Hey part of my rtw tour i arrive in Christchurch on Monday the 25th of may ( a day before my birthday) i have until saturday the 3rd of june to travel around the south island - i have got a 'kiwi experience pass which entitles me to travel to -
MAHINAPUA / FRANZ JOSEF / WANAKA / QUEENSTOWN / back2 CHRISTCHURCH
(the back paddock pass)
just wondering if anyone could give me advise on where i have to see and things i have to do - also money wise accom/food/partying/fun ne ideas on how much i need as i am on a budget
PS. NEBODY BIN ON THE EXPERIENCE BUSES (NEDGUD?)
I would say definitely do a full day glacier hike at Franz Josef - It's spectacular.
In Wanaka don't forget to check out Cinema Paradiso, a kind of homemade cinema where you sit on sofas or in the back of a VW beetle, drink beer and eat ice cream. Also had really good rock climbing lessons - I was a complete novice but was going up some pretty tricky stuff after a couple of days.
You won't have any trouble finding a party in Queenstown, it could zap your money pretty quickly though - this is the place for bungy jumping, jetboating and the like.
Re accomodation, would recommend Glowworms at Franz Josef and Southern Laughter at Queenstown, though I'm sure there are other good places too.
I arrive in Christchurch on Saturday...I leave Auckland mid May, give me a nudge somtime around then and I'll tell you the best of my south island experiences. I possibly going Magic bus as it goes pretty much everywhere i want to for a decent price!
I second the glacier hike suggestion -- definitely worth it. Taking the train from Christchurch to Greymouth is pretty cool too, then the glacier area is a short trip south from there.
In Queenstown, it's worth it to take the gondola ride up the hill to have a sweeping view of Lake Wakatipu, the Remarkables and the town itself. There are a lot of good day hikes if you're into that, and the conservation office in town can give you maps to the local trails. I did River Surfing, which was completely wild -- envision being given a wetsuit, boots, helmet, fins, lifevest and a boogie board (body surfing board) and jumping into class 2-3 rapids!! It was the most incredible thing I've ever done. The other great trip is the Dart River Funyaks where you get to do a jetboat ride up river, then float back down in inflatable kayaks...spectacular scenery there.
Fiordland is amaazing...and if you can afford it, doing an overnight on the Doubtful sound is memorable. Real Journeys is the concession that runs that trip among others to Milford Sound.
Enjoy..wish I could be going back!!!