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Queenstown or Te Anau??

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Toronto, Canada
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Queenstown or Te Anau??

Here is part of my itinery:

2 nights in Wanaka

2 nights in either Queenstown or Te Anau

2 nights in Dunedin

Given this itinery, which is preferable- 2 nights in Queenstown or 2 nights in Te Anau? The main thing I want to do from either place is a Milford Sound Cruise...

New Zealand
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for South Island
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1. Re: Queenstown or Te Anau??

ideally,you will want 2 nights in both locations... but 2 nights in Wanaka is wonderful.

In order to properly advise you please post your entire itinerary, and also the time of year you plan to travel.

Te Anau
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for South Island, Te Anau
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2. Re: Queenstown or Te Anau??

If the Milford Sound cruise is your top priority then you should base yourself in Te Anau.

All the same, there is a lot of good stuff to do in Queenstown, and it would be a pity to miss it out entirely.

If you do the Milford trip from Queenstown this will take care of your one available day, so you would have limmited time to experience what the town has to offer.

Perhaps you could compromise, and spend a night in Queenstown, and a night in Te Anau, although coming from me that is akin to blasphemy :)

Toronto, Canada
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3. Re: Queenstown or Te Anau??

Here is our itinery- my husband and I (late 20's-early 30's) are going to be in NZ for October.

Dsy 1: Arrive Auckland in the morning

Day 2: Drive to Rotorua- visit Wai-o-tapu, then to Taupo for the night

Day 3: Taupo- Tongaririo Crossing

Day 4: Napier- wine tour

Day 5: Wellington to visit friends

Day 6: Wellington- visit museum of NZ

Day 7: Ferry to Picton and onto Nelson

Day 8: Nelson: Explore Abel Tasman National Park

Day 9: Drive to Hokitika- see pancake rocks/blowholes

Day 10: Drive to Fox Glacier

Day 11: Fox Glacier: Heli-hike or 1/2 dsy hike

Day 12: Drive to Wanaka

Day 13: Wanaka

Day 14: Queenstown or Te Anau

Day 15: Milford Cruise from Queenstown or Te Anau

Day 16: Drive to Dunedin

Day 17: Dunedin: Visit Penguins, view wildlife

Day 18: Drive to Mt. Cook or Lake Tekapo and spend the night

Day 19: Kaikoura

Day 20: Kaikoura: Dolphin swim in Kaikoura

Day 21: Christchurch or Hamner Springs?

Day 22: Christchurch

Day 23: Leave for Canada

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
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4. Re: Queenstown or Te Anau??

a suggestion;

14: Queenstown

15: bus/cruise Milford, fly back to Queenstown

16: explore

17: Drive to Dunedin

18: explore

19: Drive to Lake Tekapo, via Mt Cook

20: Kaikoura

21: Kaikoura: Dolphin swim in Kaikoura

22: Christchurch

23: Leave for Canada

hope this helps :)

Greymouth, New...
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5. Re: Queenstown or Te Anau??

My thoughts would be to stay the two nights in Wanaka then visit Queenstown for the daytime on the way to Te Anau, arriving TeAnau late evening, then two nights in Te Anau. that way take a coach tour to Milford sound and back then visit the glow worms caves at night. Drive via MAnapouri and even the South coast if you can fit it in on your way to Dunedin.

Toronto, Canada
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6. Re: Queenstown or Te Anau??

Good ideas... now, I am thinking that I am going to cut a night in Christchurch as suggested...where do people reccomended adding one more night elsewhere?

Auckland, New...
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7. Re: Queenstown or Te Anau??

Wanaka/Queenstown/Te Anau - there is just so much to see and do in this area.

co. donegal
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8. Re: Queenstown or Te Anau??

i know planning a big trip isnt easy but really i think you should be doing wanaka queenstown and te anu some of the other places you have mentioned are nowhere near as spectacular as these in my opinion the south of the south island is the best part of new zealand

Auckland, New...
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9. Re: Queenstown or Te Anau??

You are very welcome in NZ and you have obviously done a great deal of research. There isn't much of NZ missing from your itinerary, except maybe the Bay of Islands (forget I even mentioned it!).

I am concerned that you are trying to take in too much in too short a time. You haven't mentioned how you are travelling between towns and activities?

If by road, it simply won't work unless you drive deep into the night and exhaust yourself. Most of NZ outside Auckland Wellington and Christchurch consists of "2-lane blacktop" and twisty hilly versions at that! You may be used to driving on the "wrong" side of the road, but you need to be relaxed or you could make a fatal mistake in driving, as many tourists have in the past.

Tongariro Crossing, for example is about 8 hours on a good day, plus recovery time and transport back to the start (Chateau Tongariro or National Park village) (say 2 hours more) and that is about 1.5 hours from Taupo and then Napier another 3 hours drive from there.

I agree with others about missing some parts of your planned itinerary. Do a wine tour in Queenstown and miss Napier, perhaps?

Have a great holiday!

Maidenhead, United...
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10. Re: Queenstown or Te Anau??

Another possibility (sorry, you probably don't need more options to consider!) would be to stay overnight in Milford at the Milford Lodge, and do a sea kayaking trip early morning.

My wife and I were in the area Nov2008 and in brief our itinerary for that part was:

Day One - arrive Queenstown early evening

Day Two - day in Queenstown, drive to Te Anau late afternoon

Day Three - gloworm cave tour morning, drive to Milford Sound for afternoon cruise on the Sound. Overnight at Milford Lodge

Day Four - sea kayaking trip. Leave Milford lunchtime, drive to Queenstown (4.5 hours)

Day Five - Morning in Queenstown, drive to Wanaka afternoon

Day Six - Hike the Rob Roy track (1 hour from Wanaka)

Day Seven - Leave Wanaka and drive to Franz Josef, via Fox

To be honest, we could have spent twice the amount of time (at least) in the area. There is so much to do and the scenery is utterly stunning, wherever you are.

The sea kayaking was one of the highlights of our trip, despite torrential rain. Starting at 8am, you have the Sound to yourself for a couple of hours before the big cruisers start up. It is so atmospheric, and give a totally different perspective to see it from water level. We got pretty close to both penguins and seals too!

We absolutely loved Wanaka too. When you are there you must go to Cinema Paradiso, and eat dinner there during the film interval. A totally unique cinema, and good food too!

Whatever you decide for your itinerary, I guarantee you will have a great time! PM me if you want any more details!