Is it possible? New Zealand South Island 8-9 days by train and bus?!

Old Jan 9, 18, 9:39 pm
  #16  
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We had 9-10 days in the south island and managed Mt. Cook, Queenstown, Te Anau, and Milford Sound. Trying to fit in any more would have been very rushed.

I had the expectation of stargazing/astrophotography opportunities around Mt. Cook/Lake Tekapo. In reality the full moon and clouds didn't cooperate. But the scenery around there is astounding even during the daytime. Make the trip to Mt. Cook and take some day walks - you'll be glad you did. The YHA in Mt. Cook Village was quite nice as far as hostels go. If you drive to Milford Sound on your own, PM me for a few tips.

Don't fear driving. You'll adjust quite quickly to driving on the left. Just make sure to rent an automatic instead of a manual - one less thing to think about, especially since the gear shifter is on the "wrong" side too. On the whole, Google Maps has been pretty accurate at calculating driving time, taking into account the average speeds through winding roads, stuck behind slow moving trucks and camper vans.
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Old Jan 10, 18, 2:49 am
  #17  
 
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A possible itin:
1-Arrive Christchurch, explore city/surrounds
2- Next morning, Tranz Alpine train to Greymouth, then intercity bus to Franz Josef or Fox Glacier.
3- Day in FJ/Fox, glacier climb or helitour etc.
4-Intercity bus thru to Wanaka or Queenstown
5-7 Wanaka/Queentown based, can include day trip to Milford sound.
8- Pickup $1/day one way rental from Avis Queenstown, drive north, via Arrowtown, and Mount Cook , overnight in Tekapo.
9- Drive car to return Christchurch airport, fly out (evening flight?).

There is a lot of bum on seat time in that schedule, and if your activity days happen to coincide with bad weather it may be rather disappointing. But it is doable, and includes a reasonable amount of the things you want to see with little driving.
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Old Feb 25, 18, 11:09 pm
  #18  
 
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Originally Posted by SpannerSpinner View Post
8- Pickup $1/day one way rental from Avis Queenstown, drive north, via Arrowtown, and Mount Cook , overnight in Tekapo.
Am wondering about this, do $1/day rentals occur quite a lot? I'm assuming these are 1-way to move cars from south to north? Am planning a trip with Northern Explorer -> Interislander -> Coastal Pacific (when they reopen later this year?) -> TranzAlpine -> pickup car at Greymouth, drive around the southern part of South Island and fly out.
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Old Feb 26, 18, 1:48 am
  #19  
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Originally Posted by msp3 View Post
Am wondering about this, do $1/day rentals occur quite a lot? I'm assuming these are 1-way to move cars from south to north? Am planning a trip with Northern Explorer -> Interislander -> Coastal Pacific (when they reopen later this year?) -> TranzAlpine -> pickup car at Greymouth, drive around the southern part of South Island and fly out.
Yes. Most are south to north. Refer post 13
https://www.transfercar.co.nz/

Would hold much hope of the Coastal Pacific train (Picton - Christchurch) returning any time soon or for many months(year?). Freight trains only run a night. During the day they work on continuing to rebuild the track. Track is out of action at this time due to last weeks heavy rain.
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