We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Can we visit both Islands in 10 days?

Which South Island hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
New York City, New...
posts: 101
reviews: 2
Can we visit both Islands in 10 days?

I am sorry to be asking another Itinerary question, but my friend and I are struggling with the time (10 days, really 9) we have and what we want to see, and trying not to be in the car driving for 6 hours a day. We are looking to go in early February.

Day 1: US-Auckland: Arrive pm. (I know this is really 2-3 days and we based on when would land, we miss the Syd-Queenstown direct flight)

Day 2: AM flight to Queenstown. Explore

Day 3-4: Coach, overnight cruise, coach Milford sound

Day 5; Drive to Franz Josef

Day 6: Helihike Franz Josef (do we stay 2nd night there?)

Day 7: Drive to Blenheim/wine country

Day 8: Marlborough (fly out pm to Auckland or take flight 1st morning flight day 8)

Day 9: Auckland to Waitomo to Roturua

Day 10: Rotura back to Auckland

Day 11: Fly out Auckland first thing

General question is are we going to be driving way too much and getting to everything in the afternoon and having no real time at each place?

We really want to see the caves at Waitomo and the geothermal pools in Rotorua, but the more we research, the more we are wondering if we have to pick an Island with the amount of time we have?

Is the drive from Franz Josef to Blenheim doable? Most guidebooks have everything going in and out of Christchurch.

Thanks so much in advance,

Stephanie

Nelson, New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
posts: 19,210
reviews: 44
1. Re: Can we visit both Islands in 10 days?

Yes you can visit both islands in 10 days - if you have a helicopter on call !!

- otherwise forget it. You're plans are far too ambitious - either double your time here or halve your wish list.

Drive times here www.aatravel.co.nz/main/td-calculator.php

add longer for lunch, sightseeing, exploring etc - many drives will take twice as long as posted here just from all the stopping.

New Zealand
posts: 1,923
reviews: 199
2. Re: Can we visit both Islands in 10 days?

You can visit both islands, but selected spots only. If you really want to vist Rotorua and Waitomo, I'd suggest cutting Blenheim from your itinerary. You are driving almost the length of the South Island to get there. If you are interested in wine, visit vineyards around Queenstown. I would then look at flying from Queenstown to Rotorua, so that you only have to go one way between Auckland and Rotorua. This would free up a bit of time.

Canandaigua
posts: 705
reviews: 116
3. Re: Can we visit both Islands in 10 days?

Right, you could do Queenstown/Milford/helihiking- tho I would consider Mt Cook instead of Franz Joseph for 4.5 days, and then fly to Rotorua for 4 days there, as Waitomo is near enough.

Blenheim makes it impossible.

You also could see glowworms at Te Anau, but it is more Glowworm and less caving....

Christchurch, New...
Destination Expert
for Zhuhai, Macau
posts: 17,615
reviews: 166
4. Re: Can we visit both Islands in 10 days?

After driving for 7-8 hours from FJG to Blenheim you won't have time to visit any wineries and yet you want to leave immediately! Why drive all that way? Much more sensible to drive to Chch or even stop at Hokitika and fly directly to Rotorua to save backtracking.

New York City, New...
posts: 101
reviews: 2
5. Re: Can we visit both Islands in 10 days?

Thanks all, Unfortunately #2 on my wish list is to visit wine country, specifically for the Sauvignon Blanc. My intent was to spend at least 1.5 days there and one or two nights. Will have to relook at visiting the North Island.

Stephanie

Christchurch, New...
Destination Expert
for Zhuhai, Macau
posts: 17,615
reviews: 166
6. Re: Can we visit both Islands in 10 days?

Yes, if you want 1-2 days in Marlborough you will have to skip Rotorua. Here is my suggestion for a less hectic schedule, assuming you have already booked the Milford Cruise:

Day 5. Drive to Wanaka

Day 6. Drive to FJG- 2N

Day 7. helihike

Day 8. Drive to Punakaiki

Day 9. Drive to Blenheim

Day 10. Wine tour; fly to AKL late

Day 11. Fly home

OR

Day 6. Drive to Mt Cook (2N)

Day 7. Glacier explorers or heliflight

Day 8. Drive to Christchurch

Day 9. Drive to Blenheim ...

7. Re: Can we visit both Islands in 10 days?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 5:17 am, December 18, 2013