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Queenstown home base for 1 week

Lynchburg, VA
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Queenstown home base for 1 week

My husband and I will be flying in to Auckland 11/5 from VA. Plan to stay 2 nights there and then fly to QTN on 11/7. Would like to rent home/apt and make day trips from here-Milford or Doubtful Sound (with flight/boat), Wanaka, Arrowtown, Glenorchy, Routeburn Track (partial hike)-with time for round of golf/wine tours if possbile. Also want to drive up west coast to Fox/Franz Joseph Glacier, do a heli hike, stay the night up there and return next day. Would love to see Mt Cook while there, but not sure how to fit it all in. We need to be back in Auckland on 11/16 for 11/17 flight home. Have not yet booked flights in and out of ZQN. Does this seem doable? Thanks.

13 replies to this topic
California
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1. Re: Queenstown home base for 1 week

Careful when writing dates. 11/5 would be considered May 11!

Consider doing the helihike at Mt Cook. You'll have to spend 3 days of your precious time to drive to Fox/FJG and back.

Sydney, Australia
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2. Re: Queenstown home base for 1 week

Here is a suggestion.

7/11 Arrive ZQN pick up car and drive to Arrowtown O/N

8/11 Drive Arrowtown to Te Anua 2N

9/11 Milford Sound Cruise

10/11 Drive Te Anua to Wanaka O/N

11/11 Wanak activities

12/11 Wanaka to Mt Cook

13/11 Morning Helihike and then drive to QTN

14/11 QTN activities

15/11 QTN activities

16/11 Fly ZQN to AKL

Lynchburg, VA
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3. Re: Queenstown home base for 1 week

So right!! November 5 is arrival, not May!

If I leave off Fox or Franz Joseph, then I'll miss that West Coast drive, by all reports beautiful, although long.

I'm trying to minimize in/out of lodging and suitcases. Can't I do the Sound trips out of Queenstown?

Thanks!

California
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4. Re: Queenstown home base for 1 week

The coach/cruise/fly tour from Queenstown would be the ultimate way to see Fiordland and it would certainly eliminate the packing and unpacking.

I've only been to Fox Glacier from the north and have not experienced Haast Pass. I will say from my experience that the road from Greymouth to Fox wasn't all that scenic - but maybe my view is colored because we drove the same road twice. North of Greymouth was a different story - it was gorgeous! However, we loved our helihike and there were many blue ice features to explore. Don't miss the walk at Lake Matheson - best done in the am before the wind ruffles the water. You can get great reflection photos of Mts Cook and Tasman (we favored the view from Reflection Island and it was a cool gantry as well).

If flights aren't booked yet, could you fly into Christchurch? You'd get the bonus of Arthur's Pass!

7th - arrive Christchurch

8th - drive to FJG/Fox via Arthurs Pass

9th- helihike

10th - drive to Wanaka (1 or 2 nights*)

11th - drive to Mt Cook (1 or 2 nights*)

12th - *

13th - drive to Queenstown via Arrowtown

14th - Milford Sound Coach/Cruise/Fly

15th - explore

16th - fly out

Edited: 14 October 2017, 00:08
Sydney, Australia
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5. Re: Queenstown home base for 1 week

Janis the problem you have here is that Fox Glacier is on one side of the mountain range and Mt Cook on the other. I know it unfortunate but there is no magic tunnel to get between Mt Cook and Fox Glacier in a day.

If you were to do Fox Glacier you would need a day to drive from Wanaka to Fox Glacier. a day well 3-4 Hrs to do a Helihike and a morning walk around Lake Matheson and a day to get back 3 days out of your itinerary.

You might also find as I did on the THREE times I have been to FOX and FJG that due to the weather the Helicopters weren't flying and you couldn't do the Helihike ie 3 days wasted!!!.

There is a much better chance that you will be able to do this out of Mt Cook. As per Post #2 on the 13th if not there are some wonderful walks at Mt Cook. One of the best the Hooker Valley walk or even the Tasman Glacier Cruise.

Sure the drive down from Fox Glacier to Wanaka has many scenic attractions but you need 5-6 hrs to view them. What you could do is take a drive from Wanaka on 11/11 to visit Lake Hawea and Blue pools.

If you do a coach / cruise / coach trip it will be about 12.5 hrs out of QTN and of course more time in QTN

Lynchburg, VA
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6. Re: Queenstown home base for 1 week

Thanks for your advice. I am also concerned about travel time to Fox and Franz Jospeh glaciers, and unpredictable weather and cancelled heli tours. May just make some of those decisions from Queenstown. If the weather is more consistent at Mt Cook, then that might be the best bet. We could do a flight and some hiking.

I also like the idea of a drive up the west coast to the blue pools-I have a friend who mentioned that location.

I have been looking at the fly/cruise/fly options to Milford Sound from Queenstown. Some of these have heli options with glacier landings. Looks like I can get mountains and glaciers and views all over this incredible island! Can't wait to visit!

7. Re: Queenstown home base for 1 week

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Centerville, Ohio
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8. Re: Queenstown home base for 1 week

We also had a Condo in Queenstown, and lots to do.

9. Re: Queenstown home base for 1 week

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Removed on: 19 October 2017, 21:05
 
Dunedin, New Zealand
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10. Re: Queenstown home base for 1 week

If staying two nights in Auckland, an airport hotel is not likely to suit.

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