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How long from kaikoara to Christchurch driving?

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How long from kaikoara to Christchurch driving?

Need to catch a 2pm flight. Also, best to stay one or two nights for whale watching. We'd be taking one night away from queens town to stay two nights instead of one. Worth it?

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1. Re: How long from kaikoara to Christchurch driving?

best post your entire itinerary so we can gauge whether 2 nights Kaikoura is 'worth it'.

drive times - http://maps.aa.co.nz/#directions

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2. Re: How long from kaikoara to Christchurch driving?

Itinerary is as follows (apologies for the spelling):

1. Day 1 - Auckland

2. Day 2 - Drive from Christchurch through Arthur's pass to Greymouth. Stay one night in Punakaiki.

3. Day 3 and 4 - Franz Joseph

4. Day 5 and 6 - Wanaka

5. Day 7, 8, and 9 - Queenstown (do day trip to Milford Sound and Te Anau)

6. Day 10 - free, no plan

7. Day 11 - 2PM flight from Christchurch back to Auckland

Need to know if I should take day 9 and day 10 and make it it Kaikoara. Thanks for your help.

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3. Re: How long from kaikoara to Christchurch driving?

How are you getting from QTN to CHC? If driving, there goes your "free day"! Iit takes a full 7-8 hours of just driving to get from QTN to Chch, so about 10 hours counting stops. I would suggest either:

Day 10 drive QTN to Mt Cook to Lake Tekapo (stay the night)

Day 11. Drive Tekapo to CHC (allow 3-4 hours, so best to leave at 9am for a 1pm check-in.)

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4. Re: How long from kaikoara to Christchurch driving?

You will find driving in NZ far slower and more tiring than the same mileage in NY - we don't have the freeways you are used to - think back roads Vermont.

How urgent is it to get to Kaikoura? I actually think whale watching in Montauk better.

if skipping Kaikoura then follow Zhuhai's great suggestion. Aoraki/Mt Cook has the fabulous Tasman glacier terminal lake with icebergs - you won't see that anywhere else.

Otherwise;

3 drive to Franz Josef

4 explore

5 drive to Wanaka

6 explore

7 drive to Queenstown, explore

8 day trip to Milford Sound

9 drive to Chch - allow all day

10 drive to Kaikoura

11 drive to Chch, fly out

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5. Re: How long from kaikoara to Christchurch driving?

Thanks - decided to leave Queenstown a day early and head up to Kaikoura. I'll be missing a 3rd day in Queenstown and Mt. Cook/Lake Tekapa but Not sure when i'll have another opportunity to see whales. New itinerary is:

1) Day 1 Auckland

2) Day 2 Fly into Christchurch, drive to Punakaiki and spend the night via Arthur's way, get a hike in

3) Day 3+4 Franz Joseph - hike the glacier, explore the town, check out Fox as well

4) Day 5+6 Lake Wanaka

5) Day 7+8 Queenstown, take day trip to Milford Sound, explore Queenstown the 2nd day

6) day 9 drive 8 hours to Kaikoara, spend the night

7) day 10 hopefully see whales, spend the night in Kaikora

8) day 11 - depart CC 2PM

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6. Re: How long from kaikoara to Christchurch driving?

This is far too aggressive. That 8 hours from QTN to Kaikoura is only for driving. Allowing for food & fuel it will take at least 10 hours (with photo stops more like 12 hours!) - and these are not roads that you can use cruise control on. Do you have two drivers?

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7. Re: How long from kaikoara to Christchurch driving?

Thanks for all the replies and wonderful suggestions. We do have two drivers although one is from New Jersey so I wouldn't realty call her a "driver":). We just thought that after 8 days of seeing incredible mountains, glaciers and lakes it would have been amazing to see the whales so were willing to spend an entire day driving, spend the night in kaikoara and then go on a whale watching tour the next day and see the seals if there are any. Will need to rethink this bc the drive does sound brutal. Maybe I'll leave it as an open option and play it by ear depending on how we feel after two days in queens town. Thanks!

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8. Re: How long from kaikoara to Christchurch driving?

If Kaikoura is a 'must do' why not consider doing it at the start of your trip and then flying from Queenstown back to Christchurch or directly to Auckland to avoid a long rushed drive.

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9. Re: How long from kaikoara to Christchurch driving?

Gator, tourists kill themselves, and others on the road, by such planning.

Please rethink!

also this - 5) Day 7+8 Queenstown, take day trip to Milford Sound, explore Queenstown the 2nd day

so day 7 you plan to drive Wanaka to Queenstown (60 or 90 minutes depending on route taken), find somewhere to park your car all day, then get to the bus by 6:40am ready to depart at 6:55am.

Please take another look at post #4 - it shows quite simply how to fit everything in, in a safe and sensible manner.

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10. Re: How long from kaikoara to Christchurch driving?

If you must do Kaikoura, rather than 2 nights in Kaikoura, consider spending both nights 9 & 10 in Chch with a day trip to Kaikoura on the 10th. You could fly ZQN to CHC!