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Tour S. Island via Christchurch for 7 days - Help on Options

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Tour S. Island via Christchurch for 7 days - Help on Options

Wanaka looks great and I am certain I want it to be a a main part of my South Island trip.

I will be coming to NZ for the Rugby World Cup in October 2011. I'm planning an itinerary which would start in Christchurch for 6/7 days and end in Picton to get the ferry to Wellington - all via car hire. I have two draft itineraries which firstly involves Dunedin for 2 nights and then Wanaka for 3 nights, with a flight to Milford Sound and a driving day trip to Queenstown. Then drive to Kaikoura for 2 nights before driving to Picton

My second option involves driving straight to Wanaka for 3 nights with similar trips as above to Milford Sound and Queenstown. Then drive for one night in Te Anau and then one night in Timaru and one night in Kaikoura before going to Picton.

Does anybody have any views on these two options or any other suggestions for the 7 days. I have to start in Christchurch and end up in Picton in no more than 7 nights/8 days.

Thanks for any help

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1. Re: Tour S. Island via Christchurch for 7 days - Help on Options

Welcome to the forum Eduardo :)

Neither option really showcases the best of the south. And although you have three nights in Wanaka you won't actually have any time to explore. One day to drive there, one day to see Queenstown, one day for Milford. Plus the drive Wanaka to Kaikoura is a bit far, taking close to 9 hours if you don't stop. And fabulous as the flight to Milford is, the bus/cruise/fly option is even better. The Milford Road is, imo, the true highlight of the trip.

a suggestion;

1 arrive Chch, fly to Queenstown

2 explore

3 bus/cruise Milford Sound, fly back to Queenstown

4 drive to Wanaka :)

5 explore

6 drive to Chch

7 drive to Picton

hope this helps :)

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2. Re: Tour S. Island via Christchurch for 7 days - Help on Options

Wanaka Lakes

Thanks for the reply. Much appreciated. I agree with your comment that I may be trying to pack in too much and so I won't really explore Wanaka and Queenstown. I'll definitely check out the bus/cruise/fly option for Milford Sound.

The down side of your option is that I only see one section of the South Island and miss both Dunedin and/or Kaikoura. I might mix your and my options by:

1. Drive to Wanaka from Christchurch and stay 4 nights

2. Do bus/cruise/fly to Milford Sound

3. Explore Wanaka

4. Explore Queenstown

5. Drive to Christchurch and stay overnight

6. Drive to Kaikoura and stay 2 nights

7. Explore Kaikoura

8. Drive to Picton

Less rushing around and more sensible journey lengths. Any views? Thanks again. Eduardo

New Zealand
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3. Re: Tour S. Island via Christchurch for 7 days - Help on Options

You can't bus to Milford Sound from Wanaka. Fly yes, bus no. You bus from Queenstown or Te Anau. Which is why I suggested you staying overnight in Queenstown.

The drive Chch to Kaikoura is just over 2 hours. One night in Kaikoura should be sufficient :)

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4. Re: Tour S. Island via Christchurch for 7 days - Help on Options

Thanks - having checked the bus/cruise/fly option I saw it was from Queenstown. I suppose my choice is having an early start and drive from Wanaka to Queenstown or a stay there as you suggest. So much to think about!

Thanks again.

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5. Re: Tour S. Island via Christchurch for 7 days - Help on Options

The majority of buses leave Queenstown at 7am for the drive to Milford, so you would need to leave Wanaka by 5:30am. This is neither a safe nor sensible option.

6. Re: Tour S. Island via Christchurch for 7 days - Help on Options

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