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NZ - 16 days starting in Queenstown

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#1 ThatsNotMyName

Posted 08 February 2013 - 07:32 PM

Hi all! Just before Christmas we'll be travelling to NZ with family (us, my sister's family & our parents, our kids will be almost 7 & 3, my neice will be 2.5yo) to celebrate my Dad's 70th birthday. After the initial 10 days with the extended family we'll have an extra 2 weeks on our own to explore. We'll be flying in & out of Queenstown and will stick to the south island (will do North Island another time) so we're not stretching ourselves too much. I'm hoping you lovely ladies can offer some suggestions for must sees and nice (not over the top) accommodation. We're going to see what our itinerary might look like then weigh up car hire & accomm vs campervan. So - hit me!

#2 facetious-beast

Posted 09 February 2013 - 06:31 AM

Hi - here is an itinerary (ex Christchurch but you can modify) that I put together with 17, 4 & 2 year olds in mind. It is based on a trip I did with some friends a few years ago, so there are probably more things to do and I have also added in a few more days here and there to accommodate the toddlers. It might still be too ambitious, I'm not sure...maybe a NZ expert can advise? The accommodation is based on the properties that could offer 3 bedroom apartments or 2 bed + sofa/rollaway. They are mostly 4-5 star.

Day 1 - Christchurch (Peppers Clearwater Resort)
Day 2 - Lake Tekapo (Peppers Bluewater Resort or Mantra Residence)
Day 3 - Lake Tekapo
Day 4 - Mt Cook (Hermitage Hotel 2 rooms)
Day 5 - Queenstown (The Rees Apartments)
Day 6 - Queenstown
Day 7 - Queenstown
Day 8 - Queenstown
Day 9 - Te Anau (Distinction Te Anau Hotel & Villas)
Day 10 - Day trip to Milford Sound then overnight Te Anau
Day 11 - Wanaka (Wanaka Luxury Apartments)
Day 12 - Franz Josef Glaciers (Glenfern Villas)
Day 13 - Franz Josef
Day 14 - Christchurch (Peppers Clearwater)
Day 15 - Christchurch

Things to do:
Christchurch - Christchurch gondola, Botanic Gardens, Science Alive (check what attractions will have reopened after earthquake damage by the time you travel)
Lake Tekapo - Springs & Hot thermal/tubing, breathe in fresh air!
Mt Cook - Glacier Explorers tour & short walks around the area
Queenstown - Kiwi Birdlife Park, Skyline Gondola & Luge, Queenstown Gardens (and adjacent playground), Kawarau Jet, Kingston Flyer train, Steamship, farm & BBQ lunch tour
Te Anau - Glowworm Caves tour
Milford Sound - Cruise (it's quite a long drive there and back, so planning to make some stops)
Wanaka - Puzzling World
Franz Josef - walk to Glacier base, Heli tour (not sure about this with kids)

Anyway, that's the basics. I've been to all the places listed so I can thoroughly recommend, but I do also have a 21 day itinerary which I put together that visits, Nelson, Kaikoura and Hanmer Springs which will probably be waaaay too ambitious for my kids. I can always dream though....

Hope this helps!

#3 Duck-o-lah

Posted 09 February 2013 - 06:44 AM

We did Franz Josef glacier and I loved it. We walked up the glacier and it was amazing, not very kid friendly I'm afraid! Still I thought I'd mention it as it was my favourite activity of our NZ trip.

Hanmer springs was wonderful, they had the thermal pools which were wonderful (and I'm sure the kids would enjoy).

I've heard Milford Sound is not to be missed. Due to budget and time constraints we missed it laughing2.gif but it is apparantly well worth the trip.

Can't remember details, but on the drive to Queenstown we stopped at a puzzle park that had a great big maze and all sorts of bits and bobs that kids would love.

#4 facetious-beast

Posted 09 February 2013 - 06:45 AM

Ugh, sorry....deleting what I just wrote in my second post...

Edited by facetious-beast, 09 February 2013 - 06:47 AM.

#5 Miriam+1

Posted 09 February 2013 - 06:59 AM

There is a great sky wire (and quad bikes) near Nelson.  
The Abel Tasman area has lovely beaches, walks kayaking etc.
We stayed in this 2 bedroom B and B.  

#6 ThatsNotMyName

Posted 09 February 2013 - 08:09 AM

Thanks everyone for your suggestions! I wasn't as clear as I could have been in my OP, we'll be based just out of Queenstown for the first 10 days so will see that area & surrounds then. After that we have a further 2 weeks to look further afield original.gif

#7 cesca

Posted 10 February 2013 - 03:28 PM

I love South Island roadtrips!  I would suggest that you go from Queenstown and include stops in Franz Josef, Punakaiki, Kaiteriteri (spend several days there, so much to see in that area!), the Marlborough Sounds, Kaikoura, Hanmer Springs, Christchurch, Akaroa, Lake Tekapo, and Mt Cook...  

Two weeks is a good time frame in which to see all of the above. biggrin.gif

#8 ThatsNotMyName

Posted 12 February 2013 - 03:01 PM

Thanks ceska!

Oops, cesca!

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