We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Need help with queenstown te anau leg of nov08 trip please

Which Te Anau hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Level Contributor
91 posts
62 reviews
Save Topic
Need help with queenstown te anau leg of nov08 trip please

Have made some progress with my self drive itinerary (4 adults of which 2 senior citizens) but am still a bit uncertain about the following:

1. Will I be able to drive auckland-waitamo(just under 3 hrs?) do the glowworm tour(45 minutes standard one not rafting/tubing etc)-and reach rotorua (2h30minutes?) in time say by 2 pm to be able check in at rotorua hotel, dump the luggage and hit waiotapu before it closes for the last entry at 3.45 pm?

2. Similarly, is it manageable to do (a somewhat rushed maybe) te puia-agrodome-paradise springs before catching the afternoon flight from rotorua to queenstown? also once i arrive in queenstown(4.30pm), I'd like to right away drive on to te anau such that I can do the last te anau glowworm tour around 8.15pm. would that be manageable?

3. finally which one is worth it, waitamo glowworm or te anau glow worm tours? I'd like to do both but just in case I'm crunched for time which one should I choose?

Appreciate any thoughts please.


Te Anau
Destination Expert
for South Island, Te Anau
Level Contributor
2,801 posts
34 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Need help with queenstown te anau leg of nov08 trip please

Queenstown to Te Anau takes 2 hours, so assuming you get away from the airport at 5pm, you can be in Te Anau by 7pm. You would need to check into your accommodation before the cave tour, but even so, you should make the 8.15pm cave trip. you need toreport 10 minutes before departure, so say 8pm, which gives you an hour to find some accommodation, and perhaps grab a bite to eat. You wouldn't need to muck around, but it's definitely do-able.

As to which cave is better that's a matter of opinion. They are different enough to make it worthwhile doing both, but there are enough similarities that if you only had time for one then it wouldn't be the end of the world.

My advice would be that if you can make it in time to visit the Waitomo Caves, then you should do it, and leave the decision about the Te Anau caves until you are in Queenstown or Te Anau.

Christchurch, New...
Destination Expert
for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
Level Contributor
30,938 posts
307 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Need help with queenstown te anau leg of nov08 trip please

I think you have really answered your own question about the Auckland to Rotorua day - it is doable, but what a rush.

Leave Akl 7 am - rush hour traffic & all, arrive Waitomo 10 am, same time as all the tour buses. park car, find toilets etc

Take the 10:30 tour; leave Waitomo at 11:30; Arrive Rotorua 2 pm - when do you fit in lunch, buying petrol etc?

I can't remember how long it takes to drive to Waiotapu.

This is a holiday, right? You must also take the narrow, twisty NZ roads into consideration, plus your navigation skills. What time of year are you travelling? Fog and frost can affect early starts and I never recommend driving in the dark in rural areas to visitors.

Wanaka, New Zealand
Level Contributor
793 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Need help with queenstown te anau leg of nov08 trip please

Chances are that you won't get the evening glow worm tour if your flight arrives at 4.30. By the time you have collected your bags (1/2 hour) and hire car (1/2 hour) it will be 5.30, you've then got a 3 hour drive plus need some time to eat! (and that's assuming no delays to your flight too)

I really would swap the queenstown/te anau days around as per my previous post - you are trying to fit in too much in the one day there, and will not appreciate the beauty of Milford or Doubtful as that day in itself is another long day.

4. Re: Need help with queenstown te anau leg of nov08 trip please

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 08 October 2009, 07:19