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Old 18-06-2018, 04:32 PM   #2341
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Planning a trip to south island...first time...

Fox glacier or franz josef glacier....which one do you all recommend to visit?

I find helihike too ex....are there cheaper alternatives where i can still hike through the glacier?
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Old 18-06-2018, 05:18 PM   #2342
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Suggestions for North island itinerary mid Dec
(due to work commitment, we can only travel in mid dec)

Hi, objective is scenery and relax sightseeing; we're not into adventurous or water/beach activities, such as rafting and hiking. We'll self drive (2 adults and a 3 years old).

Here is our initial itinerary - route1:
Day 1: Arriving Auckland @2pm, SQ direct. Rest for the day.
Day 2: Explore Auckland City (own pace skytower, harbour bridge, parnell etc)
Day 3: Explore Auckland surrounding (plan to join day tour for dolphin and whale watching)
Day 4: Drive to Rotorua 8AM (via Matamata for Hobbiton movie tour)
Day 5: Explore Rotorua (plan to visit 2 nearby geysers/thermal)
Day 6: Explore Rotorua (plan to visit nearby sheep farm or join Waitomo cave day tour)
Day 7: Drive to Taupo 8AM (plan to visit Waimangu and Wai-O-Tapu)
Day 8: Explore Taupo (plan to visit Tongariro)
Day 9: Full day drive to Wellington 8AM (5 Hrs direct but planning for multiple short break in Turangi, Palmerston etc)
Day 10: Explore Wellington city (own pace LOTR movie tour, cable car)
Day 11: Explore Wellington surrounding (plan to visit kapiti coast, maybe even picton crossing)
Day 12: Fly back Auckland (if schedule and time permit, would like to try full day train)
Day 13: Fly out of Auckland, SQ direct (12pm)

Above itinerary feasible or appropriate?
Another concern is Day 9 onward, worth to spend 5hrs drive to Wellington?
Should we skip Wellington all together and focus on places north of Taupo?

Thanks!
Looks okay if your travelling pace is very slow and relaxed (e.g. you typically start the day late, you spend 2 hours chilling at a restaurant for lunch, etc). Otherwise, I think your itinerary is do-able in 7 or 8 days. Can consider this website for ideas on where to go.

https://www.newzealand.com/sg/featur...sland-circuit/

I did the 5 hours drive to Wellington as well. On hindsight, I'll still go to Wellington. Hope this helps.

Edit: forgot to mention that you can consider the trilogy attractions package (experiencethetrilogy.com). It looks like you are going to all 3 attractions anyways. Buying the trilogy should save you some money.

Last edited by yxerin; 18-06-2018 at 06:37 PM..
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Old 18-06-2018, 05:24 PM   #2343
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Planning a trip to south island...first time...

Fox glacier or franz josef glacier....which one do you all recommend to visit?

I find helihike too ex....are there cheaper alternatives where i can still hike through the glacier?
I visited both on the same day. You can hike to viewing points for both glaciers, but you can't actually hike on the glacier unless you purchase helihike (which I didn't do as well cuz they are kinda expensive). Can consider doing the Lake Matherson hike as well. The cafe there has superb views.

I chose to overnight in fox, instead of fj, cuz that helped to cut driving time to Wanaka by about half an hour the next day. I drove anti-clockwise around South island.
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Old 18-06-2018, 06:06 PM   #2344
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Planning a trip to south island...first time...

Fox glacier or franz josef glacier....which one do you all recommend to visit?

I find helihike too ex....are there cheaper alternatives where i can still hike through the glacier?
Both are close to each other so you can visit both. In both cases, you have to do a shortish hike up to the terminal face. I preferred the walk at Fox but the better view of the glacier face was at FJ. Of course the view changes over time so it's hard to say.
Dun think there are alternatives for the glacier hike since you are only there on one day or so. Also consider the skydive at Fox where you see half ocean and half mountains so quite spectacular.
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Old 18-06-2018, 10:40 PM   #2345
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Dear all,

Can help me to take a look if the below itinerary too ambitious? Not going for hiking.

Feel free to comment whether the places to stay over is strategic or skip or add on new places.

Day 1: Chrischurch arrival
Day 2: Chrischurch to Greymouth (stay Greymouth)
Day 3: Greymouth to Haast (stay Haast)
Day 4: Haast to Wanaka (stay Wanaka)
Day 5: Wanaka (stay Wanaka)
Day 6: Wanaka to Te Anau (stay Te Anau)
Day 7: Te Anau to Milford Sound to Te Anau (stay Te Anau)
Day 8: Te Anau to Invercargill/Bluff (stay Invercargill/Bluff)
Day 9: Invercargill/Bluff to Denudin (stay Denudin)
Day 10: Denudin to Lake Tekapo (stay Lake Tekapo)
Day 11: Lake Tekapo to Christchurch (stay Chrischurch)
Day 12: Churchurch morning flight out

TIA
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Old 19-06-2018, 07:30 PM   #2346
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Dear all,

Can help me to take a look if the below itinerary too ambitious? Not going for hiking.

Feel free to comment whether the places to stay over is strategic or skip or add on new places.

Day 1: Chrischurch arrival
Day 2: Chrischurch to Greymouth (stay Greymouth)
Day 3: Greymouth to Haast (stay Haast)
Day 4: Haast to Wanaka (stay Wanaka)
Day 5: Wanaka (stay Wanaka)
Day 6: Wanaka to Te Anau (stay Te Anau)
Day 7: Te Anau to Milford Sound to Te Anau (stay Te Anau)
Day 8: Te Anau to Invercargill/Bluff (stay Invercargill/Bluff)
Day 9: Invercargill/Bluff to Denudin (stay Denudin)
Day 10: Denudin to Lake Tekapo (stay Lake Tekapo)
Day 11: Lake Tekapo to Christchurch (stay Chrischurch)
Day 12: Churchurch morning flight out

TIA
On Day 1, if you arrive in Christchurch in the morning or early afternoon, can consider skipping christchurch and overnighting in arthur's pass. Same for day 11. Lake Tekapo to christchurch is a relatively short drive. Try to minimise the time spent in christchurch. Christchurch is a waste of time compared to other places in NZ.

On Day 3, I would personally prefer to overnight in Fox than Haast for two reasons. Firstly, there's nothing to do in Haast..it's one of those towns people drive through on their way to other destination towns like Wanaka and Queenstown. Secondly, I like the salmon sandwich at Paringa salmon farm but I doubt you'll reach there in time before they close as much of your day will be spent at the two glacier villages and the other activities along the West Coast (e.g. Hokitika gorge walk).

On the whole, this feels like quite a rushed trip with a lot of time on the road. On Day 6, you can consider stopping in Queenstown. This will mean less driving, and will at least give you half a day in Queenstown (assuming you stop over in Arrowtown). Then on Day 7, take a complete break from driving and instead book a day trip coach+cruise to Milford Sound. Cost-wise, if you book your coach+cruise early enough, it'll be cheaper than driving to Te Anau/Milford Sound and booking the cruise yourself. Then on Day 8, you can go on to Invercargill from Queenstown.
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Old 20-06-2018, 03:07 AM   #2347
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Planning a trip to south island...first time...

Fox glacier or franz josef glacier....which one do you all recommend to visit?

I find helihike too ex....are there cheaper alternatives where i can still hike through the glacier?
I will say FJG is better. Stay at FJG then travel to FG during the day to visit.

I think heli-hike is only option, just do it loh. Once in a life-time thingy.
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Old 20-06-2018, 03:11 AM   #2348
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On Day 1, if you arrive in Christchurch in the morning or early afternoon, can consider skipping christchurch and overnighting in arthur's pass. Same for day 11. Lake Tekapo to christchurch is a relatively short drive. Try to minimise the time spent in christchurch. Christchurch is a waste of time compared to other places in NZ.

On Day 3, I would personally prefer to overnight in Fox than Haast for two reasons. Firstly, there's nothing to do in Haast..it's one of those towns people drive through on their way to other destination towns like Wanaka and Queenstown. Secondly, I like the salmon sandwich at Paringa salmon farm but I doubt you'll reach there in time before they close as much of your day will be spent at the two glacier villages and the other activities along the West Coast (e.g. Hokitika gorge walk).

On the whole, this feels like quite a rushed trip with a lot of time on the road. On Day 6, you can consider stopping in Queenstown. This will mean less driving, and will at least give you half a day in Queenstown (assuming you stop over in Arrowtown). Then on Day 7, take a complete break from driving and instead book a day trip coach+cruise to Milford Sound. Cost-wise, if you book your coach+cruise early enough, it'll be cheaper than driving to Te Anau/Milford Sound and booking the cruise yourself. Then on Day 8, you can go on to Invercargill from Queenstown.
Spending first day at CHC is ok la. Not that bad.

Agreed on not staying at Haast, it's a stop-over/pass-by rather than sleep-over place. Stay at FJG. I booked coach+cruise to MS too after advice from here. Seem like a good choice. I stayed at Te Anau.

Schedule a bit too pack with travelling to places on Day 8-10 I feel.

Good choice staying 3d2n at Wanaka.
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Old 21-06-2018, 04:54 PM   #2349
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On Day 1, if you arrive in Christchurch in the morning or early afternoon, can consider skipping christchurch and overnighting in arthur's pass. Same for day 11. Lake Tekapo to christchurch is a relatively short drive. Try to minimise the time spent in christchurch. Christchurch is a waste of time compared to other places in NZ.

On Day 3, I would personally prefer to overnight in Fox than Haast for two reasons. Firstly, there's nothing to do in Haast..it's one of those towns people drive through on their way to other destination towns like Wanaka and Queenstown. Secondly, I like the salmon sandwich at Paringa salmon farm but I doubt you'll reach there in time before they close as much of your day will be spent at the two glacier villages and the other activities along the West Coast (e.g. Hokitika gorge walk).

On the whole, this feels like quite a rushed trip with a lot of time on the road. On Day 6, you can consider stopping in Queenstown. This will mean less driving, and will at least give you half a day in Queenstown (assuming you stop over in Arrowtown). Then on Day 7, take a complete break from driving and instead book a day trip coach+cruise to Milford Sound. Cost-wise, if you book your coach+cruise early enough, it'll be cheaper than driving to Te Anau/Milford Sound and booking the cruise yourself. Then on Day 8, you can go on to Invercargill from Queenstown.

Thanks for the input. Have decided to cut the circle small to slower down the pace in more relax mode.

How about this?

Day 1: Chrischurch arrival (night arrival)
Day 2: Chrischurch to Lake Tekapo (stay Lake Tekapo)
Day 3: Lake Tekapo and surrounding areas (stay Lake Tekapo)
Day 4: Lake Tekapo to Denudin (stay Denudin)
Day 5: Denudin and surrounding areas (stay Denudin)
Day 6: Denudin to Invercargill/Bluff (stay Invercargill)
Day 7: Invercargil to Te Anau (stay Te Anau)
Day 8: Te Anau to Milford Sound to Te Anau (stay Te Anau)
Day 9: Te Anau to Wanaka (stay Wanaka)
Day 10: Queenstown/Wanaka area (stay Wanaka)
Day 11: Queenstown/Wanaka area (stay Wanaka)
Day 12: Queenstown airport afternoon flight out
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Old 22-06-2018, 01:35 PM   #2350
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Dear all,

Can help me to take a look if the below itinerary too ambitious? Not going for hiking.

Feel free to comment whether the places to stay over is strategic or skip or add on new places.

Day 1: Chrischurch arrival
Day 2: Chrischurch to Greymouth (stay Greymouth)
Day 3: Greymouth to Haast (stay Haast)
Day 4: Haast to Wanaka (stay Wanaka)
Day 5: Wanaka (stay Wanaka)
Day 6: Wanaka to Te Anau (stay Te Anau)
Day 7: Te Anau to Milford Sound to Te Anau (stay Te Anau)
Day 8: Te Anau to Invercargill/Bluff (stay Invercargill/Bluff)
Day 9: Invercargill/Bluff to Denudin (stay Denudin)
Day 10: Denudin to Lake Tekapo (stay Lake Tekapo)
Day 11: Lake Tekapo to Christchurch (stay Chrischurch)
Day 12: Churchurch morning flight out

TIA
probably gonna get a motorhome for a really impromtu trip july 3 to 15.. can i just use this itinerary? haha ..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfHwYqmBRuc.. check this guy out..
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Old 24-06-2018, 05:00 PM   #2351
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@axelim.sg,

what is your purpose of going to NZ? At the rate you are driving, you will be tired, died tired.

Auckland trip - Auckland is not the right place for dolphins and whale watching. Don't waste your money.

If you want to see Hobbiton and Waitomo, I recommend stay one night in Hamilton to see both. Waitomo is nice, but it is a long drive from Rotorua.

Taupo to Tongariro and back to Taupo, you will be tired. I suggest on Day 8, either stay in Ohakune or Taihape. There is no way, you can take 5 hours to drive from Taupo via Palmerston North to Wellington. Going to Palmerston North is a big detour.

Then your drive to Wellington will be shorter. On the way to Wellington, just about 30 minutes from Samson, there is a Honey factory you can visit.

When you are in Wellington, forgot about the Picton crossing. That is a 7 hour journey to and fro. Unless you want to stay overnight in Picton. Then it is ok.

You can depart from Wellington using SQ. They stop over in Melbourne. That train from Auckland to Wellington could be interesting. But, with your 3 year old, I will not recommend the trip.

If you like wines and visit vineyard, then drive from Taupo to Napier/hasting and spend time there. Forget about Wellington.
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Old 25-06-2018, 11:31 PM   #2352
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No, he went with partner.

It's right hand drive, same as sg.

Not sure if drone can bring not, have to see who know here. Don't know got restrictions in airport custom.
Yup i brought my drone to NZ. but need to be careful where to fly.

alot of tourist places are no fly zones due to helicopters and crowds.

so try to go somewhere ulu to fly.
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Old 02-07-2018, 09:39 PM   #2353
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Hello all, am heading to NZ for 14.5 days in end Oct, any advice if this draft itinerary is okay for 4 pax group ?

Day 0 First pair touching down Auckland almost midnight, will stay near airport or city area.
Day 1 Explore Auckland City (second pair touching down in the afternoon)
Day 2 Coromendel (cathedral cove + hot water beach + perhaps some trail). Accomm @ Rotorua
Day 3 Waitomo (black water rafting + glowworm cave), Rotorua (kuirau park + wai o tapu). Accomm @ Rotorua
Day 4 Lake Taupo (huka falls + rapids jet + wairakei), Tongario National Park. Accomm @ TBC
Day 5 Wellington. Flying to Queenstown at night or next day morning. Accomm @ TBC
Day 6 Queenstown (skyline queenstown + fregburger + lake wakatipu). Accomm @ Queenstown
Day 7 Te Anau (milford sound, mirror lake) Accomm @ Te Anau
Day 8 Dunedin. Accomm @ Dunedin
Day 9 Lake Tekapo, Stargazing tour at Mt John at night. Accomm @ Lake Tekapo
Day 10 Lake Pukaki, Mt Cook (hooker valley track + tasman glacier lake track). Accomm @ Mt Cook
Day 11 Glenorchy, Lindis Pass, Arrowtown, Queenstown. Accomm @ Queenstown
Day 12 Wanaka (lake wanaka, roys peak). Fox Glacier / Franz Josef Glacier. Accomm @ TBC
Day 13 TBC. Thinking of heading to Hokitika and Arthur's Pass, but not sure yet. Worth the journey?
Day 14 Akaroa. Christchurch. Accomm @ Christchurch
Day 15 Flight back to SG after lunch.

Questions:
- Milford Sound or Doubtful Sound?
- Fox Glacier or Franz Josef Glacier? Is heli-hike worth it?
- Any recommendation on where to go on Day 13? Or would it be better to spread out Day 11 & 12.
- Where to go for skydiving?
- Anyone taken the TranzAlpine Scenic train? Is it worth it?
- Is it worth going to Wellington and Dunedin?
- Anyone been to wine trail?

Many thanks in advance!
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Old 03-07-2018, 10:01 AM   #2354
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Hello all, am heading to NZ for 14.5 days in end Oct, any advice if this draft itinerary is okay for 4 pax group ?

Day 0 First pair touching down Auckland almost midnight, will stay near airport or city area.
Day 1 Explore Auckland City (second pair touching down in the afternoon)
Day 2 Coromendel (cathedral cove + hot water beach + perhaps some trail). Accomm @ Rotorua
Day 3 Waitomo (black water rafting + glowworm cave), Rotorua (kuirau park + wai o tapu). Accomm @ Rotorua
Day 4 Lake Taupo (huka falls + rapids jet + wairakei), Tongario National Park. Accomm @ TBC
Day 5 Wellington. Flying to Queenstown at night or next day morning. Accomm @ TBC
Day 6 Queenstown (skyline queenstown + fregburger + lake wakatipu). Accomm @ Queenstown
Day 7 Te Anau (milford sound, mirror lake) Accomm @ Te Anau
Day 8 Dunedin. Accomm @ Dunedin
Day 9 Lake Tekapo, Stargazing tour at Mt John at night. Accomm @ Lake Tekapo
Day 10 Lake Pukaki, Mt Cook (hooker valley track + tasman glacier lake track). Accomm @ Mt Cook
Day 11 Glenorchy, Lindis Pass, Arrowtown, Queenstown. Accomm @ Queenstown
Day 12 Wanaka (lake wanaka, roys peak). Fox Glacier / Franz Josef Glacier. Accomm @ TBC
Day 13 TBC. Thinking of heading to Hokitika and Arthur's Pass, but not sure yet. Worth the journey?
Day 14 Akaroa. Christchurch. Accomm @ Christchurch
Day 15 Flight back to SG after lunch.

Questions:
- Milford Sound or Doubtful Sound?
- Fox Glacier or Franz Josef Glacier? Is heli-hike worth it?
- Any recommendation on where to go on Day 13? Or would it be better to spread out Day 11 & 12.
- Where to go for skydiving?
- Anyone taken the TranzAlpine Scenic train? Is it worth it?
- Is it worth going to Wellington and Dunedin?
- Anyone been to wine trail?

Many thanks in advance!
overall i think ur itinerary is too packed. need to account for the time needed to drive from place to place, and for breaks in between long drives. and also take note of wat time it gets dark. will be safer to stick to driving in the daytime.

for example, day 7 u are driving from queenstown to milford sound. that is already a 4hrs drive, excluding breaks and sightseeing. milford sound cruise is 2-3 hours, and u still need to travel from milford sound back to te anau which is about 2 hours. quite difficult to squeeze all this into a day, and u wun have time to stop for sightseeing along the way.

if u dun have plans for anything in te anau, i suggest taking a day package for milford sounds from queenstown. that will save u quite a bit of time, and u can relax during the journey.

day 12 is going to be very tiring also. wanaka to fox glacier is at least 3+ hrs drive. it took me almost the whole day, stopping for lunch and sightseeing. if u going to visit lake wanaka and roy's peak, u probably can only set off from wanaka around noon. so by the time u reach fox glacier, it is already evening. wun have time for doing any sightseeing in fox glacier or franz josef glacier

my advice will be to take things easy and space out ur trip more. NZ is meant to be enjoyed at a leisure pace, to relax and immerse urself in nature
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Old 03-07-2018, 11:51 AM   #2355
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I think too ambitious to go North and South in 2 weeks. U probably spend more time travelling than doing any other thing.

2 weeks alone in the south doing standard loop also pretty rush Liao.

If u haven't book anything yet than I think best to replan everything again. Like the post above, consider the time needed to travel, rest, lunch, taking photo, sight seeing.
Unless u intend to drive without stopping at all, u need to add 30-90min to the timing provided by Google..

Personally, I do drive at night sometimes but it all depends on your comfort level.. and the area that u will be driving in.
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