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Nelson & Blenheim Itinerary

london
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Nelson & Blenheim Itinerary
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Hi,

I am travelling to South Island next February and will be visiting Blenheim/Nelson.

My itinerary is as follows:

Day 1 - Fly AKL to Blenheim. Arrive Afternoon, Evening TBC

Day 2 - Blenheim - Havelock - Mussel Pot (lunch). Travel to Picton (Marlborough sounds) - Queen Charlotte trek

Drive back to Blenheim for Dinner/Wine Tasting at Wither Hills (if time)

Day 3 - Drive to Kaikoura (2 hours), Whale tour at 1245 (3.5 hours)

Visit Ohau point on drive back to Blenheim.

Dinner/Wine Tasting at Wither Hills.

Day 4 - Drive to Pelorus Bridge, walk and visit cafe and then onto Nelson.

Visit beach in Nelson, wine tour

Day 1-3 staying in Blenheim, Day 4 in Nelson

Does this sound feasible, any suggestions for wine tasting, wine tour or alternative itinerary.

Thank you.

21 replies to this topic
California
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1. Re: Nelson & Blenheim Itinerary
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What portion of Queen Charlotte Track are you planning on doing? If taking the water taxi to Ship Cove, it is almost an hour ride. Day 2 seems really busy. Perhaps you should plan on your Mussel Pot lunch for Day 4. What are your plans for Day 5?

Nelson-Tasman...
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for South Island, Nelson-Tasman Region, New Zealand, Tonga
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2. Re: Nelson & Blenheim Itinerary
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day two seems very full. the queen charlotte track has only one access point from the road via linkwater - the southern entrance is at anakiwa. roads have been open only to residents due to slips and im not sure of the current situation.

most people access the queen charlotte track by water taxi at ship cove and its a 3-4 day walk. But hou cant walk it from picton.

im a bit confused by your whole itinerary and not sure what to advise. one of the highlights of nz is abel tasman national park in nelson region and this isnt even on your itinerary.

withers hills is ok, but not where i would advise for wine tasting and you have it listed twice. st clair, alan scotts are all superior.

nelson has fabulous wineries as well - consdier seigfrieds, brightwater, moutere hills, gravity - just so many really.

london
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3. Re: Nelson & Blenheim Itinerary
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Thank you.

My Day 5 is at Abel Tasman staying a night Ratanui Lodge and then day 6 off to Punakaiki

london
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4. Re: Nelson & Blenheim Itinerary
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We enjoy working and part of Queen Charlotte was recommended for a few hours

london
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5. Re: Nelson & Blenheim Itinerary
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Thank you and happy for any revisions.

I will replace Wither Hills

California
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6. Re: Nelson & Blenheim Itinerary
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Ratanui Lodge is at Pohara, in Golden Bay. If you want to spend the day exploring Abel Tasman NP, you would need to stay at Marahau or Kaiteriteri. Usually 2 nights would be recommended, but a night at Nelson and a night at Marahau/Kaiteriteri would work. You can walk in the southern entrance at Marahau or you can take a water-taxi in from either Marahau or Kaiteriteri.

Technically, you can enter Abel Tasman from Pohara at the northern end of the park. It is a very winding road, and unpaved. It's really only for those camping at Totoranui. Not recommended for a daytrip at all. Plus you will have to traverse Takaka Hill to even get to Pohara. I would not recommend staying at Pohara at all for just one night. And certainly not as a base for exploring Abel Tasman NP.

Edited: 27 February 2024, 07:48
london
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7. Re: Nelson & Blenheim Itinerary
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Thank you.

My alternative to Ratanui was the Kimi Ora resort but that required a minimum 2 night stay so I will reconsider that.

Nelson-Tasman...
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8. Re: Nelson & Blenheim Itinerary
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you will have no time for abel tasman on day 5 if staying at ratanui lodge. you have severely underestimated the time to travel nz roads, the twisty, narrow, hilly, single laned state highways.

Ratanui lodge is in golden bay, not abel tasman. its a 2.5 hour drive from Nelson and it goes over the notorious takaka hill (260 twisty bends). its a long way to travel for one night.

The northern entrance to abel tasman by road access is at totaranui, its unsealed, narrow, steep dropoffs, usually has corrguations in the road and is another hour from ratanui lodge (although many tourists only drive at 20km/h on this road and take longer).

you arent on the abel tasman and the nearest abel tasman access from nelson is marahau (southern entrance, or kaiteriteri (boat shuttle).

i totally suggest you cancel ratanui lodge and book something on the nelson side of takaka hill and not golden bay for the night. you just have too much driving. i suggest kaiteriteri or marahau.

your itinerary needs a good overhaul and just doesnt flow. you have hug driving days. ratanui lodge to punakaiki is well over 5 hours driving over three mountain saddles. consider kaiteriteri motels and apartments in little kaiteriteri. it will make more sense.

What is the rest of your itinerary so we can try and make some better suggestions. travelling blenheim to kaikoura and back in a day just doesnt make sense on everything else.

there is absolutely no point in going to havelock on day two - when you drive right through havelock and past the mussel pot on the way to Nelson.

Edited: 27 February 2024, 09:10
london
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9. Re: Nelson & Blenheim Itinerary
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Hi the rest of my itinerary is as follows:

Day 5 - Abel Tasman

Day 6 - Drive to Punakaiki (5 hours) - stop along Buller River

Day 7 - Visit pancake rocks, Motukiekie Beach walk. Hokitika Gorge and then to Franz Josef

Day 8 - Visit Glacier via Heli-hike or walk to Fox Glacier (1 hour)/Franz Josef (1.5 hours). Visit Lake Matheson and Hot Pools in town.

Day 9 - Drive along Haast Pass onto Wanaka (5 hours). On-route Blue Pools Walk (1 hour). See Fantail Falls, Thunder Creek Falls.

Day 10 - Mount Iron Track walk (2 hours) or Rippon vineyards for views

See Wanaka tree, Lavender farm and walk around lake.

Day 11- Drive to Dunedin"

Day 12 - Explore Dunedin - St.Pauls Cathedral, Railway station, museum, Baldwin street. Emersons Brewery.

Day 13 - Drive to Te Anu.

Fiordland Cinema"

Day 14 - Day trip to Milford Sound - Te Anu Lake, Eglington Valley, Mirror Lakes, Hollyford Pass, The Chasm and 2 hour cruise

Day 15. - Drive Te Anu to Queenstown (2 hours)

Afternoon: Ferburger, lakefront, Botantical gardens, Kiwi birdlife park. Onsen hot pool. Gondola to Bob's peak."

Day 16 - Drive to Glenorchy (1 hour), on-route Bob's cove (view Lake Wakatipu), stop at Bennett's Bluff viewpoint, visit Wharf. Lunch in Glenorchy - Sugar Loaf café/Lodge. Afternoon: Visit Moke Lake back to Queenstown. Atlas Beer Café

Day 17 - Drive ro Aoraki Mount Cook via Lindis Pass (5 hours). Stop at Peters Viewpoint. Drive to Lake Pukaki

Day 18 - Walk Hooker Valley track (3 hours)"

Walk around lake, see Church of the Good Shepherd. Tasman Glacier walk (30 mins).

Evening: Visit Mount John Observatory for star gazing"

Day 19. - Drive to Akaroa, stop for lunch at Fairlie or Geraldine (7 hours)

Day 20 - Depart Christchurch 1000 for AKL

Edited: 27 February 2024, 09:48
Nelson-Tasman...
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10. Re: Nelson & Blenheim Itinerary
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Day 1 - Fly AKL to Blenheim. Arrive Afternoon, Evening TBC

Day 2 - to picton - book cougarline or beachcomber to ships cove and walk to endeavour inlet on Queen Charlotte. get picked up by boat

Drive back to Blenheim for Dinner/Wine Tasting

Day 3 - Drive to Kaikoura (2 hours), Whale tour at 1245 (3.5 hours) - personally i would leave this out totally. its an outliner and doesnt work in well.

Visit Ohau point on drive back to Blenheim.

Day 4 - Drive to havelock and lunch at mussel inn, visit Pelorus Bridge, do totara and circle walk and then onto Nelson and kaiteriteri

day 5 - get abel tasman sea shuttle to medlands or tonga quarry (depends on how far you want to walk) and lunch at awaroa lunch then get late afternoon shuttle back from awaroa.

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