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Old 09-07-2014, 09:45 AM   #454
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 1,376
yea you can ask the rental guy to show you how to fit the ice chain, and yea you can just watch youtube first to familiarize.

driving at 6am is really dangerous, not only there are no lights, the black ice in winter is no joke. Honestly, don't risk it. better to be safe than sorry.

I think doubtful sound is a nice place, especially when you can kayak and swim in the lake and most of the time you get dolphins swimming alongside you But I don't think you want to kayak or swim in winter and if i not wrong the kayak shop not open during winter also - need to check.

Yes, Milford sound is more commercialized because they get more visitor as it is rather straightforward to access. You can take a coach or drive there and get on the cruise. But for doubtful, you need to take a boat, bus and then cruise. Which also means more expensive to get to. But if cost is not an issue for you, by all means.

If you have 1 full day in christchurch I suggest you take a day trip. Either to kaikoura or akaroa. Depending on your interest, kaikoura for to see seals, whale watch. Along the way there are beach you can go to pick oysters as well. Akaroa is a small french settlement, get to see the nice bank peninsula, chill out in nice cafes or something .
I'm not so sure about kayaking at doubtful, but rosco's milford do have winter kayaking. I've personally done with them during early winter. Definitely not your typical tourist, commercialized way to explore milford, winter is a good time to visit milford and it will not be crowded like summer.. There's a reason why so many people wanna visit that place.

nevertheless zoer your updated itinerary looks good! franz to QT will be a very long drive.. should take longer than 6hrs.. and regarding the night @ mt cook, if you're just staying there for 1 night with no activity... i would recommend lake tekapo instead, beautiful small town to relax before you end your beautiful holiday. You can save that 1-2hrs of return travelling time as well.

Have fun! NZ is an awesome country
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