TENTATIVE ITINERARY - 13 DAYS IN NZ - 70 YR OLD COUPLE
Replies: 10 - Last Post: Nov 20, 2012 11:04 AM Last Post By: hereandtherenz
Nov 17, 2012 6:34 PM
TENTATIVE ITINERARY - 13 DAYS IN NZ - 70 YR OLD COUPLEEarlier today I gave (using 'reply' instead of 'post') the above Itinerary - In Detail!
(So much detail - not just overnites but sights, questions, etc. - it would take this Very Slow typist hours to retype it here!)
Unfortunately, being only my 2nd full entry, this newbie sent it as a REPLY to my initial (early Sept) introductory post.
Since the initial post dealt with 30 days in OZ & NZ, I put IT under the regional (OZ, NZ, ANT) heading.
Thus my 'Reply' today went under that heading - whereas it should have been specifically under "New Zealand".
Another reason I used 'reply' today was so that my Detailed Description of us, our travel style & interests would be readily available to a current reader. That detailed description is at the start of the initial Sept post.
I am hoping some readers - particularly ones who can critique NZ itineraries - will click on my name here & thus go to my profile & click on the 'reply' I wrote today. If that's not realistic, please advise.
Thank You in Advance for Any & All responses, suggestions, corrections & critiques!
Nov 17, 2012 7:58 PM
1I've copied your post to make things easier. I didn't see anything wrong with your itinerary however you may be jet lagged on arrival so unsure of the initial 2.5hrs drive on the other side of the road.
VERY TENTATIVE 13 DAY NEW ZEALAND ITINERARY (A Followup to my 'Intro & Overview' - post above):
Tho not yet booked, we xpect to depart frm Alabama 3pm Apr 4 & arrive in Qnstown @12:05pm on Sat. April 6, pickup rental car & drive 2.5 hours to Te Anau or 1.75 hours to Mossburn & find budget motel room.
Day 2: Drive to Milford Sound, take boat cruise (better early or late cruise to miss crowds?) & return to same motel for nite 2 (possible detour to gloworm caves as we return?).
Day 3: 5 hr drive to a Twizel motel. We switch drivers every hour or so & would make a few short stops to sightsee & walk trails.
Day 4: 1 hr drive to Mt Cook, go to visitor center & on walks. Sometime after lunch start 3 hr drive (that's driving time not counting stops) to Wanaka for supper, some shopping if time permits, & overnite.
Day 5: Probably more shopping/sights in Wanaka area before 2.0 - 2.5 hr driving time to Haast plus time to stop along the way for views & a walk. Late lunch & visit Blue Pools @ Haast then 2 - 2.5 hr driving time to Fox or FJ for overnite.
Day 6: Visit one of the glaciers (how much time?) before 2 hr drive, plus stops, to Hokitika for some shopping, seeing glow worms after dark & overnite here.
Day 7: Probably more shopping in Hokitika & stops @ Greymouth, Pancake Rocks & Westport & overnite @ Murchison (4 hrs driving time).
Day 8: Drive 3 hrs to Picton (+ stop or 2). Return car & take midday Saturday ferry (older less expensive ferry that takes 3 hrs but have a faster one that makes it in 2 hrs?) to Wellington, pickup car, maybe go to Te Papa Museum & drive 30 minutes to a northern 'suburb' such as Papaparaumu for overnite.
Day 9: Seems it's about 4 hrs driving time via Wanganui to Whakapapa Village in Tongariro Nat'l Park. Suggestions of this or alternate routes, & stops along them, would be appreciated as well as ideas for budget lodging in/near Tongariro Park - for 2 nites - Sunday & Monday.
Day 10: See Park Visitor Centers, take walks & make circle drive (3 hrs + stops) outside Park via Waiouru - which direction?
Day 11: 2 hr drive to Rotorua with stops @ Taupo, a geothermal site & in edge of or near Rotorua. Route from Taupo? Go to a Rotorua visitor center, find lodging for 2 nites here & ......?
Day 12: Primary interests include the buried village & evening tour of a Maori village with hangi (Tamaki?). Would like a museum, a geothermal location or other this Wednesday.
Day 13: Need to spend tonite near AKL airport as xpect to schedule 6am LAN airways flight friday to Sydney. Need ideas besides drive to airport.
Thank You for Any & All responses - suggestions, corrections & critiques!
Nov 18, 2012 1:50 AM
3Day 4: 1 hr drive to Mt Cook, go to visitor center & on walks. Sometime after lunch start 3 hr drive (that's driving time not counting stops) to Wanaka for supper, some shopping if time permits, & overnite.
Remember, these New Zealand towns are very small. You probably will not find anywhere to shop after 5pm, and even during business hours, shopping opportunities will be quite limited.
Nov 18, 2012 3:34 AM
even though it is a short drive, don't drive on that first day. You will be very jetlagged and a danger to all. I think you should spend AT LEAST the whole of the next day recovering.
most of your drive times are too short - don't trust google maps that just divides kilometres by 100 to get hours. Dividing by 60 is more realistic.
as someone else notes, all shops close around 5pm - and why are you wasting time shopping for anything except food anyway? There isn't anything to buy that you can't get at home, with the exception of a piece of greenstone; Hokitika is a good place for that.
there is no fast ferry across the Cook strait, they all take three hours. The first half from the South island is stupendously scenic, the approach to Wellington quite interesting too.
Nov 18, 2012 12:19 PM
5Agree with my previous posters here, driving times arelonger than waht you expect. JerryMiley mentioned something about ~150-200 miles (300-400km) driving per day, however on the smaller roads off the main highway you will get an average speed of 50-80km/h.
The InterIslander crossing takes about 3 hours, but you should plan another 1h to get your car onto the ferry and out again. The whole crossing can be quite rough in stormy weather, i hope you wont get seasick :)
Nov 18, 2012 5:14 PM
6Day 1 - agree with neverwinter - don't drive on your first day
Day 2 - consider taking a bus trip to Milford rather than driving yourselves. You will enjoy the scenery so much more.
Day 3 - I hope you have some star gazing planned?
Day 7 - Not much to do/see in Murchison.
Day 8 - take the older slower ferry. You can get out and about and see more. Also the fast ferry is cancelled more often as it doesn't cope with a few waves. It is also more stable in rough weather. I've done a few rough trips but haven't been sea sick on any of them.
Day 9 - consider the forgotten highway or the river road.
Day 13 - depending on what tiem you arrive, visiting the Auckland War Memorial Museum might interest you (much more than war history), take a ferry across to Devonport for dinner or a wander around the Viaduct before heading out to your airport hotel.
People have made comments about shops closing at 5pm. If you're in a little town in the back of beyond (like Murchison), this is probably true. The tourist places (like Queenstown) that you are visiting will be different.
Nov 18, 2012 8:29 PM
7KJL38 I want to especially Thank You for copying my earlier reply onto my new post where I should've placed it initially! I'm sure your assistance facilitated responses.
My thanks to each of you who has replied so far.
Several strongly caution to do little or no driving on day of arrival. We will definitely plan alternative to even Mossburn in case we feel too sleepy to drive even an hr or 2. We know that can happen! Coming back from Japan we had that experience (& would've on arrival there had we tried to drive).
Wondering if there are any budget motels near ZQN airport in Millbrook? Also, should we seem awake then get sleepy, are there any basic motels along route at Kingston? Garston? Athol? (Since we will be in NZ in mid-April shoulder-season & like to be flexible, we had not planned to make lodging reservations. Problematic @ some places?)
Another idea we've gotten from your replies is that the travel times I stated may well be too short due to winding, steep & narrow roads w 1-lane bridges. (Living in hill/mtn country of USA's rural south, we know such roads can be unexpectedly slow.) We'd gotten the times we stated from Wises.co.nz as recommended by LisaMNZ in a Sept reply to my Intro post. Today, I compared a few of their travel times to those of google & Michelin. Those 3 seemed almost identical; However, we've used google & Michelin enought to know they often understate travel times FOR US. Today I saw a NZ.com site & it gave longer times which I think better fit travelers like us that wish to enjoy the drive & glance at scenery rather than trying to make top speed possible.
PhiMeow, we anticipate leaving off the glow worm detour on return from Milford Sound. Can see them afterdark in Hokitika.
Thanx to several for thots on ferry - sounds like 3 hr one has real advantages - & we'd forgotten to allow time for car drop off & re-pick-up.
HereandthereNZ, we appreciate your day by day comments. Unclear tho about Day 3's "star-gazing?" Do you mean it will be dark by time we arrive in Twizel? I'd meant to ask for suggestions for stops that day. Instead of using the term 'shopping' I should have said "browsing tourist stops for souvenirs". Small towns like Murchison usually work as Overnites for us since we xpect little of them xcept a clean place to sleep. Will look for info on the 2 routes for day 9 & into AKL sights.
Thanks all - more later - it's late now.
Nov 18, 2012 9:07 PM
8Twizel is known for its clear skies. I was suggesting that you visit an observatory or at the very least rug up and sit outside and admire the stars.
Nov 20, 2012 3:31 AM
Nov 20, 2012 11:04 AM
(4 star Hotel)
From US$189.00 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$144.00 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$169.00 per night