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South Island planning - Tekapo problem.....

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific South Island planning - Tekapo problem.....

1. Posted by ladybug66 (Budding Member 42 posts) 4y

I’m in the process of planning my South Island itinerary, going to take about 25/26 days to do it.

Arriving Picton
Nelson,
Greymouth,
Franz Josef,
Fox Glaciar,
Wanaka,
Queenstown (also Milford Sound trip),
Invercargill.... we then need to get to Christchurch but since we are taking the intercity coach around we have two options – go north via Dunedin or via Twizel & Tekapo.

I REALLY want to go to Tekapo but I would also like to see the east coast via Dunedin & obviously I can’t do both!!

I was thinking we would travel north via Dunedin first, do a night along the way there and then when we get to Christchurch travel back down to Tekapo for a couple of nights as a separate trip and back to Christchurch.

Does anyone have any opinions on this? I definitely think we will have the time, I would also like to travel north to Kaikoura if possible while we have time in Christchurch.

Also, we are doing all this in end of July/first couple of weeks of August. What are the chances of roads being closed etc because of snow and ice?

Thanks in advance!!

2. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4429 posts) 4y

Quoting ladybug66

I was thinking we would travel north via Dunedin first, do a night along the way there and then when we get to Christchurch travel back down to Tekapo for a couple of nights as a separate trip and back to Christchurch.

Does anyone have any opinions on this?

You'd miss seeing Lindis Pass and having lunch at Mt. Cook as "highlights" of the bus journey from Queenstown to Lake Tekapo, but that's probably worth missing out on in exchange for seeing the Invercargill / Dunedin bit. (Well, actually, personally I think both Invercargill and Dunedin are rather boring, and I'd totally avoid them to spend some more time somewhere else, but that's just me.) :)
So yeah, this sounds like a good plan.

Also, we are doing all this in end of July/first couple of weeks of August. What are the chances of roads being closed etc because of snow and ice?

Not very high. There's a decent chance of snow, but it's not all that common to get bad enough for the passes to be closed, and for the Lake Tekapo stretch, since you'd be travelling back and forth to Christchurch, you'd only need to worry about Burkes Pass. Leave room in your schedule for a day's delay there just in case, and also for a day's delay at Haast Pass (between the glaciers and Queenstown), but you probably won't need that extra time.

3. Posted by Kelvin Ang (Budding Member 43 posts) 4y

I did almost exactly the same route when I was here in 2006, ladybug66, and spent a month here on the South Island. I started in Christchurch and went in an anti-clockwise direction, with the TranzAlpine (Greymouth --> Christchurch, and then Christchurch --> Greymouth a few days later) ride in-between.

Tekapo from Christchurch is easily arranged via the buses, and so is Akaroa. If you have more time left over (quite unlikely, I would think!) and have access to a car, it's worth visiting Hanmer Springs as well. Nothing like a soak in the hot springs (Hanmer Springs or Tekapo), looking out towards the snow-capped mountains, in mid-winter

4. Posted by ladybug66 (Budding Member 42 posts) 4y

Thank you so much for the replies!

I have decided to go up the east coast to see Dunedin, then once in Christchurch spent a night or two there and then head down to Tekapo for a couple of nights & back to Chch. Done!

Can't wait. Pity it's not til July though.