I'm hoping for feedback for a 7 day itinerary for March of next year for myself and my husband:
Day 1: Arrive Christchurch (we are staying in the North Island for a week before, so a short flight)
Day 2: Drive to Mt Cook/Lake Tekapo
Day 4: Drive to Queenstown (which we will use as our base for the remainder of the trip)
Day 5: Hang out in Queenstown
Day 6: Wine tour in Central Otago
Day 7: Day trip to Milford Sound
Day 8: Fly to Auckland
Main things I'm hoping to get feedback on:
1) I'm trying to determine whether to stay in Mt. Cook Village or the Tekapo Lake area (or Twizel or another town). Mt. Cook village looks gorgeous and closer to the park (and from what I can tell, we can book the helihike or helicopter tour from that area), but lodging options are much more limited. We are interested in seeing the glaciers (whether Tasman or going to see Fox/Franz Josef) and doing some hikes around the park and enjoying the scenery.
2) I'm thinking since we are probably going to book tours to Milford Sound and the wine area, we could possibly ditch our rental car on Day 4 or 5 and have the tour companies pick us up from our hotel. Is there enough to do in Queenstown that we won't want to have a car for a whole day? I'm open to staying in the central business district for convenience, though some of the lodging outside of town looks lovely. Other postings on this forum about whether to hire a car in Queenstown are based on making road trips to the surrounding area, but I don't think we really have a lot of time to do that anyway.
3) Does it makes sense to use Queenstown as a base for visiting Milford Sound? We definitely are hoping to relax a bit, and not having to move hotels every day would be preferable to packing up every morning, though it looks like trying to do Milford Sound in one day makes for a very long day. Would you recommend taking a flight to Milford Sound from Queenstown or are there helicopter tours that you would recommend?
Thanks in advance!