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Query on Dunedin

Singapore River...
Level Contributor
18 posts
Query on Dunedin

We are visiting NZ SI in Nov’18.

I want to include Dunedin in our 12 days SI itinerary, so i plan to go from CHC- Mt. Cook& Lake Tekapo(2D) Dunedin(2D)- Te Anau(1)-Queenstown(2)- Wanaka - Franz Josef & Fox Glacier- Greymouth to CHC(Tranzalpine) -Kaikoura-CHC

Travelling with a toddler (2.5yrs old) are there things to do in Dunedin or should i cover some other place.



21 replies to this topic
Christchurch, New...
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for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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1. Re: Query on Dunedin

Adding both Dunedin AND Kaikoura to the standard 10 day itinerary does mean you are doing a lot of driving. If you have no burning desire to go to Dunedin (and your toddler will not enjoy the wildlife tours) why not drop it? I assume you know that most DEs recommend the anti-clockwise route!

1. Arr Chch (2N)

2. Return trip to kaikoura (but are you sure you can do any of the cruises with a wee one. Personally I'd recommend Akaroa instead (not as far to drive and a sheltered harbour)

3. Tranz Alpine to Greymouth; drive to Hokitika via Arthurs Pass

4. Drive to FJG Glacier

5. Drive to Wanaka

6. Drive to Te Anau (2N)

8. Drive to QTN (2N)

9. Explore

10. Drive to Mt Cook (1-2N)

11. Explore Mt Cook or move on to Lake Tekapo

12. Drive to Chch via Lake Tekapo.

Level Contributor
81 posts
2. Re: Query on Dunedin

You have quite a lot of places you are wanting to cover. It sounds like too much driving - for 12 days with a toddler.

Things to do in Dunedin depends on what you enjoy doing. Are you wanting child specific activities.

let us know why you have added it. If you are interested in wildlife - there are penguins and albatrosses to see on the peninsula.

Will you spend some time in Christchurch. If you are flying in to christchurch from overseas, you should be staying at least a night there before driving any distance.

I suggest you also consider taking out Te Anau and spend an extra night in Queenstown. Particularly if you are planning a side trip to Milford Sound.

Singapore River...
Level Contributor
18 posts
3. Re: Query on Dunedin

Hi zhuhai2007/DjNZ6021,

Yes, i did see a lot of itineraries that followed the reverse route. Why is that so? any idea?

I added Dunedin because was keen on seeing the wildlife and visit Otago Peninsula thought it would be exciting for my kid to see the Penguins.

Considering that i do Dunedin for the penguins etc i wanted to included Kaikoura for us :) (minus the whale watching considering that the boat rides have age limits). May be jst visit the Lavender farms and the Kaikoura Farm Park

BTW here is the itinerary

03rd Nov: Arrive at CHC airport at 1:00PM after a 11hr flight from SG to CHC. Pick up the rental car and stay overnight in CHC. Stock up eatables and grocery for the trip.

04th Nov: Drive to Lake Tekapo and stay overnight.

05th Nov: Drive to Mt. Cook and stay Overnight

06th-07th Nov: Drive to Dunedin and spend 2 nights.

08th Nov: Drive to Te Anau / Milford Sound stay overnight (Should i include this in my itinerary? considering that my kid wouldnt be too keen )

09th Nov: Drive to Queenstown in the afternoon

10th Nov: Queenstown (plan to visit some farms, considering that we cannot do other activities here)

11th Nov: Wanaka

12th-13th Nov: Fox glacier and Franz Josef glacier

14th Nov: Drive to Greymouth and take the TranzAlpine to CHC, stay overnight in CHC

15th Nov: Drive to Kaikoura and stay overnight

16th Nov: Back to CHC by evening drop off the rental car.

17th Nov: Flight back to SG at 8:00am in the morning.

Thanks :)

- PD

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
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93 reviews
4. Re: Query on Dunedin

if you drive towards mountains they are in front of you and the view is splendid. If you drive away from mountains the view is only seen in the rear view mirror - so Arthur's Pass is best west, Haast Pass best south, Lindis Pass best north.

Therefore your entire route will be most scenic if driven the other direction.

Your child won't want to sit silently for ages in the freezing cold to see penguins in Dunedin. Your child won't enjoy Milford either.

Visit Antarctic Centre in Chch (next to the airport) to see penguins and to play in snow - your child will love it.

Christchurch, New...
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for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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5. Re: Query on Dunedin

So you do have 14 days rather than 12 - but I still believe more is less. WLnz has pointed out that remaining quiet in a freezing cold hide for 30 min to an hour to see tiny birds in the distance through binoculars will not entertain any child. The Antarctic Centre will be better as the penguins are much bigger and closer!!

I've never heard of the Kaikoura Farm Park, but your child would enjoy the petting farm at Willowbank just as much, without the 5 hours driving. Or you could visit the Alpaca Farm near Akaroa and combine that with the dolphin watching cruise.

Singapore River...
Level Contributor
18 posts
6. Re: Query on Dunedin

Oops sorry, yes its 12 days. Considering i dont do the Milford sound as well as Dunedin, i am left with additional 3 days.

What do your recommend replacing it wid?

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7. Re: Query on Dunedin

>>>i am left with additional 3 days.

What do your recommend replacing it wid?<<<

Spend longer at the destinations you already have so you aren't driving every day!

Your child would probably enjoy the TSS Earnslaw trip to the sheep farm while in Queenstown. Feeding ducks along the shore is always a hit with kids as well.

Christchurch, New...
Destination Expert
for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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454 reviews
8. Re: Query on Dunedin

Here is the standard anti-clockwise loop:

03 Nov: Arrive at CHC at 1:00PM (2-3N) Visit Antarctic Centre if not too tired.

04: Explore Chch - historic tram, gondola, Margaret Mahy Playground, Botanic Gardens (also has a playground)

05. Drive to Hokitika via Arthurs Pass or take the Tranz Alpine to Greymouth & drive to Hokitika

06. Drive to FJG or FG Glacier (1-2N)

07. Explore

08. Drive to Wanaka (2N)

09. Explore, feed ducks, playground, Puzzling World, Toy museum etc

10. Drive to Te Anau (2N)

11. Drive or tour to Milford Sound

12. Drive to QTN (2N)

13. Explore; TSS Earnslaw etc.

14. Drive to Mt Cook

15. Drive to Chch via Lake Tekapo.

16. Fly out of CHC at 8pm

Note - if you want to include the dolphin watch at Akaroa, I suggest you drop the 2nd night at the Glaciers and stay either an extra night in Chch or stay in Akaroa on the 5th. If you choose to take the Tranz Alpine, it would make more sense to visit Akaroa at the end of your trip, when you have the car.

Singapore River...
Level Contributor
18 posts
9. Re: Query on Dunedin

Hi All,

Thanks for your feedback. Have re-done my itinerary, but still need your advice.

Saturday, November 03, 2018 Arrive at CHC at 1 pm

Sunday, November 04, 2018 CHC to Greymouth via Tranzalpine

Stay at Hokitika overnifght after picking up the rental car at Greymouth

Monday, November 05, 2018 Drive to FranzJosef followed by Fox glacier

Tuesday, November 06, 2018 Fox Glacier. Is there a lot to see here? Or can I just see FJ and Fox on 05th iteself.

Wednesday, November 07, 2018 Drive to Wanaka

Thursday, November 08, 2018 Explore Wanaka

Friday, November 09, 2018 Drive to QTN

Saturday, November 10, 2018 Explore QTN

Sunday, November 11, 2018 Drive to Te Anau & Milford sound. Not too keen what can I replace this with?

Monday, November 12, 2018 Drive to MT Cook

Tuesday, November 13, 2018 Drive to Lake Tekapo

Wednesday, November 14, 2018 Drive to Akaroa

Thursday, November 15, 2018 ??

Friday, November 16, 2018 Explore CHC

Saturday, November 17, 2018 Depart to SG from CHC

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
Level Contributor
30,679 posts
93 reviews
10. Re: Query on Dunedin

You will easily fill two days Queenstown - skip Te Anau.

TSS Earnslaw and farm tour

Gondola and luge

feed ducks

watch others bungee off the bridge - very entertaining

jet boating

pan for gold in Arrow River, Arrowtown

Chinese Historic Village, Arrowtown

You have an extra day? Spend another night Wanaka

Puzzling World

dinosaur playground

Mou Waho Island - weka (flightless birds) are running around

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