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Planning Help, Thanks

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Planning Help, Thanks

I am coming to NZ in December with the family, 2 young boys, 5 and 3. I have planned out the first part thru the North Island and find myself in Picton after arrival on the ferry. Since my planning has already taken us on a full day train from AKL to Wellington, I don't really want to take another train down to ChristChurch and then again back to greymouth.

Nelson looks like a very nice spot for a couple days of relaxing. Queenstown is our ultimate destination and I was wondering about travel down that way from Nelson.

I don't want to rent a car on the North Island but it is an option for the SI. Is there a good itinerary heading south from Nelson by car. Should I rent in Picton or Nelson, or am I better off relying on buses. probably have about 2 weeks for this portion but would like to make Queenstown a base camp for about a week before flying home.

Any insight is much appreciated.

Wanaka, New Zealand
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1. Re: Planning Help, Thanks

We often do the drive from Nelson to Wanaka (Wanaka is an hour before Queenstown). The Nelson area is a great place to spend a few days. There are some beautiful beaches about an hour from Nelson - Kaiteriteri is particularly nice. In Nelson itself, there is another beach called Tahunanui or Rabbit Island. Once you leave Nelson, there is a drive through the Buller Gorge. You can then head via Murchison to Westport and then you are on the West Coast. From there, you can follow the regular tourist trail down the coast: Punakaiki (pancake rocks), Greymouth, Franz Josef & Fox Glaciers. I think with small children that you are better off hiring a car so that you can take things at your own pace. There are many short walks that will provide an opportunity for the kids to have a quick run and a bit of a play. Having done that route many times with small children, I can tell you where all the good playgrounds and toilet stops are!

Christchurch, New...
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for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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2. Re: Planning Help, Thanks

Because Picton is a major arrival place for visitors to the SI it would be an obvious place to rent a car. There are many companies right at the ferry terminal. It would be easy to plan a one week drive either down the West Coast or the middle of the island.

1. Drive from Picton to Nelson/Abel Tasman NP

2. Explore ATNP by water taxi/short hikes

3. Drive to Punakaiki

4. Drive to glaciers

5. Rest day

6. Drive to Wanaka

7. Puzzling World; feed the ducks by the Lake etc; drive to Queenstown

Option 2:

3. drive Nelson to Hanmer Springs via Lewis Pass

4. Hanmer Springs to Christchurch

5. Explore Chch (Willowbank wildlife park; Antarctic Centre; Orana Park Zoo etc)

6. Drive to Mt Cook

7. Drive to Queenstown

Hope this helps.

3. Re: Planning Help, Thanks

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