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Itinerary needs more revising - what to eliminate?

Houston, Texas
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Itinerary needs more revising - what to eliminate?

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
New Zealand
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1. Re: Itinerary needs more revising - what to eliminate?

It reads a lot better now and I don't see too much of a problem.

Part of the attraction of Rotorua is the strong connection to Maori culture - otherwise the scenery can't (doesn't even try to) compete with Yellowstone's landscapes. Keep it in or skip it? That's entirely up to you :)

I do urge you to stay at least one night Queenstown or Cromwell (fab boutique vineyards in the area) after Te Anau. You could use the Rotorua time here, or if keeping Rotorua then cut a day from Akaroa. You will have the afternoon of the day you arrive and the following morning for a harbour cruise or similar in Akaroa.

So your trip would be;

8 drive to Franz Josef, stay Franz or Fox

9 drive to Fox, stay Fox

10 drive to Wanaka :)

11 drive to Te Anau via Crown Range - glow worm caves? Ata Whenua?

12 Doubtful overnight (I think Milford best for a day trip)

13 return from overnight, drive to Queenstown or Cromwell - wine tour?

14 drive Lindis Pass to Aoraki/Mt Cook - fabulous drive

15 drive to Akaroa - harbour cruise?

16 drive to Chch, fly out

Hope this helps :)

Christchurch, New...
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for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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2. Re: Itinerary needs more revising - what to eliminate?

I was puzzled by the "Alpine Village" reference, but see from WL's reply that you mean Mt Cook. Milford Sound to MT Cook is def too far for day 13 - it is 4-5 hours just to get back to QTN, and another 4 to MT Cook!!

You might reluctantly give Akaroa a miss. if you arrivfing during the summer season it may be too crowded with cruise ship passenegrs to be pleasant!! This would give you back a night in Chch and allow for a more relaxing drive from Mt Cook to Chch on day 15 or even Mt Cook to Lake Tekapo.

Surprise, Arizona
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3. Re: Itinerary needs more revising - what to eliminate?

Fly Auckland to Blenheim. Use the "found"days in Queenstown!

Houston, Texas
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4. Re: Itinerary needs more revising - what to eliminate?

zhuhai - what is the "season" for cruise boats in Akaroa? Are they there for part or all of a day? My trip is for the first half of March.

gulformeca - i came to the same conclusion to delete Rotorua. I now have one night in Queenstown and the other was put in to break up one long drive.

Still tweaking.

New Zealand
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5. Re: Itinerary needs more revising - what to eliminate?

Generally cruise ships are in port all day, 8am to 6pm.

check page 4 - …govt.nz/files/cruiseships-akaroahbr-schedul…

Edited: 1:54 pm, November 10, 2012
Houston, Texas
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6. Re: Itinerary needs more revising - what to eliminate?

Thanks WanakaLakes for the link. Looks like 2600+ cruise line passengers will be sharing the shores of Akaroa with me. Is Akaroa big enough to absorb that many people without overwhelming services?

New Zealand
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7. Re: Itinerary needs more revising - what to eliminate?

Nope - Akaroa is basically one street. On the plus side most cruise passengers will head out of town by bus to explore further inland.

8. Re: Itinerary needs more revising - what to eliminate?

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