NZ South Island Itinerary Help

Old Jun 24, 18, 2:54 pm
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NZ South Island Itinerary Help

Hi,

I am currently spending about 3 months in SYD for work and I'm planning to make a trip to NZ. Unfortunately due to my work schedule I can only go for 4 days, I've never been before but plan to do a full couple of week trip at some later point.

Currently my plan is to fly into Christchurch and out of Queenstown four days later. I plan on renting a car and driving in between, hopefully stopping at good hiking or other nature related stops in between.

For starters, does this seem like reasonable plan? What stops would you recommend making on my drive? Also, I'm 20 years old and it looks like I will have to pay extra fees to rent a car, anyone know any ways around that?

Thanks for all your help.
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Old Jun 24, 18, 5:03 pm
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Just one piece of advice..... when you look at the road distances, remember many roads in NZ are one lane each way and winding.... you will NOT average the sort of road speed you are used to..so give yourself extra time!
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Old Jun 24, 18, 8:13 pm
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For 4 days, I would fly in and out of ZQN and spend your time between Queenstown and Wanaka. Plenty of nice hikes between the two. Ben Lomond, Roys Peak, Rocky Mountain Summit, Hooker Valley (although it's a 2.5-3 hour ow trip from Wanaka)...
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Old Jun 24, 18, 9:48 pm
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Originally Posted by calbear2005 View Post
For 4 days, I would fly in and out of ZQN and spend your time between Queenstown and Wanaka. Plenty of nice hikes between the two. Ben Lomond, Roys Peak, Rocky Mountain Summit, Hooker Valley (although it's a 2.5-3 hour ow trip from Wanaka)...
Agreed. The drive from CHC to ZQN is not that interesting. About ~50% is on the flat Canterbury plains. Queenstown and Wanaka area is what is interesting - scenic.
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Old Jun 28, 18, 9:23 pm
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Originally Posted by calbear2005 View Post
For 4 days, I would fly in and out of ZQN and spend your time between Queenstown and Wanaka. Plenty of nice hikes between the two. Ben Lomond, Roys Peak, Rocky Mountain Summit, Hooker Valley (although it's a 2.5-3 hour ow trip from Wanaka)...
Agreed!!!!
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Old Jun 28, 18, 9:28 pm
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happy_sz Congratulations on your first post after being on FT for 8.5 years ^
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Old Jul 1, 18, 5:51 am
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Agree with the others. This is do-able but not much point. I've done this drive and it is beautiful, but tiring. There are drives around ZQN that are easier and even more spectacular. Fly in and out of ZQN and tour that area, you'll fill 4 days easily.
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Old Jul 3, 18, 6:24 pm
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Might be quite challenging to go on road trip from Queenstown to Christchurch. Driving between them in 1 day is not advisable and if you need to add 1 night stay in between, you will not have much time to explore the areas around. You might want to consider focusing in 1 area.
Originally Posted by sfoflyer747 View Post
Hi,

I am currently spending about 3 months in SYD for work and I'm planning to make a trip to NZ. Unfortunately due to my work schedule I can only go for 4 days, I've never been before but plan to do a full couple of week trip at some later point.

Currently my plan is to fly into Christchurch and out of Queenstown four days later. I plan on renting a car and driving in between, hopefully stopping at good hiking or other nature related stops in between.

For starters, does this seem like reasonable plan? What stops would you recommend making on my drive? Also, I'm 20 years old and it looks like I will have to pay extra fees to rent a car, anyone know any ways around that?

Thanks for all your help.
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Old Jul 3, 18, 7:26 pm
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Originally Posted by jc777 View Post
Might be quite challenging to go on road trip from Queenstown to Christchurch. Driving between them in 1 day is not advisable and if you need to add 1 night stay in between, you will not have much time to explore the areas around. You might want to consider focusing in 1 area.
Google map shows about 5:30hr to drive. About half is on the flat Canterbury plains so not a big issue.
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Old Jul 4, 18, 8:14 pm
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Originally Posted by Mwenenzi View Post
Agreed. The drive from CHC to ZQN is not that interesting. About ~50% is on the flat Canterbury plains. Queenstown and Wanaka area is what is interesting - scenic.
So much failure to consider options.

Fly into CHC, rent a car (I *think* Omega will rent to under 21's) drive over Arthur's Pass and down the West Coast, through to Queenstown. Good drive, good walks/day tramps available along the way, comfortable distance for 4 days with frequent stops.
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Old Jul 4, 18, 10:05 pm
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Originally Posted by JamesBigglesworth View Post
So much failure to consider options.

Fly into CHC, rent a car (I *think* Omega will rent to under 21's) drive over Arthur's Pass and down the West Coast, through to Queenstown. Good drive, good walks/day tramps available along the way, comfortable distance for 4 days with frequent stops.
I have done this exact drive and so I definitely considered it as an option. However, if you only have 5 days in all of NZ, it just isn't anywhere close to the best option.

EDIT: I haven't done this exact drive. It is worth considering, especially if the OP enjoys touring. But still, I think if you have 5 days it isn't ideal.

Last edited by CPMaverick; Jul 5, 18 at 5:59 am
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Old Jul 4, 18, 10:11 pm
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Originally Posted by JamesBigglesworth View Post
..Fly into CHC, rent a car (I *think* Omega will rent to under 21's) drive over Arthur's Pass and down the West Coast, through to Queenstown. Good drive, good walks/day tramps available along the way, comfortable distance for 4 days with frequent stops.
But would be weather (including snow) dependant
In post 1 sfoflyer747 does not state when he wants to travel.
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Old Jul 8, 18, 9:36 am
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Originally Posted by JamesBigglesworth View Post
So much failure to consider options.

Fly into CHC, rent a car (I *think* Omega will rent to under 21's) drive over Arthur's Pass and down the West Coast, through to Queenstown. Good drive, good walks/day tramps available along the way, comfortable distance for 4 days with frequent stops.
I just did this drive in reverse over the course of 11-12 days and found the amount of time to be just about right. The drive would take the better part of 2 days (each leg of CHC-Franz Josef-ZQN is about 5-6 hours), leaving the OP 2 days to sightsee.
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Old Jul 11, 18, 6:35 pm
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I would only do Christchurch to Queenstown by car if you are really interested in driving through Arthur's Pass and seeing the glaciers. Otherwise, I second the opinion of others - fly into ZQN and enjoy the surrounding area for a few days. You are going to be killing a lot of time doing this drive...having done it, some parts of it can be quite scenic, but others can be rather dull.
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Old Jul 19, 18, 3:54 pm
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If you want to fly into CHC and out of ZQN in about 4 days, my suggestion would be Aoraki/Mt. Cook Village for a few days of hiking.
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