Please help me revise my 16 day trip. There are too many long days in the car. I have already deleted 2 nights--can you recommend something to delete to make it slower paced, more relaxing? Our highest priority is seeing/experiencing scenic beauty. Is Rotorua a must-do if we have already seen Yellowstone geothermal?
Day 1 – Arrive Auckland in morning. Explore Auckland on the free city circuit Red Bus then walk around the waterfront.
Day 2 - Pick up rental car and drive to Rotorua (3 hrs). Walk among the Whakarewarewa Forest redwoods. Overnight Rotorua.
Day 3 - Visit Waiotapu followed by possible soak in Waikite Valley Thermal Pools. Overnight Rotorua.
Day 4 - Morning flight Rotorua-Blenheim. Wine tasting in afternoon. Overnight Blenheim
Day 5 – From Picton take mail boat to Motuara Island & hike part of Queen Charlotte Track (Ship Cove to Furneaux Lodge). Overnight Blenheim.
Day 6 - Drive to Murchison and do Buller Gorge whitewater rafting (3.5 hrs). Continue on to Westport and overnight.
Day 7 - Scenic coastal drive to Hokitika via Pancake Rocks (Punakaiki) and Greymouth. Overnight Hokitita.
Day 8 - Drive to Franz Josef Glacier via Pukekura (1 hr). Take a picnic lunch and walk to Sentinel Rock Walk, Douglas Walk, Franz Josef Glacier Valley Walk, and Lake Wombat Walk. Overnight where?
Day 9 – Take a picnic lunch and walk the Fox Glacier Valley Walk, River Walk, Moraine Walk, and Lake Matheson. Overnight where?
Day 10 – Drive from Fox Glacier to Wanaka (6 hrs). En route stop at Haast River Valley (the Blue Pools & Thunder Falls walks) & Mount Aspiring National Park. Overnight Wanaka.
Day 11 – Drive to Te Anau (3 hrs). Stops en route? Overnight Te Anau.
Day 12 – Board boat for overnight cruise on Doubtful Sound. Is Milford or Doubtful better choice?
Day 13 – De-board midday. Drive to Alpine Village (5 hrs) and overnight.
Day 14 – Drive to Akaroa with stops en route in Lake Tekapo and Geraldine (5 hrs). Overnight in Akaroa.
Day 15 – Day in Akaroa, overnight. Activities?
Day 16 – Drive to Christchurch for afternoon flight to Auckland and onwards.Edited: 6:26 pm, November 08, 2012