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NZ - 9 days - Pl. help validate the itinerary

Tampa, Florida
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NZ - 9 days - Pl. help validate the itinerary

Dear Kiwis,

Coming to NZ for 8-9 days (depending on if you count departure).

Got some advise couple of weeks ago and really liked the idea of doing south island (in case life never allows us to visit NZ again)...

We are family of 3 (10 yr old dotr). We love outdoors, hikes, good food, take in the culture. Will be renting a vehicle (not sure what kind yet).

So here it goes..

Day 1: Arrive AKL 8:55AM. Lunch. Leave for CHC internal 4PM. Checkin CHC.

Day 2: Explore CHC. Rent Car. Leave for Greymouth late afternoon.Checking Greymouth.

Day 3: Morning drive to Franz Joseph. Explore. Checkin Franz Joseph Motel

Day 4: Drive to Wanaka. Explore Checkin Wanaka.

Day 5: Drive to Queens town. Explore. Checkin Queenstown.

Day 6: Eearly morning drive to Milford Sound. Explore. Drive to Te Anau. Checkin Te Anau.

Day 7. Doubtful sound / fiordland national park. Drive to Dunedin. Checkinn Dunedin.

Day 8: Drive from Dunedin to CHC. Stop on way. Checkin CHC.

Day 9: CHC to AKL. Depart.

Seems like what I have put together is touch and go kinda vacation.. Wife and dotr want stay 3 places max and spend more time in few places instead of a checkin/checkout marathon.

What would you guys recommend? I am completely open.

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18 replies to this topic
London
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1. Re: NZ - 9 days - Pl. help validate the itinerary

Going by other posts, the OP plans to be in NZ around Mar 10-20.

Just so we know what sort of tourist numbers / weather conditions we need to factor into our advice.

Christchurch, New...
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2. Re: NZ - 9 days - Pl. help validate the itinerary

Have you booked any domestic flights, accommodation yet - again we are wasting our time if things are set in stone!!

Day 1. Can you get an earlier flight to CHC? Hanging around AKL for 7 hours is an awful waste of your first day in NZ. There are flights almost hourly & I would aim for noon or 1pm. Have lunch in Chch ;-)

Day 2. Don't leave it too late if you want to explore Kura Tawhiti & the Devils Punchbowl etc through Arthurs Pass. eg for a 3hr drive, I'd allow a min of 5 hr, thus leaving at 2-3pm for dinner on the Coast. Why stay in Greymouth? Not the most interesting of towns. Hokitika has more to see.

Days 6, 7 & 8 are too long and when combined allow no time to see or do anything. In particular, day 6 is not sensible. Why go to Dunedin without allowing time to do anything and setting yourselves up for a long drive on the most boring road in the SI!!!

Basically with such a short visit you have 2 options to tweak this itinerary:

Option 1. Drop Dunedin:

Day 4. Wanaka

Day 5. Te Anau (2N)

Day 6. Day trip to Milford Sound

Day 7. Te Anau to QTN

Day 8. QTN to Lake Tekapo

Day 9. LT to CHC; Fly to AKL.

Option 2. Reverse itinerary completely and drop FJG:

1. Arr Chch

2. Drive to Dunedin (2N)

3. Explore Otago Peninsula (seals, penguins, albatross)

4. Drive to QTN (3N)

5. Explore

6. Full day coach trip to MS

7. Drive to Lake Tekapo via Mt Cook

8. Drive to Chch

9. Fly back to AKL.

Sydney, Australia
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3. Re: NZ - 9 days - Pl. help validate the itinerary

With only 8 -9 days and wanting to do a loop CHC to CHC entails a fair bit if driving with FJG so as per post#1 I would drop FJG and do Option 2 on the itinerary which gives something for everybody.

On Day 7 if you can get one of the below accommodation places I would stay at Mt Cook which will allow for an afternoon walk.

Hermitage Hotel: http://www.hermitage.co.nz/

Aoraki Court Motel: http://www.aorakicourt.co.nz/

Mt Cook Lodge and Motel: http://www.mtcooklodge.co.nz

YHA Mt Cook: http://www.yha.co.nz/

20-minutes away from Mt Cook village is Glentanner Park: http://www.glentanner.co.nz/

Tampa, Florida
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4. Re: NZ - 9 days - Pl. help validate the itinerary

Thank you Fellas. Esp. Zhuhai2007 for taking time.

Dont have reservations yet... so we are still flexible (I know)...

So taking your advise.. (Option 1) here is my new Itinerary. Request a quick review.

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Christchurch,+New+Zealand/Hokitika,+New+Zealand/Franz+Josef+Glacier,+West+Coast,+New+Zealand/Wanaka,+New+Zealand/Te+Anau,+New+Zealand/Queenstown,+New+Zealand/Lake+Tekapo,+New+Zealand/Christchurch,+New+Zealand/@-44.1023148,167.9344592,7z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m50!4m49!1m5!1m1!1s0x6d322f4863c5ed01:0x500ef8684799945!2m2!1d172.6362254!2d-43.5320544!1m5!1m1!1s0x6d2f3b171045bf73:0x500ef8684797780!2m2!1d170.9665427!2d-42.7173686!1m5!1m1!1s0x6d2bd15fbd26651d:0xbd07539505b2146b!2m2!1d170.1882529!2d-43.4638606!1m5!1m1!1s0xa9d5461db9ec2d6f:0x500ef868479c1e0!2m2!1d169.1320981!2d-44.7031813!1m5!1m1!1s0xa9d46d2095665e6b:0x500ef868479b450!2m2!1d167.718053!2d-45.4144515!1m5!1m1!1s0xa9d51df1d7a8de5f:0x500ef868479a600!2m2!1d168.6626435!2d-45.0311622!1m5!1m1!1s0x6d2b991ac131ac99:0x500ef86847982c0!2m2!1d170.4771212!2d-44.0046736!1m5!1m1!1s0x6d322f4863c5ed01:0x500ef8684799945!2m2!1d172.6362254!2d-43.5320544!3e0

Day 1. Arr AKL internal to CHC (Leaving noon)

Day2: Leave (by Noon) for Hokitika thru Arthur Pass

Day 3: Leave for FJG ( WHAT time will make sense to leave from Hokitika?) Explore FJG

Day 4: Leave for Wanaka (WHAT time will make sense to leave ?) Exmplore Wanaka

Day 5: Te Anau (2N)

Day 6: Day trip to Milford Sound

Day 7: Te Anau to QTN (Thinking of leaving early)

Day 8: QTN to Lake Tekapo

Day 9: LT to CHC. Depart.

Might I ask, if we are to add 2N stay at 1 more place (than just Te Anau), what would be that place. QTN? And if yes, what one place would you guys recommend to Drop (Wanaka or FJC)?

Again.. all help much appreciated.

Sydney, Australia
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5. Re: NZ - 9 days - Pl. help validate the itinerary

<<<<Might I ask, if we are to add 2N stay at 1 more place (than just Te Anau), what would be that place. QTN? And if yes, what one place would you guys recommend to Drop (Wanaka or FJG)?>>>>

You can't really drop any of the two mentioned places

It is way too long to travel between Hokitika and Wanaka in 1 Day and you have many attractions on the way down between FJG and Wanaka for the other as shown below

Lake Moeraki, Knights Point Lookout, Ship Creek, Haast Bridge and Rapids, Roaring Billy Falls, Pleasant Flats, Fantail Falls, Thunder Creek Falls, Blue Pools walk , Makaroa , Lake Hawea .

<<<Day 3: Leave for FJG ( WHAT time will make sense to leave from Hokitika?) Explore FJG>>>

I would leave early to visit Hokitika Gorge before heading to FJG.

<<<Day 4: Leave for Wanaka (WHAT time will make sense to leave ?) Explore Wanaka>>>

I would leave as early as road conditions allow to view all the attractions on the way down as listed above. It will take around 6 hrs anyway.

Edited: 27 February 2018, 07:39
Christchurch, New...
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6. Re: NZ - 9 days - Pl. help validate the itinerary

If you can ADD 2 days, then most definitiely Wanaka & QTN, but you simply cannot subtract any days from the one night stays you already have, without completely changing your route (ie if you want to drop FJG, then use my "Option 2" instead.

Edited: 27 February 2018, 08:13
Tampa, Florida
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7. Re: NZ - 9 days - Pl. help validate the itinerary

Perfect! Thank you again!

I will get on the reservations.

Tampa, Florida
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8. Re: NZ - 9 days - Pl. help validate the itinerary

Another quick one:

We have a flight out of CHC at 9:40 on Jetstar.

Can we start driving from Lake Tekapo, early say 4Am in the morning. Or is this a treacherous drive. Where I might want to start even earlier (weather permiting). I see rain.. but not snow or ice? So its doable in 4 hours .. right?

Sydney, Australia
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9. Re: NZ - 9 days - Pl. help validate the itinerary

I take it that is 9:40 PM which will give you plenty of time as lake Takepo via the scenic Road to CHC will take about 4 hrs Max.

Via the direct route SH 1 just over 3 hrs.

I definitely would not be driving at 4:30 in the morning as your OP doesn't say what time of year you are travelling either.

You will need about 1hr to hand back your rental vehicle and check in for domestic travel.

London
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10. Re: NZ - 9 days - Pl. help validate the itinerary

We have a flight out of CHC at 9:40 on Jetstar.

=====================

Careful. They have a reputation for cancelling flights (from what I've read on this forum).

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