I'm Malaysian Male, 28, and will have a short stopover at Brisbane on 13-15 Oct before moving to South NZ. From 16 Oct to 27 Oct 2013 I will be starting and ending the backpacking roadtrip at Christchurch. Here's the possible Point Of Interest I have in mind and right now would like to cover at least a few major destinations, depending on transportation availability and budget :
- Arthur's Pass
- Fox Glacier
- Te Anau
- Milford Sound
- Bluff / Steward Island
- Catlins Conservation Park
- Lake Tekapo
If you have other POI to recommend, do share them in here. Am very interested to skydiving, skiing, craft or arts sightseeing and generally a good time
Looking forward to meet up whether from beginning or in the midst of the trip at any of the locations mentioned, or possibly backpacking-mates to share roadtrip with.
I think that list is far too much for 11 days; you'd be constantly on the road, and cramming in destinations without having the time to properly see them. I'd probably drop the Catlins (some nice scenery and waterfalls, but nothing extremely spectacular or different from the rest of the South Island), Stewart Island (too much effort to get to for the time) and Dunedin (boring-ish city; nothing special). The rest of the locations then makes for a pretty good loop (maybe do Milford Sound as a daytrip from Queenstown, as Te Anau by itself is also not much, and can be easily skipped) - that's still speeding along more than I'd personally like, but doable. Good selection of locations, otherwise; I'm glad to see my all time favorite Lake Tekapo on the list.
On the west coast, Hokitika might be worth a stop en route from Arthur's Pass to the glaciers for its crafts; rather touristy, but there's some okay workshops in between. (It's a shame Nelson is way out of the way, otherwise that'd have been a major recommendation.) And Arthur's Pass itself of course harbours a thriving arts community, but I expect you knew that already for having selected it as a stopping point.
No idea if skiiing is still possible in late October. I'd think not, but might be wrong.
You've touched on many of the South Island's top destinations, with the exception of the northern part of the island. I refer to the Marlborough Wine Region, Kaiteriteri and the Abel Tasman National Park, which was one of the top three highlights for me. I also think you should consider Queenstown and surrounds.
In addition, travelling south along the West Coast towards the Glaciers, you also get Punakaiki and the Pancake Rocks.
If I had to choose between the options you've listed, I'd definitely select Christchurh, because that's where you'll arrive, and it is beautiful, Arthur's Pass, Punakaiki, Franz Josef and/or Fox Glacier, Queenstown, and either the Otago Peninsula and Moeraki Boulders back to Christchurh or the Clay Cliffs Omarama, Lake Pukaki and Tekapo back to Christchurch.
However, if you do want to consider going north, you might find these images of Kaiteriteri and the Abel Tasman beneficial: -snip-
[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]
Thanks for the feedback! Yes, it would not be possible cover all the destinations, thus I just listed them down as POI. And yes you are right, I do know Arthur's Pass is recommended for arts/crafts, hence will be my first major stop. I think skiing is still possible in October, at least for Mount Hutt but guess I will only know when I'm there. Nelson is way out of my route though, as Fox Glacier and Milford Sound is kinda my 'Must Visit in NZ' itinerary. Heard lots of good comments on Lake Tekapo, will definitely make an effort to be there!
Yea it is a shame I only have 11 days to cover, else I will have include Abel Tasman in my list. But I'm not aware of Clay Cliffs Omarama as a POI, will check it out.