for incorporating milford , fzj , qtn activities for 6 days?

They do not wish to do Overnight cruise as its far too expensive in Dec 2nd week.

Suggest if I am missing anything in a must-to-do list.

Edited: 04 August 2017, 15:15
21 replies to this topic
California
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1. Re: Queenstown to Milford Sound & Franz Josef

Visiting Franz Josef will take 3 days of their trip. I suggest it be removed from the list.

Queenstown, New...
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2. Re: Queenstown to Milford Sound & Franz Josef

As above, skip FJG, you don't have time. It's a day to get there, a day up there and a day home. If the weather isn't good and they can't even see the glacier then it's a long way to travel to see clouds! Better to stay around Te Anau, Queenstown and Wanaka. Loads to do and they can get out of their car and relax!

Christchurch, New...
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3. Re: Queenstown to Milford Sound & Franz Josef

I totally agree with the above posts - skip FJG and spend 2N in QTN, Te Anau, & Wanaka:

15. Arr QTN (2N) - explore town; gondola, TSS Earnslaw, jet boat ride etc

17. Drive to Te Anau (2N); glow worm caves in afternoon or evening

18. Day trip to Milford Sound

19. Drive Te Anau to Wanaka (2N)

20. Explore Wanaka - possibly drive out to Blue Pools, or Rob Roy Glacier hike

21. Return to QTN for flight home.

Surat, India
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4. Re: Queenstown to Milford Sound & Franz Josef

If I add a day more...

15 - Queenstown Sky Dive ( Is it possible to do Nevis swing on same day )

16 - Drive to Te Anu , glow worm caves etc

17 - Day Cruise Milford Sound

18 - Early morning depart for QT

19 - Drive to Franz Josef

20 - Spend night in Franz Josef

21 - Return to QT

22 - Catch return flight

Does this sound good

Queenstown, New...
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5. Re: Queenstown to Milford Sound & Franz Josef

A skydive will take a half day, I think they suggest to allow 3-4 hrs and I'd think Nevis would be similar but check with the operator. With your flight only landing at 10am I don't think you'll have time for both.

Franz to QT is a bare minimum of 5 hours drive allowing for no photo, toilet or rest breaks, really you to break up the trip with an overnight in Wanaka. The problem with your itinerary is that you have so much time on the road you don't have time to relax and take things in you'll spend half of your trip looking out of a windscreen. Also your skydive and I assume heli hike on the glacier are completely weather dependent and with it being such a packed schedule if the weather doesn't cooperate on day 1, you have no chance to reschedule things. You could probably do Milford Sound as part of a coach tour from Queenstown to save a day but even then, I personally think it's just too much to do the trip to Franz.

Surat, India
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6. Re: Queenstown to Milford Sound & Franz Josef

Thanks for the replies.

Sky Dive would be on 15 & nevis swing on 18 or vice versa.

Frnaz Josef I have kept 3 complete days so they can drive at their own pace.

I believe 10 hour drive spread out in 2 days and 1 day for sightseeing should be enough.

Similarly for Milford also , 1 day for te anau , next day day cruise and next morning they begin drive back.

I get your point in all it would be a lot of drive but I hope to cover both and the drive would be spread over 7 days. Ideally what should be the itinerary for QT , FZ , MS?

Christchurch, New...
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7. Re: Queenstown to Milford Sound & Franz Josef

QTN to FJG is not a 5 hr drive - it is a "5 hr minimum" drive. Most people take 6 hr just to drive Wanaka to FJG by the time you add photo opps, food/coffee/fuel/toilet stops.

In order to do this drive I always suggest 3.5 days minimum:

18. AM drive Te Anau to QTN, Nevis Swing; continue on to Wanaka

19. All day drive to FJG. Lake Matheson walk is time & weather permit

20. Explore/ skydive or heli-hike

21. Very long drive back to QTN (any chance they could fly out of CHC instead?).

One way to make this huge amount of driving work would be to stay nights 15-17 in QTN and take an all day coach trip to MS on day 16. This reduces the amount of driving & changing hotels etc.

Surat, India
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8. Re: Queenstown to Milford Sound & Franz Josef

Okay .

So just confirming... Franz Josef is worth the 3/3.5 day trip right?

ALso what stops to make on drive to FJ

Queenstown, New...
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9. Re: Queenstown to Milford Sound & Franz Josef

If you can wait until closer to the time to decide it would be best - but at last minute you may not get reservations. If the weather is good and you can get up on the air to the glacier, it's brilliant, you'll love it. But, if the weather is bad, there isn't a huge amount of things to do up there.

Surat, India
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10. Re: Queenstown to Milford Sound & Franz Josef

Hmm... I heard in December its pretty much summer there ... still the weather can be unpredictable?

Is there skydiving in FJ too as suggested by zhuhai2007 ?

Edited: 05 August 2017, 08:53
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