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2/3+ day Itinerary for Picton/Nelson/AT Park/Blenheim??

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Brighton, England
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2/3+ day Itinerary for Picton/Nelson/AT Park/Blenheim??

6 weeks to go before our 28day first time tour of NZ from Auckland to Queenstown and I am frantically researching the regions north to south.

I have searched the forum and now on my second guide book but can anyone help me along with this leg?

We arrive by ferry to Picton lunchtime on a Saturday. Hopefully this gives us a glimpse/impression of Marlborough Sounds. With Milford etc on our future plan will this be enough or should we make the effort to stay in Picton and explore it??

Queen Charlotte Drive- AA estimates an hour however the guide book encourages half a day with stops. What is a realistic time for covering it gently??

Havelock- Mussels and a visit to the museum must take another hour, the AA says another hour driving direct to Nelson. I guess it must be early evening now?? so we should plan for accommodation here?

Possibly book 2 nights here (less unpacking/packing) and have a leisurly next day via vinyard area ( Can anyone persuade me of the interests of visiting vinyards- they're not factories with interesting machines and processes, but yes drink and buy some wine thats all surely??) 20 min to Richmond (pottery/glass) and 30 minutes to Motueka (kiwi fruit) as well as returning to our accomodation and exploring a bit more of Nelson.

Original plan would be to move to our next leg driving down to Hokitika. But should we grab an extra day to explore more of this area of NZ. Even perhaps have one night Nelson, then one or 2 nights around Motueka so we would have a full further day to explore maybe further.

Other posts comment that the Marahua to Takaka road is not for the fearful??so maybe no drive it if we want a break from the driving. Has anyone caught a bus from Motueka to the AT park area and had a brief walk or done something interesting around here, we could then get the bus back.?? ( happy to do a couple of hours walk in a day/preferably with a beer in the interval!/ we're not serious walkers. Is the area best for the hikers then??.

Sorry for the ramblings, any ideas or reflections from other TAs in the know most appreciated as it will help me firm up my plans.

New Zealand
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1. Re: 2/3+ day Itinerary for Picton/Nelson/AT Park/Blenheim??

Hi Dezzer :)

Captain Cook misnamed the fiords Sounds so while Marlborough is a sound, Milford is actually a fiord - totally different in appearance.

QC drive to Havelock is about 40 minutes - it certainly won't take 1/2 day even with stops for views.

And yes, another hour to Nelson.

I don't think the road over Takaka Hill particulary bad. As long as you don't try to race it but keep to the speed limit you will be fine.

and yes, one night Nelson and 2 nights Motueka or Kaiteriteri a great choice. From either place you can take a day tour of Abel Tasman with water taxi and a walk http://www.abeltasman.co.nz/a-day/

or drive up to Golden Bay if wanting less walking and more exploring.

Enjoy :)

2. Re: 2/3+ day Itinerary for Picton/Nelson/AT Park/Blenheim??

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