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Itinerary in south island and Arthur's pass

Perth, Australia
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Itinerary in south island and Arthur's pass

Hello All,

We are a young family with 6 and 7 years old kids would like to get some input to our planned itinerary. We will be traveling in Mid Feb

Day 1 - Arrive at Christchurch

Day 2 - Explore

Day 3 - Drive to Fox Glacier, through Arthur's Pass

Day 4 - Explore

Day 5 - Drive to Wanaka through Haas

Day 6 - Explore

Day 7 - Drive to Te Anau

Day 8 - Milford Sound and cruise, drive back to Queenstown,

Day 9 - Explore

Day 10 - Drive to Mt Cook

Day 11 - Drive Christchurch

Day 12 - Explore - Kaikaroa

Day 13 - Flyback

Particularly interested in your feedback for the drive to Fox Glacier, understand that its quite a long drive, but i am not really keen on staying in Hokitika or GreysMouth.

Also is it better to go the other way around eg. from christchurch to mt cook and do the trip from Fox Glaicier to Christchurch as the last leg of the journey. Which way is more scenic on Arthurs pass drive ? is it going from christchurch or towards christchurch ?

Thanks for any reply in advance.

Christchurch, New...
Destination Expert
for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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32,065 posts
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1. Re: Itinerary in south island and Arthur's pass

I think you have got your itinerary very well thought out - almost the classic SI in under 2 weeks - with lots of 2 night stays. You might prefer to skip that Day 2 in Chch, unless your day 1 arrival is midnight. That way you could bring all activities forward a day & have extra time for Kaikoura at the end. I always prefer the drive towards AP FROM Chch - you are driving towards the Alps.

Chch to Franz Josef is about 5 hours but it is a scenic road and you can break it into 3 stages. Definitely stop at Arthurs Pass Village (2 hr) - short walk to Bridal Veil Waterfall; coffee or icecream at a cafe (or pack a picnic) and do also stop at the Viaduct Lookout 5 min up the road, over the Pass & see if you can spot our cheeky alpine parrot, the kea (don't feed them though). Another hour will take you to Hokitika - lots of interesting shops here, especially the artisan jewellers using local gold, greenstone & paua shell (abalone). Good lunch stop - and you could take a picnic down to the beach if it is fine - very wild & rugged coastline. Finally a very scenic 2 hour run to FJG.

Enjoy your trip.

Christchurch, New...
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2. Re: Itinerary in south island and Arthur's pass

I think you have a good plan. I wonder if on day 12 you meant Kaikoura or Akaroa :-)

Also take into account that the days you are driving are long days. Yeah, you can do Chc-Glaciers in 5 hours, but you will be almost flying through the way, and not knowing the roads it is a big risk. You do want to explore the areas you drive through as zhuhai suggested.

The drive through the Haast is amazing and there are lots of places to stop and take short walks - …govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/… . The Blue Pools are a must if you ask me.

Destination Expert
for Western Australia
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3. Re: Itinerary in south island and Arthur's pass

Definitely well thought out itinerary.

The only bit that confuses me is Day 12.

<Day 12 - Explore - Kaikaroa>

The drive to Kaikoura from Christchurch takes about 2.5 hours each way, so this won't leave time for much else.

Perth, Australia
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4. Re: Itinerary in south island and Arthur's pass

Thank you for your comments! On day 12 it was supposed to be akaroa not Kaikouroa.


5. Re: Itinerary in south island and Arthur's pass

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