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Doing too much?

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Kenilworth...
posts: 3
reviews: 1
Doing too much?

Hi all

Me and my wife will be travelling to the south island this February for 10.5 days, hiring a camper van.

My wife is adiment that she wants to go to the Abel Tasman area but I'm not sure if the following is doable?

Fri 15th - 4pm fly into Christchurch' explore

Sat 16th - Drive to Abel Tasman

Sun 17th - Explore

Mon 18th - drive to Franz Josef

Tues 19th - drive to Wanaka

Wed 20th - explore

Thurs 21st - Drive to The Anau

Fri 22nd - Doubtful Sound (stay at Ta Anau)

Sat 23rd - Milford Sound (stay at Ta Anau)

Sun 24th - Drive to mount Cook

Mon 25th - explore

Tues 26th - Back to Christchurch to fly out at 4:50

Any advise would be much appreciated :-)

Queenstown, New...
posts: 1,500
reviews: 95
1. Re: Doing too much?

What most people do not understand is that our roads are measured in hours not kms. To travel all the way to Abel Tasman and not stay there for 2 to 3 nights is silly.

You really need a minimum of 15 days to do what you are intending other wise, all you re doing is driving.

The Wanaka Queenstown Arrowtown and Glenorchy area is worth at least 3 nights.

To give yourself more time just do Doubtful sound and fly from Queenstown back to CH CH.

The best views of Mt Cook are from a distance and you will have done that when at Fox.

I hope this helps

Nelson, New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
posts: 20,481
reviews: 45
2. Re: Doing too much?

Oh yikes Justin - you have impossibly long drives planned - and in a campervan which travels about 20% slower than a car!

You have time to do a circuit of the upper half of the island, or the lower half, not both.

15 arrive Chch

16 drive Arthur's pass to Punakaiki

17 drive to Nelson

18 drive to Abel Tasman

19 explore

20 drive to Picton

21 explore Marlborough Sounds, stay Picton

22 drive to Blenheim, wine tour

23 drive to Kaikoura, whale watch

24 drive to Hanmer Springs, soak

25 drive to Akaroa, dolphin cruise

26 drive to Chch, fly out

or...

15 arrive Chch

16 drive Arthur's pass to Punakaiki

17 drive to Franz Josef , heli-hike?

18 drive Haast Pass to Wanaka

19 explore

20 drive to Te Anau

21 explore Milford Sound, stay Te Anau

22 drive to Queenstown

23 explore

24 drive Lindis Pass to Aoraki/Mt Cook

25 explore

26 drive to Chch, fly out

Canandaigua
posts: 711
reviews: 122
3. Re: Doing too much?

I agree. We had 10 days and wanted to see Abel Tasman AND Fjordland, so we flew from Nelson to Queenstown to keep from spending all our time in the car.

You have 5 days of all day driving in your itinerary, and two days of 5 hours in transit.

Is that really how you want to spend your holiday?

What about 3-4 days in Abel Tasman/Queen Charlotte, then turn in the van, fly to Queenstown, and either pick up another one or do the car/youth hostel thing?

Kenilworth...
posts: 3
reviews: 1
4. Re: Doing too much?

Thanks everyone for your responses, much appreciated.

I thought it would be too ambitious! Think we will concentrate on the southern part of the island but will definately want to do Abel next time :-)

Kenilworth...
posts: 3
reviews: 1
5. Re: Doing too much?

OK, decided on the following itinerary:

15 arrive Chch at 4pm and explore.

16 drive Arthur's pass to Hokitka

17 drive Haast Pass to Wanaka

18 explore

19 drive to The Anau

20 Milford Sound (Drive route)

21 Doubtful Sound (overnight cruise)

22 drive to Queenstown

23 explore

24 drive Lindis Pass to Aoraki/Mt Cook

25 explore

26 drive to Chch, fly out

California
posts: 2,390
reviews: 56
6. Re: Doing too much?

I'd drop one of the days at a Sound and spend the night at Fox or Franz Josef Glacier. The drive from Hokitika to Wanaka will be 7 hours or more. Looks like WanakaLakes pretty much suggested that in her 2nd itinerary.

Or, is it possible to fly into Queenstown and see Fiordland, Wanaka, Mount Cook, then fly out of Christchurch? It would be a much more relaxed pace and you could do both Sounds.

Nelson, New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
posts: 20,481
reviews: 45
7. Re: Doing too much?

The drive Hokitika to Wanaka is far too far on a demanding road - the driver needs to be fully alert. Tired drivers make mistakes.

On average it takes tourists 6 hours to drive Franz to Wanaka with a couple of quick stops enroute. The road is often narrow, steep and very twisty with about 20 one-lane bridges to negotiate.

Please reconsider.

8. Re: Doing too much?

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