#1 4-28-2017 2:15 AM

traveller2017
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Queenstown 6 Days itinerary checklist suggestion

We are planning to go to Queenstown in mid Oct with my wife for 6 days hiring a car and it is our first time.  We look forward to it and we have panned out our rough itinerary and I am wondering for those who have been there, whether they are doable and realistic based on the following itinerary ?

Basically, we are more into scenery type of person like mountain, snow, tulips, driving, a bit of hiking etc and not interested in bungy jump, jet boat, glacier

Day 1:
Queenstown – Arrive 2pm. Pick up car in airport @ 2:30pm. Check Airbnb in QTN @ 3pm
4pm to Glenorchy (about 1 hour) for scenic drive. 7-8pm – Dinner at QTN
Overnight in QTN

Day 2:
Milford Sound full bus tour – Overnight in QTN

Day 3:
Check out QTN
9am – Drive to Arrowtown for a quick tour
Then drive to Wakana via Cardrona route
Check in Airbnb @ Wakana.
Then have a couple of hours nice scenic drive to Lake Hawea.
Return back to Wanaka for dinner & rest – Overnight in Wanaka

Day 4:
7:30am - Start driving from Wakana to Lake Takapo first. 
10:30am -  Expect to arrive this time. Take some photos around the lake & around Church Shephard
11:30am - Drive to Mount Cook Village
1:00pm - Expect to arrive. Have lunch.
2:00pm - From the campsite, start hiking all the way to the Hooker Lake
We expect 3.5 to 4 hours return trip?
6:00pm - Start driving back (I see that in mid Oct, sunset starts at 8pm) before it gets dark at 9pm to Wanaka
8:30pm to 9:00pm - Expect to arrive back to Wanaka


Day 5:
Check-out Wanaka morning
9am – Drive back to QTN via Cromwell route
11am – Expect to arrive QTN & head to Sky gondola + Luge riding games
1pm - Lunch
2pm - Queenstown Garden
4pm - Explore Queenstown town village
6pm - Dinner
7:30pm - Hot Spring Onsen Queenstown @ night
Overnight in QTN

Day 6:
Check out
10am – Breakfast in Queenstown
11:30am – Drive to Queenstown airport for 2:30pm flight back home

Your comment and suggestion would be appreciated!

Thanks

 

#2 4-28-2017 4:41 AM

jacobi
Bendigo, Australia
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Re: Queenstown 6 Days itinerary checklist suggestion

Sounds pretty reasonable to me. I spent a week in Arrowtown last year and also did a 3 week trip around NZ couple of years prior. I think you've got it worked out pretty good. When in Arrowtown, don't bother trying to find the old Chinese cemetery, you won't find it lol. It's beyond the old ruins, but we spent ages trying to find it and couldn't. I have a couple of blogs on both the trips I did there.

 

#3 4-28-2017 5:36 AM

traveller2017
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Re: Queenstown 6 Days itinerary checklist suggestion

Lol, thanks for the suggestion

I wanna ask, would you recommend to do from Day 4 order first? Or vice versa? i.e. Mt Cook, then Lake Tekapo in the last stop before driving back to Wanaka?

 

#4 4-28-2017 7:22 AM

gingerbatik
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Re: Queenstown 6 Days itinerary checklist suggestion

It seem reasonable except on the day 4. You plan to drive from Wanaka to Mt Cook and back again with the hiking. It think it would be too much as it is a long drive there - 4-5 hours one way depending how many stop you do for taking pictures and rest and also the traffic.  Many people drive there and the Lake Tekapo usually quite busy but less in Mt.Cook.

Alternatively you can stay in Lake Tekapo or Mt Cook instead of going back to Wanaka.

Btw, why do you have to go back to Queenstown?
Fyi it is possible to fly from Christhuch to other countries.

 

#5 4-28-2017 10:25 AM

traveller2017
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Re: Queenstown 6 Days itinerary checklist suggestion

If the drive is long from Wakana to Mt Cook, then we probably will shortern the hike to 2 hours instead, no problem
And we plan to share the drive anyway and we are more of a very energtic type of person.
I saw Google from Waknaa to Mt Cook is  2 1/4 hour drive so I would take 3 hours if we take into account of winding roads and slowing down.  Because that day is quite full, we are unlikely to stop in between other than in Lake Takapo & Mt Cook, hence why the timetable above was panned out that way.

The only concern is we dunno if we drive early in the morning from Wanaka say at 7:30am will be OK as I heard about the ice frost and dangerous and also at at night. We are going in mid Oct.  If that is OK, then we have no problem with it even it is a long day

We wish to go to 1 way but the airfare is ridiculous expensive as well as for dropping the car over there as well so it turns out that if we buy in QTN would be much cheaper than seperating the 2 cities, plus, after Lake Tekapo and in Christchurch, I saw there is nothing miuch that interest us so in that case, we rather leave it for next time or something.

 

#6 4-28-2017 11:43 AM

gingerbatik
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Re: Queenstown 6 Days itinerary checklist suggestion

hmm.. dont believe Google.   I am from NZ and I just come back there last Dec-Jan for 3 weeks visit.  We take a long drive everyday since I am showing the country to  my best buddy, and it was quite busy since it was high season.

You can check jetstar or air nz for the ticket to and from (not sure where you are flying from) since your profile did not show much.

The road from Wanaka to Mt Cook should be okay in mid Oct.  I been drive through Lake Tekapo to Queenstown in the middle of winter with ice and snow.  It was actually more beautiful like a wonderland at the mountain side.
If the weather turn up really bad, usually they will closed the road.

Good luck with your trip

 

#7 5-18-2017 8:07 AM

adoniram
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Re: Queenstown 6 Days itinerary checklist suggestion

I spent 2 weeks cruising around both islands (mostly the south island), and your itinerary looks great.  I really enjoyed heading south too, and seeing the penguins, seals, etc.  If you're excited to see animals, that might be something you consider.  I would check Lonely Planet's guides for exact locations.  I recall spending the night at Monkey Island Beach (campervan, free camping) and heading east.

My biggest recommendation is to pick up a GPS tour, specifically the "Kruse NZ" one.

We had one and it was AWESOME.  Ok it's a little cheesy, but we learned so much about the areas we were driving through that I can't imagine my vacation without it.  I think it added an enormous amount of value to our trip, but we really enjoy learning about the history, geology, and culture of places we visit.  We have friends who are going to NZ just to spend a week in Auckland........  No disrespect to Auckland (it's clean, beautiful, and accommodating), but NZ is too beautiful to spend the entire trip in a major city that looks like New Seattle.

Anyway, since you're doing so much driving, I highly recommend that.

You. Will. Love. New Zealand.

 

#8 6-2-2017 1:36 AM

gemmapurcell
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Re: Queenstown 6 Days itinerary checklist suggestion

I spent 2 weeks cruising around both islands (mostly the south island), and your itinerary looks great.  I really enjoyed heading south too, and seeing the penguins, seals, etc.

 

#9 6-2-2017 2:23 AM

TravelingChris
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Re: Queenstown 6 Days itinerary checklist suggestion

Sounds like a great time. Queenstown was definitely my favorite place in NZ. There was a great restaurant there named Roaring Meg's where my friends and I had a darn gourmet feast and lots of wine. Also a wine bar on the main strip where you swipe your credit card and get token or something and just walk around sampling whatever and you're charged when you leave based on the token's activity. Can't remember the name of the place though. Lovely town.

It was also pretty easy getting used to driving on the opposite side of the road too, only took about 30 minutes and we were all comfortable. Just make sure you get the GPS with your rental. Looks like a nice itinerary of the south island.

 

#10 6-2-2017 2:32 AM

TravelingChris
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Re: Queenstown 6 Days itinerary checklist suggestion

Also, be careful on the way from Wanaka to Queenstown if coming down Crown Range Road. Use low gear and/or stop often. We overheated our brakes and they got really smokey... that's a lot of elevation loss along that road.

 

#11 6-5-2017 7:16 PM

trippin_jen
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Re: Queenstown 6 Days itinerary checklist suggestion

If you're taking the Crown Range Road, it's advisable you get a "powerful" car as it can be quite steep. Probably not suitable if you're afraid of heights. The road can be shorter but not necessarily faster.
May I suggest you book your accommodations in advance.

 
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