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Itinerary for May 2018: Must-see and must-do suggestions

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Itinerary for May 2018: Must-see and must-do suggestions

I'm helping my little brother with his first NZ trip in the coming May and would like to hear your opinion on how to improve this itinerary:

Day 1 (2pm arrival at Auckland): Auckland

Day 2: Auckland to Hobbiton, Glow Worm)

Day 3: Rotorua (Wai-o-Tapu, Te Puia)

Day 4: Rotorua, Auckland (any suggestion?)

Day 5: Fly from Auckland to Queenstown (3pm arrival), drive to Te Anau

Day 6: Te Anau, Milford Sound

Day 7: Milford Sound, Queenstown

Day 8: Arrowtown, Lake Wanaka, Haast,

Day 9: Haast, Franz Josef Glacier, Arthur's Pass

Day 10: Arthur's Pass, Christchurch

Day 11: Christchurch (full day)

Questions:

1. Is the itinerary too rushing or too slow? Can it be improved? (which places to add, which not to spend too much time in, more scenic route to take)

2. Is it dangerous to drive a car from Te Anau to Milford Sound in mid-May?

3. From Queenstown to Christchurch, is it more scenic to go via West Coast or Otago?

4. If he doesn't want to take the glacier tour, is Franz Josef still worth visiting?

If not, what would you suggest for day 8-10?

5. He really loves food. But my most satisfying meal experience while I was there 3 years ago was the hangi from Te Puia. Are there other meals he shouldn't miss while in NZ?

6. What is the best salmon farm that he can visit and why?

7. Is there anywhere along his route where he can see sheep farming?

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7 replies to this topic
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1. Re: Itinerary for May 2018: Must-see and must-do suggestions

For North Island, I would have him choose either Hobbiton or Waitomo Cave that day, rather than rushing back and forth. The other attraction can wait until Day 4, as he travels back to Auckland.

For South Island, staying 2 nights in Te Anau is the preferred manner to experience Milford Sound, unless the intention is to do the overnight cruise there. There isn't really anything to do AT Milford except the cruise and the area is plagued with sandflies. So Day 4 is drive from Te Anau to Queenstown. I would recommend taking the coach tour that time of year.

Haast is another place that is plagued with sandflies. It would be better to have an overnight at Wanaka, then FJG/Fox and possibly somewhere up the coast (Hokitika or Punakaiki). Arthur's Pass is a very small village and the only activity is hiking.

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2. Re: Itinerary for May 2018: Must-see and must-do suggestions

Days 8 & 9 are too rushed. This itinerary allows no time at all for QTN! If he doesn't't want to visit a glacier it would be much more sensible to take the inland route through Canterbury & via Aoraki-Mt Cook NP:

5. Fly to ZQN; drive to Te Anau (2N)

6. Milford Sound day tour

7. Te Anau to Queenstown (2N)

8. Full day to enjoy QTN

9. Drive to Aoraki-Mt Cook

10. Drive to Chch...

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3. Re: Itinerary for May 2018: Must-see and must-do suggestions

Day 2 - Hobbiton is more convenient to Rotorua. Shorter journey, having only arrived into Auckland the day before. Waitomo Caves would be better seen on day 4.

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4. Re: Itinerary for May 2018: Must-see and must-do suggestions

Thanks all for your feedback! So combining all your inputs, I have revised the itinerary as follows:

Day 1 (2pm arrival at Auckland): Auckland

Day 2: Auckland to Hobbiton, Rotorua

Day 3: Rotorua (Wai-o-Tapu, Te Puia)

Day 4: Rotorua, Auckland (any suggestion?)

Day 5: Fly from Auckland to Queenstown (already bought the flight, 3pm arrival), drive to Te Anau

Day 6: Te Anau, Milford Sound, Te Anau

Day 7: Queenstown

Day 8: Arrowtown, Lake Wanaka, Haast,

Day 9: Haast, Franz Josef Glacier, Arthur's Pass

Day 10: Arthur's Pass, Christchurch

Day 11: Christchurch (full day)

I'm just still undecided with Day 8-10. @zhuhai2007 suggested that he better travels to Christchurch via Lake Tekapo. I know the lakes are beautiful and am sure my little brother will love them. But since I have never been to the West Coast, I wonder if it's more scenic and pleasant if he goes via Haast, so he can have more diverse experience that includes the UNESCO Heritage site and Hokitika Gorge. What do you think? Which one and why?

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5. Re: Itinerary for May 2018: Must-see and must-do suggestions

I would be more inclined to adjust your itinerary as follows.

Day 5: Fly from Auckland to Queenstown (3pm arrival), drive to Te Anau. Hopefully the plan arrives on time so you reach Te Anau before it gets dark (2N)

Day 6: COACH trip to Milford Sound stay Te Anau

Day 7: Drive to Queenstown visit Glenorchy on the way

Day 8: Loop from QTN Arrowtown,Crown Ranges/ Lake Wanaka/Cromwell/Kawarau Gorge/QTN,

Day 9: Drive to Mt Cook (Visit High Country Salmon Farm at Twizel on the way)Possible Kea point walk in afternoon

Day 10: Early morning walk then drive via Lake takepo to Christchurch

Day 11: Christchurch (full day to explore city)

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6. Re: Itinerary for May 2018: Must-see and must-do suggestions

I have recommended the Waitomo Caves on the return leg to Auckland on day 4. However, there is plenty to see and do around Rotorua and Taupo.

Another option again would be to drive over to Mt Maunganui, then back to Auckland along SH2/Karangahake Gorge.

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7. Re: Itinerary for May 2018: Must-see and must-do suggestions

Thanks all! I sure like your ideas, @greytravellerSydney!

@Frangipani08: I forgot to put Glow Worm back on day 4, but it's surely on the list now. Will check Mt Maunganui as well!

Thanks a lot :)

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