Hi guys, after few weeks of research, have come up with a rough itinerary for 2 weeks in South Island. Time is running out for booking accomodations as I am reaching Christchurch on 30th December and flying off on 13th Jan. I need some advice so that I can tailor my iti and get down to booking my accom. Here is my plan and I included some questions along the way :
30 Dec - Reach Christchurch in the late afternoon , pick up rental car and spend rest of the day at Christchurch.
31 Dec - Drive to Lake Tekapo via Mount Hutt and Geraldine.
(1. Is this stretch too far and is it worth taking the route via Mt hutt rather than straight to Geraldine from Chc?) Do the night stargazing tour near Mount John.
1 Jan - Spend part of morning around Takapo and drive up to Mount Cook.
(2. Cant decide whether to stay the night at Mount Cook or to head back to Twizel for the night. Which is the better choice?)
(3. Is it worth it to do some tracks around Mt Cook such as the Hooker Valley track or track to Kea point? Can we do this unguided?)
2 Jan - Travel from either Mt cook or Twizel to Omarama->across Lindis Pass to Cromwell-> Queenstown.
(4. Actually in a dilemna of whether to head out to Dunedin from Twizel and then on to Te Anau or to skep this part and instead to go to Nelson in the later part of the trip. Its either choosing Omarama->Otago->Dunedin-> Te Anau or to skip this part and include Greymouth->Buller Gorge->Nelson->Kaikoura later in the trip. Not really interested in penguins and sea animals but more into stunning scenery and from what I read over here the path from Omarama->Otago->Dunedin-> Te Anau isnt that great? What are your opinions?)
3 Jan - Do a day trip to Glenorchy and back to Queenstown for the night. Jetboating at Dart River
4 Jan - Stay in Queenstown and do activities like paragliding and going up to the gondola.
5 Jan - Drive to Te Anau and stay for the night. Do the glowworm cave tours
6 Jan - go to Milford Sound and back to Te Anau for the night. Take a cruise and maybe do kayaking in Milford Sound.
(5. Is it too much of a trip to go to Milford and back for the night at Te Anau? Do not want to do the overnight cruise and there does not seem to be much accommodation in Milford Sound.)
(6. Cant decide whether to do Doubtful sound the next day but I would assume the scenery is roughly the same for both sounds?)
7 Jan - Drive to Wanaka and stay for the night.
(7.How feasible is it to track up to Mount Iron or Mouth Roy as I read it takes around 4 hrs to reach the top for a view over Wanaka?)
(8. Any suggested places to go where I can get a good view over Wanaka?)
8 Jan - Drive to Franz Josef.
9 Jan - Do half day glacier walk and drive to Hokitika or Greymouth
(9. Is it better to stay at Hokitika or Greymouth?)
10 Jan - Drive to Punakaki to see the pancake rocks, past Buller Gorge and on to Nelson
11 Jan - Drive from Nelson to Kaikoura
12 Jan - Drive from Kaikoura to Christchurch
13 Jan - Fly off from Christchurch
(10. Looking at the iti above, I wonder if I should spend more time like half a day more in Wanaka and Buller Gorge and skip certain places like the trip up to Mt Cook or skip Nelson, after Punakaki, head towards Hammer Springs and stay 1 nigh in Hammer Springs, before going to Kaikoura.)
Any comments and suggestions please?