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Franz Josef to Kaikoura - Which route to take

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Singapore, Singapore
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Franz Josef to Kaikoura - Which route to take

Hello to all!

We'd like your advice regarding the better route (in terms of scenery, activities, ease of drive etc) from Franz Josef to Kaikoura. Would it be better to go through Arthur's Pass with a night's stay at Arthur's Pass or take Lewis Pass with a night's stay at Hanmer Springs?

Thank you!

Nelson-Tasman...
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1. Re: Franz Josef to Kaikoura - Which route to take

Now thats a tough question and I guess it depends on the rest of your iternary. Franz Josef to Kaikoura via Lewis Pass and Hanner takes you on SH 6 and then 7. It is the shorter route but not by much. Reefton is an interesting small place with lots of history being first town in southern hemisphere to receive electricity, and also lots of old gold batteries and sites. The drive through Lewis is scenic. And Hanmer is a lovely alpine village with nice walks and the wonderful thermal pools.

Via Arthurs Pass is again another scenic route with some lovely walks.

I think I would go via Lewis Pass and Hanmer. But only because the Hanmer thermal springs would be the difference in attraction.

California
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2. Re: Franz Josef to Kaikoura - Which route to take

I've never been on the drive from Hanmer to the West Coast (Hwy 7), so can't address that aspect. But for an overnight, I'd prefer Hanmer over Arthur's Pass. There's no "village" at Arthur's Pass. The buildings are pretty much isolated from one another. Whereas Hanmer has a compact village that is nice to stroll around in. You can walk in very level tracks close to the village, or more strenuous tracks a short distance away. We enjoyed Dog Stream Waterfall walk while there.

Christchurch
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3. Re: Franz Josef to Kaikoura - Which route to take

A very tough question! My personal preference for scenery is the route via Arthur's Pass but staying at Hanmer is a hundred times better than staying at Arthur's Pass. Hanmer is a lovely little town with the hot pools being the main attraction but it also has lots of nice walks.

You might have to toss a coin, methinks. LOL

New Zealand
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4. Re: Franz Josef to Kaikoura - Which route to take

And just to be different - I much prefer Arthur's Pass - both the walks and the scenery - I find Hanmer busy and touristy.

Singapore, Singapore
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5. Re: Franz Josef to Kaikoura - Which route to take

Hi All! Thank you so much for your advice and suggestions! The decision is really difficult.. We've decided to stop by Hanmer Springs, as what most of you mentioned that Hanmer has a nice village and beautiful walking tracks to explore (except that it might be a little touristy). It is also about 1hr nearer to Kaikoura, so that we can spend more time with the dolphins! Thanks so much for your help!

6. Re: Franz Josef to Kaikoura - Which route to take

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