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> South Island itinerary, Seeking advice regarding my planne itinerary.
thegiants
post Jan 16 2010, 06:55 PM
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Hello,

This is my first post on this forum.
I am planning a trip to New Zealand and have limited time for the South Island.
We are renting a campervan for 6 - My wife myself and 4 kids aged 4 to 13.
We will land in Christchurch on a Wednesday afternoon.
This is the plan:

Wednesday: Christchurch.
Thursday: Christchurch - Dunedin
Friday: Dunedin - Te anau
Saturdy: Te Anau (Not allowed to travel on Saturday)
Sunday: Te Anau - Queenstown
Monday: Queenstown - Wanaka
Tuesday: Wanaka - Fox Glacier
Wednesday: Fox Glacier - Christchurch.
Thursday morning - Flight to Auckland.

Is this a little ambitious?


Any Ideas will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.
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thegiants
post Jan 20 2010, 12:52 AM
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clapping.gif Is there anybody out there?

It would really help me if someone commented on the itinerary I posted.
I was thinking that visiting the glacier is too much of a bother for such a short trip.
Any Ideas?

Thanks.
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sitrippers
post Jan 24 2010, 08:26 PM
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QUOTE(thegiants @ Jan 20 2010, 12:52 AM) *

clapping.gif Is there anybody out there?

It would really help me if someone commented on the itinerary I posted.
I was thinking that visiting the glacier is too much of a bother for such a short trip.
Any Ideas?

Thanks.

Yes, it is a long tedious, though beautiful, road to visit the Glaciers. The trip you are suggesting is all on main road, and there are alternatives through the McKenzie Basin (with the southern Alps on your right when you travel South). Are you heading for Te Anau to visit Milford Sound? Because to visit Te Anau you have to travel about 3 hours there and 3 hours back to Queenstown.Also Queenstown to Wanaka is only just over an hour's drive - both beautiful lakes, but as time is limited we would suggest you travel further than Wanaka if you stick with your original itinerary and travel up the West Coast. You could travel from Queenstown to Haast (app 5 hours drive) via Wanaka,camping sites are available and this would bring you nearer the Glaciers. The journey from Fox Glacier to Christchurch would take about 8 hours
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nztravelguide
post Jan 28 2010, 04:01 PM
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QUOTE(sitrippers @ Jan 24 2010, 08:26 PM) *

QUOTE(thegiants @ Jan 20 2010, 12:52 AM) *

clapping.gif Is there anybody out there?

It would really help me if someone commented on the itinerary I posted.
I was thinking that visiting the glacier is too much of a bother for such a short trip.
Any Ideas?

Thanks.

Yes, it is a long tedious, though beautiful, road to visit the Glaciers. The trip you are suggesting is all on main road, and there are alternatives through the McKenzie Basin (with the southern Alps on your right when you travel South). Are you heading for Te Anau to visit Milford Sound? Because to visit Te Anau you have to travel about 3 hours there and 3 hours back to Queenstown.Also Queenstown to Wanaka is only just over an hour's drive - both beautiful lakes, but as time is limited we would suggest you travel further than Wanaka if you stick with your original itinerary and travel up the West Coast. You could travel from Queenstown to Haast (app 5 hours drive) via Wanaka,camping sites are available and this would bring you nearer the Glaciers. The journey from Fox Glacier to Christchurch would take about 8 hours

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nztravelguide
post Jan 28 2010, 04:04 PM
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QUOTE(thegiants @ Jan 20 2010, 12:52 AM) *

clapping.gif Is there anybody out there?

It would really help me if someone commented on the itinerary I posted.
I was thinking that visiting the glacier is too much of a bother for such a short trip.
Any Ideas?

Thanks.


here is how you can spend your time efficiently and not get too tired:

7 day itinerary


Day 1 -
Pick up vehicle at Christchurch airport. Well………..let’s get going so we can enjoy the scenic wonders of this beautiful New Zealand. From Christchurch let’s head south on route 1 crossing the famous Rakaia River and the home of the giant salmon. Good café there if you feel a need to stop and let the girls get a photo with the salmon! On through Ashburton and then a turn off to the right on route 79. You will come to the small community of Geraldine. A beautiful little village. Good spot to fill up with more stuff from there super market there thar wasn’t available at Raewards. You can also stop at a dairy along the way say in Ashburton…..I Geraldine as you enter the main part of town on the left is the gallery of one of our top Maori artists and worth a few minutes to have a look at his work…..it’s free. After going through to the other end of town and the road turns right on the left is a small shopping complex to check out. Pick up some of the Barker’s Berry jams for a treat. Clean public toilets right there also as in almost all small town along your route. New Zealand is known for clean and hospitable public facilities so don’t be afraid to stop. Another point I must make a lot of American’s (me included when I first got here missed out on the best and less expensive meals along the way. The Kiwi’s best cafes are what we call cafeterias called tea rooms. Nothing like the cheap and nasty stuff but very good quality food t decent prices. Be sure to try some of their meat pies! Good value food for decent prices. They are the major food spots in NZ and missed by most Americans…… When you see a tea room advertised it is their cafes…………you’ll love it. There are also good cafes but they too usually have “counter food”……and don’t miss out on fish and chips! Somewhere along the way……anyhow I digress…………best get along.

The drive from Christchurch to Geraldine is 1 ½ hours………From Geraldine you will be going into some of the most beautiful drive of stark high country called the Mckenzie Country with opaque blue glacier water lakes. Route 79 goes through Fairlie and then on to Lake Tekapo. Here go down by the lake to see the small church. The drive is another hour from Geraldine. Passing through the small village of Tekapo on the right is a turn off to a new pool project you may wish to visit. You will pass by the Lake Tekapo Top Ten Holiday Park where you may wish to stay.– www.laketekapo-accommodation.co.nz . If still early in the day on down the road. Just past Tekapo look for the sign to the observatory at the top of Lake John…..if not too windy be sure to go up there. What a view and there is an all glass café………..well worth the trip.
Or from there continue on to the turnoff (route 80) to Mt. Cook and stay at the Glentanner Holiday Park – www.glentanner.co.nz under the shadow of the unbelievable Mt Cook area…………….awesome! Be sure to drive on out to the end of the road at Mt. Cook either today or before you leave. It will be one of the highlights of your trip. From Tekapo the drive to Mt Cook is an hour……..


Day 2/3 –
From Mt Cook back out onto route 8 the next stop at Omarama. Stop at the Totara Peaks gallery to see the display of costumes from the Xena TV show. Continue along route 8 through the scenic wonder of the Lindis Pass on through the countryside by Lake Dunstan to Cromwell where you cross the river to route 6 and on to Queenstown. You will love the scenery from here on. You will go into the Kawarau Gorge following the Kawarau River into the wine country. You might want to stop at the Gibbston Valley and take the kids into the wine cave and pick up some cheese. Next on the right will be the original bungy jump where you can enjoy watching people throw themselves off the bridge with rubber bands on their ankles.
After that continue along route six to the turnoff on the right to Arrowtown. Take your time to explore this old mining town and park down by the river (turn right in the main part of town) be sure to take a walk through the old Chinese Village (all free).
From Arrowtown follow the back road to Queenstown where you will stay right downtown at the Queenstown Top Ten – www.camp.co.nz . Be sure to book this asap……very busy spot….by the way I would appreciate it if you would mention I sent you to these parks…..Driving time from Mt. Cook to Queenstown is 2 hours.
Lots to do here – luge, gondola, jet boat, etc…………..bust tourist town resembling Aspen.

Day 4/5 –
From Queenstown we are off to Milford Sound from Te Anau. The drive is 2 hours to Te Anau and then 2 hours one way to Milford Sound. South of the lake after Queenstown you might want to stop in Kingston to see or even take a ride on the classic steam train – the Kingston Flyer. Kids will love it. What I suggest is to drive to Te Anau (route 94) and go to the Great Views Holiday Park – www.fiordlandgreatviewsholidaypark.co.nz . to stay. Fabulous place and people…
Make arrangements before you get there for them to take you and the family into the Sounds in there small van. They stop for photos, etc. and you will have a better trip than driving yourself…………… To make sure you get to enjoy this area have given you 2 days here. Can’t hurry this one. You must do the boat trip to really experience the fiords……Contact them and get the info you will need .

Day 6 -
From Te Anau we now take route 94 to Gore and then route one north to Dunedin.
Driving time is 4 hours. (sorry must be done but an enjoyable drive). Stay at the Dunedin Holiday Park – www.dunedinholidaypark.co.nz . Wonderful park be sure to take a walk around it to see all the murals………….. You may want to go out to the Albatross centre and the Larnach Castle on the Otago Peninsula and/or take the major wildlife cruise in the country – Monarch Cruises – www.wildlife.co.nz
This may be done tomorrow morning on your way out of town…..




Day 7 -
North from Dunedin on route one. It is 5 hour drive to Christchurch so you can plan accordingly for your departure. If you leave tomorrow consider this…………..
North of Dunedin after you pass the town of Palmerston look for the right turn into Shag Point….go to the end of the road (secret place). There is a large colony of young adult fur seals hang out here and you can stand on the rocks overlooking them closely without harm.
Next stop is the little fishing village of Moeraki and Fleurs restaurant if you want to experience real Kiwi food and meet one of the best.
Next stop just past is the Moeraki Rocks. When you turn off go straight to the beach and walk to the rocks (low tide). Other wise if you go to the café area they charge you for the same thing……..
Next stop is at the Little Blue Penguin Colony in Oamaru. If you want to stay the night in the area you can come here at dark to watch the little blues come ashore to feed their young. You will know your timing (3 hours to Christchurch). If you do stay the night if you want to stay at a very exciting spot full of interesting animals such as wallabies, etc the children will dearly love go on through to Waimate to the Kelceys Bush Holiday Park…… www.kiwicamps.com . About a ½ hour north but worth it if you stay…….
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nztravelguide
post Jan 28 2010, 04:07 PM
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or perhaps this one:

Day 1 –
Pick up vehicle at airport. In order to enjoy Christchurch I recommend the Devon B&B –
www.thedevon.co.nz - right downtown so you can walk everywhere and/or catch the tram to get around the city. Great way to start your holiday.


Day 2 –
Eight days to see the world of the South Island! Off to the Mt Cook 2pm glacier exploring. It is 327kms and a 4 ½ hour drive. Take route 1 south from the airport through Rakaia (good little gallery/cafe there to check by the “big fish”). Continue south to the turn off right on route 79 coming to the small town of Geraldine. Entering town on the left is the gallery of one of our top Maori artists, Peter J. Caley, well worth the stop. At the far end of town prior to leaving it is a great little shopping area you will enjoy plus the EasyWay café. Shouldn’t miss this spot.
Great views now along the way into the most beautiful Mckenzie Country. Several kilometres on past Geraldine you will come to the Farm Barn Gallery/café you may wish to visit. Now on to Lake Tekapo and the fantastic glacial lakes country. The lupins will be in full bloom now and the roads and paddocks filled with colour. You may wish to change your mind on staying here as it is a drive of 100kms and an hour more to Mount Cook. Your call.
Check out the other attached website info I have sent on activities around Mount Cook…
www.mtcooknz.com
www.hermitage.co.nz

Day 3/4 –
Off to Queenstown on route 8. Be sure to stop in Omarama at the Totara Peaks gallery and say hi to Tony & Sally and find some fine shopping. From here on through the Lindis Pass an awesome drive and on to Cromwell. You may wish to pull in here and go to Old Cromwell to check out the shops there…different and interesting. From Cromwell you cross the bridge over Lake Dunstan to route 6 and go the fabulous drive through the Kawarau Gorge. This is the wine country and some great wines. Several worth stopping at such as the Gibbston Winery. Next place to stop for a watch is the original bungy jump. Quite a sight to see…………….maybe you will want to jump off the bridge with big rubber bands around your ankles yourself!
Next very important place to visit is Arrowtown after stopping at the bungy jump. Turn right at the next road to the historic gold mining town chock full of interesting shopping and cafes. Be sure to visit the Chinese Village down by the river. Driving is 260kms and around 3 hours.
From Arrowtown it is around 20 minutes to Queenstown. Enjoy the resort town….

Day 5 –
After a stay in Queenstown it is off to the West Coast of the South Island. Return back on route 6 all the way to Wanaka to stay the night. Great little town you will really enjoy. 69kms about an hours drive.








Day 6/7 –
Long drive now to get to where you want. From Wanaka to the Glacier Country. It is 264kms to Fox Glacier and about a 3 ½ hour drive but one of the most spectacular. From Wanaka go back out to route 6. You will go between Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea through the Makarora Valley into the Mt Aspiring National Park. Be sure to stop and have a close look at the Gates of Haast bridge and next a short walk to Thunder Falls. Then the road finally drops down out of the mountains along the Haast River Valley and on to the West Coast. Interesting stop at the World Heritage building and a good café at McGuires. Then across the Haast River via a long one way bridge heading north. The road runs along the coast for a short way then cuts inland through the lake country and then back to the coast at Bruce Bay then back inland finally coming to Fox Glacier. Be sure to go out to see Lake Matheson, a picture postcard place. Take the short walk around it. Best time is early morning.
You can walk to the base of Fox Glacier and Franz Josef. I prefer Franz really as opposed to Fox Glacier. If you go on through to Franz for the night stay at the Rain Forest Retreat –
www.rainforestretreat.co.nz/ .

Day 8 –
After visiting the glacier country it is now north on route 6 to the major arts and crafts town of Hokitika. This will be a primary fun shopping experience for you if you enjoy the crafts created here. Due to the time you have you will have to move on today though in order to catch your flight home. The drive to Hokitika is 134kms about 2 hour drive. From Hokitka north on route 6 to north of Greytown and turn on route 7 to Hanmer Springs. It is 254kms and 3 ½ hour drive. Jump in the hot pools and enjoy……..

Day 9 –
It is 135 kms and about a 2 hour drive to Christchurch so you got time to get there for the 4:30 flight. On the way back you may wish to stop at Pukeko Junction gallery and wine shop south of Amberley on route one……great shop…take hoe some good New Zealand wine!



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thegiants
post Mar 3 2010, 06:27 PM
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Thanks for your ideas.
I will look into the itineraries you posted and see how they work for me.
We will be spending a week with my family on the North Island for a week so
I still have time to prepare for our South Island tour.

Ari
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vondyh
post May 2 2010, 04:01 AM
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QUOTE(thegiants @ Mar 3 2010, 06:27 PM) *

Thanks for your ideas.
I will look into the itineraries you posted and see how they work for me.
We will be spending a week with my family on the North Island for a week so
I still have time to prepare for our South Island tour.

Ari



You may want to check out the Yellow Eye Penquns at Oamaru instead of the little blues. The YEPs come ashore after 3 and before 6 in the cooler months. Little blues wait until dark. The stadium at the colony is costly and with a family you could view the YEPS for zip. They are only over the hill from the main part of town. To drive to Christchurch from here will take you about 3.3 hours
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nztravelguide
post Jun 6 2010, 10:42 PM
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QUOTE(vondyh @ May 2 2010, 04:01 AM) *

QUOTE(thegiants @ Mar 3 2010, 06:27 PM) *

Thanks for your ideas.
I will look into the itineraries you posted and see how they work for me.
We will be spending a week with my family on the North Island for a week so
I still have time to prepare for our South Island tour.

Ari



You may want to check out the Yellow Eye Penquns at Oamaru instead of the little blues. The YEPs come ashore after 3 and before 6 in the cooler months. Little blues wait until dark. The stadium at the colony is costly and with a family you could view the YEPS for zip. They are only over the hill from the main part of town. To drive to Christchurch from here will take you about 3.3 hours



You have plenty of time to go see the Yellow Eyes first then over to the Little Blue colony. You do not have to go into the viewing stand to see them come ashore by the way. The entire road leading into the colony on the right are nests. They even nest under the buildings along there. be still and have a flashlight and you will see them running right past you
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