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Queenstown Area Itinerary Critique please

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Billings, Montana
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Queenstown Area Itinerary Critique please

Hello All,

We are planning a trip to NZ and we have chosen QT to start.

However none of us have been there before and we have drafted an Itinerary that we are hoping to get alot of input on.

We Love the scenery in LoTR but really are not LoTR fans, however we are HUGE fans of Legend of the Seeker so anything on that would be awesome!!!

*** Day One: Queenstown to Wanaka ***

I was thinking flying into Queenstown, Pickup rental car, then that day heading to Wanaka for a day (or two) maybe even skydive there.

->Drive Time QT Airport to Wanaka: 1:15

->Hotel in Wanaka

Wanaka Activities:

Sight See!

Skydive: http://www.skydivewanaka.com/ ($399 USD, 45 second fall with Video)

*** Day Two: Wanaka to Mt Cook back to QT ***

Then head over to Mt Cook/Twizel

->Drive Time from Wanaka to Twizel: 1:40

Mt Cook Activities:

2 Hour Mt Cook LoTR Tour: lordoftheringstour.com/tour/lord-of-the-ring… ($66 USD)

More sight seeing!

**Leave to QT**

->Head back to QT Drive Time 2:30

->Hotel in QT.

*** Day Three: Queenstown ***

Sleep the hell in!

Activities in QT:

Shotover jet. http://www.shotoverjet.com/galleries/#videos ($58 USD)

Then in the afternoon take the Gondola up to the peak and kick it in the bar over Lake Wakatipu viator.com/tours/…d407-5320REST (42.75USD with buffet)

then Zip Line down the mountain. ziptrek.com/queenstown-new-zealand/tours/moa… ($129 USD)

Bungee?

At Night: Downtown QT and/or having a few drinks on the TSS Earnslaw Lake Cruise (https://www.realjourneys.co.nz/en/experiences/cruises/tss-earnslaw-vintage-steamship-cruises/ ) ($46.00USD)

*** Day Four: QT LoTR Tour! ***

North up to Glenorchy, maybe do the full day LoTR 4x4 adventure.

Nomad: ($282 USD) (http://www.nomadsafaris.co.nz/safari-of-the-scenes.html )

Paradise Safari: ($238 USD) infotrack.co.nz/lord-of-the-rings-fullday.ht…

Which is better? Slower Pace Paradise or Nomad?

Drive it ourselves?

*** Day Five (or Six): Doubtful Sound Cruise ***

Coach out of QT – Cruise the Doubtful Sound – Coach back to QZ

Doubtful Sound: https:/…

12 Hours: ($248.89 USD, pre order lunch)

-or –

2 days/1 Night: Overnight on ship ($255 USD, dinner and breakfast included)

Day 6-9

To be continued LOL.

Hot Air Balloon?

All feedback, edits, and ideas welcomed!

Thanks!

Edited: 21 January 2013, 18:21
Billings, Montana
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1. Re: Queenstown Area Itinerary Critique please

Ok let me re-format this see if it helps:

-----------------------------------------------

Day One: Queenstown to Wanaka

Pick up rental at Airport head to Wanaka

->Drive Time QT Airport to Wanaka: 1:15

->Hotel in Wanaka

Wanaka Activities:

Sight See!

Skydive Wanaka

-----------------------------------------------

Day Two: Wanaka to Mt Cook then back to QT

->Drive Time from Wanaka to Twizel: 1:40

Mt Cook Activities:

2 Hour Mt Cook LoTR Tour

More sight seeing!

**Leave back to QT**

->Head back to QT Drive Time 2:30

->Hotel in QT.

----------------------------------------------

Day Three: Queenstown

Sleep in!

Activities for Day 3 in QT:

Shotover jet

Gondola up to the peak and kick it in the bar over Lake Wakatipu

Ziptrek

At Night: Downtown QT and/or having a few drinks on the TSS Earnslaw Lake Cruise

----------------------------------------------

Day Four: QT LoTR Tour!

North up to Glenorchy, FULL day LoTR 4x4 adventure.

a) Nomad Safaris

b) Paradise Safari

c) RDtours

-----------------------------------------------

Day Five (or Six): Milford or Doubtful Sound Cruise

Coach out of QT – Cruise the Doubtful Sound – Coach back to QT

12 Hours

-or –

2 days/1 Night: Overnight on ship

-----------------------------------------------

Day 6-9

??? Hot Air balloon would be cool

All feedback, edits, and ideas are very welcomed!

Thanks!

Navi Mumbai, India
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2. Re: Queenstown Area Itinerary Critique please

Hi,

the experts would answer yr question better, I was just surfing through the forum -

just 1 thought - you have tooooo much driving on Day 2! You really must re-sched this bit. Frankly, it's really not advisable to drive from Q'town to Mt. Cook and then back in the same day... You need at least a 1 night stay at Mt Cook to enjoy the place, no point in just touching it and rushing back.

Besides, keep enough time to drive through the stunning Lindis Pass that connects Mt Cook to Q'town.

You must do Glenorchy as a half-day trip. beautiful drive and scenery.

Have a good one!

New Zealand
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3. Re: Queenstown Area Itinerary Critique please

hello and welcome to the forum :)

Your drive times are not possible unless you have a helicopter on call? Check more relaistic drive times here - and add longer for sightseeing, walks, eating etc www.aatravel.co.nz/main/td-calculator.php

So, day one - where are you flying into Queenstown from? If you have spent the last few days in the North island or Sydney then fine - if you've just flown in on long-haul flight then don't even think of driving on arrival. Jet lag kills - sadly there have been some horrific tourist accidents lately.

Aoraki/Mt Cook isn't in Twizel - it will take 2 hours to drive Wanaka to Twizel (no reason to stop here) and another hour to drive to Aoraki. And it will take a full 3.5 hours to drive Aoraki/Mt Cook to Queenstown.

California
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4. Re: Queenstown Area Itinerary Critique please

WanakaLakes, I believe the Lord of the Rings tour mentioned is in Twizel. But I agree with you, it's not Mount Cook. And looking at the specifics of the tour, not something I would drive that kind of distance for.

Billings, Montana
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5. Re: Queenstown Area Itinerary Critique please

Awesome thanks you guys so much for the feedback!

We will need to revise our itinerary.

Sounds like its difficult driving around out there, many cultures, one road...

We will be flying in from US-> Auckland -> QT

Day 1 arrive around noon

So maybe we should kick it in QT the first day thanks for pointing the Jet Lag out! :) Maybe do the Gondola/Restuarant this day or the TSS Earnslaw in the eve

Day 2

Drive to Wanaka spend the day and stay the night.

Day 3

Leave Wanaka head to Mount Cook, stay the night over there

Day 4

Explore Mt Cook some more then head back to QT

Day 5

Sleep in and do a nice Drive to Glenorchy - Thanks Rainman!

Day 6

Milford Sound

Day 7

Shotover Jet, Ziptrek, etc

i just recieved my copy of NZFrenzy today :)

Edited: 25 January 2013, 00:15
Auckland Region...
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6. Re: Queenstown Area Itinerary Critique please

Some of the drives around Queenstown are worth doing as the scenery is so spectacular. A drive up to the Remarkables ski area is worth it for the view and the drive!

Arrowtown is interesting having a wander around for an hour or longer.

The information centres is Queenstown are very helpful with ideas too.

Navi Mumbai, India
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7. Re: Queenstown Area Itinerary Critique please

DaWolv - that's a much better itin this time around!

Still a bit hectic, but if you have only the 6-7 odd days then it's fine.

You are flying out of Q'town on day 8 i presume?

With limited time, unless you have some specific acitivites line up for Wanaka, (other than sky dive which you can in Q'town also), you could spend day 2 at the beautiful Lake Tekapo - a coffee at Astro Cafe was the highlight of our trip. Spectacular views from up there..Google the Astro Cafe and St. John Observatory. NOT to be missed! You could do the Observatory's night tour and stay a night at Lake Tekapo Day 2.

Day 3 - start early - only a 1 hour drive to Mt Cook.. Full day here, and the night..

Day 4 - head back to Q'town.

Such an intinerary would give you the best that the South Island has to offer - Lake Tekapo, Mt Cook, Lindis Pass, Queenstown and Milford!

Enjoy

Edited: 26 January 2013, 07:08
New Zealand
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8. Re: Queenstown Area Itinerary Critique please

Tekapo rather than Wanaka? Not an inspired choice Rainman :)

Navi Mumbai, India
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9. Re: Queenstown Area Itinerary Critique please

WL - in fact on my trip i had stayed 2 nights at Wanaka and Mt cook each and none at Tekapo! Suggested it for the Observatory night tour basically...

Wanaka's got a fab lake too, among other things.. Didn't think the OP would be interested in puzzling world etc! Some great wineries around too..

In fact - DaWolv - if you could fly in to Q'town and fly out Christchurch, or vice-versa, that would save a lot of time and effort, and you could include both Wanaka and Lake Tekapo.!

Houston, Texas
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10. Re: Queenstown Area Itinerary Critique please

I'm working on my itinerary right now. WL, where did you find a Shotover jetboat ride for $59?