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NZ car tour Dec 19th to Dec 28 and then to great barrier oz

Dallas, Texas
13 posts
NZ car tour Dec 19th to Dec 28 and then to great barrier oz

Hi,

We are an american family with a teenage kid. After my initial read of books, I am thinking that we need to visit Auckland, Rotorua via waitomo, queenstown,Milford sound,Franz Josef, christchurch via greysmouth and then fly to Port arthur.

Moderate activities are preferred.

Am I missing any other must see places?

Thanks for your help and advice. Based on your feedback I will fine tune my itinerary to a more detailed one.

7 replies to this topic
California
Level Contributor
11,164 posts
73 reviews
1. Re: NZ car tour Dec 19th to Dec 28 and then to great barrier oz

"and then fly to Port arthur" You better check that. Port Arthur is the historical prison site in Tasmania. For Great Barrier Reef, you fly into Hamilton Island airport.

Your destinations are far and wide across 2 islands. With only 9 nights, stick to South Island. You can see glow worms in Te Anau, the gateway to Milford Sound.

Dallas, Texas
13 posts
2. Re: NZ car tour Dec 19th to Dec 28 and then to great barrier oz

You are right, its Port Douglas not Port arthur. Thanks pointing that out.

Yes I understand I have only 9 nights, what I intend to do is first fly into auckland and on day 3 and day 4 cover rotorua, and on day 5 drive back to auckland and fly to queenstown.

Dec 24 -Land in queenstown.

Dec 25th - Milford

Dec 26th - Franz Joseph

Dec 27th - Franz Joseph - Christchurch

Dec 28th - Fly to Port Douglas.

Is the south Island trip too aggressive and would i be missing any other interesting places?

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Fiji
Level Contributor
6,452 posts
282 reviews
3. Re: NZ car tour Dec 19th to Dec 28 and then to great barrier oz

Check and see if there is in fact a coach /cruise going to Milford Sound on Christmas day you can book. Also QTN to Franz Josef is too far best to go QTN to Mt Cook if you can get accommodation or try Twizel or lake Takepo and the next day head to Christchurch.

Dec 24 -Land in queenstown.

Dec 25th - Coach/cruiseCoach or Fly back to Milford Sound

Dec 26th - QTN to Mt Cook

Dec 27th - Mt Cook - Christchurch

Dec 28th - Fly CHC to Cairns and onto Port Douglas.

Dallas, Texas
13 posts
4. Re: NZ car tour Dec 19th to Dec 28 and then to great barrier oz

Thanks

Christchurch, New...
Destination Expert
for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
Level Contributor
40,099 posts
450 reviews
5. Re: NZ car tour Dec 19th to Dec 28 and then to great barrier oz

Two major problems with your SI itinerary:

#1 Both the 26th & 27th are aggressively full-on days of driving (7-8 hr each) without time for sightseeing apart from some short walks along the Haast highway. No time to actually see the glaciers.

#2. Generally you cannot get a rental car for a one way hire of under 5 days. I would imagine at peak season like Xmas this would be enforced, so even GTS's shortened trip might not work.

Dallas, Texas
13 posts
6. Re: NZ car tour Dec 19th to Dec 28 and then to great barrier oz

Thanks for the feedback, let me rework my itinerary and get back to the forum.

Dunedin, New Zealand
Destination Expert
for Dunedin
Level Contributor
2,826 posts
78 reviews
7. Re: NZ car tour Dec 19th to Dec 28 and then to great barrier oz

Sometimes the majors can be the better place for short term one way rentals over holiday periods, as they face less demand from their corporate users. For example, I found a Corolla on Thrifty for under $600 (plus insurance) for your dates, which is pretty good considering.

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