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Old 07-07-2014, 07:10 AM   #444
veryred
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 220
Hi,

We'll be going to explore North & South Islands soon .
Below is our self-drive itineraries, kindly give your criticisms/comments/suggestions

1) 26 Jul: Reach Auckland, stays 2 nights
2) 28 Jul: pick-up car, go Rotorua (Waitomo Caves, Hobbiton), stays 2 nights
3) 29 Jul: go Thermal Valley, try to visit Lake Taupo.
4) 30 Jul: (leave at 08:00?) drive back to Auckland, take 14:40 flight to Nelson. Pick-up car @Nelson Airport & stay 1 night.
5) 31 Jul: long drive to Frans Josef, stays 2 nights (heli ride)
6) 2 Aug: FJ to Q'town, stays 2 nights (gondola, jetboat, bungy, Coronet Peak)
7) 4 Aug: Q'town to Te Anau (drive to Milford Sound ?), stay 1 night.
8) 5 Aug: Te Anau to Dunedin (Monarch Widlife Cruises, Larnach Castle), stay 1 night
9) 6 Aug: Dunedin to Mt. Cook (Lake Tekapo, salmon ?), stay 1 night
10) 7 Aug: Mt. Cook to Christchurch, stay 2 nights.
Return car on the 8th.
11) 9 Aug: 06:30 flight to Sydney then to Sgp

Wondering....
- likelihood to use snow chain at areas from no.5 to no. 9 ?
- any road closure from FJ to Q'Town ? Or other places ?

Thanks!
nelson to franz is a really long drive.
on google map it is about 6 hours drive, but honestly it will take way way way longer especially during winter. Also, during your drive, you would definitely want to stop to take a rest, pictures and there are several nice bush walks along the way. You might want to consider splitting the drive into 2 days, making a pit stop at hokitika.

when you drive from FJ to QT, take extreme care at hasst pass, do check for road closure every morning.

if you are driving to coronet peak, u will def need snow chains.

take a tour into milford sound, do not attempt to drive on your own, esp during winter.

i would also suggest

FJ - te anu - dunedin - QT -mt cook /tekapo - CC route
because driving on highway 8 is way more scenic than from dunedin - mt cook on highway 1.
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