What to do - 5 days - NZ

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1. Posted by michellemm (Full Member 109 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Hi there!!!

I'm also going to NZ for 5 days, and I think I'm going to the southern island... does any one have any tips on waht to do/see there for 5 days???

Thank you!


2. Posted by t_penguin (Budding Member 21 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Best to concentrate on South Island.

Christchurch then train over ALps to Greymouth... down to Queenstown (2 days required) then back to Christchurch via Dunedin (must for the wildlife). Try to spend longer than 5 days if possible! too much to see .... too little time!

3. Posted by michellemm (Full Member 109 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!


Unfortunately I don't have anymore time... I have to split 1 month between Australia and NZ...:(

I have another enquiry... I've checked the airtickets from Sydney to Queenstown and they're about twice more expensive than from Sydney to Auckland... do you know any cheaper way to get to Queenstown?? (maybe land somewhere else and go driving or by bus... I don't know...)



4. Posted by Sander (Moderator 5295 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I'd split the one month as 2 weeks by 2 weeks. You'll not see anywhere near enough of Australia in either amount of time, but at least that way you can get a decent overview of New Zealand.

I wouldn't attempt to do any kind of loop in five days. It's just not enough time, and Dunedin and Greymouth aren't worth the precious time. Just scoot up and down to Queenstown from Christchurch.
day 1: spend the day in Christchurch.
day 2: bus to Queenstown (drives through some of the most gorgeous scenery in New Zealand; the MacKenzie country and Lindis Pass; be sure to take the Newmans coach, not the InterCity; the total journey takes longer, but you get a lunch opportunity at the balcony of the Hermitage, overlooking Mt. Cook, and that's totally worth it).
day 3: spend the day in Queenstown.
day 4: daytrip to Milford Sound. (Will cost you ~$120, including the boat trip through the Sound.)
day 5: bus back to Christchurch.

5. Posted by michellemm (Full Member 109 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Hey Sander!!!

I'm on budget, and as I've checked, the airtickets to the south are way more expensive than to the north...

So, can you suggest me an itinerary for the North Island??

I'd appreciate it! :)



6. Posted by Sander (Moderator 5295 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I can imagine a ticket to Queenstown (as you mentioned before) being more expensive, but Christchurch really should be costing about the same as Auckland. Try Emirates Air, or Virgin Blue. (I don't know when you'd be going, but with the latter, I see several dates in late July where you could do a return trip Sydney-Christchurch for $84 a leg.)

There's no obvious 5-day North Island itineraries that suggest themselves to me. There interesting things there are mostly cities (which, y'know, although very nice, aren't what you should come to New Zealand for), types of nature you can find in Australia as well, and Tongariro National Park (which is kinda remote, hence hard to combine with other things, and the Tongariro Crossing is not something you'd want to attempt during the winter anyway, making it a less attractive destination... although, looking at your profile, I guess you could go there for skiing; in that case: fly into Wellington, bus to Tongariro National Park, ski there, bus back).

[ Edit: Edited on Jun 26, 2007, at 8:44 PM by Sander ]

7. Posted by meanderer (Budding Member 8 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Hi Sander
Sorry to bother you with yet another South Island question, but in another related post (where you proposed a 10 day itinerary) you suggested staying at Fox glacier. Are there hostels at Fox glacier or do people stay in a hostel at Franz Josef glacier and travel to Fox glacier. How accessible are the glaciers - do you have to be super fit or are there easy ( non-helicoptor) options? Any other hints on the South Island welcome.Thanks for your help

8. Posted by Sander (Moderator 5295 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Fox glacier does have one or two hostels, but less than Franz Josef; Fox is a noticeably smaller town. Curious that I'd have recommended to stay at Fox in particular in that other itinerary. Usually I say "stay at either", or recommend Franz Josef in particular, because I like the regular walks there much better (Peter's Pool on toward Roberts Point), and am personally a fan of YHA hostels, of which there is an excellent one in Franz Josef. That said, the driving time between the two places is half an hour, so you really can stay at either and just make your way over in no time.

You can walk quite close to the end of both glaciers without needing to be too fit. The path changes every year, but I think in general the Fox glacier approach is easier, with the glacier closer to the parking area (20 minutes walking versus 40 minutes, maybe? Think that order of magnitude, although I wasn't paying too much attention to the actual time the walks took me), and when I did it you could definitely get closer to the ice at Fox. But for both glaciers the track is mostly level, and an actual path for the largest part of the way, before reverting to needing to weave your way over and through the rocks.
There's also even shorter walks from the parking area at both locations, where you go up a very easy incline for ten minutes or so to a point with a decent view of the area.

[ Edit: Edited on Jul 14, 2007, at 5:19 AM by Sander ]

9. Posted by meanderer (Budding Member 8 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Thanks for your help Sander- looks good!