As the subject says, I am going to be in NZ for 14 days flying into Auckland and out of Christchurch. I have checked out a few coach compaies ect
I am unsure whether to book one fo the organisied trips or is it possible to take public transport?
Is it easy enough to pick up reasonable accomdation when you arrive in a town?
Can anyone suyggest a route that is achievible in this timeframe?
Ta for any help in advance
Yes, you can easily do that with public transport. Intercity and Newmans coaches go pretty much everywhere you'd ever want to go.
Accomodation should be easy to do on the day itself on the North Island, but I think the South Island is already going into the summer season enough that you'd be best off booking a few days in advance. You could probably still find some accomodation, but there'd be a lot of searching for it first.
As for a route... hmm...
day 1: Arrive, explore Auckland
day 2: Auckland to Tongariro National Park (stay in Ohakune or National Park Village).
day 3: Tongariro Crossing (if good weather), otherwise shorter walks through national park
day 4: Tongariro National Park to Wellington.
day 5: Wellington to Franz Josef Glacier (ferry, then bus - really long day, but should be possible from what I recall from the timetable.)
day 6: walk around in Franz Josef - do a helicopter flight if the weather's nice.
day 7: Franz josef to Queenstown.
day 8: explore Queenstown. Do the One Mile Creek track, scale Ben Lomond, and take the gondolas back down.
day 9: do a daytrip with boatcruise to Milford Sound.
day 10: Queenstown to Lake Tekapo.
day 11: explore Lake Tekapo. Walk to the top of Mt. John. Eat a Carbonara pizza at Pepe's (if the weather's good now, and wasn't at Franz Josef, do the helicopter flight here)
day 12: Lake Tekapo to Christchurch.
day 13: expore Christchurch. Walk through the Botanic Gardens, explore the museums.
day 14: departure.
If you buy a six travelday travelpass, transport for this (including the ferry crossing) will cost you $406 (NZD) - Busses can be booked up to 24 hours in advance with that.
Destinations here are based on what places I found most worthwhile, mostly nature, with lots of great walks to do and beautiful nature to see. Other people would recommend other places or other activities.
The overall schedule is pretty full, with lots of travelling, but the most beautiful parts of New Zealand (imo) are to the southwest of Christchurch, so you could either do less traveling and get from Auckland to Christchurch on a more leisurely pace but completely miss those, or do it this way.
Sander has some good ideas. I'm not sure the route for WLG to Franz Josef you would take but my recommendation would be...
Picton (where the Ferry docks in Sth Is) down to CHC on SH1. The scenery is amazing. Esp around Kaikoura
Then take the TranzAlpine
over to the West Coast and hook up to Franz Josef from there.
Just my 2 cents worth.
Since the TranzAlpine leaves Christchurch in the morning, you can't do it that way in one day, while the bus connecting to the ferry goes all the way to Franz Josef via Westport and Greymouth in a single day (arriving there around 8 or 9 in the evening if I recall correctly).
It's great scenery to be sure, but then, where in New Zealand isn't? *g* (And iirc, this bus makes a stop in Punakaiki long enough that you can spend some time watching the pancake rocks and blowholes, always worthwhile.)
Correction. I just downloaded the timetable, and although I still could swear that it was that way back when, currently you can't travel like that anymore.
So, you could do either as Flyin_Kiwi recommended, take the connecting bus from the ferry to go the Christchurch already, spend the evening explorer Christchurch, and then the following morning take the TranzAlpine to connect with the bus to Franz Josef, pushing all further days up by one (so you miss the day 13, exploring Christchurch), or you can take the connecting bus up to Nelson, explore that in the afternoon, and then the following day take the bus from there to Franz Josef.
Given those two options, I'd take the first.
Thanks guys for the detail!! Thats really superb..it sounds busy.. and it would definately fill my 14 days and see everything I need to!