We’re arriving in New Zealand in late January for the start of a 2 month work/travel trip. The first bit of travelling gives us 10 days to get from Nelson to Dunedin, which we want to spend mainly in the north of the South Island plus a couple of days travelling down to Dunedin via Punakaiki and Arthur’s Pass. Any suggestions would be very welcome.
3 nights Abel Tasman (walking, kayaking & general chilling - thinking of staying in Kaiteriteri or Marahau)
Should we try and fit in Farewell Spit? It looks wonderful, but I understand the drive is difficult at the moment and it will mean spending less time somewhere else
3 nights Marlborough Sounds area (QC Track, cruises)
Questions about this:
Where would be the best base? I love the idea of being somewhere out in the Sounds, like Furneaux Lodge, but would it be possible to pick up cruises from there?
Should we cruise QC Sound, Pelorus Sound (or both)?
3 nights down to Dunedin via west coast and Arthur’s Pass (we’ll be doing the more southerly bits of the Southern Alps later on)
Lots of questions about this, too:
The first night will be on the west coast: would Punakaiki or Westport be better as a place to stay?
Any thoughts on SH6 vs. SH63?
SH63 would be the obvious choice if we were coming from Picton, but is it a more difficult drive and would we be missing anything taking this over SH6?
Where would you spend the other 2 nights?
I was thinking of the final one somewhere between Arthur’s Pass and Dunedin (Methven? Mount Summers? Timaru?), but am wondering whether to stay in Punakaiki/Westport for the second night too, so we can explore around there a bit more, or somewhere in Arthur’s Pass so we can do a bit of walking.
Sorry about so many questions!