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14 nights South Island drive

Sydney, Australia
3 posts
2 reviews
14 nights South Island drive

Hello NZ experts! We will be doing a 14 night South Island drive very soon, flying in & out of Christchurch. Our advice has been to drive anti-clockwise, which we have decided to go with. Haven't got a really set itinerary (by choice...want to take time to stop along the way & to stay where we really like), but this is what we're thinking so far:

Open for discussion & suggestions!

2 nights (pre-booked) -Christchurch then head north, via Hanmer Springs (?).

? nights- Explore NE coast & Marlborough region(any suggestions on where to stay in the North?...we like wine & food)

? night -Explore West Coast,heading South to Franz Josef/Fox Glaciers (Nimble Fox full day walk)

? nights - Queenstown or Te Anau (?)-Milford Sound Cruise

? night -Dunedin (explore South East regions) What's the best route back to Christchurch please?

Depart Christchurch late afternoon, day 15

Things we might like to see, but not sure how to go about it in the time we have...

Arthur's Pass,Lake Tekapo/Mt Cook & no doubt, other great places you might suggest.

Looking forward to your (help) & suggestions :-)

Christchurch, New...
Destination Expert
for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
Level Contributor
40,153 posts
450 reviews
1. Re: 14 nights South Island drive

Welcome to the Forum, Kate. You are being a bit ambitious with your early days and need to slow down a little. 2 weeks is a good time, but minimum for the driving you have planned. Check out some of theitineraries already posted here. n particular you will need at least one ON between Marlborough & the Glaciers - have you considered squeezing in Nelson/Abel Tasman? Also Punakaiki. Then after 2 nights in the glacier region you really need to stop in Wanaka as Glaciers to QTN is a very long day!

From Wanaka you can head to Dunedin & loop back to Te Anau/Milford Sound then north to QTN; Aoraki/Mt Cook & Chch.

Sydney
Level Contributor
11 posts
170 reviews
2. Re: 14 nights South Island drive

Definitely do the west coast drive. make sure you have some rest time around he glacier walk. We only did the half day walk and were exhausted! The suggestion to stop through wanaka is a good one, if only because it is a beautiful town and one not to be missed.

Nova Scotia
Destination Expert
for Nova Scotia
Level Contributor
14,307 posts
172 reviews
3. Re: 14 nights South Island drive

I think you are attempting to do too much. We had 19 days and only saw the central part of the South Island staying in Christchurch (1), Punakaiki (1), Foxglacier (1 You need two if doing a glacier tour), Wanaka (4), Te Anau (2), Queenstown (4), Cromwell (1 We did a wine tour), Mount Cook (2), and Christchurch (1). We stayed extra time in Wanaka and Queenstown which you would have to cut back on.

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
Level Contributor
30,239 posts
93 reviews
4. Re: 14 nights South Island drive

Hi Kate :)

You would be fine with no set itinerary on a 2 month visit, but with only 2 weeks you are going to run out of time. Our driving distances are deceptive - you will find it takes far longer to get to places than anticipated.

Best have a plan on paper at least - if you arrive and don't like a place you can always move on. But it will also be a guide if wanting to stay in a place longer.

As you will see from Maryann's itinerary above, your two weeks will be crammed.

Once you have a day by day plan of where you hope to go, post here for our comments.

Happy planning :)

5. Re: 14 nights South Island drive

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