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South Island Itinerary - is all this doable in ~ 20 days?

Colchester, United...
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South Island Itinerary - is all this doable in ~ 20 days?

Hi there. Me and my boyfriend are planning on travelling to New Zealand around this time next year, starting at the South Island and travelling up to the North Island for about a month in total, with a bit of leeway if we have the funds! So far I have only been researching the South Island and was wondering whether this itinerary was a bit too ambitious for the time we have. I would appreciate any advice - bits maybe to miss out if it's a struggle etc.

So starting at Christchurch (self-driving):

1. Straight from Christchurch to Kaikoura & whale watching (we are not interested in the city, unless you think we would be missing out!)

2. Kaikoura to Nelson/Abel Tasman/Kahurungi region

3. Abel Tasman to Greymouth

4. Greymouth to Fox glacier and Fox glacier trip

5. West Coast - Gillespies beach etc

6. Queenstown

7. Milford Sound/Te Anau

8. Back to Queenstown - Mount Cook?

7. The Catlins

8. Dunedin

Ideally I would like to do everything and really experience the island but at the same time I don't want overdo it and limit what we can do on the North Island.

Any advice as to the timescale of this would be much appreciated :)

Thanks

Laura

Edited: 7:23 am, December 04, 2013
New Zealand
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1. Re: South Island Itinerary - is all this doable in ~ 20 days?

Welcome to the fourm Laura :)

Best not get off a long haul flight and directly behind the wheel of a car - jet lag kills.

Spend the first day/night in Chch and collect your rental day 2.

The only way to see if this will fit into 20 days is to write out a day by day itinerary.

Are you driving to Picton and getting the ferry across, or are you flying from Dunedin to the North Island?

if flying, best to go;

Abel Tasman to Punakaiki or Hokitika

Franz/Fox

Wanaka

Queenstown

Te Anau

Catlins

Dunedin

if driving to Picton then;

Abel Tasman to Punakaiki or Hokitika

Franz/Fox

Wanaka

Dunedin

Catlins

Te Anau

Queenstown

Aoraki/Mt Cook

Chch

Kaikoura

Picton

Colchester, United...
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2. Re: South Island Itinerary - is all this doable in ~ 20 days?

Thank you :)

Hi - yes sorry I didn't state that, we are planning to fly to the North island from Dunedin (unless you would recommend driving to Picton over this?). Also thank you for the jet lag advice - I realised this myself later but the excitement of getting going overtook me!

Also to clarify - are you suggesting to go straight from Chch to Abel Tasman and miss Kaikoura?

Not including time to get over the jet lag I was optimistic that this would fit in 20 days which give us ~ 1-2 days at each location. Do you think this is sufficient? I don't want to ruin the time we have by being rushed/making it too intense.

Thank you so much for your advice

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
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3. Re: South Island Itinerary - is all this doable in ~ 20 days?

flying out of Dunedin makes good sense

certainly include Kaikoura if you wish (and if time allows). I just started line 3 of yours as the rest was fine.

And write out your plans day by day - this is essential to check it all fits. You can always be more flexible once here and you adjust for weather and mood.

Once you have your plans firmed up, post your itinerary for our comments.

have fun :)

Edited: 3:56 am, December 05, 2013
Colchester, United...
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4. Re: South Island Itinerary - is all this doable in ~ 20 days?

Thanks again. I have been reading that google is not an ideal tool to estimate driving times - could you possibly recommend a reliable website for this please? - then can properly formulate plans.

I really appreciate your feedback and will be sure to update with a more detailed itinerary :)

New Zealand
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5. Re: South Island Itinerary - is all this doable in ~ 20 days?

use this http://maps.aa.co.nz/#directions

- but use times given as drive times only, allow longer for food, sightseeing stops etc

Colchester, United...
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6. Re: South Island Itinerary - is all this doable in ~ 20 days?

I also notice you missed out Greymouth - would you not recommend staying there - is there not much to do?

Thanks again!

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7. Re: South Island Itinerary - is all this doable in ~ 20 days?

Punakaiki is the most scenic stop

Hokitika has the best shopping, accommodation and restaurant options

Greymouth has less of the above though is a perfectly fine town.

your choice...

Colchester, United...
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8. Re: South Island Itinerary - is all this doable in ~ 20 days?

Thank you for the advice there - for some reason in my head Greymouth had a lot of activities but I am clearly inventing things!

9. Re: South Island Itinerary - is all this doable in ~ 20 days?

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