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9-day trip to South Island with young (8&5) kids

Poona, india
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9-day trip to South Island with young (8&5) kids

Hi,

We are renting a campervan in Christchurch and have 9 days in November 2013 to visit the South Island with two young kids (ages 8&5).

I have Kaikoura, Franz Josef/Fox glacier, Milford sounds, Queenstown & Dunedin on my list.

Are those good choices? Will it be too much? Advice on how much time we will need in each city and driving? Any oter advice on must sees/dos?

THanks

RAK

Edited: 3:02 pm, October 15, 2013
Poona, india
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1. Re: 9-day trip to South Island with young (8&5) kids

BTW, I am planning Kaikora, Franz josef/Fox glacier, Milford sounds, Queenstown and Dunedin. Is this too much? How long should we pan for each place and travel? Any other suggestions?

Thanks,

RA

Oxford, United...
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2. Re: 9-day trip to South Island with young (8&5) kids

You need to be careful you don't end up doing too much driving here or your kids will just remember hours on the road. In your suggestion I'd say you'd need to lose Kaikoura, Milford Sound or Dunedin to make it work. I've suggested some other ideas below.

My advice would be to focus on what you and your children will enjoy doing and build the trip around that rather than trying to pack everything in.

Kaikoura and glaciers are great but think hard about whether the kids will be able to make the most of a glacier walk (I suspect not for the youngest) for instance. Milford Sound lovely but a LONG drive from Queenstown, not much for the kids and it will probably be raining.

Suggest you also take a look at :

1. Wanaka - lovely little town by a lake and the kids would enjoy Puzzling World. Between glaciers and Queenstown.

2. How about the top of the North Island instead of Dunedin - Abel Tasman good for dolphin watching and plenty to do in Picton and the Marlborough Sounds as well

3. Akaroa on the The Banks Peninsula (next to Christchurch) is a hidden gem. Scenic, plenty to do (jet boats and the Giants House for the kids) and fab beaches for some chill out time.

4. Stop off in Tekapo for the most scenic crazy golf course your family will ever enjoy.

Here are some other ideas to take a look at: newzealandholidaytravel.com/pages/Great_Plac… for

You can have a great time for 9 days in the South Island and I'm sure you'll have a lovely trip, but the trick is to be realistic about what you can achieve.

Enjoy!

Edited: 5:35 pm, October 15, 2013
Oxford, United...
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3. Re: 9-day trip to South Island with young (8&5) kids

Sorry...I meant top of the South Island in my earlier reply, not top of the North (that would be a ridiculous trip!!)

Christchurch, New...
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for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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4. Re: 9-day trip to South Island with young (8&5) kids

I think you are being unrealistic. You have chosen three destinatations that are at opposite directions ( Kaikoura being north of Chch, Fiorldand SW & Dunedin SE) ther egoes 3 full days of your holiday just getting to them. Do you have to return the campervan to Chch? There goes another 2 days!

I suggest you drop Kaikoura and Dunedin and sit down with www.aamaps.co.nz/#directions and plan each day with a limit of 4-5 hours driving and an average of 3. Remember that campervans are slower than cars and that you are not in a race to get from A to B. There are so many places to stop along the way that you can easily double the times quoted.

New Zealand
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5. Re: 9-day trip to South Island with young (8&5) kids

Hi Perky :)

I suggest you skip Kaikoura, the West Coast and Milford Sound this trip - save them for when the kids are older and you have more time. You really need 2 or 3 weeks for a proper circuit of the South Island.

Here's my suggestion for a family holiday;

1 arrive Chch, explore

2 drive to Dunedin

3 explore Baldwin St, Chocolate factory, penguins

4 drive to Queenstown

5 explore TSS Earnslaw, luge, jet boat

6 drive to Wanaka, Puzzling World, bike riding, Mou Waho island

7 drive Lindis Pass to Aoraki/Mt Cook, Tasman glacier and cruise amongst icebergs - kids will love it!

8 drive to Chch

9 fly out

Hope this helps :)

Poona, india
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6. Re: 9-day trip to South Island with young (8&5) kids

Thank you so much for all the good suggestions. i'm definitely dropping the glacier given the hiking. Possibly Milford Sounds as well (heard a lot about it and hence added it in). Would Marlborough sounds be a better alternative or should I not do that either? My main goal here is the animals (hence my considering Dunedin and Kaikoura for the dolphins, whales, albatross and penguins - am I right in this?) and the outdoors. Not too interested in indoor activities or too much hang-out-on-the-beach time as we just had quite a bit of that. I read a lot about Wanaka on some postings and will look into that and the itineraries suggested.

If I drop Miford sounds and the glacier and add Wanaka would that be more realistic?

Thanks so much for all the help - a great resource!

New Zealand
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7. Re: 9-day trip to South Island with young (8&5) kids

What time does your flight arrive in Chch day 1 and what time do you depart Chch day 9?

Poona, india
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8. Re: 9-day trip to South Island with young (8&5) kids

We arrive just before midnight on 6th and leave early 16th (from Christchurch) morning so have complete 9 days.

Edited: 12:15 am, October 17, 2013
New Zealand
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9. Re: 9-day trip to South Island with young (8&5) kids

Hi Perky, this might suit...

6 arrive Chch before midnight, sleep

7 drive to Dunedin

8 explore

9 drive to Queenstown

10 explore

11 explore more or do a day trip to Milford Sound - 13 hours by bus, or 4 hours if flying

12 drive to Wanaka, explore

13 drive Lindis Pass to Aoraki/Mt Cook

14 drive to Chch

15 day trip to Kaikoura - whale watch, stay Chch

16 fly out

Poona, india
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10. Re: 9-day trip to South Island with young (8&5) kids

Thanks Nelson - this is very helpful. So you think starting by going south is a better way? I've decided to drop Milford sounds - too much travel. Will a day suffice at Kaikoura? As you all have warned, I don't want this to be a drive-drive vacation :-(

Thanks again!